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YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Q. Could Jesus' coming be hundreds or thousands of years in the future?
A. No. Jesus enumerated a list of coming events whose fulfillment would clearly herald the nearness of His return. He declared. “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Mt. 24:33. These events have almost all been fulfilled. See “The Bible Says, question 3, in this magazine.
Q. Does Jesus' second coming occur for each person individually at the time of the new birth?
A. Nowhere does Scripture equate the second coming with the new birth. The second coming is an event that the whole world shall witness, whereas the new birth occurs silently and invisibly in receptive hearts. Relative to His second coming, Jesus declared, “Then shall all the tribes of the earth ... see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” Mt. 24:30. Regarding the new birth, He taught, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” Jn. 3:8. See 1 Jn. 3:9, 1, 2.
Q. Does the second coming occur for each individual at death?
A. No. Scripture clearly states that the second coming is a single climactic event that simultaneously affects the whole world. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.” 1 Cor. 15:52. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them ... to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thes. 16:17. See “The Bible Says,” question 2, in this magazine.
Q. Will Jesus' second coming be a spiritual rather than literal event?
A. Jesus' second coming will be a visible, physical, and literal event. There can be no doubt about this. Scripture is plain: “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11. “And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory And He shall send His angels with the sound of a great trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” Mk. 13:26, 27 See “The Bible Says,” question 2, in this magazine.
Q. Will Jesus 'second coming be visible only to His believing people?
A. No, the whole world, including the lost, shall witness His second coming. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming.” Mt. 24:30. See “The Bible Says,” question 2, and “Love's Joyful Reunion,” (both in this magazine).
Q. Will everyone be saved at Jesus' second coming?
A. No, the wicked will be separated from the righteous when Christ returns. “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire:” “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: ... and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Mt. 13:40-43; 7:13, 14. See “Love's Joyful Reunion,” in this magazine.
Q. Will Jesus' second coming establish a golden age on earth?
A. Not immediately. When Jesus comes the second time, He will take all His redeemed to heaven, while the wicked shall be destroyed by the brightness of His appearing. See 2 Thes. 1:7-10; 2:8. This twofold result will depopulate earth of all inhabitants except Satan and his fallen angels. God's people will be with Christ in heaven for a whole millennium, after which Christ and all the redeemed will come back to earth. Then the wicked will be resurrected to face their judgment. At the end of the judgment, God will blot out the wicked in cleansing fire. He will then create new heavens and a new earth, which will be the home of the redeemed for eternity. See Revelation chapters 20-22; "Love's Joyful Reunion," "Eternal Joy,".
Q. Is it necessary for those who believe in Christ to prepare for His second coming?
A. A mere belief in Jesus, unaccompanied by a suitable response to the work of divine grace, is useless. James declared, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” Jas. 2:19, 20. Good works will not save us or prepare us for the second coming, but there is a work of grace to be done in the life of every believer to qualify us for entrance into the heavenly kingdom. Christ admonished, “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. ... Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Lk. 21:34, 36.
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Created: 11/19/02 Updated: 07/17/07