Dear Reader: This post is a change in the approach to this "blog." My aim is to write a book on the Second Coming of Christ. I shall post portions of the book in this blog for you to read. Hopefully, I can complete the book in a reasonable time. This is the first post to start the book with an introduction. I realize that formatting in Word does not always fit into Blogger very well, so I hope you will be patient with the "look" of the material. Thanks to all of you for your patient reading. You are welcome to make comments, hopefully following Christian ethical guidelines.
THE SECOND COMING OF
“Christ has died; Christ is
risen; Christ will come again.”
These are the words of the “mystery of faith” in the
Great Thanksgiving (United Methodist Hymnal, 10). The congregation declares three important
events in the story of the Christ. Note
that the event often called the “Second Coming” is part of the “big three.” The church also has throughout history
affirmed the Second Coming in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. The Apostles’ Creed:
at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. (United Methodist Hymnal,
The Nicene Creed:
seated at the right hand of the Father.
come again in glory
the living and the dead,
kingdom will have no end.
Methodist Hymnal, 880)
The following was written by Thomas Oden: “With the coming of the Son thoroughly
attested, his Second Coming is expected.
The present age begins with the ascension and ends with the Parousia (‘return,
coming again’). This present age is the
age of the risen and ascended Lord, awaiting the returning Lord. It is an article of faith that he shall come
again (Creed of 150 Fathers).” (Oden, Classic Christianity, 494)
So, I have the audacity to write about the Second Coming of
Jesus. It truly is audacious—more like
overwhelming—to write about this topic.
I have been writing a “blog” that I call “Last Days Workshop” since
2012. I have covered almost all of the
New Testament Scriptures but have not delved into the Old Testament to any
degree except a brief series on Daniel. It
took me from December 26, 2013 to November 10, 2021 to cover Revelation. I called the blog a “workshop” because I was
inviting the reader to look over my shoulder as I struggled with the last-days
concepts. Now it is my purpose to write
a book that presents my conclusions and my lingering questions about the last
As I have read the work of others, I observe several
· Most interpreters develop a “paradigm” or work within
a school of interpretation that is already in place.
· Although these frameworks are certainly helpful in
understanding the Scripture, they also can create problems for the interpreter. Trying to force a passage into one’s
preconceived scheme can push one into making errors, such as ignoring the
Scriptural context or genre or the historical setting or simply ignoring the
internal logic of the passage.
· Interpreters also may display certain presuppositions
about Scripture in general. For example,
some authors take a very rationalistic/naturalistic approach to Scripture that
discounts the inspiration of the Scriptures.
· Interpreters may give way to sensationalism. Many would like to prove the nearness of the
Second Coming by forcing passages to have twenty-first-century applications,
when there is no warrant to do so.
· Some interpreters are also motivated by certain political
viewpoints that lead them to apply Scriptures to the present-day political
scene when such applications are not warranted.
· Some take the whole issue of the Second Coming of
Christ and other eschatological concepts very lightly. I was once told about a seminary professor
who said he was a “pan-millennialist,” because it would all pan out somehow. A church official once wrote a lengthy
parable of his view of last things. It
really was pretty shallow, and it appeared to be a sideswipe at my own studies
· Some folks are drawn to the notion of “post-apocalyptic”
without much Biblical context. They seem
enthralled with the idea that, if an utter disaster takes place, then “normal”
societal restraints are destroyed and people can make up their own rules.
· Similar to the previous point is the attraction to the
notion of the “Antichrist” without much Biblical context.
Although the previous list is critical of many who write
about last things, I want also to make clear that many interpreters and
commentators have been very helpful to my understanding. Through their studies I have gained insight
into a number of topics and questions that surround end-time studies. Nevertheless, I still have many
questions. The following are some of
those that I hope this book can address (but not necessarily bring to final resolution).
· Why is a Second Coming necessary?
· What, exactly, is the kingdom (or reign) of God?
· What role does the church play in the end-times and
· What role does Israel play in the end-times and
· How do the various descriptions of the Second Coming
in Scripture fit together?
· How do the various descriptions of the Last Judgment
· To what degree is each of the various schools of
following is the plan of the book:
Part 1: The First Coming of Jesus Christ
The First Coming
of Jesus Christ:
The passion and
grace through faith
The order of
The church of
and growth of the church
The ministry of
and the church
Israel and the
Why a Second
Part 2: The
Second Coming of Jesus Christ
Part 2a: The predictions
of the Second Coming
Matthew 24 and
I Corinthians 15
I and II
Old Testament predictions
How are these
Part 2b: The Tribulation
Daniel’s 70 Weeks
The False Prophet
The Seven Seals
The Seven Last
Revelation 19 and the Second Coming predictions revisited
Part 3: Revelation
20 and parallels
The Great White
The Kingdom of
Part 4: “Eternity”
Revelation 21: the great announcements
of the world-to-come in Revelation 21-22
Part 5: The
final words of Revelation and the Second Coming
I hope that this book is helpful to some. It is intended to be a careful study of the Scriptures
and not to be a ride on a hobby horse.
But I am flesh and blood, so I can only do my best and pray that God
will overcome my worst tendencies and fill in what I have left out. Thank you for your patient reading.