Today's Foundations Devotional: Five purposes of Christ’s second coming
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice
of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will
rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall
always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
It is helpful to point out that, in the eternal counsel of God, the second coming of Christ is ordained to accomplish a number of different purposes. These purposes are in some sense distinct from each other, yet all are interrelated in God’s overall plan. Each of these purposes constitutes one main aspect of Christ’s second coming, one main part of the total event as foretold in Scripture.
Briefly, we may mention the five main purposes for which Christ will come again.
1. Christ will come for the Church. He will come again as the Bridegroom to receive to Himself all true believers as His bride. They will be united with Christ, either by resurrection or by instantaneous change in their bodies while still alive. Jesus promised His disciples:
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:3).
2. Christ will come for the national salvation of Israel. The national remnant of Israel that has survived the fires of the great tribulation will acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and thus be reconciled to God and restored to His favour and blessing. This is foretold in the promise of God through Isaiah, quoted by Paul.
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins” (Rom. 11:26-27).
3. Christ will come for the overthrow of Antichrist and of Satan himself.
And then the lawless one [the Antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming [parousia] (2 Thess. 2:8).
4. Christ will come for the judgement of the Gentile nations. He Himself gave this prediction:
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:31-32).
In the verses that follow, Jesus describes in detail the procedure of judgement.
5. Christ will come for the establishment of His millennial kingdom on the earth. This is included in the passage in Matthew 25 and predicted in Isaiah.
Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously (Is. 24:23).
It is also predicted in Zechariah.
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name (14:9, NIV).
The period of time for which Christ will thus reign is given in Revelation 20:4, where it speaks of the martyrs of the tribulation period: And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Millennium is a Latin word meaning “a period of a thousand years.”)
Thank You Father that in the fierce times to come for Israel, You and
Your Son Jesus will be their salvation and refuge. I intercede for them
that You may open their eyes to Jesus the Messiah! Amen.