The Second Coming
First of all, Jesus already has His "second coming" and that was to Mary Magdalene in John 20:11-18. A lot of people don't know this but after Jesus died and rose from the dead, he appeared to people twelve times, and this was over a period of 40 days. The Bible only mentions those twelve appearances but many people have reported seeing Jesus in the flesh since then. The twelve post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Bible are as follows:
1. His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene, on that early Sunday morning. (Mark 16:9; John 20:10-18).
2. Jesus appeared to the women returning from the tomb. (Matthew 28:9-10).
3. Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13-32; Mark 16:12-13).
4. He appeared to Peter in Jerusalem. (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
5. He appeared to his disciples and other followers, and also a second time to the two men from Emmaus, in a locked room in Jerusalem. The apostle Thomas wasn't there at that time. (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23).
6. A week later, Jesus again appeared to his disciples behind locked doors, and this time Thomas was present. (John 20:24-29).
7. Jesus appeared to seven of his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1-24).
8. Jesus was seen by 500 believers at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6).
9. He appeared to James. (1 Corinthians 15:7).
10. He appeared to eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee. (Matt. 28:18-20).
11. He walked with his disciples along the road to Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, and then ascended into Heaven. (Luke 24:50-53).
12. He was seen by Paul on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:8).
To some the "second coming" refers to when Jesus comes to rapture the Church but it usually refers to when Jesus will come back to the earth, visible to all, for the Final Judgment. I absolutely believe this to be true (as does all of Orthodox Christianity). Adventism is the "belief in the second coming of Jesus Christ." and I also believe the Bible is clear that it will be when the Church begins to look like the Bride of Christ, and not the bride of the world.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40).
What we do know is that no one will know when it will happen and as we just read in the above verse, it will be on "the last day," not the last seven years, the last 1,000 years or anything else. I believe this eschaton ("the last thing") will be swift but God only knows how verses like Matthew 7:21-23 or Matthew 25:31-46 will play out. All we know is that time stops and everyone enters eternity, with or without God.
‘For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death’ (1 Corinthians 15:22-26).FOOTNOTES:
1. Donald K. McKim. “The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, Second Edition: Revised and Expanded.
© Todd Tyszka
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