The doctrine of Christ’s second coming has been chosen to be studied by every Christian member to stand against all the heresies associated with the second coming of Jesus and defend the truth. The study is doctrinal in nature and requires a careful survey of the scripture with particular attention to the New Testament especially the Gospel according to Mathew, Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians, Thessalonians, Epistle of Peter, and Revelation. It is not scriptural as many teachers or ministers say that if one dies, his or her Jesus has come. No! That is not the sign and what the Bible says about the second coming of Jesus Christ. The basis of this commentary will be further read here.
Jesus’ Parables on His Second Coming (Matt.24:32-35, 24; 45-51, 25: 1-13; 25: 14-30)
Being what Jesus was during His time on earth, using parables to explain things of the kingdom, He spoke many parables and gave some illustrations to enable His disciples to understand the nature of His second coming. Jesus gave four different parables as recorded in the scripture above all of which explained the same thing especially the preparedness for his second coming.
The Parable of the FigTree (vv.32-35): According to Jesus, the emergency of the leaves on the fig tree he tender buds and the leaves indicated that summer is near. So, the sign of the big announcing the nearness of summer suitably illustrated the imminence of Christ’s second coming.
The Parable of the Faithful Servant (vv 45-51): This parable simply illustrates the importance of being faithful, wise, and committed to the service of God as no one knows when the master will come. It therefore behooves every believer the readiness so that when the Master comes, He meets us busy for Him.
Parable of the Ten Virgins vv 1-13): The parable was a reminder for preparedness and watchfulness for Christ’s second coming. The first five virgins were praised for their wisdom because they had the thought in their mind that in case the groom did not arrive on time, they had extra oil to carry them through. The other five were foolish, careless, and unprepared. While the wise virgins entered with the groom, the foolish ones were locked outside. Read ”(v.13).
The Parable of the Talents (vv.14-30): This is about a master who called his three servants to service and entrusted his wealth to them according to their ability (5,2,1). WheJesus later comes to ask for our stewardship, he will reward all who have faithfully committed their talents to work and punish those who refuse to do anything.
The Great Separation at Second Coming-Matt 25:31-46
When shall the separation be? (vv 31-32): The separation will take place when the Son of Man comes in His glory and with His angels on His throne when all nations shall gather before Him for the exercise as a shepherd separates the sheep from goats.
What shall be the Nature of the Separation? (v. 33): It shall be a dreadful separation of all persons with no preference (i.e., poor, the learned, and unlearned; white and black).In other words, every human distinction would be abolished and everyone would be judged equally because God is not a respecter of persons.
Who will Do the separation? (25:34a): The Son of man who is the King will do the separation where there will be no opportunity for people to decide where to belong. Christ knows exactly those who belong to Him just the same way a good shepherd knows the sheep and the goats that belong to each other.
Who are the sheep? (v.34b): The sheep are righteous. They are described as the blessed God prepared for them since the creation of the world) failed to repent of the Father. They are commanded to take their inheritance (i.e. the kingdom of God prepared for them since the creation of the world.
Who are the goats (v. 41): Despite the fact that they have been persistently forewarned about the final judgment that would come as a surprise, goats are the cursed ones who failed to repent or show kindness to others.
What shall the basis for the separation (vv 35 – 40, 42 – 46): It shall be based on people’s choices and their commitment to the business of the kingdom in addition to tendering of social services such as the provision of food, and drinks, clothing, hospitality and visitation to those who are hurt. However, these social services should not be considered as alternative means of salvation.
Need for Caution in Interpreting the Prophecies about Jesus’ Second Coming
The Last Days: The last day refers to the entire period between the first and second coming of Jesus.2 Tim 3:1-9 listed the features that will characterize the period. Signs of Time: Christians must beware of the “signs of time”mentality. It would be disastrous to focus on signs and fulfilled prophecies to the detriment of doing the will of God.
Sense of surprise: As we await Jesus’ second coming, we must not forget that sense of surprise is part of Christ’s return.
No exact time: We should avoid the temptation of knowing the exact time of Christ’s coming. Even Jesus Himself admits ignorance of the time except His Father in heaven (Matt. 24:36)
No timetable: According to Apostle Peter, God’s agenda is entirely different from ours(2 Peter 3:8).
Avoid Extreme Nearness Mentality: Though Jesus’ coming is nearer than ever we must be wary of the dangers of an extreme nearness mindset.
No Special Revelation or Knowledge: Christians should beware of false claims by some so-called prophets and teachers claiming to have special revelation and knowledge about Christ’s second coming only to deceive people (Matt. 24:27)
The Difference between Christ’s Return and the Believer’s Rapture: There is a clear difference between the event of the second coming of Christ and the believer’s rapture. Rapture is the event that will take place after death or the final assumption of Christians into heaven during the end time. Paul vividly described the event in 1 Thess.,16-18.
Preparation for Jesus’ second Coming – Matt. 37-44
Although we are not certain about the illustrations that can keep us alert and prepared for Jesus as stated:
- The Days of Noah before the Flood(Matt.24:37-39
- The Surprise of Rapture(Matt. 24:40-41)
- Like Coming of a Thief (Matt. 24:42-44)
Steps in preparing for Jesus’ second coming are stated below:
- Study the scripture
- Believe it
- Teach it
- Live right
- Renounce sin
- Be on guard
Responses to Christ’s Second Coming
It is disheartening and disappointing that some of us call ourselves Christians are chameleons putting one type of garment at home, workplace, or neighborhood and a different one in the church. This is a life of deceit and inconsistency.
Nevertheless, our knowledge of the truth of Christ’s second coming to us as Christians in any circumstance we may find ourselves, we must note the following:
- Preach and teach the Doctrine of Jesus’ Second Coming
- We must be heaven-conscious
- We must do the work of Missions
- We must be serious about the warnings
- We must be born again
- We must maintain a personal relationship with God
- Everyone must belong to a Bible-believing Church
- We must pray
The second coming of Jesus Christ is not an issue to be trivialized. It needs to be taught, preached, and emphasized so that believers will be encouraged to pay attention to Jesus’ cautions. The reality of this doctrine is that even the angels or Christ Himself do not know except the Father in heaven. We should be encouraged by what Jesus said in Luke 12:40.
Revd. Dr. John Akinjide Adeyemo but delivered by Revd. Dr. Stephen Annual Sunday School Clinic for 2024 written by A. Adewole in 2023 at Emmanuel Baptist Association, Ibadan