The word “Parousia” means the second coming of Jesus Christ. One of the greatest threats to the Christian which happens to be one of the signs of the end time is false teaching about the coming of Jesus Christ otherwise also faith. The doctrine of the second referred to as ESCHATOLOGY and judgment has been so twisted, misinterpreted, and misconceived to the extent that many people are more confused. For instance, some people conspired and associated the emergence of COVID-19 as the fulfillment of the prophecies about the second coming of Christ. Some powerful and notable men of God who have the power of the media went as far as predicting the specific dates of the final dates of the Lord’s return. However, to their shame, all their predictions failed because they were contrary to what the final Bible teaches (the question is, what does the Bible teach?)
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ as the Heart of Biblical Teaching (Matthew 24:1-25)
It is surprising to have seen Pastors, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, and others who one feels should have been more knowledgeable about the Second Coming of Christ teaching or who had already taught and given different predictions about Christ’s Second Coming and some even went to the extent that their members were even encouraged to sell their belongings and remain in the church as a condition for rapture while others were instructed or were made to close their bank accounts in preparation for Jesus’ return. It’s so unfortunate that people easily believe those lies predictions, and predictors were and are still disappointed because of their ignorance. In all these their predictions, and predictors were and are still disappointing because their predictions never came true because only God knows the time of Jesus’ coming and He never reveals it to anybody.
The disciples of Jesus were anxious about when and how the Second Coming of Jesus would be or when its predicted signs would be. He categorically told them that only God knows but the reality of His Second Coming is real and so it calls for certain responsibilities on the part of His followers. When Paul was writing to Titus, he wanted Christians to live “ righteously, and godly in this present world. Read (Titus 2: 12-13), the admonition which is relevant to us today. He did the same thing to the Thessalonians. He said what is more important is the reality of Christ’s second coming and the preparation involved. He likened it to the pains of a woman in labor which is inescapable (5:3).s
The summary of Christ’s second coming was summarized by Jesus Himself when He said, “The Son of man will come at an hour when you do not expect”(Matt. 24:44) which Paul also described as “a thief comes at night”(1 Thess,5:2). Having known and established the reality of Christ’s second coming, it is incumbent on all Christians to watch and pray for us not to be caught unaware (Mark 13:37).
Though the Bible is clear about the Second Coming of Christ for more emphasis and clarity, some of the reasons for His second coming are enumerated below as can be deduced from the scripture:
- Jesus Christ is coming to judge the living and the dead(2 Tim. 4:1; Acts 17:31)
- He is coming to rule as King using a man He has chosen (2 Tim.4:1)
- He is coming to take the faithful people to where He has prepared(John 14:3)
- He is coming to resurrect the dead in Christ (Matt. 16:27)
- He is coming to establish a new order which will restore God’s original purpose for**humankind and creation (2 Peter 3:1-13; Rev.22:1-15)…etc
The above are some of the reasons pointing to the importance of Christ’s second coming and why it becomes the very heart of scripture.
Signs of Jesus’ Second Coming Matt, 24:4-13
The information Jesus gave His second coming to the disciples when they asked Him concerning a stern warning against being deceived. Some of them as contained in the reference given above are stated below.
False Christs (vv.4-5): Jesus predicted about the coming of many false Christs. Many of them would claim to Messiah and deceive many people including so-called believers. We have the experience of Jesus of Calabar, Jesus of Oyigbo, a Woman called Malaika who claimed to be an omnipotent God, Guru Marahaji who claimed to be the Perfect Master.., etc. All those self-acclaimed Christs usually have large and dedicated followers due to their fake signs and miracles just to deceive people,(the elects inclusive-v.24) Such false Christs, teachers, and prophets dominate the media with their fake prophecies and that is why Christ gave the warming in verse 25.
Wars and Rumors of Wars (vv 6-7a): These are other indices of the second coming of Jesus Christ (wv.6-7a). Truly, the modern world is already plagued with wars and news of wars, Instead of peace conflicts are being experienced in so many areas in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe, There are ongoing wars between Ukraine and Russia and between Israel and Palestine which have claimed many lives and property. Even in Nigeria, we have cases of kidnapping, killings, herdsmen attacks, banditry,…etc. There has been an emergence and a high rate of procurement of modern sophisticated weapons and proliferation of arms around the globe. However, in all these, Christians should not be terrified because Jesus had earlier warned that such would happen. They are simply the suffering preceding the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Pestilences (v.7): There have been outbreaks of viruses that have spread to both humans and animals all over such as HIV/AIDs; Ebola viruses, Monkeypox, etc. All these in addition to the issues of heart-related problems, kidney, cancer, hepatitis,…etc demise the entire world today.
Famine and Earthquakes (vv.7b-8): Jesus predicted famine and earthquakes as another sign of His second coming. Frankly speaking, there is a connection between all those happenings. For example, spirituality leads to socio-political disorders which of course wars can lead to famine. Famine is the same thing as shortage, food crisis, or scarcity. The only solution to all this famine of a thing is for us to be committed to our social responsibilities as stated in Matt. 25: 34-46).
Persecution of Believers (v.9): Another sign of Christ’s second coming as predicted by Christ Himself is the persecution of Believers. This is not a new thing because it’s been happening since the days of Jesus and His disciples where some were crucified, imprisoned, flogged, and made to suffer severely, Though there is a global condemnation of such wicked and barbaric acts many believers have been arrested, tortured, abducted, denied and executed without any prosecution We have seen videos on social media where Christians were being be headed, butchered and shut dead without an iota of mercy. However, in all these, we need to be encouraged by the words of Jesus in Matt, 5:10.
Apostasy (v,10): This is the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief or principle. With what is happening or that has been happening today many already lack the zeal and commitment for the things of God. Many Christians are only interested in immediate relief rather than suffering for the sake of their faith in Christ Jesus.
False Prophets (v.11): This was already part of Jesus’ warning that when the end is near, the false prophets would increase and many would be deceived by their false teachings and predictions which contradict Jesus’ “teachings just to create fear in the heart of their victims who are desperately looking for solutions to their challenges.
Increase in wickedness (vv.12-13): Jesus predicted that there would be an increase in wickedness such that even the love of many among Christians would begin to diminish. Truly, it has been observed that there is an increase in wickedness and believers are already becoming self-centered and self-seeking with no affection to their fellow human beings. There is a high rate of wickedness such as child rape, robbery, oppression; perversion of justice by the rich,…etc.
All these aforementioned signs should draw our attention to the nearness of Christ’s second coming and what our responses should be. This article continues here. It will be a nice time to read further.
- Instead of being discouraged, we must understand that it is a necessary phase the world must pass through. Jesus’ words cannot be broken. All those occurrences should serve as a reminder that we are in the last days.
- In responding to those signs, we need to examine our stand in Christ and remember that our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Romans 13:11).
- Amidst all these calamities we should be hopeful that things will get better. We should let the world know that having Christ is the only hope of glory (Col.1:27). Churches should intensify their efforts in evangelism so that more people would accept God’s offer of salvation and the gift of eternal life.
Revd. Dr. John Akinjide Adeyemo but delivered by Revd. Dr. Stephen Annual Sunday School Clinic for 2024 written by A. Adewole the 2023 Emmanuel Baptist Association, Ibadan