I have spoken to many people about Jesus’ second coming. Most, if not all, do not engage in this vital truth of scripture. ‘We don’t know the day or the hour’ is a common reply. ‘It’s not the main game’ is another or ‘it will take care of itself’. In my experience it is rare to find Christians engaged in this topic and it leaves a woe in my heart. I believe these are dangerous positions to hold because the Bible tells us to be watchful and prepared for Jesus second coming.
As an example, take the two parables that Jesus taught on the wedding feasts in Matthew 21:33-46; Matthew 22: 1-14 and Luke 14:15-24. In the first passage, the vinedressers, who presumed to own the vineyard, became arrogant and went their own way. They forgot that they were stewards of the vineyard and accountable to the owner of the vineyard (God). The second passage, a breakfast supper, is addressed to the Jews and their rejection of the Messiah. They were not prepared for the wedding supper and God became furious leading to the judgment of the Jewish nation, postponement of the wedding and invitations extended to the Gentiles. Furthermore, an intruder was identified and cast out (v.11-13). It is not enough to be invited but we must be clothed in a wedding garment fit for the bridegroom (Revelation 19:7-8).
I believe the final parable is an end-time passage addressed to the Church. I want to remind you that this is my understanding and I suggest you do your homework to confirm this position. This supper occurs in the evening and the supper is already prepared. “Come for all things are now ready”. All began to make excuses; they were distracted by many things and lesser affections and rejected the invitation. This has a familiar tone to the responses I have received about the second coming of Jesus. God is furious and the invitation is then extended to the unreached and untaught. I sense similarities to the great apostasy (falling away from the faith) and great harvest of the end-times (Matthew 24:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; Rev 14:14-16).
If our response is ‘we don’t know the day or the hour’ is that a rejection of the invitation to the wedding feast? Jesus said ‘watch therefore for you do not know the day or the hour’ (Matthew 24:42). If we do not know the day or the hour Jesus is saying: “be prepared, watch and accept the invitation.” There are many other warnings with similar intensity (Luke 21; Matt 24 & 25; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)
This series is my attempt to excite you into a journey of discovery of the beauty of the Father’s heart, expressed in the teachings about the second coming of Jesus is the fulfillment of our salvation. Will you accept the invitation?
God has a lot to say about Jesus’ second coming (150 chapters in the Bible). What are the key elements that you should consider?
- Jesus will return as Bridegroom, King and Judge.
This is the foundational teaching of Jesus’ second coming, however, we tend to get caught up in the details described in the Bible and the timing of these elements (e.g. the timing of the rapture). In my view this is not wrong but the primary understanding must be about Jesus as Bridegroom, King and Judge.
2. The righteous Kingdom of God is established.
Can you imagine a kingdom where all aspects of society are righteous (political, economic, religious etc.) overseen by a righteous King (Jesus) ruling from Jerusalem?
3. God’s detailed plan described in the Bible.
Some of the topics & warnings include:
- Signs and deception (Matthew 24 and Luke 21)
- The great tribulation
- The rapture of the saints
- Harlot Babylon
- The antichrist and the mark of the beast
- The gospel will go to all the world
- False teachers and scoffers (2 Peter 2 & 3)
- The falling away from the faith
- Abomination of desolation and more….
4. The place of Israel in God’s plan.
I believe God has not forgotten or rejected Israel as some believe but this is a controversial topic that must be examined carefully.
I will share a little on these topics over the next few months.
Written by John and Shirley Ray, edited and posted by Joel Ratciffe