3 Reasons to Be Excited Right Now about Jesus' Second Coming

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A while back I had an absolute blast flying in the back of a high-performance biplane designed for high speed aerobatics. After doing some flips and barrel rolls, the pilot let me know that he was going to fly straight up, kill the engine, and nose dive straight down towards the rocky terrain below.

While laughing, he warned me that we would hit 8.5 Gs and about half of the people that ride with him black out. Due to my military experience, I knew what a good amount of g-force felt like, so I clocked in, took a deep breath, and prepared for tunnel vision. As he killed the engine and we began plummeting towards God’s good earth, I felt like I weighed three hundred pounds and my sight became limited to what seemed like a pinhole. Everything around me was black except for that narrow plot of land below. 

In the same way that I experienced tunnel vision that day (by the way, I did not black out), many believers can focus so much on other aspects of the Christian life that they neglect the great doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Not only can the pressing cares of this life be overwhelming at times, but Christians can also be hesitant to focus on Jesus’ second coming due to their unfamiliarity with eschatological (study of end-times) positions, a knee-jerk reaction to false prophecies about the date of Christ’s return, or just an unfamiliarity about what Scripture says about Christ Jesus’ return. Here are three reasons to be excited right now about the second coming of Jesus:

1. The second coming is the next and final event in redemptive history.

At the same time, we cannot lose Paul’s commitment to “know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Yet, if one was to survey the prayers of Paul alone, it appears that Paul saw the second coming as the next and final event in redemptive history.

I could not escape that he held the second coming of Christ highly and as a necessary hope for all Christians. The epistles of Paul use the second coming, or “the Day,” as a future reality that transforms how we live in the here and now. Let’s look at a few examples:

[W]hen he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 1:10-12)

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:23)

Whether it is Jesus commanding that we ought to be awake and prepared for his return (Matt. 24-25), or the resurrected and exalted Christ using his second coming as a comfort throughout the book of Revelation, Christians are called to be a people who long for this great day. As Hebrews 9:28 says,

So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Did you catch that? We are called to be a people with a sense of focused vision who are eagerly awaiting that day.

2. The second coming is a doctrine full of hope and practical implications right now.

As we fix our eyes on Christ and his return, it will transform the way we deal with ordinary and mundane things in the here and now. This might change the prayers of the stay-at-home mom from, “Oh Lord, give me just a little break” to “Oh Lord, would you save the soul of my child so that she will be found in you at your second coming?” This may transform the prayers of the weary pastor from “God, grow the church” to “God, help me equip and prepare your sheep for that great day!” Whatever it might be for you, the second coming is a doctrine full of hope and practical implications right now. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “Our position towards our Lord is that of waiting for His coming.”[1]

The question is, are we a people infused with the hope of the glory of God as we await his coming and prepare for his return? This is not a focused vision that directs our eyes straight down towards the ground, but it instead fixes our eyes upon Christ Jesus who came a first time to deal with sin and has promised to come again for us. 

3. The doctrine of the second coming of Christ is found throughout all of Scripture.

Many of the minor prophets zoom in on the day of Jesus’ return being a day of judgment and salvation. All who are found in Christ will marvel and rejoice at his coming, but those not in him will tremble in terror. This should not be a shock to us, because the first coming of Christ found its pinnacle at the cross where both judgment and salvation were accomplished, just as the minor prophets foretold. The judgment of God towards sinners was poured out upon the innocent Son of God. All those who trust in him walk away with the gift of salvation because judgment has been fully paid.

Yet, when Christ returns, it will be the consummation of all salvation where those in Christ will marvel at him and enter into his presence, but all those who denied him will endure the eternal judgment of God forever. This is Paul’s point in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 where he argues for a worldwide event of judgment and salvation at the same time:

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thess. 1:9-10)

As we eagerly await that day, we must remember we are in the already-and-not-yet: “already” in the sense of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension, and the sending of his Spirit that has secured the promise of his return, but “not yet” in the sense that we are awaiting for all of these things to come in their fullness when we see Christ face-to-face. Is not that the thing we eagerly expect most? To see our Lord and King face-to-face?

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[1]Charles Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1900), 389.

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