Have we stopped talking about it? In the past a lot was made of it but it seems increasingly rare to us to hear about the Second Coming these days. Perhaps people have grown a little confused or weary as they struggle to put together a timeline of the future. Yet previous generations had a range of different views that did not prevent them from drawing motivation from the second coming however near or far away they thought it was. That is because it is the great day of the manifestation of Christ’s glory and we ought to long for that. We lose a great deal if our focus is on the present with little thought of this glorious future.
Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of some of the core truths about the second coming. This leaflet by James Durham called Jesus Christ is Coming Again will help us with that. The following updated and abridged extract also helps us answer the question: why do believers long for Christ’s second coming?
1. Because of what it means for Christ
Nothing contributes more to Christ’s honour. Whatever aspersions have been cast on His honour, when Ge comes again, this will free His honour from them all, and will put His enemies underfoot. The way He reigns here will cease, and as a full conqueror He will enter into the possession of all He has bought, and get the satisfaction His soul desired for all His soul travails. And because believers have such a love for Christ’s honour, and to what will satisfy Him, of course they wish and long for the day when He shall be declared Lord and Christ. That will be the day of the marriage, which is pending till then.
2. Because of what it means for the church
That will be the day when the Church is made perfect. The bride will be presented spotless. All the firstborn will make their rendezvous. The queen will be brought in to the king in raiment of needlework, all the virgins following her. This is why it is called the day of all believers’ redemption (Romans 8:23), because their redemption is not perfected till then.
3. Because of what it means for the wicked
In that day, believers will get the full victory and triumph over all the enemies of Christ. Death and hell will then be cast into the lake (Revelation 20:14). Everything that offends will be cast out. Christ victory, and His saints’ victory and triumph is not complete till that day comes.
4. Because of what it means for believers
It is the day of our own individual marriage to Christ. This makes it to be all the more longed for, because every individual believer has his or her involvement in it. That is when there will be a complete divorce between them and the body of death – they will be married to Christ, and shall be like Him. We shall then see our redeemer, and no other for us.
5. Because of what it means for God’s promises
All God’s promises will be fulfilled then.
(a) The promises that refer to justification. At that day, believers’ justification will be declared openly and judicially. They shall be freed from the guilt of sin, and all the effects of it.
(b) The promises about sanctification. The body that was sown in corruption shall be raised in incorruption; it was sown in dishonour, it shall be raised in glory; it was sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it was sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. The body that bore the image of the earthly Adam shall bear the image of the heavenly Adam, and so on. This corruption shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). He shall change our vile bodies, and make them like His own glorious body (Philippians 3:21). Our bodies are ‘vile’ not so much for their form, as for the corruption that sticks to us.
(c) The promises about consolation. ‘Where he is, there his servants shall be.’ He shall then say, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom.’ Come, faithful servants, enter into the joy of your Lord and master.
(d) The promises of freedom from crosses. In this life, believers are subject to persecution, and we have no full freedom from sin, and while sin is in them, the cross attends them. But then there shall be no more curse, no more crying or complaining. The second coming of Christ brings absolute freedom from sin and all its effects.
(e) The promises of glorification. We will conformed to his image, placed on the throne, our souls and bodies reunited together and put in possession of glory, to have a place in the household, to eat and drink with Christ in his kingdom.
All these, and whatever we can think of that contributes to a believer’s comfort, and much more, will be perfected when Christ comes again.
6. Because of what it means for God’s prophecies
As well as the promises, all the prophecies will be accomplished that day. For example, prophecies about the glory of God, of His victory over enemies, of his calling in His ancient people, etc. That day will put an end to all prophecies. All that is in part shall be done away, when that which is perfect shall come.
7. Because of what it means for our souls and bodies
Believers will then be fully perfected. All of them together, in soul and body, will be fully perfected in that day. There shall be no darkness in their understandings, but they shall see the incomprehensible God (as far as they are capable, and as far as it is fitting for them to comprehend him), to the increase of their wondering and admiration, and for a foundation to their praise without any mistake, for all infirmities will be taken away.
8. Because of what it means for fellowship with Christ
There will be no more ordinances, just meeting Christ directly. For now, ordinances intervene between us and Christ – we know Him through the ordinances. But then, there will be nor more preaching, nor prayer, nor hearing of preaching, nor reading of Scripture, nor coming to church. In that day, the Lord will be the temple, and the light of the house, and we will enjoy him directly, non-mediately, in a way that swallows up the need for all intervening means of knowing Him.
9. Because of what it means for time
There will be no more time. There will be nothing left that is suited to time, or subject to time. Death changes our distance to God. Crosses and persecutions, all that is imperfect, are just the appendices of time, but in that day there will be nothing but what is unchangeable, and perfect in the highest degree.
When all these accompany Christ’s coming, and bring believers’ consolation to the maximum, is it any wonder if His coming is desirable to them and something they long for?
We can take it for granted then, that there is nothing more lovely to a believer, nothing more desirous, or longed for and prayed for when the believer is in a good frame.
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