Second Advent

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This is simply the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth, which naturally implies that He has already been here once. “Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself... and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin [or apart from sin] unto salvation” (Heb. 9:26-2826For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:26‑28)). The second advent therefore is clearly a scriptural expression. Scripture speaks of many momentous and solemn events connected with the second coming of Christ which will be found under the different headings connected with this subject.
There are two aspects of the coming of the Lord Jesus which should never be confounded, namely, His coming for His saints, and His coming with His saints. These events may be thus illustrated. Suppose a large town or province revolted from allegiance to its sovereign, and refused to acknowledge his authority. After many warnings the sovereign raises an army to punish the rebels; but he knows that in that city there are many true subjects who loyally acknowledge his title and claims. When approaching the city he secretly calls out all those loyal ones, who gladly go out to meet him. He storms the city, and entering with those that have already joined him, he punishes the rebellious, and rewards those that had been faithful. Now, as the coming of the sovereign would be a day of joyful deliverance to one class, so it would be followed by judgment on the others. We find both these aspects of the coming of the Lord Jesus plainly revealed in the scripture. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-1815For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15‑18) speaks of Christ coming for His saints to their everlasting joy; and Jude 14-1514And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 14‑15) speaks of Christ coming to execute judgment on His enemies. Another distinction to be noticed is that when Christ comes for His saints, including both the living and the dead, He will not actually come to the earth for them. The above passage in First Thessalonians says that the saints will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is often called the rapture. It will be a meeting far too sacred for the eyes of the wicked to behold — it will be in the clouds. No separation will ever take place: those that are thus caught up will be forever with the Lord. But the important aspect of the Resurrection and Rapture of the saints is, that it is God’s answer in those that believe to the all — glorious worth of His own Son.
This is the bright hope of the Christian. There is no event revealed in scripture that must take place before the Rapture of the saints. They should, therefore, be expecting the return of the Lord at any moment to fetch all His saints away together (John 14:1-31Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1‑3); Thess. 1:9-10).
In other scriptures it is revealed that there will be an interval between the Rapture (the catching away of the saints), and the Lord’s coming to the earth. For instance, in 2 Thessalonians 2 we learn that the day of the Lord cannot come till the Antichrist is revealed, because the Lord is going to destroy that wicked one when He comes. Then in Revelation 13 we find that the Antichrist will co-operate with another beast, the head of the future Roman empire; and in Daniel 9 that this latter power will make a covenant with Israel and will break the covenant in the midst of the week: all which intimates that this apparent triumph of wickedness will spread over at least seven years, otherwise spoken of as the last week of the seventy weeks of Daniel. (See SEVENTY WEEKS.)
That the Lord Jesus will actually come to the earth is plainly revealed in Acts 1:1111Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11): “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
For the events connected with the Second Advent see APPEARING; DAY OF THE LORD; JUDGMENT; KINGDOM; MILLENNIUM.

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