Week 19: The Second Coming of Jesus

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As Jesus was ascending into heaven after his death and resurrection, two angels appeared and said to the disciples, ‘This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into Heaven (Acts 1:11).

Our next five readings will clarify what the Bible says about Jesus’ Second Coming.

64 thoughts on “Week 19: The Second Coming of Jesus”

    1. v 9: “When the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”

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    2. vv 9-11: After He said this, as they were watching, He was lifted up, and a cloud hid him from their sight. As He was going, they were looking into the sky. Suddenly, two men wearing white clothes stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? Jesus, whom you saw taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you saw Him go.”

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    3. From the Essential Jesus book Day 91: Have you ever watched a film that leaves you feeling there’s definitely a sequel on the way? Perhaps the bad guy has been defeated but is still lurking out there somewhere. Or maybe the good guy has overcome his struggles and is now ready for a new adventure. In a sense, that’s exactly what’s happening in this passage. Luke, the writer of Acts, is setting up the greatest sequel of all time; he’s preparing us for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

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    4. From Essential Jesus Day 91: We all bring assumptions to our consideration of Jesus. We get the truest picture of the Essential Jesus by reading prayerfully what the Bible says about Him.

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    5. From Essential Jesus Day 91: Earlier, Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would help His followers understand the truth of the gospel after His death, resurrection and ascension (John 16:13). Now Jesus says the Holy Spirit will give His followers power for sharing that truth with a needy world (Acts 1:8).

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    6. From Essential Jesus Day 91: As Jesus disappears into the clouds, it is the two angels who have the privilege of announcing the great sequel. Jesus will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven’ (v 11). Just imagine if it happened today!

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    7. From the Essential Jesus book Day 91: Lord Jesus, I can hardly imagine what it will be like when You return. All I know is that I’m so thankful that You’ve made a way for me to be with You for ever.

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    1. Chapter 4 vv 13, 14: Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and that He rose again. So, because of Him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died.

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    2. vv 16-18: The Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.

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    3. Chapter 5 vv 1-3: Now, brothers and sisters, we do not need to write you about times and dates. You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief that comes in the night. While people are saying, “We have peace and we are safe,” they will be destroyed quickly.

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    4. vv 4-6, 9-11: But you, brothers and sisters, are not living in darkness, and so that day will not surprise you like a thief. You are all people who belong to the light and to the day. We do not belong to the night or to darkness. So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control… God did not choose us to suffer his anger but to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when He comes. So encourage each other and give each other strength, just as you are doing now.

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    5. From Essential Jesus Day 92: People throughout the ages
      have been intrigued by the question: What happens to me after I die? That’s exactly the question the believers in the first-century city of Thessalonica were pondering, and our reading today is Paul’s answer to them.

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    6. From the Essential Jesus book Day 92: Paul starts by reviewing the basic teaching of the gospel on this subject: Those who believe that Jesus died and rose again can be certain that they’ll enjoy eternal life with him (4:14,17). Paul then offers a succinct description of what Jesus’ return will be like (4:16); It’s a description that sounds very similar to others in the New Testament because it’s based on the explanation Jesus himself gave (4:15; Matthew 24).

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    7. From Essential Jesus Day 92: Don’t try to nail down dates and times (5:1). People are still distracted by that debate today, and the truth is only God knows when it will happen (Matthew 24:36). What we do know is that if we’re not prepared, Jesus’ return will take us by surprise; it could be like a ‘thief in the night’ (5:2).

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    8. From Essential Jesus Day 92: Do spend time living for God in the present (5:4-8). This is good advice for us too. We are to put off the deeds of darkness and put on the lifestyle of those who live in the light, which sounds exactly like the advice Paul gave to believers (Ephesians 4:20-24).

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    9. From Essential Jesus Day 92: The truth is, we’ll always be curious about the second coming. But Paul reminds us that the most important thing to know is simply that we are ready for it.

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  1. From Essential Jesus: How would you respond to a friend who says ‘Look, after two thousand years I think it’s safe to assume that Jesus isn’t going to come back. Maybe Jesus meant it as a figure of speech rather than a literal promise’?

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  2. From Essential Jesus: But if the Bible is so clear about the second coming, why do so many still seem confused about it today? The answer, I believe, is that people take the information in the Bible to one of two extremes. Some make too much of the second coming; their whole worldview is built around the most obscure details of the end times. Others make too little of the second coming; for them, it might happen, it might not, but who cares?

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    1. vv 3,4: That day of the Lord will not come until the turning away from God happens and the Man of Evil, who is on his way to hell, appears. He will be against and put himself above any so-called god or anything that people worship. And that Man of Evil will even go into God’s Temple and sit there and say that he is God.

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    2. vv 9, 10: The Man of Evil will come by the power of Satan. He will have great power, and he will do many different false miracles, signs, and wonders. He will use every kind of evil to trick those who are lost. They will die, because they refused to love the truth. (If they loved the truth, they would be saved.)

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    3. From Essential Jesus Day 93: We learn here that some people were sensationalising the second coming, or simply spreading misinformation about it and, as a result, many believers worried they had been left behind (v 2). Paul says, ‘Don’t let anyone deceive you’ and he proceeds to remind them of the basics: when Jesus returns His followers will be with Him. In other words, when it happens, you’ll know.

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    4. From Essential Jesus Day 93: Paul tells us about some ‘trigger’ events to the second coming. There will be some kind of rebellion and the appearance of ‘the man of lawlessness’ (v 3). What in the world is he talking about? In different places throughout the Bible we find references to a final showdown between God and Satan; that’s the rebellion. Also, during that final conflict, a key instrument of Satan called ‘the Antichrist’ will oppose God and be defeated (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Revelation 19:19-21; 20:7-1.0). Although Paul doesn’t take time in this letter to explain everything, that’s clearly what he has in mind.

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    5. From the Essential Jesus book Day 93: So what does all this mean for us today? Simply this: we shouldn’t become ‘unsettled or alarmed’ (v 2) if world events seem out of control. The Bible teaches that God will let things get worse before He steps in to fix it once and for all. But remember: we’ve already peeked at the end of the story – Jesus is coming back and that’s all we really need to know.

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    6. From the Essential Jesus book Day 93: Lord, this world would be a really scary place if I wasn’t sure that you were coming back someday. Please show me how I can serve you best until that day.

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    1. vv 3, 4: It is most important for you to understand what will happen in the last days. People will laugh at you. They will live doing the evil things they want to do. They will say, “Jesus promised to come again. Where is He? Our fathers have died, but the world continues the way it has been since it was made.”

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    2. vv 8, 9: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. The Lord is not slow in doing what He promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but He wants all people to change their hearts and lives.

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    3. vv 10-13: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The skies will disappear with a loud noise. Everything in them will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be exposed. In that way everything will be destroyed. So what kind of people should you be? You should live holy lives and serve God, as you wait for and look forward to the coming of the day of God. When that day comes, the skies will be destroyed with fire, and everything in them will melt with heat. But God made a promise to us, and we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth where goodness lives.

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    4. vv 14, 15: Dear friends, since you are waiting for this to happen, do your best to be without sin and without fault. Try to be at peace with God. Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient.

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    5. vv 17, 18: Dear friends, since you already know about this, be careful. Do not let those evil people lead you away by the wrong they do. Be careful so you will not fall from your strong faith. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to Him now and forever! Amen.

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    6. From the Essential Jesus book Day 94: I once saw a production of waiting for Godot, the famous play by Samuel Beckett, about two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, who, spend the entire play anticipating the arrival of a person named Godot. They talk, they have conflict, they meet other characters, but in the end Godot never shows up. Although Beckett refused to explain the play, his message was clear: life is meaningless if we spend it waiting for something that never happens.
      That’s exactly how some first-century Christians were beginning to feel about the second coming of Christ. They were waiting, waiting, waiting… but nothing was happening.
      Today, over 2000 years later, Jesus still hasn’t returned.

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    7. From the Essential Jesus book Day 94: Peter points to the words of the prophets and the words of Jesus Himself (v 2). Even though it’s centuries later, we have access to both in the Bible. Peter reminds his readers that when God speaks, things happen – like at creation and at the great flood in the time of Noah (vv 5,6). And, since God’s Word says the second coming will happen, we can be sure it will (v 7).

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    8. From the Essential Jesus book Day 94: God is outside of time, says Peter (v 8); He doesn’t sit around marking His calendar as we do. As a result, what seems like a long delay is actually a big opportunity for more people to come to know Him (v 15).

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    9. From Essential Jesus Day 94: How then should we live as we wait for Jesus to return? We should focus on living ‘holy and godly lives’ (v 11). Then we’ll be drawing closer and closer to Jesus while we wait for that day when we meet Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12).

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  3. From Essential Jesus: Some Christians say that, in light of the return of Christ, the only thing that matters is evangelism and that we shouldn’t waste too much time on things like peace, justice, poverty and the environment. What do you say?

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    1. Ch 21 vv 1-4: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and there was no sea anymore. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Now God’s presence is with people, and He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain, because all the old ways are gone.”

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    2. Ch 21 vv 6, 7: The One on the throne said to me, “It is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give free water from the spring of the water of life to anyone who is thirsty. Those who win the victory will receive this, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

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    3. Ch 21 vv 22-24: I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the city’s temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God is its light, and the Lamb is the city’s lamp. By its light the people of the world will walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.

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    4. From the Essential Jesus book Day 95: When I start reading a novel, I often turn to the back and scan the last few paragraphs first. Some people think that ruins all the fun, but I like to find out who will be left standing by the end of the story (shows you what kind of books I read!).In a sense, that’s what we’re doing in our passage today; the last paragraphs of the Bible give us a glimpse of the greatest happily-ever-after conclusion we could ever imagine.

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    5. From the Essential Jesus book Day 95: There are probably a few things about this passage, like the rest of Revelation, that you find difficult to follow. Let me remind you again that, like in a dream, it’s the main point that’s most important rather than every little detail. And the main point is very clear. In the end, Satan is defeated (20:7-10), the curse of sin is broken (22:3) and God the Father and God the Son will be present with us: ‘Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God himself will be with them’ (21:3, NLT). What an incredible vision that is!

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    6. From Essential Jesus Day 95: For those who belong to Christ, the end of the world is only a new stage of the eternal life begun when they first met Him. That’s the Bible’s greatest story and that’s at the heart of the Essential Jesus story.

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