The many Comings of Christ

It is common to hear debates about the Second Coming of Christ, but not many people identify His other comings.

It reminds me of those charismatics who speak about the ‘second blessing’ as something to be sought after. If they have had only two blessings, I encourage them to seek some more. Similarly, there are those who can identify only two comings of Christ.

There is not much dispute about the First Advent of Christ, but there are many different views about His Second Advent, spoken about in Act 1:11 and mentioned in every chapter of 1Thessalonians. Paul wrote his second epistle to the Thessalonians to correct their misunderstanding of what he had written in his first epistle. Some of the Thessalonians thought that he had suggested that Christ was coming ‘soon’, and this misunderstanding continues among academia to the present hour and among a particular brand of Christian. Paul corrects this in 2Th 2:2 by telling them that he had not said that Christ would come soon but suddenly. A flash of lightning comes suddenly but one might not see such for a long time. Paul expands his correction of this mistaken thinking by saying that before Christ’s coming the man of sin must be revealed first 2Th 2:3-10, so that they should not be troubled by this mistaken opinion that Christ will come soon 2Th 2:2.

Besides this correction of their thinking, Paul also foretold the widespread conversion of the Jews Rom 11:15, which had not happened in his lifetime and the Christian church is still waiting for it.  So Paul did not awaken each day with the thought that today might be the Day of Judgment when Christ would return.  Further, Paul died before the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and Jesus had predicted its destruction before His return.  If first century Christians were not to expect the Second Advent of Christ soon, then why should we misinterpret Paul’s writings as if he said so, especially when Christ Himself said that we should not be troubled by wars, rumours of war, famines, diseases and earthquakes Mat 24:6-8?

Does this mean that we should be complacent, as some people wrongly accuse post-millennialists? Not at all, because Christ can come at any minute. How so?

Jesus said: ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also’ Jn 14:3.

Christ can come and does come at any minute by death, not by the Second Advent. He comes for His people at death and thus He tells us to watch, pray and be ready.

‘Therefore be ready: because the Son of man is coming to that hour of which you are not thinking’ Mat 24:44 and Lk 12:40.

Christ’s Second Advent is at the general resurrection 1Th 4:16-18, and that resurrection is on ‘the last day’ Jn 6:39-40,44,54, Jn 11:24 and Jn 12:48. Christ’s physical return is at the end of Earth time, not during it.

Christ’s Millennial Advent

However, there are other comings of Christ, which are spiritual, by His Holy Spirit. Not least is His coming Rev 19:15 to judge the nations. This pre-millennial judgment Rev 19 is prior to the lengthy Millennium mentioned in every verse of Rev 20:2-7, when Satan’s influence on Earth will be bound by the faithful preaching of the Gospel in every nation of the world.

This pre-millennial judgment is part of Christ’s Millennial Advent, described in the Old Testament prophecies and explained by Christ in His New Testament discourses.

Christ’s Millennial Advent is the completion of His First Advent, His victory over the devil and his kingdom. Then the seventh angel will sound his trumpet and the saints in heaven will triumphantly declare the Lord’s victory: ‘the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ’ Rev 11:15. This is the beginning of the biblical Millennium on Earth, when all kings and nations will serve Christ Ps 72:11,17.

During this very lengthy period of Christ’s reign of Earth from heaven, with His saints in heaven Mat 5:5 and Rev 20:4, the majority of mankind will be saved.  The Millennium will come to an end by a final and short apostasy Rev 20:3,8-9, which will lead to Christ’s Second Advent and the final judgment Rev 20:10-15.

There are more comings of Christ, which will need another blogpost.

Update:

I have dealt with some of His comings in reply to the comments below.

9 thoughts on “The many Comings of Christ

  1. Very interesting Donald,
    The idea of Jesus coming personally for one at death is a new concept for me, I thought that to be absent from the body was to be present with Christ, this is not so much him coming for me but me going to him; nevertheless, I enjoyed your post and it has given me something to think about.

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    1. Donald

      Thanks. In the case of the godly it is both/and, not either/or.

      There are more ‘comings’. God comes more than once looking for fruit on barren fig trees Lk 13:7 and He comes to take away the wicked at death Mat 24:50, which is evidently different from coming for the godly at death Ps 116:15.

      Every encouragement in your Bible study.

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  2. Colin Mansfield

    Hi Donald,
    when I first became a Christian back in 1980, I thought that the 2nd Coming was his resurrection return on the 1st Easter Sunday.
    Years later I interpreted it as the aftermath of a nuclear war & total devastation of Earth.
    >
    Then it was mentioned in the SEC that Christ returns many times throughout history.
    >
    He will also be there at our own personal last day to welcome us into his Kingdom ~ that I hold on faith too.
    Colin.

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    1. Donald

      Colin,

      The Second Coming refers to Christ’s physical, bodily return as intimated at His ascension Act 1:11.

      Christ is always spiritually present with His church as intimated in the Great Commission Mat 28:20.

      Christ sent His Holy Spirit to abide with His people Jn 14:16 as a Comforter, which Jesus describes as Himself coming to comfort them Jn 14:18. This is a spiritual coming, and the other Comings of Christ are spiritual comings by His Holy Spirit, not physical comings.

      Christ comes spiritually for His people at their death Jn 14:3, as well as for the ungodly at their death Mat 24:50.

      Even God the Father comes spiritually on a regular basis to examine whether those under the Gospel are bearing fruit or not Lk 13:6-9 and Jn 15:1-2. This shows that these comings by the Holy Spirit are not physical but spiritual.

      Christ comes spiritually to judge the nations, particularly at the Millennial Advent, which is Christ’s spiritual coming with His saints Rev 19:14 in His pre-millennial judgment Rev 19:11 of the nations resisting His rule on Earth Rev 19:15 throughout the Great Tribulation. This Millennial Advent introduces the Millennium Rev 20:2-7 during which Christ and His church reign spiritually on Earth from heaven Rev 20:4 and Mat 5:5 in a manifest manner.

      The physical return of Christ will be on the Last Day Jn 6:39-40,44,54, Jn 11:24 and Jn 12:48, at the general resurrection 1Th 4:16-18.

      Meanwhile, there are those who laugh at the doctrine of His Second Coming 2Pe 3:3-4, failing to appreciate God’s judgments 2Pe 3:5-7, God’s timescale 2Pe 3:8, God’s longsuffering 2Pe 3:9 and purpose to save His people in the meanwhile 2Pe 3:9,15. At that Last Day, ‘the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up’ 2Pe 3:10. Meanwhile, the godly look forward to ‘new heavens and a new earth’ 2Pe 3:13.

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      1. Colin Mansfield

        Thanks Donald,
        that is the best explanation of the 2nd Coming I’ve ever come across, many Christian “theologians” come adrift on this topic. I read recently that Isaac Newton “calculated” the end of the world to happen in 2060 using biblical research only ~ this coming from a Unitarian? Unfortunately Newton became a “lost soul” when delving for many years in obscurity, into the Torah mysteries, looking for hidden codes, but did better in his work on gravity & calculus & optics, etc.
        Colin.

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      2. Donald

        Thanks, Colin.

        Not many scientific people know that Isaac Newton spent as much, if not more, time studying the Bible as he did on science after his ground-breaking work in the scientific realm.

        The same is true of other well-known scientists. Pascal is another example and Pascal’s Wager is about the folly or irrationality of not believing in God.

        It is generally reckoned among those that know about the interaction between science and the Protestant Reformation that
        1. it was the break with dogmatic religion that helped scientific progress and
        2. it was their belief in a Creator which drove many scientists to investigate and find the laws in science, not believing that chance and chaos reigned supreme.

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  3. Colin Mansfield

    Hi Donald,
    In addition to his scientific work (Newton would have said as a part of his scientific work), he devoted a substantial portion of his enormous energy to the study of the Bible and Biblical texts and history. He read the Bible daily throughout his life and wrote over a million words of notes regarding his study of it. Isaac Newton believed that the Bible is literally true in every respect. Throughout his life, he continually tested Biblical truth against the physical truths of experimental and theoretical science. He never observed a contradiction. In fact, he viewed his own scientific work as a method by which to reinforce belief in Biblical truth. He was a formidable Biblical scholar, was fluent in the ancient languages, and had extensive knowledge of ancient history. He believed that each person should read the Bible, and through that reading, establish for himself an understanding of the universal truth it contains.
    Only one book of Newton’s about the Bible was ever published. In 1733, six years after his death, J. Darby and T. Browne, published Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John.
    With his prodigious knowledge of ancient history and languages and his unequaled mental powers, Isaac Newton is the best qualified individual in this millennium to have written about the prophecies. His study of the Book of Daniel began at the age of 12 and continued to be a special interest throughout his life. Moreover, he writes of the prophecies with a modesty that indicates that he, himself, is in awe of the words he has been given an opportunity to read.
    Its a pity that none of this information is ever presented to school children or students, that Science & the Holy Bible can concur on universal truth, both physically & theologically even now. No other religion has this close relationship to science. The result being today, is that most scientists with a Christian belief are often treated with suspicion or even ridicule to their detriment, whereas false prophets (sorry researchers) like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, A C Grayling et al, are praised, rewarded and feted instead.
    bye for now, Colin.

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