Facts about Christ’s Second Coming
25 March 2018 AM – Mark 13:24-37 – Mr17 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Last week we spoke extensively about the difference between the Rapture and the Revelation (i.e., second coming, Second Advent) of Christ. We showed from Scripture that Christ’s second coming will take place after the Tribulation. In the Rapture, Christ will come FOR His saints. In His Second Coming He will come WITH His saints to set up the Millennial Kingdom.
One fact that is often overlooked by Bible readers is that Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are written for our learning but to those who will be living during the Tribulation. During the Tribulation, many Jews will trust Christ and read these passages for direction.
Transition: In our passage today, Jesus revealed to us three facts about His Second Coming so that we will not be deceived by false teachers.
The first fact about Christ second coming is that …
1. It Will be Obvious (v.24-27)
a. The sun, moon and stars will be changed
1) The sun will become dark. The moon will have nothing to reflect. Stars will fall from heaven.
2) Evidently, these changes were not permanent.
a) Several of the Tribulation judgments will affect the luminaries.
b) They are mentioned in the sixth seal (Re 6:12-14); in the fourth trumpet (Re 8:12); in the fifth trumpet (Re 9:2); and in the fourth bowl judgment (Re 16:8).
3) Jesus said that His return would be after these major obvious changes to the luminaries.
b. Everyone will see Christ’s Second Coming (v.26)
1) It will be a world-wide event.
a) (Matthew 24:27) “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
b) John Walvoord comments, “Apparently, the heavens will be ablaze with the glory of God.”
c) The Second Coming of Christ will not be in a twinkling of an eye as the Rapture will be. Do you remember what the angels told the disciples who watched Christ ascend into heaven? (Acts 1:11) “Which 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.”
d) How was Christ taken up? (Acts 1:9) “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
e) (Revelation 1:7) “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
f) Matthew again adds, (Matthew 24:30) “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” It will not be a happy day for the unbelievers of this evil world. The word translated “mourn” literally means to beat one’s breast for grief.
g) Christ will come in power. (Revelation 19:14-16) “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” I believe the armies are the saints because of their description in Rev 17:14 and Rev 19:8. Some Bible teachers believe the armies are the angels. (Bob Utley)
2) Christ will send His angels to gather all believers (v.27).
a) He will send the angels to collect all the saints.
b) This event is not the instant Rapture when saints will receive immortal bodies. It is the Revelation.
c) The big question about this verse is “Who is the elect?” Some like Thomas Ice believe it refers to Israelites who were saved during the Tribulation. He bases his conclusion on the Jewish terms in the context.
d) On the other hand John Walvoord states, “Probably the reference is to all those who are chosen, that is, the saints of all ages, whether in heaven or on earth, for all these will converge upon the millennial kingdom scene.”
e) Either way, the angels of heaven will gather God’s elect to join Christ when He returns to earth at the end of the Tribulation.
The second fact about Christ second coming is that …
2. It Will Follow Tribulation Events (v.28-31)
a. Jesus gave the parable of the fig tree (v.28)
1) When a fig tree puts forth leaves, it indicates that summer is near.
2) Many people see the fig tree illustration as relating to Israel. They think that the leaves came out in 1948 when Israel became a nation.
3) However, in the Bible, the fig tree does not always illustrate Israel (Judg 9:10-11).
b. Notice, “these things” and “generation”
1) Do “these things” refer to events in Israel or to tribulation events?
2) I agree with Walvoord and Ice who state, “When those living in the great tribulation see the signs predicted, they will know that the second coming of Christ is near.” (Walvoord) “Thus, in the context, our Lord does not put an emphasis upon Israel as a symbol. He is saying that when you see the events of the seven-year tribulation take place then you know that His second advent is near.” (Ice)
3) Does the word “generation” refer to a generation of Jews after Israel became a nation or to the generation who endures the Tribulation? I believe it is the second.
4) Jesus assured us that these things will take place as He said because heaven and earth will pass away but not God’s words (Mark 13:31).
The third fact about Christ second coming is that …
3. Its Timing is Unknown (v.32-37)
a. Only the Father knows the time
1) If Jesus was God, why did He say that only the Father knows the time?
2) In His incarnation, Jesus was subject to the Father and set aside some of His abilities, thus He did not know the time.
b. Matthew and Luke illustrate this point
1) Mat 24:37-41 “As the days of Noah” “Two in the field, two grinding”.
2) Many use this to refer to the Rapture. While such disappearances will occur at the Rapture, the context here speaks of the Revelation. It best describes some taken in judgment and others left to enter the Kingdom.
c. Believers are to be watching
1) Jews saved during the Tribulation must watch (be sleepless and awake) and pray for the Lord’s Second Coming (v.33)
2) The Parable of the man taking a long journey (v.34-37) warns all of us today to watch (be watchful) for the Lord’s return at the Rapture. (Wiersbe) We must live each day as if we expect the Lord to return for us at any moment. If there are secret sins in your life, or if you are not obeying the Lord as you should, now is the time to do right.
Conclusion: Do not be deceived by false teachers. Christ when you least expect Him to take believers to heaven before the Tribulation. There will be no warning and no time to prepare. For those living in the Tribulation, Christ’s Second Coming will be obvious. It will follow the terrible events of the Tribulation. Every eye will see Him come in power and great glory to quash evil and set up His 1000-year Kingdom. Tribulation saints will not know exactly when He will come, thus they are to take heed, watch and pray.
We must watch for the Lord’s return in the air at the Rapture not the Revelation. NOW is the time to trust Christ for salvation and to live for Him.
Song: Jesus Is Coming Again 151