>Home >Bible Study >Explorer 1 >Explorer I: Exploring Bible Truth - Lesson 22

Builders of Faith Explorer I:  Exploring Bible Truth

Lesson 22—The Second Coming of Jesus

 

 

1.  What wonderful promise did Jesus make to His disciples near the end of His public ministry?

 

“In 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.  And if go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14:2-3.  “…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ….”  Titus 2:13.

 

Answer:  Jesus promised to come again and take His followers to heaven to be with Him.  Christians call this Second Coming of Jesus “the blessed hope”.

 

 

2.  Why is it so important to know how Jesus will return?

 

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See I have told you beforehand.  Therefore, if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.”  Matthew 24:23-26.

 

Answer:  There will be so many false christs and false prophets performing real miracles with the intent to deceive people into believing that someone other than the real Jesus has come.  This passage implies that Jesus will not come in the manner of secretly just showing up somewhere.  Therefore, to avoid deception, believers must know what the Bible teaches about how Jesus will return.

 

 

3.  Will Jesus’ return be literal or spiritual?

 

“Now when He [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they [disciples] watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’”  Acts 1:9-11.

 

Answer:  Some have spiritualized Jesus’ Second Coming so that they teach He will come into people’s hearts in a special way and change the world through them.  But these heavenly beings made it clear that Jesus will return in the same way that the disciples saw Him go into heaven—that is, Jesus will return in the sky toward the earth.  His coming will be personal and literal.

 

 

4.  Will Jesus’ return be visible or invisible?

 

“Behold, He [Jesus] is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.  And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.  Even so, Amen.”  Revelation 1:7.  “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be….  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”  Matthew 24:27, 30.

 

Answer:  These texts make it quite clear that Jesus’ return will be visible for the whole world to see in the sky.  We won’t need to turn on the television to know that He is coming.

 

 

5.  Will there be any noise associated with the Second Coming of Jesus?

 

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from end of heaven to the other.  Matthew 24:30-31.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.”  I Thessalonians 4:16.

 

Answer:  Yes, there will be great noise when Jesus returns.  Three words describe great sound:  (1) shout, (2) voice, and (3) trumpet.  In fact, the sound will be so great that the saved who have died before the Second Coming will be resurrected from their graves!

 

 

6.  How else does the Bible describe the return of Jesus?

 

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”  Matthew 24:30.  “…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ….”  Titus 2:13.

 

Answer:  Jesus’ return will be a powerful and glorious event.

 

 

7.  But if Christ’s coming is like a thief in the night, won’t it be a secret event?

 

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.  Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.”  I Thessalonians 5:2-6.  “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”  II Peter 3:10.

 

Answer:  These passages plainly teach that the Lord’s coming will be like a thief in that those who are unprepared for Jesus will be surprised when He comes.  They will be spiritually asleep until sudden destruction comes upon them.  But it most certainly is not a quiet or secret event because “…the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”  Nothing could be further from a secret event than the return of Jesus!

 

 

8.  Don’t the “one taken and the other left” texts suggest a secret rapture of the righteous when Jesus returns?

 

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”  Matthew 24:37-39.  “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:  They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”  Luke 17:26-27.  “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed:  the one will be taken and the other will be left.  Two women will be grinding together; the one will be taken and the other left.  Two men will be in the field; the one will be taken, and the other left.”  “And they answered and said to Him, ‘Where, Lord?’  So He said to them, ‘Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.’”  Luke 17:34-37.

 

Answer:  The popular secret rapture of the church doctrine teaches that (1) those taken are taken to heaven, and (2) those left behind live to have a second chance at salvation.  Notice that both are still living after the rapture.  Also, those left behind are left to wonder what happened to the ones taken, as popularized by the famous bumper sticker:  “In case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned.”  But the Bible does not teach this doctrine, as follows:

 

A.  The context of Matthew’s and Luke’s account of the “one taken and the other left” is plainly a visible, audible, glorious return of Jesus—not a secret event.  Moreover, the example of Christ’s return given in these passages—Noah’s flood—was not a secret event either.  Therefore, there is no secret, invisible coming of Jesus spoken of here, or anywhere else.

 

B.  Note that the example of Noah’s flood shows that some were saved, while others were destroyed.  Moreover, note the parallel between Matthew and Luke, where Matthew’s account says “…the flood came and took them all away…” and Luke’s account says that “…the flood came and destroyed them all.”  Not only does this show that both parties at the return of Jesus do not survive the event, but this parallel also reveals that those “taken” are taken in destruction.  That means the ones left behind are the survivors whom Jesus will rapture!  This is confirmed by the brief conversation between Jesus and His disciples in Luke, where His disciples ask Jesus “Where, Lord?”.  They know that the ones left are left in the bed, at the grinder, and in the field.  So they are asking where the ones taken were taken to.  Jesus replied to look for them where you see the eagles [vultures would be a better translation] are gathered.  In other words, the ones taken are taken in destruction, and vultures are feeding upon their flesh.  One is destroyed, while the other one is saved.  

 

Special Note:  Therefore, in perfect agreement with the “sudden destruction” text quoted in Question #7 above, all of the wicked who are alive when Jesus comes will be destroyed at His coming!

 

 

9.  What happens to the righteous dead at the Second Coming of Jesus?

 

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.”  I Thessalonians 4:16.  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one in his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”  I Corinthians 15:22-23.

 

Answer:  Those who have previously died in a positive relationship with Jesus will be resurrected at the Second Coming of Jesus.

 

 

10.  What do all of the righteous experience at the Second Coming of Jesus?

 

“Behold, I tell you a mystery:  We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”  I Corinthians 15:51-53.  “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body….”  Philippians 3:20-21.

 

Answer:  At the Second Coming of Jesus, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will all experience what scholars call glorification.  That means that their immortal and corrupted (sin-affected) bodies will be replaced with mortal and uncorrupted bodies (without a sinful nature).  That is when faithful believers only will receive immortality.  In the meantime, no one is immortal in any part of their nature, as we learned in Lesson #19 and #20.

 

 

11.  After glorification of all the righteous, where do they go?

 

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [raptured] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”  I Thessalonians 4:15-17.  “In 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.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14:2-3.

 

Answer:  After all the saved have been given glorified, immortal bodies, they meet Jesus in the air and go back to heaven with Him, where He has already prepared a place for them in His Father’s house.  And this provides us with a powerful fact:  At His Second Coming, Jesus’ feet will not actually touch the earth; instead, His saints rise up to meet Him in the air.  Therefore, you can be certain that if someone, no matter how glorious or miracle-working he is, claims to be Jesus and is on the actual earth teaching and healing, it will not be Jesus!  You cannot afford to trust your senses, especially in those days.  Instead, trust only what the Bible teaches about how Jesus will return!

 

 

12.  Can we know when Jesus is coming again?

 

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only….  Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”  Matthew 24:36, 42.  “Now learn this parable from the fig tree:  When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!”  Matthew 24:32-33.

 

Answer:  Many sincere believers have tried to determine when Jesus will return, but Jesus plainly said that no one can know when He is coming back.  However, we can tell from the signs around us when His coming is near.  And the signs are screaming at us today that the Second Coming of Jesus must be near!

 

 

13.  What are some of the major signs that Christ’s return is near?

 

A.  Increasing Natural Disasters—Luke 21:25: “…on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring….”—A more literal translation would read, “…on the earth distress of nations in perplexity [at] the roaring of the sea and the waves….”  In other words, the natural world will be increasingly out of control.  Empirical evidence reveals that earthquakes, hurricanes, tidal waves, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters are increasing in both numbers and intensity in recent years.

 

B.  Increasing Moral Degeneracy—II Timothy 3:1-5:  “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!”—We certainly see this in our day.  Just compare today with a generation or so ago:  People then could usually allow their children to run around with their friends in the neighborhood; but no sane parent in most locations would allow that today.  This moral degeneracy can, and is, in both the world and the church—particularly those who give nominal evidence of being Christians, but who really don’t believe it’s that important to keep God’s Commandments or to worship in the way that God prescribes.

 

C.  Scoffers in the Church—II Peter 3:3-6:  “…knowing this first:  that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His [Christ’s] coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’  For this they willfully forget:  that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water [Creation by God], by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water [global Flood].”—The context clearly points to these scoffers as either being Christians or ex-Christians.  And the apostle Peter singles out the Creation and Flood events that these scoffers deny.  This has been true for more than a century now, and seems to be truer with each passing year.

 

D.  Rise of Spiritualism—I Timothy 4:1:  “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons….”—Spiritualism is based on the first lie that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden when he declared that she would surely not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit, but she would become like a god.  Call it New Age or whatever you like; there’s nothing new about it.  Its foundation is that the dead are really alive, and that you can contact them in the spirit realm.  Spiritualism has always been ripe among most of the Eastern religions.  But modern Western spiritualism was born in 1848 when the Fox sisters in the United States began communicating with spirits (demons) with rapping sounds on the walls of their house.  And the closer we get to the Second Coming of Jesus, we have seen an upsurge in occultism.  Revelation 16:13-14 tells us why Satan is using spiritualism more and more in the last days:  “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”  Satan is setting the world up for a great deception, and the only antidote is to know that the dead are really dead, sleeping in their graves until Jesus calls them forth.

 

E.  Increased Knowledge of Daniel’s Prophecies—Daniel 12:4:  “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”—In its context, knowledge here is knowledge about the prophecies in Daniel’s book.  The early 19th century America’s Second Great Awakening produced the Advent Awakening, a movement contrary to the popular Christian views of the day, that focused on the soon return of Jesus based on increasing knowledge of Daniel’s prophecies.  This knowledge has only increased in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Therefore, this is a sign of Jesus’ soon return.

 

F.  Gospel Proclaimed to Whole World—Matthew 24:14:  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”—Today’s communication revolution has made it possible for people to hear the gospel globally via the Internet, satellite television, shortwave radio, and other means.  Unlike any time before ours, it is possible to reach the entire planet for Jesus.  It is amazing!

 

 

14.  What are believers warned against as Jesus’ return draws nearer?

 

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day [Second Coming] come on you unexpectedly.”  Luke 21:34.

 

Answer:  Most Christians who are really seeking the Lord and anxiously awaiting His return are not likely to carouse or get drunk.  However, the everyday cares of this life can often lead even the serious-minded believer to get off the right path.  Therefore, please earnestly seek and ask the Lord every single day to keep your mind on His coming so that you remain on the spiritual path to heaven.

 

 

Quiz for Lesson 22—The Second Coming of Jesus

 

1.  Which statements below tell us why it is important to know exactly how Jesus will return? (3)

  Because there will be false christs claiming to be Jesus

  Because you will be deceived if you hear that Jesus is in some desert or other place

  Because you will miss Jesus’ return if you don’t know about the secret rapture

  Because even genuine miracles will be performed in order to deceive people about the return of Jesus.

Answer

Because there will be false christs claiming to be Jesus
Because you will be deceived if you hear that Jesus is in some desert or other place
Because even genuine miracles will be performed in order to deceive people about the return of Jesus.

2.  Which of the following statements about Jesus’ return does the New Testament teach? (2)

  Jesus’ return will be a literal, physical event.

  Jesus will return in the sky just as He left this earth in the sky.

  There will be 2 phases of Jesus’ return, a secret return first, and then a visible, glorious return after 7 years.

  Jesus will return to people’s hearts in a special way and change the world through them.

Answer

Jesus’ return will be a literal, physical event.
Jesus will return in the sky just as He left this earth in the sky.

3.  Identify the 3 words that associate noise with the Second Coming of Jesus in I Thessalonians 4. (3)

  Orchestra 

  Trumpet

  Thundering

  Shout

  Voice

Answer

Trumpet
Shout
Voice

4.  Jesus’ return like a thief in the night refers to the secret rapture coming. (1)

  True

  False

Answer

False

5.  Which of the following statements about “one taken and the other left” are true? (4)

  The one taken is taken in destruction, while the one left is to be taken to heaven.

  Both groups of people survive the experience of “one taken and the other left”.

  The event illustrated by this phrase is associated with Noah’s Flood.

  The popular view is that the one taken is taken to heaven, while the one left is left to wonder what happened that so many people disappeared so suddenly.

  After this event, no one has a second chance to be saved.

Answer

The one taken is taken in destruction, while the one left is to be taken to heaven.
The event illustrated by this phrase is associated with Noah’s Flood.
The popular view is that the one taken is taken to heaven, while the one left is left to wonder what happened that so many people disappeared so suddenly.
After this event, no one has a second chance to be saved.

6.  What happens to the righteous dead at the Second Coming of Jesus? (1)

  They remain dead until after the end of the millennium.

  They come with Jesus to rescue the living saved.

  They are resurrected from their graves so that Jesus can put the right souls back into the right bodies.

  They are resurrected from their graves and go to heaven with Jesus.

Answer

They are resurrected from their graves and go to heaven with Jesus.

7.  Which statements below reflect what the Bible teaches about what happens to all of the saved at the Second Coming? (3)

  They all receive immortality at that time.

  They help Jesus destroy the living wicked.

  Their sin-affected bodies are made incorruptible.

  They each experience glorification, that is, they receive perfect glorified bodies.

  They remain on earth to become part of Christ’s millennial Kingdom.

Answer

They all receive immortality at that time.
Their sin-affected bodies are made incorruptible.
They each experience glorification, that is, they receive perfect glorified bodies.

8.  Which of the following statements about what happens at the Second Coming are true? (2)

  The saved go into hell to preach to the lost in order to give them a second chance to be saved.

  The saved meet Jesus in the air and go to heaven with Him.

  Jesus’ feet never touch the surface of the earth at His Second Coming.

  144,000 Jewish evangelists start converting some of the living lost.

Answer

The saved meet Jesus in the air and go to heaven with Him.
Jesus’ feet never touch the surface of the earth at His Second Coming.

9.  Which of the following are signs that Jesus’ return will happen very soon? (3)

  Increasing natural disasters

  Increasing moral degeneracy, mostly outside of Christianity

  The widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution

  Increased knowledge about the prophecies of the book of Daniel

Answer

Increasing natural disasters
The widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution
Increased knowledge about the prophecies of the book of Daniel

10.  Which of the following statements about spiritualism are true? (4)

  Spiritualism is based on Satan’s first lie to Eve, when he told her that she would not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit.

  Spiritualism is a relatively new force in the world today.

  The foundation of spiritualism is the lie that the dead are really alive.

  The purpose for spiritualism is to deceive people into being unprepared for Jesus’ return.

  Spiritualism is associated with the New Age, but there’s nothing new about the New Age.

Answer

Spiritualism is based on Satan’s first lie to Eve, when he told her that she would not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit.
The foundation of spiritualism is the lie that the dead are really alive.
The purpose for spiritualism is to deceive people into being unprepared for Jesus’ return.
Spiritualism is associated with the New Age, but there’s nothing new about the New Age.