Why Teach The Second Coming?
By Hal Lindsey
Through the years I’ve heard a lot of excuses from pastors and teachers who don’t want to address the Second Coming of Christ. Many of them say it’s just too difficult to understand. Recently, I heard about a layman who was upset with God over the whole matter. He asked, “Why can’t it be simple?”
Some of the greatest minds in history have taken on the subject of Christ’s return, and found it overwhelming. Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most brilliant men who ever lived, spent more time studying the book of Daniel than he did pondering the laws of gravity.
So, yes, it can be complicated. The deeper you dig, the more treasure you will find. That’s the way it is with all of God’s revelation to humanity. The great themes of the Bible are simple enough for a small child to understand, and complex enough to keep the finest theologians working for centuries to mine their mysteries.
But isn’t that good? Don’t you want the things of God to be challenging, exciting, and fulfilling — to the mentally challenged, as well as to the most brilliant among us? Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (NASB)
The Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, was famous as a deep thinker and a brilliant scholar. On his one trip to America, a student asked him if it would be possible to summarize his life’s study into a single sentence. He answered in the words of a children’s song. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Barth wrote many books and gave countless lectures. He is an example of the fact that the finest scholars find no end to the beauties and intricacies of God’s message to humanity. But that message can also be summarized in the lyrics to a child’s song. A mentally disabled person can grasp the key to it all — “Jesus loves me… the Bible tells me so.”
Can the study of end-times prophecy be summarized as succinctly? Yes, it can. We can find that summation in the words of Jesus from John 14:3 — “I will come again.”
Anyone can understand that. And what a glorious thing to know! None of the Bible makes sense without it. The Old Testament told of a coming Messiah. He would suffer and die for our sins (Isaiah 53). And He would rule and reign over the entire earth. We saw the first part come true at His first coming. But to fulfill it all, He must come again.
Jesus must return because a multitude of prophecies from the Old and New Testaments still await fulfillment. He must come again because justice demands it. And He must return because our world is spiraling out of control, and humanity cannot survive without His direct intervention.
Jesus made His Second Coming a central part of His message. He repeated it again and again. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples asked Him, “When will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus then spent the rest of that chapter and all the next one talking about His Second Coming.
In Mark 13:26, Jesus said, “They will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.” In Luke 21:27, He said, “They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
Jesus said to “watch” for His return. In Matthew 24:42, He said, “Be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”
That means we need to know the signs of His coming. We need to study, and see how scripture lays out God’s end-times program. We need to know the promises He has made — including His promises to Abraham. We know He will keep His word. He will fulfill every bit of it. And that means, He will come again! All we can say is, Praise the LORD.