One of the dividing lines within the Christian community is without a doubt, the teaching of the Second Coming of Christ and its significance to the world today. There are those who hold the Historical view that claim that all the end time events between the 1st and 2nd coming, including chapters 4-19 of Revelation, have already occurred and there is nothing in the future except that of Christ’s return. The viewpoint of the Preterist says that all events concluded in 70 A.D. and Christ’s Second Coming is all that waits. Still, others hold to a non-literal viewpoint of the book of Revelation and take an Allegorical approach. All three preceding viewpoints do not take a literal view of Scripture as one should in reading God’s Word. The Futuristic approach is undeniably the most accurate, most literal, and most sincere way to define and interpret the book of Revelation. To hold a Futuristic viewpoint necessitates that those events mentioned after Revelation 4:1 are events that are yet unfulfilled and remain fully active in God’s prophetic time table. One such event is indeed the Second Coming of Jesus Christ back to this earth.
The Second Coming of Christ can be seen in two stages. The first stage of this event occurs at the Rapture, mentioned- though unnamed- in Revelation, chapter 4: “…behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither…”(Revelation 4:1, KJV).1 Christ will descend out of heaven and the saints shall “be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:17, KJV). At this point, the church will be removed off the face of the earth and the seven year period known as the Tribulation will begin. This event was indeed an occurrence to which the Old Testament Prophets were unable to see and recognize. They were grounded in the fact of the Lord’s return one day to set up His Kingdom, yet could not foresee the Church and the age to which it would occupy. For this reason, and by God’s design and perfect will, the Old Testament Scriptures prophesy and proclaim the Second Coming of Christ back to the earth, which event is still future and will culminate at the end of the last 3 ½ years at the campaign of Armageddon.
The Second stage of Christ’s Second Coming is realized in Revelation, chapter 19, as John presents him coming in the clouds “on a white horse…and the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses…” (Revelation 19:11,14, KJV). Christ will, at this time, physically return to the earth and his feet will rest on the Mount of Olives, causing it to split and make way for the enemies of Israel to flee into the Jezreel valley (Zechariah 14:4,5). Christ is seen at this time returning with his saints to put down the rule of the Satanic trinity. At this point, Jerusalem will have been invaded by her enemies, the women raped, and part of the city devastated according to the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 14:2, KJV). The purpose of Christ’s return is so that he shall “go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:3, KJV). This battle will come to full fruition in the Jezreel valley where Christ will put down the enemies of Israel. That battle will be so great that the blood will flow up to the horse’s bridles for a distance of 176 miles (Revelation 14:20, KJV). At the end of this campaign, Christ will make the trek of 176 miles to the land of Edom, unto Bozrah, where the fortified city of Petra will have served as the divine protection of the Jews during this period (Isaiah 63:1-3, KJV). At this point, Ezekiel records that Christ will collect his people from Petra and will return unto Jerusalem, through the Eastern gate, and will ascend up into the Temple which he has prepared for the Millennial reign (Ezekiel 43:2, KJV). With the beast and the false prophet defeated and thrown into the Lake of Fire and Satan bound one thousand years in the bottomless pit; Christ will rule from his throne in Jerusalem forever (Ezekiel 43:7, KJV).
The Second Coming of Christ will indeed usher in the restoration of the Jewish people as a nation, and will also allow Righteousness to reign as God intended so many thousands of years ago. God’s perfect will and plan will be accomplished. The end-time events will finally culminate in the permanent judgment and punishment of Satan at the end of the one thousand year reign (Revelation 20:7-10, KJV). Those that died without Christ will also stand before the Lord as Judge at the Great White Throne during this time (Revelation 20:11-15, KJV). The final act of Christ in closing out this period will be a gift to those who know him as Savior of eternity future with a new Heaven, new Earth, and New Jerusalem. Until that time, it should be every believer’s desire, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”(Revelation 22:20, KJV).
1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.