Series 3 - The Great Teachings of the Bible and What They Mean for You:
Bible Prophecy and You
Hi friends! Welcome to the eighth lesson in the "Bible Prophecy and You"
The late Paul Harvey, on his long-time News and Commentary radio
program, used to say that the story he would most like to report on would
be the second coming of Jesus Christ. It will indeed be the greatest event
in all history—the climactic turning point for planet earth!
6 in this prophecy series focused on Christ's first coming—His
birth, life, death and resurrection—when "the Word became flesh and dwelt
among us" (John 1:14). As we saw in that lesson, the Bible has many prophecies
of His first coming, but the Bible has almost three times as
many prophecies of His second coming!
Until Christ's death and resurrection, almost everyone had assumed that
the Messiah would come only once—that all the messianic prophecies
were about only one set of events instead of two. Since most
believers in the Scriptures were expecting the Messiah to be a conquering
king, they didn't recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
Now in this 21st century, many professing Christians are making a similar
but opposite mistake in thinking that Christ came only once and that
He will not return! But how can anyone profess to believe the Bible
and not believe the many, many prophecies and promises that Christ will
return to set up His Kingdom on earth?
As we saw in the last
lesson, Jesus Himself promised, "I will come again."
But when He is returning, most people will be so deceived and confused
by counterfeit teachings that they will reject Him. May that not be
true of you!
Lesson 8: Christ's Promised Second Coming—Climactic Solution to Mankind's Problems!
No other study is as exciting as the subject of the return of Christ! The truth of all that will happen at that time is more spectacular than any fictional tale.
An American volunteer working in Jordan shares his perspective:
"During the past year, while living and working in Jordan, I've
been continually reminded of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Most
of the people living in Jordan are Palestinian and are not shy about
sharing their strong beliefs and angry feelings about the 'Zionists.'
"I've met so many wonderful people in Jordan—hospitable, caring
people who would give you anything they had. So it always surprises
me, scares me and deeply saddens me to witness the hatred that a group
of people can have for another group of people. That perspective and
passion is passed down from one generation to the next. I see here in
this land the legacy of ancient conflict going back to the time of Isaac
and Ishmael. I see how extremely difficult it is for people to forgive
and reconcile and love their neighbors.
"I know that this conflict will never be over until Christ returns
to this earth and sets up His Kingdom—until the hearts of all people
are changed and their eyes are set on God. It will be marvelous to see
people and nations learning to live, work and play together in peace
under the rule of God's Kingdom—when the law of love is taught to all
peoples and it prevails over all lands. I long to see the day when all
people will have the understanding and hope from the Word of God that
I am blessed to have!"
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By Many Wonderful Prophecies, We Are Blessed With the Opportunity
Bible prophecies are important because they are revelations from God. "Prophecy
never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved
by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).
And God inspired many prophets and apostles to write down prophecies of a
coming glorious Messiah and "Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14).
Remarkably, the Old Testament prophets didn't understand a lot about how
their prophecies would be fulfilled. Many questions in their minds went unanswered.
Even the angels longed to better understand the prophecies of the Messiah
(1 Peter 1:10-12)! It has been through Jesus Christ, the apostles and the
Church that humans and angels can at last understand the "mystery" of the
overall plan of God and the central role of Jesus Christ in that plan through
both His first and second comings (Ephesians 3:8-10).
Referring to the spiritual understanding that is available to us through
the Bible, Jesus said, "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears
for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous
men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you
hear, and did not hear it" (Matthew 13:16-17).
Keep in mind that knowledge is only valuable when it is used and applied.
Also keep in mind that many end-time events and people are connected with
the return of Christ but will not be discussed in this short lesson. Many
will be covered in other lessons. They include the Great Tribulation, the
Day of the Lord, Armageddon, the Beast, the False Prophet, Antichrist and
Let's now take note of several important prophecies and their fulfillments.
Did Jesus promise He would return with "power and great glory"?
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and
the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 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."
He said He would return after the Great Tribulation and after heavenly signs.
He also said "the tribes of the earth will mourn" rather than welcoming Him!
What was the message that Jesus and the apostles regularly preached?
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel
of the kingdom of God…
It was "the gospel of the kingdom of God." The focus of the New Testament
is on the exciting anticipation of the coming Kingdom of God (or as Matthew
often called it, "the kingdom of heaven"). The Greek word translated "gospel"
means good news.
What is the Kingdom of God? It is the government of God, which the Bible
shows will literally rule over all the earth beginning with Jesus Christ's
return as King of Kings! Therefore, every Old Testament and New Testament
prophecy of future peaceful, utopian conditions is based on the sure
promise that Christ will return to bring about those conditions! (More will
be explained in other lessons about the Kingdom of God and its first 1,000
years, often called the Millennium.)
What were most of Jesus' parables about?
Matthew 13:11, 19, 24, 31, 33, 38, 41, 43-45, 47, 52
He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to
know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been
"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand
it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.
This is he who received seed by the wayside..."
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven
is like a man who sowed good seed in his field..."
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven
is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field…"
Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven,
which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened…
"The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom,
but the tares are the sons of the wicked one…
"The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out
of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness…
"Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their
Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Again, the kingdom of heaven
is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy
over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the
kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls...
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into
the sea and gathered some of every kind..."
Then He said to them, "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning
the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure
things new and old."
Most were "kingdom parables"—teaching numerous insights into the Kingdom
of God. Such parables about "a man traveling to a far country" who later returns
(Matthew 25:14) and about "a certain nobleman [who] went into a far country"
and later returned (Luke 19:12) are clearly referring to Jesus going to heaven
and later returning to earth.
What will be one of Christ's first acts as He is coming to earth?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have
fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe
that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who
sleep in Jesus. 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 together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
He will resurrect (bring back to life) the dead saints and change the living
saints to immortal life! (In the Bible, the word saint refers to
a true follower of Christ, one who has the Holy Spirit.) As this scripture
shows, "the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice
of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God." There won't be anything secret about
His return. As other scriptures also show, it will be a spectacular display!
(See also 1 Corinthians 15 for a rather thorough discussion of the resurrection.)
We are told to "watch" for Christ's coming. What does that mean?
"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief
would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken
into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour
you do not expect.
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler
over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant
whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to
you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
"But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying
his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink
with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he
is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will
cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall
be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
It means we need to stay spiritually awake and vigilant because we don't
know when He will return. It means to stay close to God—ready to meet our
Maker at anytime—since the end of this life comes at death or when Christ
returns, whichever comes first. It means to be busy about our Father's business—obeying
and serving Him and serving our fellow man. It means to watch for His coming
with hope and eager anticipation. "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave,
be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13).
How does John describe the return of Christ?
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of
many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the
Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright,
for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage
supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that
you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have
the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him
was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had
a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe
dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in
heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the
nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads
the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His
robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Here is the vision that Christ gave to John of what Christ's return will
be like—majestic, spectacular and awe-inspiring! The saints will be made kings
and priests and will "reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10), but Christ will
reign supreme over all!
Does the book of Revelation begin and end with emphasis on Christ's
Behold, He 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 22:7, 12, 17, 20
"Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of
the prophecy of this book…
"And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give
to every one according to his work..."
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!"
And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of
He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Yes! The last quote of Jesus Christ in the Bible is Him saying, "Surely I
am coming quickly." And then John adds, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"
Truly, God's people should be "looking for the blessed hope and glorious
appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
In Jesus' outline of things to pray about (often called "the Lord's prayer")
in Matthew 6:9-13 and in Luke 11:2-4, one of the things we are to daily
pray for is that "Your kingdom come." This means to pray that Christ will
soon return to establish His Kingdom on earth so we will at last have worldwide
peace, purity and plenty. It also means to pray that we will be spiritually
ready and we will be a light to others to influence them to be ready.
Give this some deep thought. And before the day is over, tell God some
of the reasons you long for His Kingdom to come.
Next Lesson: Where Are the United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy?
Questions about this lesson? Feedback about
Jesus Christ: The Real Story
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God's Solutions to the World's Problems
Prophecy Tell Us When Christ Will Return?
Heaven and Hell: What Does
the Bible Really Teach?