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Sabbath School Lessons on Teachings of Jesus
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 38 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 13: The Second Coming of Jesus *
Introduction: When I was a young man I hoped that Jesus would delay
His Second Coming. All of my close relatives were alive, and I had
not yet gotten married. Since it seemed that Jesus said there would
be no marriage in heaven, I thought maybe if He shuffled His feet a
little that would be okay with me. I suspect some of my readers are
desperate for Jesus to come again, and others are okay with more
delay. My thought is that we have no idea how great things will be
when Jesus comes and takes us to heaven. If we really knew, no one
would be content with delay. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible
and see what we can learn about the Second Coming of Jesus!
- Read John 14:1-3. Jesus tells us that He has a big rooming
house for us in heaven, and that we should not be
troubled. Why does Jesus mention that we should not be
troubled? (Life has problems. Jesus says that the ultimate
solution to the troubles of life is heaven. If you look at
context, in the prior chapter Jesus told them He was
leaving them behind.)
- When I was a boy, that word translated "rooms" was
translated "mansions." (Compare KJV with NIV.) Have
we been downgraded from first class?
- Barnes Notes says that the Greek word here is
properly applied to tents, because it means something
less permanent than a house. Have we been further
reduced from mansions to tents?
- Read Revelation 21:1-3. What does this tell us about our
stay in heaven? (It is temporary. God will create a new
earth and He will bring the New Jerusalem down to earth
and live with us. This makes me think the "temporary" idea
refers not to tents, but rather to the fact that our stay
in heaven is temporary until God creates a new earth for
- Read Revelation 21:15-16. What is the shape of the New
Jerusalem? (It is a cube! Not just a cube, it is huge -
1,379 miles on a side. It is 1,675 miles between present
Jerusalem and Moscow. It is 1,491 miles from Washington,
D.C. to Denver. Imagine a condominium that had one wall
that stretched almost from Jerusalem to Moscow! Then
imagine it was that same distance high!)
- If the New Jerusalem is this massive cube, what does
this suggest when Jesus refers to your "room?" (This
suggests that whatever Jesus has in mind in heaven or
in the earth made new is simply splendid and beyond
- Read Revelation 21:17-21. What does this tell us about the
beauty of our new home? (Astonishing!)
- Recently, someone I respect told me that he thought this
description was symbolic. Revelation is filled with
symbols, but the detail about the city makes me doubt that
it is symbolic. If I'm wrong, what would this symbolize?
(If this is symbolic, then it symbolizes something that
seems so big and wonderful it is hard to describe!)
- Sneaking Up
- In Matthew 24 Jesus talks about His Second Coming. Read
Matthew 24:36-42. Will we know when Jesus is coming again?
- What should we do? (Jesus says to "keep watch," be
prepared at all times.)
- Read Matthew 24:43-44. Apart from the idea that we will
not know when Jesus is coming, what else are we told? (He
will come when we do not expect Him!)
- My local church is currently studying Revelation.
What lesson should we learn from this text when we
study Revelation? (Don't be too confident in your
understanding of the prophecies. One of the most
important warnings of history is that the Jewish
leaders of Jesus' day were Bible scholars. Yet, they
were looking in the wrong direction when Jesus came.
Arrogance is dangerous.)
- Why did Jesus give us the prophecies in Revelation? (Read
Matthew 24:32-33. Jesus says His Second Coming is like the
coming of the seasons, you can have a general idea of when
it is coming. Jesus would not have told us to "keep watch"
if watching was of no benefit.)
- Positive Identification
- Read Matthew 24:23-25. In addition to the problem of being
surprised, what other problem are we told about here?
- How serious is this problem? ("Even the elect" could
be deceived. This text suggests this is not actually
possible, but the warning still stands that this is a
- Read Matthew 24:26-27. What is the answer to those who say
that Jesus has come again? (Unless you see it, He has not
- Read Revelation 1:7. This text repeats the idea that
unless you personally witness Jesus coming again, it is
not Jesus. This raises a practical problem, let's say that
I see it, but I cannot be sure that people on the other
side of the globe saw it. How can I know what others do or
do not see?
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. What else will be going on
during the real Second Coming of Jesus? (You will not be
in doubt about what others have or have not seen. If you
are saved, you will be rising to heaven. You will see dead
people resurrected and going to heaven. This is not an
event that you can discern only by carefully looking for
clues! You will have no doubt!)
- I recall once visiting a church and hearing the
members of a class, who were supposedly studying
their Bible regarding the Second Coming, debating
whether Jesus' feet would touch the ground. If you
could tell if His feet touched the ground, you would
be able to tell if this was the true or fake Jesus.
Is that a reasonable test? (That is silly. If you are
interested in feet, check out whether your own feet
are still touching the ground!)
- Read Matthew 5:19 and Matthew 16:27. During this series of
lessons we have discussed the idea that we are saved by
grace alone, but the decision to accept Jesus is not a
matter of mere words. True faith results in a walk towards
righteousness. When Matthew 16:27 says that Jesus will
"reward" us "according to what he has done," does this
mean that salvation is a matter of works? (That is not the
way I understand this. Instead, Matthew 5:19 tells us that
there will be rankings of some sort in heaven. It is a
- Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19. What does this teach about good
works and sharing your wealth with others? (It tells us
that we have made a deposit in the bank of heaven.)
- If, as Revelation 21:21 says, the main street of the
New Jerusalem is "pure gold," why would anyone want
to have a bank deposit? Just dig up a little of the
road, right? (We don't know the currency of heaven.
Obviously, it cannot be gold. But, it is something
and God promises us something of value to reflect our
good works on earth.)
- Read Matthew 6:1. What does this say about God and
rewards? (Clearly, God is in the reward business. If we
reward ourselves here, then we have received our total
reward. But, if we do good deeds out of a heart of love
and compassion, then God promises a reward.)
- Read Revelation 22:1-3. What reward do we find here? (Good
eating and good health!)
- Read Revelation 21:4. What reward do we find here? (No
death, mourning or pain!)
- Read Revelation 21:3 and Revelation 22:3-5. What reward do
we find here? (We get to live with God. We get to see the
face of Jesus!)
- Friend, do you want to go to heaven? Do you want to live
the fabulous life of those who live in joy, happiness and
peace? Would you like to be rewarded in heaven? If your
answer is "yes," then repent of your sins, accept Jesus'
life, death and resurrection on your behalf, and begin to
live a life that collects rewards for the future! Why not
commit to that right now?
- Next week we begin a study of the book of James.
* Copr. 2014, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.