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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!

  1. Lodging

    1. 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.)

      1. When I was a boy, that word translated "rooms" was translated "mansions." (Compare KJV with NIV.) Have we been downgraded from first class?

      2. 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?

    2. 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 us.)

    3. 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!)

      1. 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 my imagination.)

    4. Read Revelation 21:17-21. What does this tell us about the beauty of our new home? (Astonishing!)

    5. 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!)

  2. Sneaking Up

    1. In Matthew 24 Jesus talks about His Second Coming. Read Matthew 24:36-42. Will we know when Jesus is coming again? (No.)

      1. What should we do? (Jesus says to "keep watch," be prepared at all times.)

    2. 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!)

      1. 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.)

    3. 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.)

  3. Positive Identification

    1. Read Matthew 24:23-25. In addition to the problem of being surprised, what other problem are we told about here? (Being misled.)

      1. 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 powerful deception.)

    2. 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 come.)

    3. 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?

    4. 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!)

      1. 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!)

  4. Rewards

    1. 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 merit system.)

    2. 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.)

      1. 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.)

    3. 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.)

    4. Read Revelation 22:1-3. What reward do we find here? (Good eating and good health!)

    5. Read Revelation 21:4. What reward do we find here? (No death, mourning or pain!)

    6. 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!)

    7. 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?

  5. 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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