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When Jesus Comes Again

A great deal of the New Testament is taken up with the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. The substance of all of God's revelation is summed up in the book of Hebrews where we read, "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment; so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Heb. 9:27-28). Just as the Old Testament saints waited for the coming Redeemer, so New Covenant believers are to be longing for the glorious appearing of the Son of Man. We should think much and often upon the reality of the promise of the second coming of Christ. To that end, it will do us well to meditate on what the Scriptures teach about the manner of His coming. In his fifth and final volume of Reformed Dogmatics, Geerhardus Vos set out 12 aspects of the manner of Jesus' coming again. According to the Scriptures, Jesus will come...

1. From heaven.

2. On the clouds of heaven (see this post for a further explanation).

3. In the form of His human nature.

4. As a man.

5. Not in humility but in glory.

6. Without sin, that is, no longer as the Surety bearing guilt.

7. With His angels, the heavenly host who will serve Him in everything that is associated with His return.

8. According to some, accompanied by the spirits of believers who have already gone to heaven, which, it is thought, is to be found in 1 Thessalonians 3:13 (“with all His saints”), 2 Thessalonians 1:10, Jude 14.

9. As a thief in the night, not only for unbelievers but also in a certain sense even for believers since they never know the hour exactly.

10. For all together as in the same moment, as a lightning bolt that shines from east to west.

11. Not only visibly but also audibly, with a shout and the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God.

12. With His manifestation and cry, causing the resurrection of the dead and gathering them for judgment, so that at His coming believers lift up their heads with joy, meanwhile unbelievers weep.1

  1. Geerhardus Vos, Reformed Dogmatics (R. B. Gaffin, Ed., A. Godbehere, R. van Ijken, D. van der Kraan, H. Boonstra, J. Pater, & A. Janssen, Trans.) (Vol. 5, p. 288). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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