1. The Second Advent Will Take Place
2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth to save all mankind from death, was crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven. The Lord became the first fruit of those who are asleep. He has ascended into heaven, sit on the right hand of God’s throne, and will come back to earth in just the same way as they had watched Him go into heaven.
All the prophecies recorded in the Bible have been fulfilled until now, and only a few events that will take place in near future are remaining. They are the Second Advent of the Lord, the 7-year Great Tribulation, the Millennium, and the Judgment of the Great White Throne. Therefore, those who have true faith would long for the coming of the Christ with hope for heaven because they believe in resurrection, the Lord’s coming back, and the existence of heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:19 says, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” Because God’s children do not put their hope in this world, they crucify the flesh with its passions and desires, struggle against sin to the point of shedding blood, and keep the commandments of God. In this way, they sacrifice themselves with self-control to become a person who has nothing to be blamed before God.
Thus, the timing of the Lord’s coming back again draws such great interest of all the believers. Nevertheless, there are some people who are afraid of and even condemn those who testify to the Lord’s coming back again, that He is coming back soon just as it is written in the Bible.
But if we truly believe God’s Word, we should be wise enough to realize that the Second Advent of the Lord is so near as it is written in many parts of the Bible. If we are not awake, the day of the Lord will come like a thief and we will not be saved.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of [the] archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall 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.”
Then, what kind of things will specifically happen when our Lord, the King of kings and the Lord of lords comes back with grand honor and glory of the victor?
1) Resurrection of Those Who Died in the Lord
Those who accepted Jesus Christ, had faith, and died will resurrect at the time of the Lord’s coming back in the air. That is why the Bible calls them ‘those who have fallen asleep’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). The spirits of these people will come with the Lord at His coming in the air. At this time, their bodies that were in the graves will be resurrected as imperishable body and lifted up to the air. They will then combine with the spirits that came with the Lord to become perfect resurrected body. Thus, at the Lord’s coming back, the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16).
2) The Rapture of Those Who Are Alive in the Lord
After the resurrection of the dead in Christ, the believers on this earth will all be changed, lifted up into the clouds, and receive the Lord in the air (1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
In nature, we can indirectly feel the resurrection and Rapture. Maggots that move slowly become flies. When God draws up drops of water, it distills as rain from the mist. Through these, we can imagine the resurrection and Rapture. By God’s power, it is not difficult at all to resurrect and to be caught up in air.
2. Biblical Prophecies on the Second Advent
The Bible says, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7), and “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8), and the days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years (Psalm 90:10). Therefore, the Lord’s coming back is so near to us who are living during the last days of the human history. Even from God’s side, the Second Advent is to be fulfilled soon.
The Bible, in many places, tells us that the Lord is coming back soon. Hebrews 10:37 says, “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.” Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” James 5:8 says, “You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” Revelation 3:11 says, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” Also, Revelation 22:20 says, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
Likewise, the Bible emphasizes that the Second Advent is near in many places. But today, if we say that the Lord is coming back soon, not only unbelievers but even some believers argue about this. Those who are wheat, who love God and keep His commandments, would look forward to the Lord’s coming back. But those who are chaff, who love this world, would feel scared of the Second Advent.
The Bible tells us that the Lord is our bridegroom and we are His brides. Then, which bride would not wait for the bridegroom? Fortunately, the ministers and believers who are awake communicate with God and feel that the time is near. They are trying to adorn themselves as beautiful brides.
But we should know one thing. Matthew 24:36 says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Thus, we should take caution against those who say that they Lord is coming back on so and so date at so and so hour. Also, if we are not in darkness, the day of the Lord will not come like a thief but if we are in darkness it will come like a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4). Understanding this, we should be wise enough to be always awake.
People at the time of Noah’s flood did not realize until the day Noah went into the ark. But Noah, who was a righteous man, walked with God and obeyed God’s command to build the ark. Finally, Noah and his family could be saved. Therefore, meditating on this event in the Bible, we should always listen to the voice of the Lord and be awake as said in Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
3. The Parable of Fig Tree
The parable of the fig tree is precious because it tells us God’s will through the history of Israel. As prophesied in the Bible, the curse that fell on the fig tree came true by the fall and destruction of Israel. “Its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves” was fulfilled by the independence of Israel. Also, as Jesus said, “When you see all these things, know that it is near–at the doors!” we should believe that the Lord’s coming back is near.
In Matthew 21:18-19 Jesus was coming into the city of Jerusalem, and seeing the fig tree bearing no fruit, He said, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” And immediately the fig tree withered away. Why, then, did Jesus, who will not break a bruised reed or quench smoking flax, curse the fig tree that had no fruit?
The Pharisees and scribes at that time did not have spiritual faith with which they believed in heart but only faith as knowledge, and they emphasized only on keeping the law outwardly. But faith without deeds is dead (James 2:17), and we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven if we do not do the will of God who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). Thus, Jesus said in parable that those people would not be saved.
Finally, the Jews did not accept Jesus, who is the Son of God, but rather crucified Him. And His blood fell on the Jews and their descendants. God’s curse fell on them.
As a result, in 70 AD, Israel was destroyed by the Roman Empire. The Jerusalem Temple was completely destroyed so that there was not one stone left upon another. The people of Israel were scattered all around the world (Matthew 24:2, John 19:23). At that time, the Roman Empire left the west side wall of the city as a memorial. Today, it is the Wailing Wall where many Israelites pray with tears.
After that, Israelites did not forsake God but kept the law and suffered a lot of hardships. Even when 6 million Jews were massacred by the Nazis during the 2nd World War, they sought God. When the time came, God gathered the scattered people and let them have independence as He had promised. On May 14, 1948, in a small desert land surrounded by enemies, Israel was established, and God blessed them to be one of the developed countries in such a short time (Isaiah 49:8, Ezekiel 38:8).
Likewise, Israel’s independence after 1,900 years since its complete destruction, is the amazing fulfillment of the verse, “its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves.” As we know the summer is near when the fig tree put forth leaves, God is telling us that the Lord’s coming back is near since Israel has gained independence and become a developed country.
Also, it says, “this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” Here, ‘this generation’ can be interpreted in many ways such as our generation living with the independent Israel or the Jubilee or Israel where everything is recovered and they enjoy freedom.
As recorded in the Bible, through many signs taking place these days, we should realize the Lord’s coming back is near and prepare ourselves as His bride.