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THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, December 7, 2008
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30).


The Bible teaches two Advents – two comings of Christ to this earth. The first Advent occurred when Christ was born in Bethlehem. Christ came down from Heaven and was “born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king” (Matthew 2:1). That’s why the Catholics and many Protestants call Christmas time Advent.

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4).

Christ lived for thirty-three years on this planet. Then He was crucified on a cross. They placed His dead body in a tomb and sealed it. But on the third day, on Sunday morning, He rose bodily from the dead. He appeared to the Disciples,

“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days” (Acts 1:3).

At the end of those forty days

“While they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).

That was the first Advent – the first coming of Christ to the earth.

But the Bible teaches that there will be a second Advent – a second coming of Christ. The Bible says that He “shall appear the second time” (Hebrews 9:28). And our text speaks of the second coming.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30).

Christ is called “the Son of man.” “Immediately after the tribulation of those days,” darkness will cover the earth, as it did on the day when Christ died on the Cross.

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27).

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27).

He is coming again, He is coming again,
   The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, He is coming again,
   With power and great glory, He is coming again!
(“He is Coming Again” by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30).

The Bible makes two things about the Second Coming very clear.

I. First, this is not the Rapture.

In the Rapture, Christ does not come visibly, and He does not come down to earth. In the Rapture,

“We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air”
      (I Thessalonians 4:17).

In the Rapture, real Christians will be “caught up…to meet the Lord in the air.” I preached on that subject a couple of weeks ago. In the Old Testament Enoch and Elijah were transformed, and taken alive into Heaven. Enoch and Elijah are both examples, or types, of the Rapture of true Christians, before the Second Coming of Christ to the earth. This is called a “mystery,” something that is beyond human reasoning. The Apostle Paul said,

“Behold, I shew you a mystery…we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

“Caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:17).

Oh, joy! oh, delight! should we go without dying,
   No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying.
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory,
   When Jesus receives “His own.”
(“Christ Returneth” by H. L. Turner, 1878).

That is the Rapture! “Caught up…to meet the Lord in the air.”

II. Second, this is His return to earth.

In the Rapture, real converts will be caught up to meet Christ in the air. No one else on the earth will know about it. Enemies of the Rapture scorn it. They mock it and call it a “secret Rapture.” Indeed, it will be a secret to those who are left behind!

But the Second Coming itself will be no secret! Notice the second half of Matthew 24:30,

“And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

That is the Second Coming of Christ! John Cennick and Charles Wesley wrote,

Every eye shall now behold Him,
   Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold Him,
   Pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
   Shall the true Messiah see.
(“Lo! He comes” by John Cennick, 1718-1755;
      altered by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

The Second Coming of Christ is absolutely certain. God has told us about this in the Bible. And it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Christ is coming to set up His Kingdom on this earth. But you must be born again to enter His Kingdom. Christ said,

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

He said,

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

He said,

“Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

I have been thinking about the conversions of Dr. John Huss, Luther, Bunyan, Whitefield, Wesley and C. H. Spurgeon. There was nothing muddy or unclear. They came under conviction of sin. They tried to reform themselves and live the life of a Christian, but they discovered they couldn’t do it. This plunged them into deeper conviction and despair. Finally, they came to Christ and were cleansed from their sins by His Blood alone, by faith in Him alone. They were transformed – born again “through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:25).

But I have discovered over the years that a person must come to the end of himself, and give up all hope of saving himself, or he will never truly be born again. And if you are not born again you will not enter the Kingdom when Christ comes to set it up on this earth.

Ye must be born again,
   Ye must be born again,
I verily, verily, say unto thee,
   Ye must be born again.
(“Ye Must Be Born Again” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

The other thing I have learned from studying the conversions of Dr. John Huss, Luther, Bunyan, Whitefield, Wesley and C. H. Spurgeon is this – they were very serious. They were serious men. They were seriously interested in being saved. If you are serious, and I hope you are, make sure that you don’t miss church at Christmas and New Year’s. Christ said,

“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).

By the grace of God, may you strive to enter in to Christ, and may you find salvation and pardon through His Blood, shed on the Cross for the remission of sin. 

As we heard last night, Dr. John Huss was burned at the stake for preaching the Gospel of Christ.  Like Luther, Bunyan, Whitefield, Wesley and Spurgeon, he was a very serious man, serious to the point of sacrificing his very life for Christ.  Make men like Dr. Huss your examples and heroes.  You may not have to give up your life by burning at a stake, but you will certainly have to give up your worldly ambitions to be like him.  You must certainly be willing to give up your hopes and plans to be like Dr. Huss.  You must be willing to live for Christ alone.  You must certainly be willing to become a living sacrifice, and make your highest goal to live and suffer as a follower of Jesus, no matter what it costs you.  How I pray that some young man will follow the example of Dr. Huss, and live for Christ no matter what it costs you.  Will you do that?  May God give you the grace to do so.  Amen. 

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 24:24-30.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“He is Coming Again” (by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30).

(Matthew 2:1; Galatians 4:4; Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 9:28;
Luke 21:27; Matthew 24:27)

I   First, this is not the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:17; I Corinthians 15:51-52.

II.  Second, this is His return to earth, Matthew 24:30; Hebrews 6:18;
John 3:5, 3, 7; Romans 3:25; Luke 13:24.