By Robert Brow (www.brow.on.ca) Kingston, Ontario October 2007
Christians have traditionally awaited the Second Coming as an event to occur in the more or less immediate future. They have expected this to happen in their own lifetime for the past 2000 years. Every few months there are false prophets who tell us that the signs of the times point to the imminent Second coming.
If we look at the New Testament texts however, it is clear that, having ascended, Jesus keeps coming for his people. In the first century he came for churches, nations, and individuals. The most important coming for us is when he takes us to the city he has prepared for us the moment we die. Here are some texts to illustrate this.
Before his crucifixion Jesus told his disciples in great detail what would happen when he came to topple the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 23:36-24:34). This took place within forty years when the Romans took the city in AD 70. This was not a second coming in the distant future, but in the lifetime of the disciples. "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father . . . There are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:27-28).
Through the Apostle John Jesus also spoke of his coming to deal with the churches of Asia Minor. This was in the same period of forty years before AD 70. "Repent then. If not I will come to you soon and make war against them" (Revelation 2:16; 2:25; 3:11, 20).
There were also occasions when Jesus came to meet and encourage his servants (Acts 7:56; 9:5; 23:11). And the moment we die the Lord comes for us (Philippians 1:23; 2 Timothy 4:8, 17).
Evidently the Lord intends to come again and again as he did in the Old Testament. Throughout history he has come in judgment on cities, as he did with Babylon (Isaiah 13:4-13). He came personally to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:7; 17:1; 26:2; 32:24, 30).
Happily there is not one second coming, but many comings of the Lord as he reigns among the nations, as he deals with churches, and comes for us.