Ron Wallace talks about the hope of the apostolic church concerning Christ’s second coming and being founded in the very teachings of Jesus. Jesus made it perfectly clear that He was indeed going to come again and deliver His believing ones out from this world and take them to a heavenly home. There are some who believe that Jesus taught two distinct comings; one for the rapture, and one for the battle of Armageddon. Such a distinction is found only in theological assumptions that have no clear Scriptural support, rather than in the plain and simple language of Christ’s words. By comparing passages from the Old Testament, the words of Jesus, and the epistles, it can be shown that there is only ONE second coming.
There are 6 specific times recorded in the gospels where Jesus mentions His second coming. (Mat. 10:23; 16:27-28; Mat. 24-25; John 14:1-3; 21:22). At these times Jesus used the word erchomai. which indeed means a coming or arrival (Mat. 10:23; 16:27-28; Mark 8:38).
At these times He made no indication that there was more than one ARRIVAL. The second coming mentioned at Mat. 16:27 is the same second coming mentioned at Mat. 24:30. And the coming and gathering of Christ’s elect at Mat. 24:30-40 is the same coming and gathering of believers mentioned at John 14:1-3 (paralambano). And we thus see the same event in view at both places.
There is no reason to think that Jesus had anything in mind other than His ONE and only second coming to the earth which will initiate the events of the day of the Lord. At Matthew 24:3, the disciples ask the question, “what will be the sign of your coming. The Greek word for coming is parousia. It means arrival and subsequent PRESENCE, which involves an extended period of time. It should be obvious that Jesus had previously taught the disciples about His parousia, for the nature of the question indicates they are familiar with the term.
So it seems to me that at those times when Jesus mentioned “the coming of the Son of man” the disciples understood that He was talking about His parousia – His presence.
And in the mind of the disciples, there was only ONE parousia, which they designate as YOUR parousia in their question.
When Jesus answered their question, He in fact called it THE parousia of the Son of Man (Mat. 24:27, 37, 39).
And in His answer He EQUATES erchomai and parousia.(at Matthew 24:30 with vs. 27, 37, 39).
The second coming is both an arrival (erchomai) and a period of time (parousia).
After Jesus arrives He will then remain PRESENT in the vicinity of the earth to carry out God’s day of the Lord agenda.
In Peter’s second letter he wrote about what he was taught. He EQUATES the “coming” (erchomai) of the Lord at Mat. 16:27-28 (17:1-8) with the word parousia.
Matthew used the word erchomai: Mat. 16:27-28
“For the Son of Man is going to come (erchomai) in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds.
“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming (erchomai) in His kingdom.”
and Peter used the word parousia:
2 Peter 1:16-18 “For we did not follow sophistical stories when we made known to you the power and coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
Peter knows of only ONE second coming. He mentioned it again at 2Pet. 3:4, in the complaint from the mockers, “where is the promise of His coming?” And then he directly related that ONE second coming to the term, “day of the Lord” and “day of God” at verses 3:10-14. He clearly indicated that it is that ONE and ONLY second coming that we believers should be looking for and be READY for. Verse 14, “Therefore beloved brethren, since you are looking for these things, be diligent to be found in Him in the sphere of peace, spotless and blameless.”
When Paul wrote about the second coming of Jesus, he used the word, erchomai four times (1Cor. 4:5; 11:26; 1Thes. 5:2; 2Thes. 1:10), and he used parousia (7 times). At each time, Paul is referring to the one and only second coming.
He called it THE parousia (1 Thes. 4:15; 3:13; 5:23) and HIS parousia (1 Thes. 2:19; 1Cor. 15:23).
At 2 Thes. 2:1, Paul called it THE parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ. And at 2 Thes. 2:8, “the brightness of HIS parousia.
James used the word parousia of the Lord at James 5:7-8. And John called it HIS parousia. 1 John 2:28
All these describe the one and the same and ONLY second coming of Jesus. They all refer to His arrival and presence in the vicinity of the earth, during which time He will carry out Gods day-of-the-Lord agenda.
The second coming of Jesus is a presence which involves an extended period of time, during which several events will occur. All the second coming passages look at one second coming which will begin with His initial arrival in the clouds of the sky. Then, additional information is added to show “some event” that will occur in connection with that arrival.
The additional information will occur either at His arrival, DURING his presence, or at the culmination of His presence.
At Mat. 16:27-28 The arrival: “For the Son of Man is going to come (erchomai) in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds.
Additional information: At, during and at the culmination – the evaluation of deeds.
This is not a one time thing. It has several stages.
1. Evaluation of believers’ works.
2. Judgment on unbelievers.
A. Those on the earth through the trumpet judgments.
B. Those at Armageddon.
C. Those at the end of the 1000 years.
D. Those at the last judgment.
At Mat. 24:30
The initial arrival in the clouds.
Then at that arrival, the gathering of the elect out from the earth.
The initial arrival: When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him.”
Additional information: After Armagddon. He will sit on His throne and separate the sheep from the goats.
At 2 Peter 3:10 and 12.
The day of the Lord will come like a thief/coming of the day of God.
This is the initial arrival of Jesus in the clouds.
Additional information: At the culmination of His coming – “by means of which” – the renovation of the universe/”because of which” – the heavens will be destroyed.
At 2Thes. 1:6-10
The initial arrival: V. 1:7, “at the revelation of our Lord Jesus from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.”
Additional information: At His arrival, He will give relief to you and to us.
Additional information: During His presence, He will deal out retribution to those who do not know God.
Now I want to give a list of comparisons that indicate the rapture and second coming are not two separate events.
It is at the arrival of Jesus at His second coming that the rapture will occur.
Instead of saying that there is the rapture and the second coming,
we should say that the rapture will occur at the inception of the second coming.
Arrival: Mat. 16:27, 10:23; 24:31;
Rapture: John 14:3; 21:22; Acts 1:11; 1Cor. 4:5; 11:26;
1Thes. 5:2; 2Thes. 1:10; Rev. 1:7; 3:11;
REVEALED: (word group, apokalupto, apokalupsis)
Arrival: Luke 17:30;
Rapture: 1Cor. 1:7; 1Pet. 1:7; 1:13; 4:13; Col. 3:4;
Arrival: Mat. 24:3, 27, 37, 39;
Rapture: 1 Thes. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2Thes. 2:1, 8;
James 5:7-8; 2 Pet. 1:16; 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28
Arrival: Mat. 24:31; a great trumpet
Rapture: 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4:16, the trumpet of God.
Arrival: Mat. 16:27; Mat. 24:31; (in the glory of His Father)
Rapture: Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 4:13; 2Thes. 1:9-10
“looking for the happy hope and the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Arrival: Mat. 24:30; (on the clouds of the sky)
Rapture: Acts 1:9-11 (the same way); 1 Thes. 4:17 (in the clouds); Rev. 1:7
Arrival: Mat. 16:27 (with His angels); 24:31;
Rapture: 2 Thes. 1:7 (with his mighty angels); 1 Thes. 4:16 (angel); 1 Thes. 3:13? (holy ones);
LIKE A THIEF:
Arrival: Mat 24:42-44; (what time the thief would come)
Rapture: 1 Thes. 5:2-11; 2 Pet. 3:10-18; Rev. 3:3; Rev. 16:15
EVALUATION OF WORKS (reward):
Arrival: Mat. 16:27;
Rapture: 1 Cor. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:7 (at the revelation); 1 Peter 5:4 (when the chief shephered appears);
Arrival: Mat. 24:31-40
Rapture: 2 Thes. 2:1; 1 Thes. 4:17 (different word, same idea)
Arrival: Mat. 24:40-41;
Rapture: John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:17 (caught up for a meeting with the Lord).
DAY OF THE LORD
Arrival: Mat. 24:29 (the signs); Joel 2:31
Rapture: 2Peter 3:10-18 (believer is looking for the day of God) ; 1Thes. 5:2