How am I to respond to a message of the second coming?


Imagine a street preacher talking about the end times, proclaiming, "Repent for the end is near!" What kind of message does the shotgun evangelist bring? More often than not, the message is not in the subject but in the way it is said, and often the topic of the second coming brings about a certain fear of the return of Jesus Christ.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the message of Christ's final coming brings about a feeling of deep terror to believers and non-believers alike. The concept of a beast, an antichrist, the destruction of a temple, a final battle and choosing only 144,000 to enter God's kingdom. Many of these topics are taken out of context and thus bring more scary thoughts than clear thoughts.

It's not our business to know when

As a result of the influx of so much fear, many have resorted to figuring out the exact date and season that Christ will return. At one point, end times fanatics were 100 percent certain that Jesus would return in 1990, and then it got "postponed" to the millennium.

Matthew 24:36 makes it clear that, "...concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."

Also, when Jesus was asked by the disciples whether His resurrection was the second coming, He responds in Acts 1:7 by saying, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority." In other words, Jesus is saying, "Stop focusing on the seasons and the times."

He then brings clarity to what the disciples and, consequently, we are to do as we wait for the uncertain time of His return in the next scripture: "Be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

The message of Christ's second coming should propel us into a hyper-evangelism mode, bringing the gospel as far as we can and as deep as we can into the lives of others and into our lives.

Christ's return is to bring rejoicing to the redeemed

Moreover, the message of the second coming should not bring fear, but excitement. There is no telling for sure when it will happen and what will happen specifically, but we do know for sure that that day will be the return of our Lord and King, and this time He will come in authority and power to bring peace and love once and for all.

Revelations 19:11 says, "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war."