by John Grubb
People are interested in the second coming of Christ! Every few years someone sets the date for the Lord's return. In fact, one of the most popular religious subjects in the past twenty-five years has been the teaching that Jesus is coming back to the earth to set up His kingdom and rule on earth for one thousand years. This doctrine is called "premillennialism." A large number of preachers teach this doctrine. Can it be proved from the Bible, or, is it the doctrine of men?
What is premillennialism? This doctrine says that when Jesus came to the earth the first time, He intended to set up His kingdom. Since the Jews rejected Him, Jesus set up a temporary institution, the church, instead. The New Testament refutes this claim of premillennialism. The church is not a temporary institution, but is a part of the eternal purpose of God (Ephesians 3:10, 11).
Premillennialism claims that the church and the kingdom are not the same. Jesus promised to build His church, which is His kingdom (Matthew 16:18,19). He fulfilled His promise in the first century (Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9).
Premillennialism also teaches that Jesus is coming soon! It teaches that there will be many signs before Christ's coming. It implies that God failed in His first attempt to establish the kingdom as prophesied in the Old Testament.
Premillennialism is a false doctrine! It is not supported by the Word of God. Let us examine the Bible to see what it says about the second coming of Christ.
Is Christ coming again? Yes, He is! Note the following passages from the Bible: "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:27,28).
When will Christ come again? No one on earth knows the answer to this question! No signs will be given to tell us when the second coming will be. Jesus said: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32). "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
What will Christ do when He returns? First, He will raise the dead. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28,29).
Second, Christ will judge the whole world when He comes again (Matthew 25:31-46). "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Third, when Jesus comes again, it will not be to establish a kingdom, but He will return the kingdom, which is His church, to the Father: "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. The cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power" (1 Corinthians 15:23,24).
Fourth, when Jesus comes again, eternity will begin when the dead are raised to life, never to die again. Premillennialists teach that there will be two or more resurrections of the dead, but the Bible teaches that there will only be one when Jesus comes again. Please note that the resurrection is singular, not plural in the following passage: "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust" (Acts 24:15). Please read John 5:28,29 again also.
Fifth, when Christ comes again the earth will be destroyed! Therefore, there will not be a place for the rule of Christ on the earth which the premillennialists teach. Please read 2 Peter 3:7,10,12.
Christ came to this earth almost 2,000 years ago. He is going to come again. Because Christ is coming again, faithful Christians are busy preaching the gospel to the lost and dying world. What about you? Are you ready for the Lord to come again? Are you prepared to meet Him in Judgment? If not, begin your preparation now by obeying His gospel (Mark 16:16).
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Tract courtesy of Truth for the World