Bibliano and Amigo: Discussions on Eschatology (Lesson #9, Benefits of the Second Coming)

AMIGO: I am thinking more lately about how to prepare for the Second Coming.

BIBLIANO: Let me ask you a question, my friend. What benefits do you expect to receive from your perceived future bodily coming of Jesus?

AMIGO: (hesitates. . . . ) Hmmm. Well, I will get to see my dead relatives again.

BIBLIANO: What if you die before He comes? Won’t you see them in heaven when you die anyway?

AMIGO: Well, I never thought of it that way. Maybe I should have said that I’ll see Jesus face-to-face.

BIBLIANO: I don’t see any difference in those two answers. Don’t you expect to see Jesus in heaven as soon as you die?

AMIGO: Yes, I do, actually. Maybe I need to think about this a bit more. There must be SOME benefit, right?

BIBLIANO: I am amazed that Christians have not already thought this through. We have some sort of an idealized benefit of the Second Coming. But it evaporates when you stop to consider it more closely. Those benefits are already possessed by Christians by Christ’s finished work in the past.

AMIGO: This is hitting me pretty hard. If you don’t believe in a bodily Second Coming,
maybe we need to consider what we have in common in our faith.

IBLIANO: We have the gospel, my friend. That is the foundation of our faith—not some perceived future Second Coming. Remember, Jesus told us that his “Second Coming” would occur while some of his followers were still alive. Recall our previous studies (Matthew 10:23; 16:27-28; 23:29-39; 24:29-34; Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6-20; etc.)? This is good news. We demonstrated that the “second coming” was Jesus’ coming in judgment against Old Covenant Israel. That means we can live in peace knowing that the Great Tribulation is past. And we can be assured that Jesus was a true prophet, and we no longer have to make excuses why He didn’t return in his generation as He promised.

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