The explicit teaching of Holy Scripture is that Jesus Christ will come a second time from heaven to earth—personally, bodily, and visibly. This marvelous and climactic event is called “the blessed hope” of the Christian Church by the Apostle Paul (Titus 2:13). Christ appeared once on earth in grace (John 1:14, 17; Titus 2:11); he will appear a second time in glory (Matt. 16:27; 24:30; 25:31; Luke 21:27). Both of his appearings, one of which is past, the other which is a future cosmic event, are prophetically foretold in Scripture. A summary of the two Advents of Jesus Christ is made in Hebrews 9:28: “Christ was once [i.e., “once for all”] offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without [i.e., “apart from”] sin unto salvation.” In view of the many scriptural references to the Second Advent of our Lord, particularly in the New Testament, Dr. James Denney has declared with scholarly earnestness that we cannot “call in question what stands so plainly in the pages of the New Testament—what filled so exclusively the minds of the first Christians—the idea of a Personal Return of Christ at the end of the world.… If we are to retain any relation to the New Testament at all, we must assert the personal return of Christ as Judge of all” (Studies in Theology, p. 239).

The Meaning of Christ’s Second Coming. As already indicated, the Second Coming means that Jesus Christ will come again to this world in his personal and bodily form, glorified and deathless. The word parousia is used frequently in the New Testament as a technical term to denote the return of Christ at the end of the age (e.g., Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 2 Pet. 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28). His second appearing will be personal ...

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