The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ

and the Redemption of the Generation of the First Church

 

Writer: Vassilis Zafeiroglou (12/11/2012) Greece                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Biblical references from: ASV, and ESV

 

 

The second coming

The Lord Jesus Christ not only came the second time during the Apostles’ generation to redeem the faithful Believers, but also to revenge the generation of the Scribes and Pharisees who crucified Jesus and to revenge the backsliders  Jewish Christians who “came out” from the first church and persecuted it together with those Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

Dear Brethren, though Scripture speaks these two thousand years, it appears we do not value and adopt the words of Jesus Christ, Paul, or the rest of the Apostles.

“But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable: Behold the fig tree, and all the trees:  when they now shoot forth, ye see it and know of your own selves that the summer is now nigh. Even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished.” (Luke 21:28-32)

Jesus spoke to His disciples saying the Kingdom of God was near and Jesus Christ would come a second time during their generation. He would come on the one side in order to take them and redeem them from that crooked generation and on the other side to put His enemies under His feet. All this happened in that generation.


The enemies

The enemies of Jesus as well as of all people were the fallen Hebrews who judged themselves  unworthy of eternal life. They didn’t want to be saved but also they didn’t let other people to be saved. 

“And Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge your-selves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46)


"I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me." (Luk. 19:26-27)


Paul writes about the Jews of his generation: 

“For ye, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus: for ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they did of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always: but the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” (I Thes. 2:14-16)

Indeed, very correctly, Paul wrote of the religious intolerance of the Hebrews of his era. Paul knew what Jesus had said about those last days “of the crooked generation” which had not only crucified the Lord but had also persecuted His messengers. Jesus said what would be the signs of His wrath upon the impenitence of the Scribes and Pharisees. 

“But when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her desolation is at hand. Then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter therein. For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people.” (Luke 21:20-23)

So, the wrath would come upon that hard and impenitent nation of that generation and every written prophecy would fulfilled. It was not that events happened then and other events would happen after two or three thousand years or in our days. 

“Wherefore ye witness to yourselves, that ye are sons of them that slew the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell? Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them shall ye kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” (Mat. 23:31-46)

At the same time Jesus spoke to His disciples and said unto them:

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds.

Verily I say unto you, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Mat. 16:24-28)

Notice what Jesus said to His Apostles “Verily I say unto you, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

Did the Lord of the Glory made a mistake?

Some of His Apostles and disciples wouldn’t have died until the Kingdom of Jesus Christ had come.

Apostle Paul like Jesus Christ prophesied the resurrection of the dead and the rapture of the Church would happen on the days of his own generation. 

“But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thes. 4:13-18)

Paul, like, Jesus Christ prophetically declared by the Holy Spirit that on the day the resurrection and the rapture of the Church would happen, some of the Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ would be alive.

Unfortunately there are Christians who share the blasphemous thought that Jesus as well as Paul was wrong with regard to fixing the day of His Second Coming.

As we read above Jesus said:

“So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.” (Luk. 21:31-32)

Also Jesus said to the twelve Apostles when He sent them and instructing them at that generation:

“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 10:5-7)

The purpose of God’s love was to deliver every Hebrew from the kingdom of darkness namely from the “ministry of death” or “the ministry of the letter” because it functioned by the Legal and Pharisee system. God wanted to gather every true child of Abraham, so that His wrath which would happen at the end of that generation not to come upon him. 

In the same chapter Jesus told His disciples:

“When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Mat. 10:23)


“Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.  Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Mat. 23:34-36)

Apostles would not have the time to go to every town where a synagogue existed, because the Son of Man would come. These are the same Apostles some of whom would not taste death until the Kingdom of Jesus Christ would come and they then would always be with the Lord. 

Jesus at the beginning of His ministry had said:

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15) 

Do we also in our days hope and wish to be the generation to receive His coming????

The Lord and the Apostles have spoken but do we want to follow things that human minds and hearts made?

The Kingdom of God was taken from the Jews and was given to His Church. The Lord of the Vineyard came with His armies in 70 A.D. and judged the earthly Jerusalem. The table of the “marriage of the Lamb” has been set since the day Jesus Christ was resurrected. Unfortun-ately a great part of the Jewish people refused this invitation. Indeed the messengers of the marriage “some of them were beaten some of them were killed” by the Jews.

“When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” (Mat. 21:40)

 

Jesus said to them:


“Have you never read in the Scriptures: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“‘The stone that the builders rejected ​​​​​​​has become the cornerstone; ​​​​​​​this was the Lord's doing, ​​​​​​​and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Mat. 21:42)

“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.” (Mat. 21:43-45)

The Pharisees of those days understood in their days the Lord of the Vineyard would come for the second time and He would destroy them and He would give the vineyard to another people. 

“Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,  while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” (Mat. 22:4-7) 

God avenged the unkindness of the Jews in 70 A.D. destroying their glorious town, “The Earthly Jerusalem.” He  also came to redeem His persecuted Church. 

“Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering-

since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” (II Thes. 1:4-10)

 

His Kingdom has been established and He reigns for ever and ever


Amen