Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992



Before we begin, I would like to raise a question for your consideration. If I could zap you into a full day without need of working for a living, without family responsibilities, without studies - NO I CANNOT BRING HEAVEN TO PASS - but if I could do that for you, what would you do with your day? Go fishing, camping, shopping, buy a car, sleep, visit friends - just what would you do?

Okay, let us go on to our subject, and then at the end of the section we will look at this thought of "a day off."


Cambron gives statement to the importance of the doctrine of the second coming of the Lord in Scripture.

"It is said that one out of every twenty-five verses of the New Testament speaks of the Second Coming, while in the Old Testament there are eight verses concerning the second Coming to every verse concerning the First Coming." (Cambron, Mark G. D.D.; "BIBLE DOCTRINES"; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954, p 264)

The term ADVENT means simply, "arrival." Webster's first definition is the Catholic idea of four Sundays before Christmas. We view the Christmas arrival, or advent of Christ as the first advent, and we look forward to His second advent, when He comes to take care of the program of God, and bring it to a final culmination.

The fact of the event is seen in the following passages.

a. Christ Himself spoke of the coming in relation to His preparing a place for the disciples in Heaven. This is a very joyful contemplation for the believer. His Lord and Savior is now at this time preparing an eternal abode for each of us personally.

What a thought! Jo 14:3

b. The angels spoke of it when they spoke of the Lord's ascension. It should be noted that He will return in like manner - that is physically and visibly. This will be the second coming and not the rapture. Acts 1:11

c. Peter spoke of it in one of his sermons. Acts 3:20, "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:"

He also spoke of the coming in his two epistles. I Pet 5:4, II Pet 1:16.

d. Paul spoke of the Lord's return several times. I Cor 1:4-7; Rom 11:26; Philippians 3:20-21; Col. 3:4; I Thess 5; II Thess 1:7,10; I Tim 6:14; II Tim 4:8; Tit 2:11-14.

Some might question some of the references that are listed. Some of them are normally listed as rapture texts. If you consider Paul and his every looking for the Lord's return and relate that to the preaching that he did, it is not hard to think that he was speaking of the second coming rather than the rapture. The texts are prophetic of the rapture, however from Paul's viewpoint, I believe that he was talking of the coming. We will look at this in more detail later.

e. The author of Hebrews spoke of it. Heb 9:28

f. James spoke of it. Acts 15:13-16; James 5:7

g. John spoke of it. I Jo 2:28; I Jo 3:2; Revelation 19:11-18.

h. Jude spoke of it. Jude 14

i. The prophets spoke of it. Jude 14; Isa 45:23; Ezek 21:25-27.

Years ago I ran into a Roman Catholic while doing some door to door visitation that really thrilled me for a time. As I shared the gospel with her she agreed with everything that I said. When I asked her if she had received Christ, she said that she had. I left thinking that she was probably a believer. Some time later I discovered that the Roman Catholic receives Christ every time they go to mass. The eucharist is Christ's very body. The woman was talking about mass and I was talking about salvation.

As you talk with people be aware that their meaning for words may not be the same as your meaning. This is true in relation to the term "second advent." It has different meanings to different people, so you need to find out what a person means. Some of the possibilities are as follows:

a. Some view the rapture as the second advent. Christ coming to earth to receive His own unto Himself. This may or may not be differentiated from the coming to set up the kingdom.

b. Others view the rapture as the introduction to the entire second advent time. The second advent includes the rapture, the tribulation, the second coming to introduce the kingdom and the kingdom age.

The first advent was 33 plus years long so the second one needn't be an event, but can be a number of years in length.

This would be seen in two phases, as Cambron mentions (p 266). The first phase is viewed as being the rapture of the church, and the second phase the second coming in glory to set up the kingdom.

c. Another possibility is that the coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation is the second advent. At that time He will set up His Millennial kingdom.

The rapture is not the second advent in that the first advent was a coming to the earth and the second will have the same idea (a physical visible appearance). The rapture is not a coming to the earth, but only a secret coming in the clouds for the saints.

d. There are some that view the second advent as a spiritual coming and that it will not be a physical return of Christ. This may take a number of forms. One man that I knew held that the second coming was when the Lord comes to take a believer home (at the point of physical death). The problem with this view is that the world system as we know it can never come to an end. Christ will never come to finish up unfulfilled prophecy and earth would have to continue for eternity.

Chafer mentions that Dr. William Clarke held the spiritual coming view. He sees the coming of Christ in a spiritual sense - that Christ is here in His church. The new Jerusalem mentioned in the revelation is the "ideal church" and not a coming literal city. Chafer deals with the belief on page 283 and following of Vol. V.

and from rapture to the consummation we have THE DAY OF THE LORD, and following the consummation we have THE DAY OF GOD.

THE DAY OF MAN: Some have suggested that from the fall to the rapture we have the day of man.

THE DAY OF THE LORD, I Thess 5:2, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."

This shows that the day of the Lord is introduced by the rapture, yet we see within the context some items that might indicate that it covers more territory. In 5:23 there may be an element of judgment for the believers, which would indicate the judgment seat of Christ.

Verse three could indicate the trouble of the tribulation that was to come as well, thus the term may indicate much more than just the rapture.

THE DAY OF GOD, II Pet 3:12, "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"

DAY OF CHRIST: Philippians 2:16

I Corinthians 1:8

II Corinthians 1:14

DAY OF GOD: II Peter 3:12 (consummation)


The day of Jesus Christ: I Cor. 5:5; Philip. 1:6

The day of Christ: Phil 1:10; Phil 2:16; II Thes. 2:2

The day of God Almighty: Rev. 16:14

The day of the Lord God: Jer. 46:10

The day of the Lord: Acts 2:20; I Cor. 5:5; II Cor. 1:14; I Thes. 5:2; II Pet 3:10

We want to list some of the differences between the rapture and the second coming.

          RAPTURE                     2ND COMING
1. The devil is still free         The devil will be bound 
2. The Lord comes in the air       The Lord returns to the 
3. Saints go up                    Saints come with Him
4. Living saints translated        No translation
5. Dead church age saints raised   Old Testament saints 
6. World unchanged                 World changed physically
7. Imminent                        Preceded by many
                                   prophetic events
8. New Testament truth             Old and New Testament
9. Saved only involved             Saved and lost involved
                                   (lost will be destroyed)
10. Christ coming for the church   Christ coming for Israel
11. To remove church               To establish the kingdom
The fact that Christ stated that He would return is plain from Jo 14:1-3.


We might make note of the fact that one of the purposes of the Lord's return is to gather His people unto Himself. There are other events that come along with this, but in Christ's mind at this point in time (early in His ministry) was the gathering of His people.


Acts 1:11 In like manner would indicate a number of items to consider. a. The leaving was visible and witnessed. b. The leaving was from the earth's surface. c. The leaving was in a physical form. d. The leaving was from the Mt. of Olives (Acts 1:12) To be in like manner, then we should look for all of the above to be true at the second coming of Christ. A literal, visible, physical return to the surface of the earth.

There are other references to the second coming in the Old Testament that you might want to read. Ezek. 43:1-7; Zech. 14:4.

Matthew 24:27 also mentions that it will be very visible.

Bancroft in his Elemental Theology (p 356 ff) lists the signs of the second coming. I will list those for you with the references that he uses. This is for your future consideration.

War Matt 24:7

Famine Matt 24:7

Earthquakes Matt 24:7

Industrial unrest and lawlessness II Thess. 2:7

Multiplied transportation Dan 12:4; Nahum 2:4

Apostasy and demonic interest I Tim 4 1

Commercial signs Rev 13:16-17

Political signs Dan 2 & 7

Jewish sign Matt 24:32-34


1. Turn to I Thess. 5:1 for a few moments and we will make a few observations.

a. Paul mentions, in verses 1-2, that they need not discuss the time of the return of the Lord. It will be as a thief in the night. They would not know when it will occur. The Lord told the disciples in the book of Acts that no man knew the schedule of the end times Acts 1:6-7. They were seeking information, but Christ gave them none, other than that the Father will take care of the schedule. (Some other refs that picture the swiftness that is in mind are: Rev 3:3; Rev 16:15; II Pet 3:10; Matt 24:43; Lu 21:34.)

b. In verse 3 Paul tells them that when people cry peace and safety that they should look out for destruction is coming.

c. In verses 4-10 Paul lets them know that they needn't worry of the coming, nor should they go to sleep to wait for it. They are to prepare and watch for the coming of the Lord, but they are to be busy with living until it comes.

He encourages them to realize that they are of the light and not of the darkness. ( John 2:11; Acts 26:18 may be of interest to you along this line.)

d. Paul encourages them to bring one another along in the proper spiritual life so they will be properly prepared at the coming of the Lord in verses 11-23 (vs 23) "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I'd like to just list the things Paul encourages them to bring into their lives. Be not in darkness, let us not sleep, let us watch, be sober, put on breastplate of faith and love, put on helmet of salvation, comfort yourselves together, edify one another, know those that labor among you, know those that are over you, know those that admonish you (May I suggest that this is a strong indication that you have a responsibility to chose of your leaders and get to know them?), esteem the three above highly, be at peace among yourselves, warn the unruly, comfort the feebleminded (Who are the feebleminded? The mentally handicapped, the mentally injured, the senior citizens that are loosing their ability to operate properly mentally), support the weak, be patient with all, don't render evil for evil, follow that which is good, rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, give thanks in everything, quench not the Spirit, despise not prophesyings, prove all things, hold fast to the good, and ABSTAIN FROM ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL.

WOW, WHAT A LIST TO LIVE BY! Can you envision a church that is attempting to live according to that list? Would it not be an awesome body to behold?

I would like to relate a story that describes some people who were serious about their Lord's return, and how they were living.

The occasion was some revival services in Alliance, NE at the Evangelical Free Church. The people involved were witness to people being saved, marriages coming back together, baptisms, and backsliders returning to their Lord. This was all due to the fact that the church people and the evangelist were serious about living their life as if the Lord could come at anytime.

The evangelist lives as the Lord provides and does not have charges for his services. All that they receive goes to "get by" and the rest is put back into the ministry. They live in trailers and log cabins to conserve on expenses at their home base.

2. Let us return to our question about the day off that I would like to give you. How do those things you wanted to do relate to the fact that Christ is returning at any moment, at any time? Would you like to be doing those things when Christ returns?



We believe in the immanent return of the Lord, but we practice the someday return of the Lord.

I have often used an illustration that might help you in your thinking. Most of us know who Mr. Spock is. The Vulcon on Star Trek that is the ultimate in logic. I often suggest that congregations and classes think of a scenario which states that Mr. Spock is orbiting the earth and is observing the fundamental churches of the world trying to find out what Fundamental Christianity taught. Just what would he deduce logically from the facts that he observed. Might I take the liberty to just suggest a list of possible observations?

Fighting, arguing, division, materialism, segregation, arrogance, pride, lack of interest in spiritual things, lack of acting on belief systems, etc. Now, just what would Mr. Spock deduce? Would he ever think of the second coming of the Savior of this people?

I trust that as you consider the truth of the second coming that you will consider how you live. Are you living as if you could be gone tomorrow, or are you living like you are settling in for the duration of life?