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QUESTION: When and how is Jesus going to come again?
 
ANSWER:  The Bible is clear that no man will ever know the exact time or date of Jesus’ Second Coming (Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7). Any attempt to fix a date should “flag” that individual or ministry as unreliable (Harold Camping, for instance). 
 
The Bible student is not to be a “date-setter.” We are, however, commanded to watch (Matthew 25:13). The context of this passage is not watching for signs but rather looking for Christ Himself to call us up! As I understand Scripture, there remains no Bible prophecy that must be fulfilled before Jesus comes again – His return is thus imminent.
 
The first advent or coming of Jesus in a manger was to die. He was literally born to die; to take your sin and mine on Himself on the cross. One of the reasons the world missed this is because for every 20 verses that speak of Christ coming in power to reign on the earth there is only one verse that speaks of His lowly birth, sufferings and death.  This imbalance caused the Jews to put much more emphasis on their physical freedom from the bondage of Rome than on their spiritual freedom from the bondage of sin – hence they missed Christ (please be careful that you do not do the same).
 
Today Christians are waiting for the second advent or second coming of Christ. The first stage of this second coming is called the “Rapture.” The second stage is known as His Revelation. There is a time period of at least seven years between these two events. In the first stage Jesus does not actually touch the earth. He comes in the clouds and from there calls His church up to meet Him in the air (1 Thess 4:17; 1 Cor 15:52). This is the event that is imminent (can happen at any time). Once this takes place, the remaining events on God’s prophetic calendar are fairly predictable.
 
Soon after the rapture God begins to once again deal directly with the nation of Israel. For a period of seven years God will judge both the nation of Israel and this earth for rejecting Him. Many will acknowledge their sin and be saved. Many others will not. Jesus’ physical return to earth (at the Mt of Olives) occurs at the end of this seven year period. Jesus will set up a literal kingdom on earth and reign from Jerusalem for one thousand years. Only saved people will go into the millennial reign of Christ. 
 
While the tribulation is occurring on earth, the church will be in Heaven. During this time saints will be judged, rewarded, wed to the Lamb of God and prepared to return with Christ to the earth to rule with Him. (Ezek 38 – 39; Dan 2:7; 9:25-27; Matt 24; Luke 21; Mark 11; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor 15; 2 Thess 2:1-2; Heb 1:1-2; 1 Peter 1:20; Rev 4 – 19…and many others)
 
Confused about the two stages? Remember…there is a subtle difference between Christ coming for His saints (the Rapture) and Christ coming with His saints (the Revelation).
 
 
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