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The Greek word “parousia” is becoming common in English as a technical term for the Second Coming of Christ. The use of the word in the secular Greek contemporary with the New Testament is extremely interesting.
Bible Basics: The Rapture
There is a widespread belief amongst the “evangelical” churches that the righteous will be “raptured” up into heaven at Christ’s return. This belief is often associated with the idea that the earth will then be destroyed... These erroneous beliefs are based around a mistaken interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:
The Gogian Invasion: Before or After Jesus’ Return?
Question: Do the events in Ezekiel 38 and 39 — the Gogian invasion — begin before or after the return of Christ?
Paul’s Expectation of a Soon Return of Jesus
It is known to every reader of Scripture that the first Epistle to the Thessalonians speaks of the coming of Christ in terms which indicate an expectation of his speedy appearance:
Some Difficult Passages: Raised Incorruptible
For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)
The Second Coming of Christ: Must Christians Have A Creed?
The Apostle Paul, in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, describes the Gentile Christians in that city as people who had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.” It is therefore evident that the Second Coming of Christ occupied a prominent place in the beliefs of the 1st century Christians. Here are a few quotations which reveal the faith of those early disciples in their Lord’s return.
The Olivet Prophecy
“Your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38). And Jesus accompanied by the twelve, left the temple. He had made his last appeal. He had spoken his last warning to the nation and its leaders.
Judgement in the Air?
“…to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
Will the Righteous Rise Mortal or Immortal?
We regret that we have not sufficient space at our disposal to publish all the letters we have received on this subject. Some of the writers are most critical of our previous comments, while others seem to share our view that 1 Corinthians 15:52 cannot be cited as proof of “immortal emergence” This month we publish the following comments from a Birmingham reader.
The word denotes “coming,” “arrival.” It is never applied to the birth of Christ, and could be applied to His second coming only, partly because it had already become a fixed Messianic term, partly because there was a point of view from which the future appearance of Jesus appeared the sole adequate expression of His Messianic dignity and glory. The explicit distinction between “first advent” and “second advent” is not found in the New Testament. It occurs in Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Testament of Abraham 92:16. In the New Testament it is approached in Hebrews 9:28 and in the use of epipháneia for both the past appearance of Christ and His future manifestation (2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 4:1; Titus 2:11, 13). The Christian use of the word parousia is more or less colored by the consciousness of the present bodily absence of Jesus from His own, and consequently suggests the thought of His future abiding presence, without, however, formally coming to mean the state of the Saviour’s presence with believers (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Parousia occurs in Matthew 24:3, 17, 39; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8; James 5:7-8; 2 Peter 1:16; 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28. A synonymous term is apokálupsis, “revelation,” probably also of pre-Christian origin (compare Apocrypha Baruch 29:3; 30:1; 4 Ezra (2 Esdras) Ezra 7:28; Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Testament of Levi 18; John 7:27; 1 Peter 1:20). It could be adopted by Christians because Christ had been withdrawn into heaven and would be publicly demonstrated the Christ on His return, hence used with special reference to enemies and unbelievers (Luke 17:30; Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; 1 Peter 1:13, 10; 5:4). Another synonymous term is “the day of the (Our) Lord,” “the day,” “that day,” “the day of Jesus Christ.” This is the rendering of the well-known Old Testament phrase. Though there is no reason in any particular passage why “the Lord” should not be Christ, the possibility exists that in some cases it may refer to God (compare “day of God” in 2 Peter 3:12). On the other hand, what the Old Testament with the use of this phrase predicates of God is sometimes in the New Testament purposely transferred to Christ. “Day,” while employed of the parousia generally, is, as in the Old Testament, mostly associated with the judgment, so as to become a synonym for judgment (compare Acts 19:38; 1 Corinthians 4:3). The phrase is found in Matthew 7:22; 24:36; Mark 13:32; Luke 10:12; 17:24; 21:34; Acts 2:20; Romans 13:12; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 3:13; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 1:6; 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4 (compare 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 8); 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Timothy 1:12, 18; 4:8; Hebrews 10:25; 2 Peter 3:10.
Clouds of Judgment
The Resurrected Jesus Christ
The Second Coming
The Second Coming of Jesus (1969)
When Messiah Comes