|Premillennial Second Coming of Christ
By Rev. Dennis Phillips
"In the imminent, personal, premillennial, second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of
God" (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
The Sounding of the Trumpet
Five days before the most celebrated presidential inauguration of the century, the young president-Elect, John
Fitzgerald Kennedy asked Dr. Billy Graham a question that is being asked by many in our day. "Billy," he asked,
"Would you tell me about the second coming of Jesus Christ?" This is the greatest question of our day and carries a
wonderful answer. Then he asked a second question. "What does my church teach about the second coming of
I would like to deal with that subject from our church view and the Bible view. "What does my church teach about the
second coming of Jesus Christ?" We believe in the imminent, personal, premillennial second coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ. These are the words of one of our Articles of Faith. Let us look at this article.
The World Book Encyclopedia says that this word imminent means: "likely to happen soon; about to occur." This is
what we believe about the coming of our Lord. "It is likely to occur soon." The greatest day in history did not take
place on July 20, 1969, when Astronaut Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, as former President Richard Nixon said.
Up till that time, the greatest day had occurred on Easter Sunday morning, some two thousand years ago, when the
crucified Savior rose again from the dead! But soon God is going to have an even greater, grander, and more
glorious day than the resurrection of His Beloved Son - and that event is His return to earth again! Surely John the
Apostle must have penned the following words with grapesized goose pimples! "And the seventh angel sounded;
and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord,
and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).
Paul said, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump -for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we
shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1
Corinthians 15:51-53). Have you ever wondered how fast a "twinkling of an eye" is? When a preacher spoke to a
group on the topic, "In the Twinkling of an Eye," he noticed a young man in the front row take out a pad of paper, a
pen, and a small slide rule. For the rest of the preacher's message, this young man looked at his slide rule and
wrote on the pad. Being a curious fellow, the preacher finished speaking and walked over to the young man.
"Forgive my curiosity," he said, "But may I ask what you have been doing with your slide rule, paper and pen?" The
young man replied, "Oh, I was just trying to figure our how fast a twinkling of an eye was." "Well, what did you come
up with?" "I figured," said the young man, "That a twinkling of an eye is one-sixth of a nanosecond." "A `whato'
second?" countered the preacher. "A nanosecond! A microsecond is one-millionth of a second, and a nanosecond
is one-billionth of a second. I figured that a twinkling of an eye is one-sixth of a nanosecond."
The preacher asked the young man how he had come up with such a number. He replied, "I figure that a twinkling of
an eye is the time it takes for light entering the iris to reach the retina at the rear of the eye. That is a distance of
about one inch at the speed of 186,000 miles per second!" Will the calling out of believers only take one-sixth of a
nanosecond? I do not know, but it is bound to be dazzling! Just think this event is imminent. This coming is also to be
personal. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven." There will be no substitute. The One who comes is none
other than the Lord Jesus Christ. As the first coming was literal in every sense, so will His second coming be literal in
every sense. There will be a personal, visible, bodily, glorious reappearing of Jesus Christ.
Let me remind you that when Christ comes, there will be a resurrection. ". . .The dead in Christ shall rise first" (1
Thessalonians 4:16). Those who die out of Christ are not blessed and holy. They must stay in their graves another
one thousand years. Then after the millennium, they will be raised and brought in judgment before the Great White
Throne where they will receive the condemnation of Hell.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they
shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6). ". . . Blessed are
the dead which die in the Lord. . ." (Revelation 14:13). There are sleeping Christians in many different places of the
earth. Most of them are in manmade graves. However, many Christians have gone down into the seas while many
have been burned to death. Some have been lost in the wild places of the earth, and their bones have been picked
clean by the birds of the air. Others have suffered and died in the deserts, their bones have been left to bleach in
the broiling sun. Some have been torn to pieces in explosions, some have flown away in airplanes and have never
been found. None of this matters to Jesus for He knows everything. He knows where they are, and He will show forth
His power over death when He comes, for His loved ones will rise from everywhere and not one of them will be lost.
When we attend a funeral of a Christian, we can truly say to him, "Goodby, I will see you with Jesus after a little
while." We can say this of all who know Jesus, for we know that it is well with them.
Now when the dead are taken up, this is the first resurrection . . . it is not a resurrection of the dead but a
resurrection from the dead. The lost dead will be left in their graves, but the saved ones will be raised incorruptible.
Not only is it the imminent and personal, but the premillennial second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. His coming
will be before the millennial reign, but not after, as some teach. The word millennium is a Latin term that signifies
"One thousand years." ". . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).
.In the first seven verses of Revelation 20, John mentions the thousand-year period no less than six times! In spite
of this, some have argued that, since this number is found in only one New Testament passage, one cannot insist
that the thousand-year period will really come to pass! To emphasize their point, reference is made to 2 Peter 3:8,
" . . . one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." It is interesting (and perhaps
revealing) to note that the same group that attempts to shorten the thousand-year period of Revelation to one day
(and thus do away entirely with the millennium) also attempt to expand the six days of creation in Genesis to
thousands of years! One is tempted to ask, "Why can't God mean exactly what He says?"
This reign of Jesus on earth is no incident nor accident, but the purpose of God. This kingdom, ordained from the
beginning, is no post creation afterthought of God, but a pre-creation thought in His mind from all eternity. When
Jesus comes, the pattern prayer of the saints, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," will
be heard. Jesus, the rejected, will seize the reigns of government and rule in beneficent power and victory. Since the
millennium is to be a time of righteousness and peace, it is absolutely necessary that Satan be removed from the
earth. How can you have a Golden Age without getting rid of the devil? Satan, too strong to be overcome by any
human power, will be locked up by the Omnipotent Christ. The arrest of Satan before the millennium! A thousand
years of peace in a Satanless world! Think of it - and rejoice! Satan is silenced. This is what we call the millennium.
"Be ye, also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44).
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