By Nathan Jones
What is the purpose of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
On Monday, January 30, 2012, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on his "God First" program. During the 45-minute interview we discussed the prophetic sequence of end time events, placing each event into its proper chronological order.
4) The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
Brian Thomas: As the coming seven year Tribulation comes to a close with the Battle of Armageddon escalating and it looks like the whole earth is about to be completely destroyed, Jesus comes back to earth and brings it all to a close. This is known as the Second Coming. Those of us who were raptured in the Rapture of the Church before the Tribulation, we return then with Jesus, correct?
Nathan Jones: Amen, yes! There are 500 verses in the Old Testament, and 1 in every 25 in the New Testament, which talk about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. There's nothing more prophesied about in the Bible, even more than Jesus' First Coming which was only covered by 300 prophecies. Since there are 500 prophecies foretelling Jesus' Second Coming, it's clearly an event that God wants us to know about. We can read about the Tribulation and know that when Jesus comes again at the end of that horrible time, it culminates in Jesus' glorious victory.
For those who want to read up on the Second Coming, some great verses are Zechariah 14:1-21; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; and especially Revelation 19. They all give a lot of exciting details concerning the Second Coming of Jesus.
We read especially in Revelation 19 that Jesus returns with both His angelic forces and with those of us who are saved who have already been raptured. We will come back with Jesus, but we don't engage the enemy. This is our chance to fight God's enemies, but we won't because Jesus does all the conquering. He defeats the Antichrist's forces all by Himself. Praise the Lord our God can do that! His Coming is going to be the ultimate victory for Jesus over the Antichrist and over all of His enemies, and we will be there with front row seats to witness it.
Brian Thomas: Amen, that's going to be a great day! I often imagine it happening with the people dwelling on earth during the Tribulation one day looking up and there comes Jesus cracking open the sky and we'll all be riding with Him on white horses. That's going to be just a magnificent scene!
Nathan Jones: One of the primary reasons for the Tribulation is for Israel to be so forced into a position of compromise that they finally have to admit that the Messiah is Jesus Christ their Savior. The Bible talks about how when Jesus returns those in Israel will mourn and weep when they finally realize that for 2,000 years they could have had the Savior. They could have had Jesus Christ, but they had denied Him all that time. So, when Jesus comes again into Jerusalem, a third of the remainder of the Jews will turn to Jesus as Savior and will finally accept their Messiah.
The salvation of the remnant of the Jewish people will be an awesome occurrence to rejoice in the Lord in, because many of the Jews right now have spiritual blinders on. They just can't perceive that Jesus is the Messiah despite all of the evidence. Sure, there are many Messianic Jews out there, but overall most Jews do not understand and will not accept that Jesus is the Messiah. But, when Jesus returns, they will see Him as the Messiah that they've been waiting for all these years. Zechariah 12:10 says as Jesus is rescuing them from the onslaught by their enemies, they will weep and be in anguish that they had missed the Messiah all of this time and that they had to go through all of the Tribulation to finally realize that Jesus is the Savior. The Jewish remnant will finally accept Jesus and welcome Him with open arms when He comes back.
Brian Thomas: An excellent point and you are right that there's a very small percentage of the Jewish people who are Messianic. But, as you said, at the return of Christ they will accept Jesus and finally realize that He is the Messiah. God's whole plan comes together where the Church and the nation of Israel will sort of all be merged together as one big happy family in Christ.
Nathan Jones: Right, and upon Jesus' Second Coming He also defeats the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Jesus also sends we can assume the demons to Hell and Satan to a deep holding pit called the Abyss.
5) The Sheep-Goat Judgment
Nathan Jones: Jesus isn't done judging His enemies at His Second Coming, for we get another prophecy where the Lord gathers all peoples including the believing elect from the four corners of the world together for another judgment. This is the next prophetic event called the Sheep-Goat Judgment. We can read about the Sheep-Goat Judgment in Matthew 25 and the Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13:36-43.
To summarize the judgment seat judgments up to this point, we've had the Judgment of the Just which occurred in Heaven which is for believers to receive their rewards. Now we come to the second out of three judgments — the Sheep-Goat Judgment. This judgment will be for all the people on the earth who were able to survive to the end of the Tribulation, which considering the seven long years of calamity and devastation, that's quite an accomplishment.
Revelation 11:3 tells us that the Tribulation will consist of two periods of 1,260 days, but then Daniel 12:11 gives us 1,290 days and then 1,335 days, so we've got 30 days here and 45 days there for a total of 75 extra days. Bible prophecy students have long been wondering what those 75 extra days are for, as they extend to after the Tribulation but before Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom. What are those days used for? Well, many theologians believe that those 75 days will be used to judge the people of the world in the Sheep-Goat Judgment.
The Sheep-Goat Judgment will be held on the earth, particularly the prophet Joel elaborates in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, so that could be the Kidron Valley near Jerusalem. We're not too sure as the whole typography of Israel will be pretty much changed due to the decimations occurring during the Tribulation time, but we know it will definitely be in Israel where the world's remaining people will be gathered.
A separation will occur at this judgment. Let me first say if anyone survived those 21 Tribulation judgments, then most likely by this point there are very few people left on the planet by then. I can't tell you how many as I don't know, but the population attending this judgment may not be too large. For those who took the loyal mark of the Antichrist and rejected Jesus as their Savior, they will be judged, and the passages say they will be classified as the Goats. They are the ones who are destined to be sentenced to Hades to await final judgment. The rest of those who survived the Tribulation and had accepted Jesus as Savior will be a remnant left of believing Jews and believing Gentiles. They will be considered the Sheep. They will be allowed to live on into Christ's Millennial Kingdom in their earthly, human bodies.
The purpose of the Sheep-Goat Judgment is to populate Christ's Millennial Kingdom initially with only believers, winnowing out the chaff of the rebellious.
In the next part of this series on God's order of events, Brian and I will discuss Christ's Millennial Kingdom culminated tragically by the Second Gog-Magog Battle.