What do you know about the return of Jesus? What does the Bible say?
Recently Professor Douglas Milne travelled to Moorabool Presbyterian Church to examine this topic of the return of Jesus.
This special series was part of Moorabool's mission to know Christ and make Him known. Professor Milne is the former principal of Victoria's Presbyterian Theological College where he lectured in various subjects including theology for over 32 years.
During the worship service and afternoon lecture, Professor Milne turned to the Scriptures for a practical examination of the return of Jesus. He concluded that the second coming of Jesus won't make any sense unless you understand His first coming.
Examining 1 Thessalonians 4
Professor Milne examined 1 Thessalonians 4 verses 13-18 to explain that Jesus came to atone for sin and impute His right standing before God to all those who trust in Him. He returned to heaven to prepare a place for His people and to actively intercede for them before God.
His second coming means He will appear again to judge everyone and gather His people. Professor Milne's application was to know this Jesus in a personal way and to trust in His work on the cross as the central event in salvation history.
These verses, 13-18 he noted is one of the clearest passages about living now, facing death and Christ's return. It points to a certain hope Christians have. A hope that is founded in the historical facts of Jesus death and rescurrection.
Death is like a sleep (verse 13), not for the soul, but for the body which will be awakened when Christ returns.
Christian faith is propositional (verse 14), not feelings, but facts about real people, events, Jesus' death and resurrection. It also explains that Jesus and His people are together as one. Christ's arrival (called the Parousia) is like the arrival of a VIP.
His coming points (verse 15) to a God that has a plan and does things in order:
- The dead will rise,
- Then those still alive.
- It appears that Jesus will draw the whole body of believers together like a magnet pulling objects together.
The three features of the Day
1. The command (verse 16),
2. Voice of this important angel (which means it is an important event),
3. Trumpet of God summoning His people to an important event or battle.
1. This magnetic event (verse 17) to meet with the Lord will be in the air also links the creation of a new heaven and new earth.
2. Encouragement (verse 18) to have Salvation and to know - because of what Jesus has done
Verse 14 starts with His people and in Verse 17 they are assured that they will be with Him forever.
This is the central and encompassing teaching that provides Christians that peace that passeth understanding and of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
For more information on the Moorabool Presbyterian Church ministries: mooraboolchurch.org
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and pastor of mooraboolchurch.org
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html