The Second Coming of Christ

Acts 1, The promise of the Lord’s return is set forth as the only hope of the church. The disciples desired to know when and how God would restore the kingdom of Israel, but the answer was going to be hidden in God, as times and seasons belonged to the Father who had put them in His own power.

Additionally, the Holy Spirit was about to come, and because of that, they were to expect the return of Christ. So Christ’s return ruled the intelligence, sustained the hope and inspired the conduct, of the apostles.

‘After These Things’ Chapter 4.3 – The Second Coming of Christ

From our book ‘After These Things – Summaries of John Nelson Darby’s Papers on Prophecy – and more…’ Compiled by Daniel Roberts. For more about this book click on the picture or CLICK HERE

A summary of the Third Lecture by J N Darby on the Present Hope of the Church – Geneva 1840 entitled ‘The Second Coming of Christ’

4.3  The Second Coming of Christ

In Acts 1,

The Lord will return to the Earth

The State of the Church

The Joy of the departed Soul

God will gather together all things in Christ

We (the Church) will come with the Lord

Asleep in Jesus

The Mystery of Iniquity

An Appeal – Darby’s own Words


In Acts 1,

  1. The Holy Spirit was about to come.
  2. The Lord was going to return.
  3. The kingdom of Israel would be restored to Israel, but the answer as to when going to be hidden in God. Times and seasons belonged to the Father who had put them in His power.

The promise of the Lord’s return is the hope of the Church.   Christ’s return ruled the intelligence, sustained the hope and inspired the conduct, of the apostles.  Sadly, the expectation of the Saviour’s return has been lost sight of in the church. Hence the public position has declined spiritually.

The Lord will return to the Earth

Most of Old Testament prophecy, and therefore the disciples understanding, centred around the Lord’s actual return to earth and the redemption of Israel.  It is not surprising, therefore, that this was the question that they asked the Lord after the resurrection.

According to Matthew 24:30, His coming will be a great public event.

  • The Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
  • The tribes of the earth shall mourn.
  • The Jews ‘shall look on him whom they pierced’ (John 19:37; see also Zachariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7).

In one of the first preachings, Peter said, ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord … whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things’ (Acts 3:19-21). Both the initial preaching of Peter and the Lord’s words in Matthew 24 and 25 (correspondingly in the other synoptic gospels) relate to Israel.  Darby makes this clear in his ‘Synopsis[1]’, though in his ministry he applied it to the poor state of Christendom.

The State of the Church

Let us now see how both the Lord Himself first, then the Holy Spirit, have continuously directed our attention to His return.

The degree of expectation of the Lord’s return is gauged (as with a thermometer, so to speak) as an indicator of the life of the Church.  In Matthew 24, the evil servant was not prepared for the Lord to return. ‘My lord delayeth his coming;  And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites’ (v. 49-51).  ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh’ (v. 44).

After appeals at the start of the church period, Stephen, the first martyr had to tell the religious leaders that they would not repent and continued to resist the Holy Spirit; See Acts 7:51.

All the virgins in Matthew 25 were in the same state; the wise ones (the true saints) as well as the foolish ones, who lacked the oil of the Holy Spirit, slept and forgot the immediate return of Christ. What woke them up was the midnight cry that He was coming[2].

Christendom is in a state worse than that of the Jews or pagans, in that it has had more advantages.  The evil which Satan has caused by heresies, false doctrines and false religions, continues to increase, and ripen.

The Joy of the departed Soul

This is seen in four scriptures:

  1. ‘To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.’  (Luke 23:43).
  2. ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’; (Acts 7:59)
  3. ‘To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord’ (2 Corinthians 5:8).
  4. ‘For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better’ (Philippians. 1:22, 23).

It is far better to expect the glory and to be present with Christ, than to remain here below[3]:

The Lord says, ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself.’ He, Himself will come for His church, so that the church may be there, where He is.

God will gather together all things in Christ

In the early preaching, Peter said, ‘He [God] may send Jesus Christ … whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.’ (Acts 3:20-21)   The work of the Holy Spirit is not to re-establish all things here below, to rebuild creation (which sadly many Christians are trying to do) but to announce the return of Jesus, to whom every knee must bow.

We (the Church) will come with the Lord

‘For our commonwealth has its existence in the heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to his body of glory’ (Philippians 3:20, 21 Darby).  This scripture demonstrates that our relationship with the Lord is in heaven – that is where our citizenship is.  We are aliens here. I have added this.

‘When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’ (Colossians 3:4.) – Obviously, in order to come with Him, we shall have had already to have been taken to be with Him.

The two epistles to the Thessalonians focus on the coming of Christ.  It is remarkable that this church, one of the most flourishing of those to which Paul wrote, should be the one to which the Lord chose to reveal, with the most detail, the circumstances of His coming. ‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.’ (Psalm 25:14.).  Such was the faith of the Thessalonians that it was spoken of in all the world.  They expected the Lord from heaven.  May we have this same faith that the Thessalonians had!

We, pre-millennialists, expect the Lord before the thousand years.  If Paul had not been a pre-millennialist too, and had expected a Millennium of the Holy Spirit before the coming of Jesus, how could he ever have said, ‘We who remain until the coming of Christ’?  There was, then, in his soul, a continual expectation of the coming of Christ.  He did not know the moment, but he expected it imminently.

The believers in Thessalonica (modern Thessaloniki) had the hope of the return of Christ to such a degree that they did not think of dying before that event; and when one of them departed, his friends were afraid that he would not be present at that happy moment.  Paul reassures them by asserting that those who sleep in Jesus will be brought back with Him.

Asleep in Jesus

In passing, we should note that when somebody is taken, we often hear it said, ‘He/she has gone to glory’.  Paul did not see it that way.  The person was ‘asleep in Jesus’ or ‘With Christ’.  Our outlook is to be with Him if we are taken before the Rapture.  It is not to ‘go to heaven when we die’.

Therefore we are always confident; knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 5:6) .  I have already the life of Christ: if I depart, I shall be with Him.  Paul will enjoy the fruits of his waiting.

The Mystery of Iniquity

The mystery of iniquity, which was already working in the time of Paul, was to go on until the manifestation of the man of sin.  He will be destroyed at the glorious Appearing of Christ Himself[4].

The Appearing of Christ is not at the end, for at the end, He will have delivered up the kingdom.  In reality, the kingdom takes place at His Appearing.

We shall only be like Him when He appears for us (i.e. at the Rapture), not before[5].  ‘But we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.   And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.’  (1 John 3:2)     A heart that is full of this hope conducts himself accordingly – he purifies himself.  Knowing that when Jesus appears, I shall be like Him. I ought to like Him now.

An Appeal – Darby’s own Words

‘May the Lord apply these truths to our hearts, on one side, to detach us from the things of the world, and, on the other, to attach us to His coming – to Himself in Person; and we shall purify ourselves even as He is pure.  There is nothing more practical, nothing more powerful to disentangle us from a world that is to be judged, and to knit us to the One who will come to judge it.

Certainly, there is nothing that can serve better to show us where our purification comes from.  There is nothing which can console us, invigorate us, and identify us more with the One who has suffered so that we might reign with Him, co-heirs in glory.  Surely, if we were expecting the Lord any day, there would be seen in us a self-renunciation rarely seen among the Christians of the present age.  May none of us be found saying, ‘My Lord delayeth his coming’! (Matthew 24:4).



[1] IN the Synopsis on Matthew 24, Darby writes as to verse 30, ‘The Lord gives the history of the testimony in Israel, and that of the people themselves, from the moment of His departure until His return; but the length of time, during which there should be neither people nor temple nor city, is not specified. It is this which gives importance to the capture of Jerusalem. It is not here spoken of in direct terms the Lord does not describe it; but it put an end to that order of things to which His discourse applies, and this application is not resumed until Jerusalem and the Jews are again brought forward’.


[2] Note that Darby makes it clear that this applies to the Lord’s second coming (the Appearing).  It is not:

Death (that is not the Bridegroom),

The coming of the Spirit (not the Bridegroom either).

The aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 (The Bridegroom did not come then).


[3] Really our expectation is to be with Him. We are out of the reach of sin, and we enjoy the Lord apart from it.


[4] Now, in such a state of things where is the place for such a post-tribulation Millennium?  Indeed, where is the scriptural justification for suggesting that the church will still be here when the man of sin is revealed?

[5] Note that we are not told what a body of glory will be like (See also Philippians 3:21).  Scripture is not to satisfy our curiosity.


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Author: Sosthenes

Once the ruler of the synagogue at Corinth Then a co-writer of a letter by Paul - just a brother - no longer an official Now a blogger seeking to serve the Lord by posting some words that the Lord has given His Church.

24 thoughts on “The Second Coming of Christ”

  1. What will happen when Jesus comes to the very young children who does not know anything about accepting the Lord and serve Him children who does not know what is happening what will happen in the future, will they be raptured or left behind to face the suffering from the Antichrist, will Jesus rapture the or leave them behind?

  2. The LORD said,” Suffer the little children to COME UNTO ME, for the Kingdom is of GOD is of such.” That explains it all. Repentance is for those conscious of their sin and desire rebirth through remission of confessed sins. Young children have no sins to confess. They are innocent.

  3. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
    The children have been born in sin. But they are not responsible – they have not rejected the gospel.


    The 7000 Year Plan of GOD is not a new age phenomenon. Actually, this knowledge is quite old. You can find this information already in the Books of Irenaeus (Bishop of the early Church, 130 CE – 202 CE).

    We all know there is a GOD who controls all things. This GOD told us in the Holy Bible that, at the appointed time, the End Time Babylon will be destroyed and Jesus Christ (Yahshua Ha Messiah) will take over and reign this world forever and ever.

    Revelation 11:15 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 forever and ever.

    But when will this happen? Are there clues in the Holy Bible, which lead us to the year and maybe even the month of his return? The answer is YES!

    To be able to find GODS “hidden” information we have to start to see the Bible as a Book which contains accurate information. The Holy Bible is not a fairy-tale book, as the World continuous to tell us!

    Actually, if you gather the evidence in the “Old” Testament and the “New” Testament, you are able to count the years from the creation of Adam (3983 BCE) to the Millennium of Jesus Christ (2017 CE).

    It took me more than seven years to collect the necessary information and get the indispensable understanding of GOD and HIS plan for us. The following book contains the essence of my study. If you are able to read and understand German, the hard work is done.
    If you are not able to understand German:

    • Timetable 15 (Tabelle 15) (page 135-140), together with your Bible will enable you to proof the year 2017 CE as the year Jesus Christ will return.

    • Chapter 12 (Kapitel 12) (page 46) “The Daniel 9:24-27 Prophecy” together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to recognize the year 2017 CE as the year Jesus Christ will return.

    • Chapter 13 (Kapitel 13) (page 47) “The Isaiah 23:15-17 Prophecy” together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to recognize the year 2015/2016 CE as the year when a dictator will take over the world.

    • Chapter 14 (Kapitel 14) (page 48) “The Jeremiah 25:8-12 Prophecy” together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to recognize the years between 1945 and 2016 CE as the years when the “End time Babylon” ruled the whole world.

    • Chapter 18 “(Kapitel 18) (page 58-59) together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to find the signs in the sky, like the “4 Bloodmoons” before the return of Christ”.

    • Chapter 19 “(Kapitel 19) (page 60) together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to calculate GODS HOLY DAYS for your country.

    • Timetable (Tabelle 11) (page 63-68) together with your Bible, and the footnotes will give you details regarding the last 3 ½ years of the “Great Tribulation”.

    • Timetable (Tabelle 2) (page 24-26), together with your Bible will enable you to proof the year 535 BCE as the year Judah was destroyed by Nebukadezars Babylon.

    • Timetable (Tabelle 3) (page 27), together with your Bible will enable you to proof the year 720 BCE as the year Israel (the Northern Kingdom, also called Ephraim) was first conquered by the Assyrians.

    • I used mostly sources written in English. I enjoyed studying them, maybe you will benefit of them too.

    1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
    BUT of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (to the children of darkness).

    1 Thessalonians 5:4-6
    But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    i„Irenaeus“ aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopädie. URL: http, Zugriffsdatum 13.03.2015.

  5. Dear Brother

    I do believe that you are mistaken, when you try to predict the Lord’s coming. We are not given to know the day or the hour; we are told to watch.

    IN addition, if you believe that the millennium should start in 2017, are we in the great tribulation now. I am not, and thank God, I need will be.

    May the Lord and His Holy Spirit give you to see things clearly.

    Faithfully in Christ

  6. Brethren this is beyond understanding and explanations of a man, His coming but thank God that we are living a hopeful life and a rejoicing one and i believe one of these days the word coming of the Lord will the act of the coming of the Lord.
    May the good Lord and saviour remember you always in his precious memories.

  7. Amen. Lord is good to everyone of us. He wont left anyone behind. Lets just believe in him and in holy spirit forever and ever. ..

  8. Children are like a plain paper with nothing written on it they are pure souls that is why he said let the children come to me becoz he knew they were spotless he adored them and we should be like a small child with a faith in its mother or father. Let us wait with this kind of faith. Serah mwansa

  9. Dear Sister Serah
    The Lord said that we should all come as little children. I am not sure you can say that their souls are pure and spotless – they were born in sin. A few years ago we were having a lunchtime discussion in the firm where I worked, and several ladies from the packing department said to me “You can’t say that children were lost; you can’t say that they had sinned” My reply “You all have had children. How old were they when they showed you that they had a will of their own, and that will wasn’t yours?” Of course what God expects is different. We are responsible to answer to the glad tidings. A young child has not refused them, so will not be condemned. – Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (Matt 18:!0).
    You mike like to look up an article I did on baptism (based on JND of course).
    Tell us something about you and the Christian company you meet with – what country are you in?
    Greetings in our Lord and Saviour

  10. All I want to know is when the rapture takes place now will the children be raptured or no , are they going to face the persecution or not? Because they never rejected the gospel.

  11. Dear Lungile
    I believe in a just God. Only those who have wilfully rejected the gospel will be condemned. I may be wrong, but I would apply that to a child of responsible age or, for example, somebody in North Korea. However, the latter according to Romans 1 should recognise the Creator, even if they do not know God.
    – See my note to Serah.
    When David’s illigitimate son by Bathsheba died, David said, ‘While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ It was clear that the child was in heaven.
    I trust this helps
    Greetings in Christ

  12. But the same God loved Jacob and hated Esau in there mother’s womb,without doing evil or good.

  13. Greetings all, from Australia. on the 1st of August, I have been enlightened to the fact that we CAN know when the Rapture takes place. Daniel 9:24-27 states that 70 weeks (70 Shebuah) are determined for Daniel’s people (Israel) – from the time Jerusalem command to rebuild unto the Messiah – was to be 62 Shebuah (434yrs of 360days) plus 7 Shebuah (49yrs of 360days), and the REMAINING ONE Shebuah = 70 Shebuah.
    Sultan Suleiman on 29th August 1539 Commanded to rebuild Jerusalem walls and streets when we count 156,240days (434yrs of 360days) we come to 7th June 1967, when Jerusalem was given another command to rebuild in the 6-day war. This was the DATE where the GENTILE time was Fulfilled in Luke 21:24 – We now have the remaining 7 + 1 Shebuah to make the 70 Shebuah TOTAL. This is given in TEMPLE Time (7 Shebuah) or 49yrs + (1 Shebuah) or 7 years (2 x 3.5 yrs) or (42months + 1,260days) Rev.11:1-3.
    What we see then, is after Gentile (Muslim) occupation we have a Temple (Israeli) occupation of 49 years ending on Yom Kippur (Day of At-One-ment) or 23rd September 2015 which is WEDNESDAY – “In the MIDST of the WEEK” where Messiah the Prince CAUSETH the sacrifice and Oblation to cease, because the BRIDE who was worshipping in that “Temple Time” would be raptured to be with Him in the feast prepared Luke 14:16-24.
    The following year was Jubilee when the GENTILES were released (Great Host) – Those not Raptured (went Through Tribulation) will be taken at 2nd Coming/Resurrection, with Moses and Elijah.
    So – the Next DATE is SEPTEMBER 23rd 2015 – MIDNIGHT Jerusalem time to go to the PROMISED LAND!!!

  14. The children, are sanctified through their parents and the spouse through their partners 1 Cor.7:14″For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”

  15. Dear David
    That is clearly the truth. Of course it does not mean that they are automatically saved, but are part of the Christian circle. Salvation is based in faith in the blood.
    I think those who insist on baptism only for believers do not understand this. But I would not make a big issue of it.
    Tell me something more about you thoughts. I’ll send you my private email address separately.
    Your brother in Christ

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