Bible verses on the Second Coming:

The Second Coming of Jesus is the one topic that is mentioned most frequently in the NT. Here is a selection of those verses.

[1]   by Christ Himself (Jn 14:3; Mt 24:29-30,36-39)

[2]   by the angel (Ac 1:11)

[3]   by Peter (1Pe 1:7,13)

[4]   by Paul (Php 3:20; 1Th 4:15-16; Titus 2:13)

Purpose of the Second Coming:

[1]   to bring the history of the world to the end which is culminated with the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment.

[2]   to bring blessings to the whole creation (Ro 8:19-22)

[3]   to establish God’s eternal kingdom (Rev 11:15; 20:4; Lk 21:31; 2Ti 4:1)

[4]   to terminate death (1Co 15:50-57).


[1]   a personal bodily coming (Ac 1:11; Lk 21:25-27)

[2]   a visible coming for whole world to see (Mt 24:27; Rev 1:7)

[3]   a glorious and triumphant coming, with the angels and the sound of trumpet (Dan 7:13-14; Mt 26:64; 1Th 4:16)

[4]   a sudden and unexpected coming (see below)


The Bible teaches that many signs will appear before the second coming of Christ. The purpose of these teachings is:

[1] to intensify our expectation of Christ’s return (Lk 21:28)

[2] to keep believers from following false messiahs (Mk 13:5-6,21-23; 2Th 2:3).

Types of signs:

[1]   Gospel:

·         preaching of the gospel to all nations (Mt 24:14; Mk 13:10; Ro 11:25)

·         may not refer to every tribe in the world but to language groups, or may be in a representative sense (Col 1:23)

[2]   Church:

·         great apostasy (falling away) of believers and many deceived by false christs (Mt 24:4,10-12; 1Ti 4:1-2; 2Ti 3:1-5; 4:3-4; 2Th 2:3,9)

·         false prophet performing signs and wonders (Mt 24:23-24; Mk 13:22)

·         widespread persecution of believers (Da 11:44; Mt 24:9-10; Mk 13:9; Lk 21:12-17)

·         many different cults, rampant witchcraft and demonic activities in the world, already happening today

[3]   Israel:

·         ingathering and founding or re-establishment of the nation (Mt 24:32-33)—in 1948

·         reconstruction of the Temple (Da 9:27)

·         attack by Gentiles (Isa 11:11)

·         salvation or conversion to Christianity as a nation, though not every person (Ro 11:25-26; Zec 12:10; 13:1; 2Co 3:15-16)

[4]   Nature:

·         intensification of destructive signs in nature, including eathquakes, famines

·         intensification of destructive signs in the political world, including wars, rumours of wars, conflicts between countries, conflicts between cultures (Mt 24:6-7,14)

·         signs in the heavens, including blackening of sun and moon, and falling stars (Mt 24:29-30; Mk 13:24-25; Isa 13:9-10; 24:23; Joel 2:30-31)

[5]   Tribulation (Mk 13:7-8,19-20; Mt 24:15-22; Lk 21:20-24):

·         This is a period of great suffering, traditionally thought to be 7 years long based on Dan 9:24-27 (the “seventieth seven”) and references to 3˝ years (1,260 days) in Rev 11:3; 12:3,6,14.

·         Historically, the Church has always believe that Christians will stay on the earth and live through the 7-year tribulation but a new school of thought appeared in 1830 saying that rapture of Christians will occur before the tribulation (pretribulationism).

·         initially thought to refer to the Jewish War of AD 66-70 (which is likely referred to in Mt 24:16-20; Mk 13:14-18; Lk 21:21-23); for many persecuted Christians like those in Muslim and communist countries, they are already in tribulation

·         This tribulation is described in Rev 5—16; it includes 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls.

[6]   Antichrist (the Man of Sin) and his rebellion will appear (2Th 2:1-10) [This topic will be studied in detail in Lesson 15.]


[1]   nobody knows when (Mt 24:36-37; 25:13; Mk 13:32-33)

[2]   an unexpected time, take some people by surprise, “like a thief” (Mt 24:42-44,50; Mk 13:34-37; Lk 12:40; 1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10)

[3]   imminent, very near (Heb 10:25; Jas 5:7-9; 1Pe 4:7; Rev 1:3; 22:7,12,20); “very near” in God’s time scale meaning anytime as Christians have been expecting this since the 1st century (see comments for Rev 1:1)

7 Epochs of History

Some theologians believe that the 7 churches in Rev 2—3 represent the 7 epochs of history from the post-apostolic age (after the writing of Revelation, the last book of the Bible) to Christ’s Second Coming.

[1]   Ephesus (2:1-7): AD 100-170: starting from the end of the apostolic age

·         “hard work and perseverance”: spread the gospel

·         “tested false apostles”: combat heresies

·         “forsaken your first love”: failure in some churches

[2]   Smyrna (2:8-11): AD 170-312: starting from the great Roman persecutions

·         “slander of those who say they are Jews”: persecuted by Jews

·         “the devil will put some of you in prison to test you”: Roman persecutions

·         “suffer persecution for ten days”: 10 waves of Roman persecutions

·         “to the point of death”: many martyrs

[3]   Pergamum (2:12-17): AD 312-606: starting from Constantine, Christianity became the state church

·         “hold to the teaching of Balaam”: compromises with the world after becoming the state church

·         “eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality”: corruption of the state church

[4]   Thyatira (2:18-29): AD 606-1520: starting from dominance of the Roman Catholic Church

·         “tolerate that woman Jezebel”: corruption of the Roman Catholic church

·         “sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols”: sins in Catholic church, obtain money from selling indulgences

[5]   Sardis (3:1-6): AD 1520-1730: starting from Reformation

·         “reputation of being alive, but you are dead”: beginning of Protestant churches, yet still many theological arguments

·         “remember…obey it, and repent”: return to orthodoxy of early church, justification by faith

·         “a few people…who have not soiled their clothes”: mixture of orthodox and unorthodox faith

[6]   Philadelphia (3:7-13): AD 1730-1900: starting from the great revivals in the U.S. and Europe

·         “an open door that no one can shut”: sending of many missionaries to all parts of the world

·         “I will make them come and fall down at your feet”: spreading of the gospel

·         “endure patiently”: work of faithful missionaries

[7]   Laodicea (3:14-22): AD 1900 to Second Coming: starting from the modern church

·         “lukewarm”: continue the habit of attending church yet not fervent

·         “You say, ‘I am rich’”: boasting the wealth of the church (megachurches and gigantic church buildings)

·         “cover your shameful nakedness”: corrupted by secularism of the world

·         has a problem of not seeing: compromise with worldly standard, accepting sin in church


        Our attitude with regard to the Second Coming:

·         eagerly long for His return (1Co 16:22; Php 3:20; Titus 2:12-13; 2Pe 3:12)

·         be prepared, be watchful (Mt 24:42-44; 25:13; Mk 13:35; Lk 21:36)

·         Christians ought to plan for ministry as if the second coming might not happen in a million years, but they should also watch and pray as if it were to happen today – because it could.

        Evangelicals differ on many details of the last things but have the common understanding of the certainty of Christ’s return and the end of the world. As the details of these events are non-essential doctrines, there can be discussions but no arguments.