“The Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
The doctrine or dogma of the return or second coming of Jesus Christ is little-emphasized in the Church today. It is, in fact, part of the Christian dogmatic and belief system. The early Christians imminently expected Christ to return and establish his Kingdom. Our Lord himself said that he would return, however late or soon. The doctrine is distinctly and specifically stated in the Apostles Creed.
Conservative Protestant Fundamentalists emphasize the Doctrine, saying that the end of the world is coming soon, along with the return and second coming of Christ. Some, in the past, have sought to predict the date of Christ’s return and have been sadly disappointed.
What are we to say of this particular manifestation of the Christian faith?
First, we are told that we do not know when it will occur, but that we must be always ready. Our Lord says that he will come as a thief in the night. When he comes, he will come to us unawares, perhaps as we are about to marry; write the great novel; take that luxurious vacation; or get that wonderful raise or promotion. All that will end and shrink to insignificance.
We are the actors in the play. We do not know the script, its beginning, end, or outcome. Only the author knows.
Only the eternal God and the company of heaven know the story, our role, and the meaning of everything.
Second, Christ will return, not as he came the first time, in humility and poverty, but as a ruler of the world and the universe itself. He will not come as a humble carpenter but as an awesome ruler, to whom all humanity will submit and believe and before whom they will brought to their knees. Their submission will not be forced as the world rules by force and wealth but by the realization of their self-knowledge made known to them by the power and rule of his love. All of us and each of us will finally and completely know and be known. There will be no escape. Whoever and whatever we are will be revealed to us and to everyone around us. Neither our wealth, our worldly position in society, our race, our sex, out clothes, our car, our intelligence, nor our education will hide who we truly are. There will be no hypocrisy and no dissimulation. Only the truth about each of us will be known whether our pride, our false humility, our faking, or, in short, our lies about ourselves that we give to the world during our lives.
Third, the return of Christ will be a final event. It will be the end of everything and a new beginning. All we thought, said, or planned will be replaced if not destroyed.
As much as death is final, so the return of Christ, the second coming will be a final event. The curtain will be rung down, the play ended, and everything about all of us will be revealed and made known. The finality of death will end to be taken over by the final eternal rule of the Savior, Redeemer, and Judge of all mankind, a rule, power and kingdom that will end the corruption, inequality, baseness, pain, and suffering of a world dominated by malice, hatred, and evil, giving in its place a universe of beauty, goodness, purity, truth and love and a new and regenerated world of infinite intellectual growth, infinite love, and infinite relationships where we are no longer bound by our broken and twisted humanity but stand astride the universe itself, in relationship with its Creator and Redeemer, the source of all life and being.
This essay is taken with alternations and modifications from chapter 2 of my book “Essays on the Christian Worldview: Political, Literary and Philosophical,” published by Hamilton books in 2011, pp. 25 and 26.