The day of the second coming

Published 7:40 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

There is a fairly common belief that Matthew 24 is all about the second coming of Christ. That the signs that Jesus describes in the earlier parts of that chapter are signs that will occur immediately prior to Jesus return. It seems like every time there’s a big earthquake or another war breaks out there are those who start talking about the signs of Matthew 24 and the eminent return of the Lord.

However, in Matthew 24:34, Jesus explicitly states that the things He was talking about would all take place in that generation. He said, “this generation will by no means pass away until all these things take place.” Either the Lord returned in that generation, or there are some mighty old people walking around out there, or He wasn’t talking about His second coming at this point. We know the Lord hasn’t returned yet, because the earth is still here. And I think we could very safely say that there are no 2,000-year-old people walking around today. So, the only thing that leaves is that Matthew 24:4-35 isn’t talking about the second coming at all.

It isn’t hard to break down Matthew 24 and see exactly what Jesus is talking about in these verses. Going back to Matthew 23:37-39, Jesus had just pronounced the temple in Jerusalem “desolate.” The disciples were very concerned about this and started asking Jesus about what He meant. So, Jesus told them that the temple would be utterly destroyed, “not one stone shall be left here upon another”. Then the disciples asked a question that was really two questions, whether they realized it or not. When would the Temple be destroyed and when would His coming be. Jesus answered the first question in Matthew 24:4-35.

The second part of the question, about His return, is answered beginning in Matthew 24:36. Notice the difference between the first part and the second part. Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in A.D. 70, He gave great detail and told them exactly what to look for so they could flee the destruction. But concerning the day in Matthew 24:36, He said, “no one knows.” There are no signs for the second coming of Christ. That day will come like a “thief in the night.”

The only way to be ready for that day is to be ready today and every day until He comes. Are you ready?

Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. He may be reached at 706-812-9950 or