“Lift up the trumpet, and loud let it ring, Jesus is coming again!” As Seventh-day Adventists, we have sung this song for many years, looking forward to the Second Coming of Christ. However, as the decades have rolled by, some have wondered if Christ is really coming soon. Today, however, it seems that more and more people are waking up to the fact that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis—one described in the Bible as leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus.
The topic of the Second Coming is vital throughout the Scriptures. One Bible scholar counted at least 1,500 biblical references to the Second Coming, noting that 1 in every 25 verses in the New Testament is about the Second Coming of Jesus.
While on Earth, Jesus spoke of His return, outlining many signs of His coming as recorded in Matthew 24:7—“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various palces” and more—many of which we are seeing today. He also noted that “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold,” and added the assurance, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:12-14).
What is this “gospel of the kingdom” that is to be preached to the entire world as a witness? Of course, the very heart of the gospel is Jesus Christ—our Creator, Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. His death on the cross means everything to us—through His precious, immeasurable sacrifice, He provided the way that all through Him might be saved.
And as we treasure this incredible gift that Christ provided, we not only look back at the cross, but we look forward to what He is doing now as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, interceding on our behalf, and to His glorious Second Coming. And all of this is part of the gospel of the kingdom—the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ!
In the book of Revelation, chapter 14, we read how this gospel message is given just before the second coming of Christ.
“An angel is flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come” (vss. 6, 7).
Commenting on this passage, Ellen White writes in Christ’s Object Lessons: “In the prophecy this warning of the judgment, with its connected messages, is followed by the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. The proclamation of the judgment is an announcement of Christ's second coming as at hand. And this proclamation is called the everlasting gospel. Thus the preaching of Christ's second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message” (p. 227).
Let’s think about this for just a moment—the sharing of Christ’s soon second coming is “an essential part of the gospel message!”
What a wonderful, marvelous gospel message this is! Not only did Jesus create us, redeem us on the cross and justify and sanctify us through His power, but He is coming soon, very soon—to take us home.
Friends, as we look around us today, I believe it is clear that His coming is imminent. The Apostle Peter assures us that,
“We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitness of His majesty.” He goes on to write, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts (2 Peter 1:16, 19).
Friends, now is the time to study the Scripture, especially the prophecies, like never before. Now is the time to read, or re-read that amazing book, The Great Controversy. And now is the time, more than ever, to share the everlasting gospel, telling the world of the hope of Christ’s soon return! Maranatha!
Let us pray. Father in Heaven, come close to us as we submit ourselves to you in these very uncertain, unpredictable times. Give us encouragement as we ground ourselves in the Word of God, in the study of the Living Word which represents Jesus Christ. Bless us as we study the Spirit of Prophecy, understanding instruction for us in so many areas of life. Bless as we engage in earnest prayer and Lord guide us as we witness for you. We long to see you come! Fill us with the hope that we will see Jesus soon. We thank you for hearing us. In the name of our Creator and Redeemer and our best friend our coming King, Jesus Christ. Amen.