The Coming of Christ signified, represented, and finalized all of the eschatological promises in the bible.
Without a fulfilled Coming of Christ, literally nothing is finished. In fact, pretty much everything that people claim to possess today, they do not possess if Christ has not come.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ to the world has already taken place. This was the grand event which would occur in the unseen realm according to Paul the Apostle. Paul taught about things "unseen' and "invisible". Paul taught "spiritual truths to those who were spiritual". Paul let us know that things eternal were unseen. He said things that were seen were temporary. It makes very little, if any sense at all to assume that these are visible, physical, natural, tangible truths that Paul speaks of with all of the proof Paul gives us that his whole focus was on spiritual and unseen realities.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ would take place "soon" after the book of Revelation was written. The things which were written in it were "about to take place" and "at hand" according to no less than 20 different passages in the letter. His Coming took place at the very moment in history that Christ and all of His apostles and prophets predicted it would.
To miss this most important fact is perhaps one of if not the most unfortunate scenario in my honest opinion. For a Christian, who loves the Lord with all their heart, to miss this wonderful truth that releases people from religious fear and bondage and catapults them into joy and peace all while causing ones faith to soar even higher than before, is too bad. It's unfortunate. Not because they are less of a child of God or anything like that, but because they'll never get to experience that feeling of clarity and that feeling of overwhelming excitement when you realize that God fulfilled His promises and we are experiencing that blessing right now and it will continue for all time. Most won't ever know that feeling because of fear.
But back to the subject at hand.
The Coming of Christ signified, represented, and fulfilled the remainder of the promises of God once for all time. These included:
-The Resurrection out from Hades
-The Judgment of Mystery Babylon
-The Saints inheriting the Kingdom
-The Kingdom being available for inheriting for all time
-No more Death/Eternal Life for those in Christ (spiritually speaking)
-The New Heaven & Earth Consummated
-The New Jerusalem coming down and it's gates being opened
-"That which is perfect" had come
Christ is both "The King" and He is also our spiritual promise land, "The Kingdom" as well.
We are "in" Christ and He is "in" us.
If this event, the Second Coming of Christ, has not yet occurred, then neither have the 8 things listed above. Impossible based upon what the bible says.
So everyone who believes they go straight to heaven today at death....without a fulfilled Coming, we don't. We go to Hades to await the resurrection which occurs at the same time as the Coming. Everyone who believes they have eternal life today....without a fulfilled Coming, we don't. Eternal life would come at the last trump, when the dead were raised first and those who are alive will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. It would be at that time that death would be swallowed up and immortality would be put on according to Paul.
For those who think Mystery Babylon is Rome or America or whatever flavor of the month is going around nowadays....if Mystery Babylon wasn't Old Covenant Jerusalem, then we have no dwelling with God today. For the new declaration that God would now dwell with men came in Revelation 21 in the events AFTER Mystery Babylon was destroyed. If that grand event is future to us, then so is God beginning His dwelling with man.
The biblical consequences of a still yet future coming are tremendous and they are devastating to the claims of the Christian today.
But briefly I want to consider Revelation chapter 1 and a few passages from that chapter.
Revelation chapter 1 begins with John revealing that the events that he is writing about, God revealed to him. God revealed these details because "the time was near". What's interesting is that we remember Jesus saying only God knew the time and not even He knew it. Here we are in the opening verses of Revelation and we are told that God sent this message on down to John to warn that the time was drawing close.
In verses 1 & 3 John makes sure the recipients understand that the events were "shortly to take place" and "the time was near." Then, in verse 7 we read about the Coming of Christ. How "every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him and the tribes of the earth (land) will mourn over Him."
We know from countless passages elsewhere that universally sounding words usually refer to local areas almost every time. Those who pierced Him were the Jews and nobody else had "tribes" that we would be aware of besides Israel. The word for "earth" is actually translated "land" and the mourning over Him was in direct fulfillment of Zecharia's prophecy about the judgment that would fall of Jerusalem in her last days. Not our last days.
Then, in verse 13ff John sees the Son of Man and describes Him like this...
"clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace..."
So John first sees the vision of Jesus Coming to judge the Jews where they would weep and mourn over the One they crucified and pierced. Continuing on in that same description of that same event, John begins describing what Jesus was wearing and how He looked when He came.
John then describes what Jesus would say when He came. He would say "Do not be afraid for I am the first and last..." and so on. John then writes this about what Jesus was coming with....
"And I have the keys of Hades and of Death" verse 18
Now, everyone knows that keys unlock things. Without keys, we can't drive our cars, lock and unlock our homes, and so on. Well, without the keys to Hades and Death, guess what isn't unlocked yet? Guess what isn't "defeated" yet?
Hades and Death.
Jesus was coming to unlock Hades and defeat Death. It would be at that time that the saying would finally be true...."O' Death where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory?"
According to Paul (more times than I can list here), the resurrection out of Hades and the conquering of Death, would occur when the Lord returned. He wrote this in 1 Thessalonians 4...
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first."
So remember how the Coming of Christ in Revelation 1 was Him coming with those keys to Hades and Keys to Death? Well, Paul says that those who were alive reading that letter in Thessalonica would be changed AFTER the dead were raised from Hades.
So if you assume that you are the ones Paul is referring to who would be alive and remain until the Coming of the Lord, then that means the dead must rise BEFORE you ever get your inheritance. It's plain as day.
Furthermore, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 says that at the last trump the dead would be raised AND THOSE LIVING WOULD BE CHANGED TO IMMORTAL.
Not a moment sooner would immortality come then when the last trump blew and the dead were raised. Most people believe the last trump is still future and if so, the dead have not been raised yet. That means that you and I do not possess eternal life yet because remember, those living when this takes place receive it after the dead are raised.
The point of this study was to shed a bit of light on just how important the Second Coming was to God's redemptive plan.
Apart from that being fulfilled, we are just in some parenthetical period of time floating and waiting for literally every promise to occur. It could be 50 years. It could be 5000 years. It could be 5 million years. Nobody knows.
Thankfully though, we know that God doesn't lie and Jesus was not some confused maniac who promised His return within one generation of when He walked and within the lifetime of those standing there before Him, but never came through on that promise.
He has come. The Kingdom is open. Eternal life is ours today. Death is defeated. Hades has been destroyed.
We are redeemed.
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