Honestly, I never thought it would be so difficult to find a good summary of the various theological views on Christ’s second coming, or what is more technically called parousia. By this I mean a summary of the liberal view, and who promoted it and why, that proclaimed that Christ’s second coming was a misinterpretation of scripture – that despite the incredible amount and quality of verses to affirm that Christ and Paul and everyone else actually meant what they said – but that really Christ’s parousia is only His presence with us (so they tried to claim). So, that means, basically, I guess, that there’s no rapture (no glorified bodies, ever . . . .?), no hope that Christ will actually reign amongst humans, that we can build up His kingdom now and that’s about it, etc.
When I look around, when I experience my daily life with other people, when I read history, I suuuurrrre don’t see that Christ’s kingdom is blooming, growing, and all that. It seems to me that the opposite is true, that the great apostasy is upon us. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) (kind-of sounds like the liberal theology teachers themselves). Not to say that Christ isn’t among us doing His work, and we with Him. The Lord is indeed showing His love and Himself to many in many ways.
So what is my point? Well, I am doing some research for an extensive blog article that involves (it is not at all the main topic) this liberal, anti-parousia, “we can usher Christ’s kingdom in ourselves since that’s all the New Testament says anyway,” idea, and it’s just sad and difficult dealing with it. But the main thing is that I wanted to pass on some reading materials to show what is actually in the New Testament, and that our hope is not in man and what he obviously can’t do– that our hope is not misplaced in an elaborate myth (what some “Christian theologians” insist the New Testament is). The number one source is the Bible itself. Read the entire New Testament a few times and tell me if you really think it’s basically “made up.” Here is a good short but information packed essay on Christ’s second coming: Second Coming of Christ. This is a short, easy read on it: What is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? And, I don’t necessarily agree with all that is in this article – maybe I just don’t know the right Christians – but it’s contents are worth considering: The Theology of the End and the End of Theology.
Christ is the suffering servant and the King, as outlined in the Old Testament. He was the suffering servant during His time on earth, and when He returns it will be in His role as King. Jesus said, “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). “Men of Galilee . . . why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Act 1:10-11; see also Matthew 24:29-30). “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28; see also John 3:3).