Volume. XXII, No. 50
Sunday, 08 June 2008

How Should Christians Prepare for the Second Coming of Christ (Part 1)


The world often ridicules the promised return of Christ (2 Pet 3:3,4) and this would only increase in its propensity and magnitude in their ignorance and indifference toward the impending, sudden and unannounced arrival of the divine judgment that would be consummated at the day of the Lord. While it is a norm for the unconverted to dismiss or overlook at the importance of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and would certainly be caught by sheer wonderment and awe; such should not be the deportment and response of every born again Christian when his Lord and Master returns as the victorious King and the Holy and Righteous Judge (Rev 19:11-21). How should Christians prepare for the Second Coming of Christ? Since no one would know the exact date and time of His return (Mark 13:32), does it mean that God’s people should also be caught entirely by surprise, unprepared or even disillusioned? No. When Apostle Paul addressed the subject of Christ’s Second Coming to the Thessalonians, he expected them to be prepared, watchful, sober and edifying in their speech and conduct in relation to their hope of the Second coming of Christ. How should Christians today be prepared for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in these perilous days? Let us consider the fifth chapter of Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians to acquire a better understanding of what God wants us to know with regard to our preparation for the Second Coming of our Lord.

Be Not Caught Totally by Surprise (vv.1-3)

First, Christians are to prepare for Christ’s Second Coming by being constantly ‘ready’ for His return. In 1 Thess 5:1, Apostle Paul said, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” The transition word ‘but’, obviously denotes to the reader that Apostle Paul wanted to continue his argument, following from the end of previous chapter where he mentioned our hope of resurrection when Christ Jesus returns (1 Thess 4:14-18), which should also be the source of comfort and strength for all believers (cf. 1 Thess 5:11). However, he said, “…the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” Why is there no need for Paul to write to them about the ‘times’ and ‘seasons’ of His Second Coming? Paul explained in verse 2 that “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Paul asserted that Jesus would return anytime and totally unannounced (2 Pet 3:10). Thus, the Thessalonians are to be constantly ‘ready’, though no one knows for sure exactly when He would.

The day of the Lord really serves two purposes to two categories of people. To Christians, the day of the Lord is the day of salvation (2 Cor 1:14); it is a day that our redemption would be completed (1 Cor 5:5). It is the day that He would deliver His people Israel out of tribulation. To non-Christians, ‘the day of the Lord’ would refer to the day of judgement, punishment, calamity, tribulation and disaster (Acts 2:20; Mal 4:5; Zap 1:8, 2:3, Zec 14:1; Oba 1:15; Joel 1:15). Christ’s return or the coming of the ‘day’ itself is likened to the timing of the ‘thieves.’ It is because thieves usually do not preannounce their coming, so would the time when Christ returns as King of kings and Holy and Righteous Judge. Nevertheless, Christ’s Second coming would not be completely ‘unknown’ to non-believers, that is to say, that they are forewarned. However, in contrast to the believers, they would not be ‘ready’ for His coming because of them possessing a false sense of security in unbelief (1 Tim 4:1; Jud 1:18) and contempt (2 Pet 2:10, 3:3,4). That is why Apostle Paul said in verse 3a, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them….” This verse denotes to us that, in the later days, the world would be caught in total surprised of ‘unreadiness’ for the coming of Christ because of their unbelief, despite of constant warnings from God’s people foretelling them of coming judgment just like in the days of Noah (Luke 17:26,27). They would be blinded by the god of this world believing that social and political security, economic prosperity and happiness can be achieved by human effort brought in by international bodies. Unfortunately, one day they would realize that “sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape (v.3b).” The ‘destruction’ or calamity would come suddenly when the world would still be singing: “peace and safety to the world.”  This may refer to the seven year tribulation period prophesied in Daniel 9:27 (cf. Rev chapters 5-17) when antichrist shall rule the world and making covenant with nations during the three and a half year of his reign, which would be perceived as “peace and safety” to all the inhabitants of the earth. God willing, at this time, His people would have been already raptured before the official reign of antichrist as God would pour down His full wrath upon earth at the second half of the tribulation (Rev 16-17). Whatever the scenario may be or whenever God plans to deliver His people out of tribulation in the future, God’s people must be ‘ready’ for His return all the time. Christians ought not to be caught up with the spirit of laxity and indifference concerning the imminent return of our Lord and Master, Saviour and King.

Be Observing and Watching the Signs of the End Times (v.4,5)

Second, Christians should also prepare for Christ’s Second Coming by observing and watching the signs of the end times. Paul said in verse 4, Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Christians are made ‘capable’ of observing and watching the signs of end times (1 Cor 2:10-14) because they are now children of light and the children of the day, no longer children of night and darkness. As Children of light and of the day, we are foretold and forewarned of His imminent coming and are told to observe and watch the signs of the day (v.4b) by taking heed of the events transpiring in our generations (Matt 24:3,4). It is true that although God’s children cannot know the exact timing of Christ’s return (Matt 24:36); however, they could identify that His coming is near for God’s people are commanded to observe and watch the signs of the times (v.5). In contrast to the children of light, the children of night and darkness know nothing about the Second Coming of Christ because of their unbelief; however, not simply because they were not forewarned, but because they could not discern any sign because they are blinded by Satan, the god of this world, in disbelief. In fact, Jesus criticized the religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, for not being able to discern the signs of the times because their unbelief (Matt 16:1-3). Yet, this should not be the case to any born again Christian who is now a son of light and of the day. They are commanded to observe and watch the signs of the end times to be well prepared for Christ’s Second Coming.

Then what are some of the signs of the end times? Some of the notable passages are in Matt 24; 1 Thess 4; Luke 17; 2 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Tim 4:1-3. Yet, perhaps, one of the most notable passages is Matt 24:33,34 which deals with the nation of Israel as predicted by our LORD some 2000 years ago. When the nation of Israel, which being referred to as ‘fig tree’, (Matt 24:32) that is “yet tender…putteth forth leaves” or restored as a nation, the LORD said that His coming be near or ‘even at the doors’ (Matt 24:33). The nation of Israel has returned and settled in the promised land since 1948, God’s people should be prepared to meet the Lord because He has already graciously allow Israel to re-establish herself as a full fledged nation. Being observant and watchful of the signs of the end times is one thing, but if one is still caught up with the affairs of the world, sinful lifestyles and indulgent of worldly entertainment, then one would likely not be very well prepared when the Lord returns and definitely not a good observer and watcher of the signs of the end time as commanded by the Lord (Matt 24:4,15,25,32,33).

(to be continued next Lord’s Day)

Preacher David Weng



More Lively Hope




SMS Congratulatory Greetings for our 22nd Anniversary Thanksgiving received from Sis Yu Yuet Teng (Evangel BPC, PJ).

Senior Citizen’s Fellowship Meeting on Tuesday, 17 June.

Helpers needed to assist with Vacation Bible School (transport, food & drinks, preparations, supervision, games, etc). If you can help please see Dn Edwin D’Mello.

Budget 2008-2009: Proposals for expenditure must be submitted to Church Treasurer, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan, by 15 Jun.

Next quarter (Jul-Sep) roster is being prepared. If you will be away during this period or if you want to be included in Church service duties, please inform Dn Edwin D’Mello


Looking Ahead

Vacation Bible School - July 14-18. Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim.

ACM on Sat, 26 July. Members please keep this date in your diary.


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Ps Ki (S’pore) & Sis Myung Ki (S’pore/Adl); Bro Yick Ho Lam & family (Melb/Adl); Sisters Lena Fan & Maybelline Tan (S’pore), Joyce Gong (Melb), & Sis Joyce Chen & family (KI).

Church activities: BBK, BSAG, Joy, Maranatha, & YAF Bible Study.

Healing & discharge from RAH: Auntie Oei.

Sermon last week by Rev James White.

God’s daily blessings & provisions.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Hans Ziegelmann; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Auntie Oei, Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena, Sylvia White, Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province).

Post-surgery - healing for Rev Edward Paauwe.

Laos Missions - Believers in Laos.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

Journey Mercies - Sis Joyce Chen & family & Joyce Gong (Adl), & others who are travelling.

Job - Bro Cong Pham

Pr David & Sis Susan Weng as they seek God’s will for their future ministry in S’pore & elsewhere.

Provision of a Pastor for our Church.

Session members - wisdom as they take care of our Church.

Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

Ministry of Ps Ki in Calvary (Jurong) B-P Church, Singapore from Next Lord’s Day.

Vacation Bible School: Speaker, organisers, helpers and children.

University & School Assignments & Exams for students (June-July).



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041