The second coming balances the theology of God in Scripture. This glorious doctrine not only finalizes Christ’s redemptive victory (pouring eternal glory on his redeeming love) and completes the plan of God (demonstrating divine wisdom in his creational plan). But it also provides us with a full-orbed doctrinal system balancing out majestic biblical truths. Were it not for the second advent:
We would have a creation (Ge1:1; Heb 11:3) without a consummation (Ac 3:20–21; Rev 20:11), resulting in an open-ended Universe (1Co 15:23–24; 2Pe 3:3–4).
We would have a world eternally groaning (Ro 8:22; 2 Co 5:1–4), without any glorious perfection (Ro 8:21; 2Pe 3:12–13).
We would have a Savior quietly departing before his followers (Lk 24:50–52; 1Co 15:5–8), without ever enjoying a victorious exhibition before his world (Ro 14:11; Php 2:10–11).
We would have a redemption spiritually focused (Ro 8:10; Eph1:3), without a physical dimension (Ro 8:11; 1Th 4:13–18).
We would have a Redeemer bodily ascended into heaven (Ac 1:8–11; Col 2:9), without any physical family joining with him (1Co 15:20–28; Php 3:20–21).
We would have a gospel continually necessary (Mt 28:19; Ac 1:8), without any final victory (Mt 28:20; 1Co 15:24) — the number of the elect would never be filled.
Truly, the second coming is a “blessed hope” upon which we must carefully focus. Unfortunately, though it is “blessed” and hope-filled, “eschatology, perhaps more than any other branch of theology, is laden with divisiveness, and this is particularly true in conservative evangelical circles.” Tragically, this issue “has been a matter of debate, sometimes acrimonious.” Indeed, “perhaps no doctrine has more divided modern evangelical Protestantism.” So, before we can properly understand all the implications of the second coming, we must establish our theological context.