Introduction: When I was a young man I hoped that Jesus would delay
His Second Coming. All of my close relatives were alive, and I had
not yet gotten married. Since it seemed that Jesus said there would
be no marriage in heaven, I thought maybe if He shuffled His feet a
little that would be okay with me. I suspect some of my readers are
desperate for Jesus to come again, and others are okay with more
delay. My thought is that we have no idea how great things will be
when Jesus comes and takes us to heaven. If we really knew, no one
would be content with delay. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible
and see what we can learn about the Second Coming of Jesus!

  1. Lodging

    1. Read John 14:1-3. Jesus tells us that He has a big rooming
      house for us in heaven, and that we should not be
      troubled. Why does Jesus mention that we should not be
      troubled? (Life has problems. Jesus says that the ultimate
      solution to the troubles of life is heaven. If you look at
      context, in the prior chapter Jesus told them He was
      leaving them behind.)

      1. When I was a boy, that word translated “rooms” was
        translated “mansions.” (Compare KJV with NIV.) Have
        we been downgraded from first class?

      2. Barnes Notes says that the Greek word here is
        properly applied to tents, because it means something
        less permanent than a house. Have we been further
        reduced from mansions to tents?

    2. Read Revelation 21:1-3. What does this tell us about our
      stay in heaven? (It is temporary. God will create a new
      earth and He will bring the New Jerusalem down to earth
      and live with us. This makes me think the “temporary” idea
      refers not to tents, but rather to the fact that our stay
      in heaven is temporary until God creates a new earth for

    3. Read Revelation 21:15-16. What is the shape of the New
      Jerusalem? (It is a cube! Not just a cube, it is huge –
      1,379 miles on a side. It is 1,675 miles between present
      Jerusalem and Moscow. It is 1,491 miles from Washington,
      D.C. to Denver. Imagine a condominium that had one wall
      that stretched almost from Jerusalem to Moscow! Then
      imagine it was that same distance high!)

      1. If the New Jerusalem is this massive cube, what does
        this suggest when Jesus refers to your “room?” (This
        suggests that whatever Jesus has in mind in heaven or
        in the earth made new is simply splendid and beyond
        my imagination.)

    4. Read Revelation 21:17-21. What does this tell us about the
      beauty of our new home? (Astonishing!)

    5. Recently, someone I respect told me that he thought this
      description was symbolic. Revelation is filled with
      symbols, but the detail about the city makes me doubt that
      it is symbolic. If I’m wrong, what would this symbolize?
      (If this is symbolic, then it symbolizes something that
      seems so big and wonderful it is hard to describe!)

  2. Sneaking Up

    1. In Matthew 24 Jesus talks about His Second Coming. Read
      Matthew 24:36-42. Will we know when Jesus is coming again?

      1. What should we do? (Jesus says to “keep watch,” be
        prepared at all times.)

    2. Read Matthew 24:43-44. Apart from the idea that we will
      not know when Jesus is coming, what else are we told? (He
      will come when we do not expect Him!)

      1. My local church is currently studying Revelation.
        What lesson should we learn from this text when we
        study Revelation? (Don’t be too confident in your
        understanding of the prophecies. One of the most
        important warnings of history is that the Jewish
        leaders of Jesus’ day were Bible scholars. Yet, they
        were looking in the wrong direction when Jesus came.
        Arrogance is dangerous.)

    3. Why did Jesus give us the prophecies in Revelation? (Read
      Matthew 24:32-33. Jesus says His Second Coming is like the
      coming of the seasons, you can have a general idea of when
      it is coming. Jesus would not have told us to “keep watch”
      if watching was of no benefit.)

  3. Positive Identification

    1. Read Matthew 24:23-25. In addition to the problem of being
      surprised, what other problem are we told about here?
      (Being misled.)

      1. How serious is this problem? (“Even the elect” could
        be deceived. This text suggests this is not actually
        possible, but the warning still stands that this is a
        powerful deception.)

    2. Read Matthew 24:26-27. What is the answer to those who say
      that Jesus has come again? (Unless you see it, He has not

    3. Read Revelation 1:7. This text repeats the idea that
      unless you personally witness Jesus coming again, it is
      not Jesus. This raises a practical problem, let’s say that
      I see it, but I cannot be sure that people on the other
      side of the globe saw it. How can I know what others do or
      do not see?

    4. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. What else will be going on
      during the real Second Coming of Jesus? (You will not be
      in doubt about what others have or have not seen. If you
      are saved, you will be rising to heaven. You will see dead
      people resurrected and going to heaven. This is not an
      event that you can discern only by carefully looking for
      clues! You will have no doubt!)

      1. I recall once visiting a church and hearing the
        members of a class, who were supposedly studying
        their Bible regarding the Second Coming, debating
        whether Jesus’ feet would touch the ground. If you
        could tell if His feet touched the ground, you would
        be able to tell if this was the true or fake Jesus.
        Is that a reasonable test? (That is silly. If you are
        interested in feet, check out whether your own feet
        are still touching the ground!)

  4. Rewards

    1. Read Matthew 5:19 and Matthew 16:27. During this series of
      lessons we have discussed the idea that we are saved by
      grace alone, but the decision to accept Jesus is not a
      matter of mere words. True faith results in a walk towards
      righteousness. When Matthew 16:27 says that Jesus will
      “reward” us “according to what he has done,” does this
      mean that salvation is a matter of works? (That is not the
      way I understand this. Instead, Matthew 5:19 tells us that
      there will be rankings of some sort in heaven. It is a
      merit system.)

    2. Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19. What does this teach about good
      works and sharing your wealth with others? (It tells us
      that we have made a deposit in the bank of heaven.)

      1. If, as Revelation 21:21 says, the main street of the
        New Jerusalem is “pure gold,” why would anyone want
        to have a bank deposit? Just dig up a little of the
        road, right? (We don’t know the currency of heaven.
        Obviously, it cannot be gold. But, it is something
        and God promises us something of value to reflect our
        good works on earth.)

    3. Read Matthew 6:1. What does this say about God and
      rewards? (Clearly, God is in the reward business. If we
      reward ourselves here, then we have received our total
      reward. But, if we do good deeds out of a heart of love
      and compassion, then God promises a reward.)

    4. Read Revelation 22:1-3. What reward do we find here? (Good
      eating and good health!)

    5. Read Revelation 21:4. What reward do we find here? (No
      death, mourning or pain!)

    6. Read Revelation 21:3 and Revelation 22:3-5. What reward do
      we find here? (We get to live with God. We get to see the
      face of Jesus!)

    7. Friend, do you want to go to heaven? Do you want to live
      the fabulous life of those who live in joy, happiness and
      peace? Would you like to be rewarded in heaven? If your
      answer is “yes,” then repent of your sins, accept Jesus’
      life, death and resurrection on your behalf, and begin to
      live a life that collects rewards for the future! Why not
      commit to that right now?

  5. Next week we begin a study of the book of James.