The keynote of the Holy Scripture is the doctrine of Christ's second coming to complete the work of redemption and set up the reign of righteousness. This prophesied event—which has been the great hope of God's servants in all ages—is repeated many times both in the Old and New Testaments. Job 19:25-27; Psalm 50:3; 97:3-5; Isaiah 66:15 (cf 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10); Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28; 10:37; Jude 14; Revelation 22:20.
The main purpose of Christ's coming is to take His people with Him to the heavenly mansions in the New Jerusalem. Isaiah 25:9; John 14:1-3; Matthew 24:31; 25:31-34; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 22:12. He will then bring to an end the kingdoms of this world, execute judgment upon the wicked, and give the kingdom unto the saints forever. Daniel 2:44, 45; 7:27; Jude 15; Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Many signs point to the nearness of Christ's coming, but we do not know the exact time of that great event. Isaiah 24:4-6, 17-21; Joel 1:15-20; 2:30, 31; 3:9-16; Matthew 24:2-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5. Satan will try to personate the coming of Christ, but he will not be able to deceive the elect. Matthew 24:23-26; 2 Corinthians 11:14.
At His coming, Christ will receive only those that are "ready." He will not then make us faultless; He is to "find" us faultless. We must be made blameless while the door of probation is open, so that we may "be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude 24; Matthew 25:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:11, 12, 14; 1 John 3:2, 3; Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 21:27.
The coming of Christ will be personal, literal, visible, audible, and universal. Luke 9:26; Matthew 24:27, 30; Titus 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 1:7; 6:15-17; 19:11-16. It cannot be counterfeited by Satan. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
The door of probation is closed shortly before the second coming of Christ. Matthew 7:22, 23; 25:6-13; Luke 13:23-25; Revelation 22:11.
The fullness of the wrath of God will come upon the earth in the seven last plagues. When the sixth plague is poured out, then the way is prepared for the battle of Armageddon. A mighty earthquake will shake the whole earth at the beginning of the seventh plague. Revelation 16:1-21. (Great Controversy, p. 637).
There will be a partial resurrection a short time before Christ's return. Daniel 12:2; Matthew 26:64; Revelation 1:7
"Graves are opened, and 'many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth. . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.' Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel's message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. 'They also which pierced Him' (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient."—Great Controversy, p. 637.
(d) At the coming of Christ, the righteous dead will be resurrected immortal and the righteous living will be changed from mortal to immortal. They meet the Lord in the air and taken to heave where they will stand before the throne of God. John 5:25, 28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; Philippians 3:20, 21; Revelation 7:4, 9-12.
"The living righteous are changed 'in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.' At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air."—The Great Controversy, p. 645.
(e) The unrighteous that will survive the seven last plagues will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Isaiah 24:6; Luke 17:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 6:15-17 (cf Isaiah 2:19-21). There will be no second chance for them. Isaiah 26:10; Jeremiah 8:20; Luke 13:24-28; 2 Corinthians 6:2.
(f) The whole earth will be made desolate. Isaiah 13:6-13; Jeremiah 4:23-25; 2 Peter 3:10.
Read Matthew 24:23-25.
"We are warned that in the last days [Satan] will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness." The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1099.
"Satan came as an angel of light in the wilderness of temptation to deceive Christ; and he does not come to man in a hideous form, as he is sometimes represented, but as an angel of light. He will come personating Jesus Christ, working mighty miracles; and men will fall down and worship him as Jesus Christ. We shall be commanded to worship this being, whom the world will glorify as Christ. What shall we do?—Tell them that Christ has warned us against just such a foe, who is man's worst enemy, yet who claims to be God; and that when Christ shall make His appearance, it will be with power and great glory, accompanied by ten thousand times ten thousand angels and thousands of thousands; and that when He shall come, we shall know His voice."—Review & Herald, December 18, 1888.
"In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, 'Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.'"—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 62.
"One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ's second coming to complete the great work of redemption."—The Great Controversy, p. 299.
"The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers." —The Great Controversy, p. 302.
"The proclamation of the judgment is an announcement of Christ's second coming as at hand. And this proclamation is called the everlasting gospel. Thus the preaching of Christ's second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message."—Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 227-228.
"Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man's hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror.... As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun. 'And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.' Revelation 19:16."—The Great Controversy, pp. 640, 641.