Notes on the Second Coming

"To Them that look for Him shall He appear. . . Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many and to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin to salvation" (Hebrews 9).

This passage is often used to prove that only those Christians who are looking for the Lord when He comes for His saints will be taken, and that all others will be left behind to go through the great tribulation. We want to show that it teaches nothing of the sort.

It is the APPEARING of our Lord Jesus that is here spoken of and not His coming into the air to catch up His saints according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. The latter event will take place first, the appearing will follow.

While the Epistle to the Hebrews sets forth Christian doctrine, room is left here and there for the blessing of Israel as a people on earth. Several instances of this could be cited, but chapter 8 is a very clear and definite one. The covenant there spoken of is certainly not made with Christians, but is the new covenant which is still to be made with the house of Israel.

Our verse, we believe, has Israel in view. The Lord appeared once in their midst, not then to deliver them from the yoke of their enemies, but to be offered to bear the sins of many. THE SINS OF MANY remind us of the Matthew aspect of the Lord's Supper, which is decidedly different to the way it is presented in Luke, which has the present period in view. But He is to appear the second time. The thought is the appearing of the High Priest after he had taken the blood of the atonement into the Holiest. Earnestly the people looked for has appearing; they had no assurance that propitiation for their sins had been made and accepted until he did appear.

That is the position, the remnant of Israel, full of sorrow for their sins (see Zechariah 12:10-14) will wail amid the miseries of the Tribulation for the appearing of their great Saviour. Their faith will not be disappointed; as they look for Him He will appear the second time without sin to salvation, that is, He will not appear to take up the question of their sins, but to show them that He did that once when He was wounded for their transgressions (Isaiah 53), and to bring them salvation.

We who have been redeemed of the Lord and are part of His church are not waiting to know whether salvation is ours or not until the Lord comes out of the Holiest; He has gone in in the power of His own blood, and we have gone in with Him, we have "boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus" (chap. 10:19).