The Comings Of Christ -- By: Robert P. Lightner

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 22:64 (Spring 2018)
Article: The Comings Of Christ
Author: Robert P. Lightner


The Comings Of Christ

Robert P. Lightner

* Robert P. Lightner, MLA, Th.M., Th.D., professor emeritus of systematic theology, adjunct professor in theological studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas

The Bible speaks of three comings of Christ to the earth. First, He came as a baby born to the virgin Mary (and that is what Christmas entirely concerns). Second, Christ will come for his own in what Christians call the rapture of all who have trusted Him as their personal Savior. Third, the Bible also reveals that Christ will return to earth with his bride, the church, and He will rule and reign on earth for one thousand years and then subdue all opposition to Him eternally. He is King of kings and Lord of lords forever and ever. The present article will explore what the Bible says regarding the three comings of Christ. Prior to doing that, attention must be given to what the Word of God reveals with regard to Christ’s eternal existence.

The Eternal Existence Of Christ

Scripture passages demonstrate that the Savior existed not only prior to his birth in Bethlehem but also prior to creation. The biblical text assumes that He existed eternally. Here support will be marshaled for Christ’s eternal existence, beginning with selected direct scriptural evidence and moving to indirect theological support.

Isaiah, the prophet, described the Savior hundreds of years prior to his birth as the “eternal Father” or the “Father of eternity” (9:6). The very locality of Christ’s incarnation was predicted in the same prophecy as his unoriginated eternal existence: “But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Mic 5:2). The person involved is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. Chief priests and scribes at the time of his birth even quoted Micah’s prophecy in their answer to Herod’s question concerning the identity of the Messiah (Matt 2:4–6).

Jesus Himself taught his eternal existence. In conjunction with his claims of deity, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day” (John 8:56). They quickly retorted, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” (v. 57). The Savior answered them, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (v. 58

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