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Sermon #8501

The Time of His Coming - the Signs

A Sermon on the Timing of the Second Coming of Christ



Sermon Description

Predictions of when Christ will return seem to take place every year, but what are the biblical signs of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ? Does Scripture even allow the opportunity of discerning precisely when He will return again? In this sermon on the timing of Christ's return, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers these questions and more, contending that it is useless for Christians to debate the exact date and time of His coming since Jesus promised that only God the Father knew. Dr. Lloyd-Jones takes the listener through a helpful history of these questions that begins with the apostles since many have argued that they expected Jesus to return again in their lifetime. In addition to this view of the apostles, Dr. Lloyd-Jones also gives a brief overview of several other alternate stances on this subject. According to Scripture, Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches, there are two signs that precede the second coming of Christ—the calling of the Gentiles and the gathering in of the fullness of Israel. He skillfully explains from a biblical standpoint what these mean, providing the listener with clarity that is often missing when studying this topic. This is a helpful sermon for anyone currently confused about how to interpret the biblical prophecies regarding the Lord’s second coming.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by emphasizing the importance of approaching the doctrine of the second coming of Christ with care, humility and a desire for holiness.

  2. The sermon then discusses whether the apostles believed Christ would return in their lifetime. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that while the apostles seemed to believe this in their questions to Jesus, they never explicitly taught this in their writings.

  3. The sermon outlines three principles for interpreting passages that seem to indicate the apostles believed in an imminent return of Christ: 1) God's perspective on time is different than humans' 2) The term "last days" refers to the entire church age, not just a future period. 3) There is "prophetic foreshortening" in prophecy, where events separated by time seem close together.

  4. The sermon examines Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21, arguing Jesus addresses the destruction of the temple, signs of his coming, and the end times. Dr. Lloyd-Jones believes some statements refer only to AD 70, some only to the end times.

  5. The sermon argues certain signs must precede the second coming, including the spread of the gospel to all nations and the salvation of "all Israel." Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines three main views on the meaning of "all Israel."

  6. The first view is that "all Israel" refers to the church, consisting of both Jews and Gentiles. The second view is that it refers to the restoration and salvation of the Jewish nation, either of nearly all Jews or literally every Jew. The third view is that it refers to the full number of elect Jews who will be saved.

  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues against the view that the Jewish nation will have a special status separate from the church. He says this must be evaluated based on Scripture.

Great Biblical Doctrines

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.