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|Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky|
Orthodox dogmatic theology
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The second coming of the Son of Man.
The spiritual gaze of mankind which believes in Christ, beginning with the time of the Ascension
from earth to heaven of the Son of God, has been directed to the greatest future event of
world history: His Second Coming to earth.
Testimony to the reality of this expected Coming was given quite definitely many times by
the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, together with a whole series of details regarding it (Matt. 16:27
and ch. 24; Mark 8:38; Luke 12:40 and 17:24; John 14:3). The angels declared it at the Lord’s
Ascension (Acts 1:11). The Apostles often mention it: the Apostle Jude (verses 14-15); the Apostle
John (1 John 2:28); the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 4:13); and the Apostle Paul many times (1 Cor.
4:5; 1 Thes. 5:2-6; and other places).
The Lord Himself described to His disciples the manner of His Coming in the following
characteristics: It will be sudden and obvious to everyone: “For as the lightning cometh out of
the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the Coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt.
First of all, there “shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all the
tribes of the earth mourn” (Matt. 24:30). This, according to the universal interpretation of the
Holy Fathers of the Church, will be the sign of the life-giving Cross of the Lord.
The Lord will come surrounded by innumerable choirs of angels, in all His glory: “And they
shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt.
24:30), “with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). “He shall sit on the throne of His glory” (Matt
25:31). Thus, the Second Coming will be different from the first when the Lord “humbled Himself,
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” (Phil. 2:8).He will come to “judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31) and to “reward every man
according to his works” (Matt 16:27). In this the purpose of His Second Coming into the world
is to be distinguished in essence from the purpose of His first Coming, when He came “not to
judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17); He came “to give
His life (as) a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).