Why do we have to wait for Jesus’ second coming?
We wait for Jesus’ second coming because He said that He will come again. We call his coming again at the end of time second coming. What does second coming mean? The term “second coming” is not a question of repeating something which has already taken place. It is rather about completion or fulfillment or consummation of Jesus’ one and only coming.
Jesus’ coming in glory does not mean the end of time and the destruction of the world but the fulfillment and completion of time and the transformation, consummation and perfection of the world according to His original plan.
What will Jesus Christ do, when he comes again?
His second coming will precede the resurrection of the body and the last or general judgment. Let us recall that immediately after death each of us will be judged individually by God. We refer to this reality as particular judgment. The last or general judgment will not change the particular judgment.
Divine judgment is called “general” because it applies to the consummation of the whole world and of history itself. It is called “last” because it is the act that terminates history.
At the particular judgment, only the soul goes to hell, purgatory or heaven. At the general judgment, our soul will be joined by our respective bodies. Consequently, those souls who were in heaven will stay in heaven now with their glorified bodies at the general judgment. They will live forever with God. The Lord will be their eternal inheritance.
Those souls who were in hell will remain in hell now with their bodies at the general judgment. They will live in everlasting horror and disgrace. Eternal loss of God will be their everlasting inheritance.
What about those souls in purgatory, where will they go? At the general judgment, purgatory will cease and the souls in purgatory together with their bodies will eternally enjoy heavenly glory.
Why is there a general or last judgment?
The reality of general judgment is attested to by the Bible. It is designated as “the day of the Lord,” “the last day.” It is also contained in the living tradition of the Church.
The general or last judgment should take place because our actions affect others, because justice demands it and it is demanded by God’s providence.
What should we do then, as we await for the second coming of our Lord?
The “signs” that the Bible speaks of-the general preaching or the Christian religion (Mt. 24: 11), conversion of the Jews (Romans 11: 25-26), return of Enoch and Elijah (Sirach 44: 16, 48: 10; Malachi 4: 5-6; Mt. 17: 11), great apostasy (2 Thess. 2: 3), reign of antichrist (2 Thess. 2: 3ff.; 1 Jn. 2: 18), extraordinary perturbations of nature (Mt. 24: 29; Lk. 21: 25-26), universal conflagration (2 Pet. 3: 10-13; 1 Thess. 5: 2; Rev. 3: 3, 16: 15), blowing of the trumpet of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15: 22; 1 Thess. 4: 15; Jn. 5: 28) and the sign of the Son of Man appearing in the heavens (Mt. 24: 30), that will precede the general judgment, should not be regarded as indications of the exact time of the last judgment.
They are not meant to frighten us. Moreover, these signs are not meant for us to calculate the end of the world rather we must see these signs as exhortations to vigilance, conversion and living faith. They exhort us to prepare every day by doing the will of God through the loving service we render to others. They remind us to allow Jesus to come into our life in the reception of the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion in the Mass.