What is the parousia?

The parousia is a Greek word (παρουσία, parousia) found in the New Testament times 24 times. It deals with the arrival or presence of someone. In eschatology, it has been transliterated into the English parousia. The majority of the time the Greek word is used is in reference to His second coming of Jesus. Therefore, the term “The Parousia” refers to the return of Jesus.  Please consider the following verses.

“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” (Matthew 24:3).
“For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be,” (Matthew 24:27).
“But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,” (1 Corinthians 15:23).
“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,” (2 Thessalonians 2:1).

The Greek word is also used regarding the arrival of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus (1 Cor. 16:17), Titus (2 Cor. 7:6), and the presence of Paul (2 Cor. 10:10; Phil. 1:26).

When will the Parousia occur?

There are different views held by Christians regarding the parousia, the return of Christ. Premillennialism says that Jesus will return before a literal 1000-year reign of over the earth. The amillennial view says that there is no literal thousand-year reign. Instead, it is figurative. Jesus will return after its completion which is then followed by the new heavens and new earth. The post-millennial view says that the gospel will be presented to the whole world and mass conversions will occur and then the second coming of Christ will occur.

In addition to these three main views of the millennium, the return of Christ is broken down into three main views around the tribulation. The first one (Pre-trib) says that Jesus will return before the seven-year tribulation. The second one teaches that Jesus will return halfway through it. The third position says that Christ will return after the seven-year tribulation.

So, which is correct? That is beyond the scope of this paper.

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