How many of us as children of God are on the lookout for Christ’s return? Well, no doubt, there is a lot to cover here, so just a heads up for those of you who desire to know more about Christ’s second coming, the resurrection of believers, and His kingdom reign, there will be several blogs posted on this topic in the upcoming weeks, so be on the lookout for more. However, for now, let’s start with “if and when” we can expect Christ to return?
One thing is for certain, God’s Word has a tremendous amount that is written within it on the second coming of Christ. For starters, in Acts 1, we see the disciples watching Jesus ascend into heaven, and they were so captivated by what was taking place that they just stood there looking into the sky. This is when we are told that two men in white robes appear, and this is what they said,
Acts 1:11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
This verse makes it clear to us that Jesus will not only come back but that He will come back in the same way that He left. Jesus also spoke on His return in multiple places, and He also stated that He would return in the same way that He left. In Matthew 24:30 where He says,
Matthew 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Here Jesus teaches that He will come back on the clouds of heaven. More will be discussed on this in future blogs, but here we need to see that He will return again from heaven in the same way that He left. So, there is no doubt at all that God’s word teaches that Christ will return.
Here is where I think it is important to note a major difference between His first coming and His second coming. In Jesus’ ministry during His first coming, He taught that He came to save those who were lost, to redeem sinners.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Paul also wrote in 2 Corinthians that today is the day for salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
However, this will not always be the case, because when Christ finally does return, He is coming to call up His children and then to judge the world. At this time the door will be closed, and there will not be another opportunity for those who are lost to come to Him. After going before the Righteous Judge on that great day, they will be condemned for all eternity. This was at the core of Jesus’ teachings when He taught that on the day of judgment, there would be two groups of people, those who are lost that are not His, and those that are truly saved by faith who are His.
Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Additionally, Jesus taught that because we will not know the day or hour of His return, that we should always be prepared as if it is tonight. As I also said in a previous blog, even if in theory, we did know when He would return, and we don’t, we also don’t know when we will die for those that do die before He returns. And for those that die before He returns and are lost, they too will be condemned for all eternity. So, either way, we need to live for our Lord, as if today is our last day. This was the entire foundation behind the parable of the ten virgins and their lamps that Jesus gave to us in Matthew 25:1-13. This leads us to then ask the question, “If our Lord came back tonight, would we be ready to meet Him?” For those ready, they will be living a life daily that is pleasing to Him, a life that shows that they belong to Him. I spoke about this in my blog, “Living a Life That Reflects Our Faith.” Therefore, we need to make sure that we aren’t professing to be Christians and still living a life of sin, and thereby fooling ourselves because we aren’t fooling God.
Matthew 24:37–39 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Now, even though we are to live as if every day we will meet our Savior, Jesus did tell His apostles’ several things would have to take place before His Return.
Matthew 24:33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
Early in Matthew 24:15, He also said, “when you see.” Again, we will not know the season, the exact day, or the time, but Jesus did indicate that there will be signs along the way that will help us see how much closer we are. Therefore, there are things that we know for sure that will have to take place before He comes.
Now I will dive into this in the next article, as well as recap some of what I have discussed here, but I do not believe that we have a God that wants to confuse His children. We also clearly have a God that gave us signs to watch for. This will lead me into showing you in future blogs, why a lot of what we are told in His word is not meant to be confusing for His children and why I have arrived at the view that I hold eschatology wise. However, let’s stay on topic for now even though we are beginning to head into that view a bit.
Jesus taught that before He returns, the gospel must be proclaimed to all nations.
Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. (Also seen in Matthew 24:14).
This verse has so much packed within it, but we need to see that not only must the gospel be preached to all nations, but that the many other signs that He gave us must take place before Jesus returns. I should also add, as children of God, knowing that the door will be closed at some point, it should drive us to have a deep desire to lead people to Christ. At the same time, we should also have a deep desire to share the gospel, knowing that we will not meet our Savior until that mission is complete. And God’s Word says that the hope that we have to be with Him, is an assured hope (Ephesians 1:13-14).
As children of God, we are to be watchful and hopeful, knowing that our Lord Jesus Christ will return and that when He does, we will be in the last phase of His plan. One in which the lost will be condemned for all eternity, where His children will be in His presence forever, and where Christ will reign for all eternity on the throne.
Be on the lookout next week as I dive deeper into the return of Christ, but until then, rest assured that King Jesus is coming back, and we need to be ready!