Christ is Coming SOON, Are YOU Ready?
Are you ready for Christ’s Return?
Do you know about Christ’s Return and what this will mean to you?
Firstly the Bible speaks on Christ’s Return in two completely different ways eg:
27 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. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-5
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
2 Peter 3:10
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Okay so what do we learn from all these passages:
- When Christ comes the dead will rise first ie. Those who have died in belief and faith of Christ’s coming will be resurrected from the grave.
- The believers that are still alive at Christ’s coming will be gathered together to be with Christ and along with those who have been resurrected.
- At this point only those who were ready and waiting for Christ’s to come will see him as to all others his return will be like a thief and they will not realise that he has come.
- We know that one of the first things that Christ will do when he returns is judgement of all that we have done both good and bad. And Peter tells us that this judgement must first begin at the household of God ie. With the Believers.
1 Peter 4:16-18
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
So Judgement will commence with the believers who will be taken away from this world for a time while this process takes place. Where will they go?
Well Isaiah says that they will enter a place of privacy
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
The world we live in is a world of contrasts.
Many people of this world live a life of luxury and comfort. They seem to have all their needs met. They have a nice house with a good job and do not seem to have any problems that they cannot solve themselves.
On the other hand there are many people in this world who suffer greatly from the effects of poverty and over population. There are millions of people who struggle to find enough food to feed their families, there are millions of people who live in conditions that are breeding grounds for disease and pestilence. Under these conditions diseases such as leprosy run rampant and there is a great deal of suffering.
There are continual disagreements between nations. It seems as if there is always a war taking place and people are dying over unnecessary political agendas.
The problems of this world have been addressed by generations of politicians and charitable organisations yet the problems of this world continue to exist. In fact many different types of Governments have been tried: monarchy; democracy; republic; socialist. Yet man continues to struggle with the problems of this world. He has demonstrated quite successfully that he is unable to solve the problems that we see about us.
Many of the problems of this world are directly related to the selfishness of man. A man in power is happy to work with those that support him and who will help him become successful; generally this is at the expense of those who do not support him. Man is self serving.
Will there ever be a solution to these problems?
The answer is yes, but man cannot correct the problems of this world.
We must turn to the Bible to find the answers to the questions that we might ask.
The Bible tells us of the future, and it tells us what we can do to help make this world a better place to live.
The Bible assures us that man will continue to struggle from one crisis to another and that, left to his own, man will only make things much worse.
The Bible also assures us that if we place our confidence and trust in the God of the Bible, that we can live in a time of peace and security where we can truly enjoy the blessings of a life where the problems of this world will be solved.
The Bible also tells us that this will only happen once the Lord Jesus Christ returns to Earth.
In this article we wish to consider the Bible teaching about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and discuss what he will do once he returns.
WHAT WILL JESUS DO WHEN HE RETURNS?
The Bible teaches us of many things that the Lord Jesus Christ will do when he returns to the earth.
- Jesus is going to set up a kingdom
We’ve already looked at Acts 1:11. In this verse two angels stated that Jesus was to return to earth. Just prior to the ascension of Jesus to heaven the disciples had asked Jesus a question .
“Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him saying, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6
The disciples understood that Jesus was to set up a kingdom. Now that Jesus had been crucified and raised from the dead, the disciples thought that Jesus was now going to “restore the Kingdom to Israel.”
The disciples had very good reason for expecting Jesus to restore the Kingdom to Israel.
There is a consistent message in the Old Testament that a Kingdom will be set up on earth that will replace all the existing kingdoms of this world.
“And in those days the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Daniel 2:44
It will be a kingdom that will have its throne in Jerusalem and this kingdom will affect all people on earth.
“At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of the their evil hearts.” Jeremiah 3:17
The King of this kingdom will establish God’s ways as the correct way to live our lives.
Remember what we said in the introduction. “Many of the problems of this world are directly related to the selfishness of man. A man in power is happy to work with those that support him and who will help him become successful; generally this is at the expense of those who do not support him. Man is self serving. “However, in the Kingdom that will be set up on this earth men will no longer follow the dictates of their evil hearts.”
Another feature of the Kingdom is that everybody will be willing to learn of God’s ways.
The whole earth will want to go to Jerusalem to be taught of God’s ways.
“Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us of his ways, and we shall walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:2
- Jesus will be king of this kingdom
God made a promise to King David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16.
In verse 12 – 13 we read, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up a your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
Included in this promise was a seed that would sit on the throne of the kingdom forever.
The Bible tells us who this seed is.
In the first chapter of Luke an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would have a son. It was to be a special son because his conception would be miraculous.
The name of this Son was to be Jesus. (Luke 1:31)
In Luke 1:32-33 we read “…the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David…and of his kingdom there will be no end”
Matt 1:1 confirms that Jesus Christ is the son of David
The Bible is very clear. The “seed” of David that would sit on his throne is the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns he will re-establish the kingdom of Israel, and set-up his throne in Jerusalem – the same place where King David had his throne.
The Bible is also very clear and consistent in its teaching that Jerusalem is to be the place from which the Kingdom of God will be governed.
“At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord” Jeremiah 3:17
Even the Lord Jesus Christ called Jerusalem “the city of the great king.” (Matthew 5:35)
So far we’ve seen that the Bible teaches that:
(a) Jesus is to return to this earth.
(b) A kingdom is to be set up on this earth.
(c) The King of this Kingdom will rule from Jerusalem.
(d) This King will rule using God’s principles, not man’s.
(e) Everyone will acknowledge this King as ruler over all the earth
(f) This King is Jesus!
- Jesus will raise the Dead
Hebrews 11 tells us of many men and women of the Old Testament who all lived faithful lives but they still have not received the reward of eternal life. This is only a small list of faithful men and women. There are many others who have lived faithful lives before God who have died. The same chapter confirms for us that all the faithful are still to receive the promise of eternal life.
“And these all having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.” Hebrews 11:39
How can they receive the promise of eternal life? There will be a resurrection of the dead at the coming of Jesus. This teaching of resurrection is taught in many places of the Bible “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” 1 Thessalonians 4:16
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2
“Most assuredly, I say to you the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” John 5:25
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice.” John 5:28
The resurrected people will be gathered with all those who are living that know of God and they will be judged. The Apostle Paul confirms that the Lord Jesus Christ will be judge at this time.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom.” 2 Timothy 4:1
- Christ will reward the faithful
In Revelation we read of the last words that Christ gave to his disciples. They were given to be a source of encouragement to the believers who waited for the return of their Lord.
As part of his encouragement he promised that he would bring a reward for the faithful.
“And behold I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every one according to his work.” Revelation 22:12
In Romans chapter 2 we are told that if we are faithful we will receive eternal life, but if we choose to be self seeking and do not obey the truth we will receive the indignation and wrath of God.
In Romans 2:6-10 we read that God “will render to every man according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality; but to those who are self seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and to the Greek.”
Matthew 25:31-46 records a parable that Jesus told his disciples. In this parable sheep and goats are used to symbolise the two 2 classes of people who will be judged. The sheep represent those who have obeyed God, while the goats represent those who have been disobedient.
Those who have been faithful will receive eternal life (v34) and those that have not been faithful will be punished with everlasting death (v41).
John 5:29 tells us that the judgement will result in life for some and eternal death for others.
The Bible teaches that Christ is coming back to earth to reward all those that have been faithful to God. The faithful will be given eternal life and enjoy life in the kingdom.
WHEN WILL JESUS RETURN?
It is well documented in the Bible that Jesus will return to this earth. God has already set the day. Acts 17 confirms this for us.
“He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained:..” Acts 17:31
But when is this day?
In a speech to his disciples in Mark 13, Jesus prophesied of many events that would take place in the future.
In this prophecy he states clearly that he would return to this earth and that he would gather together his faithful followers.
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of heaven.” Mark 13:26
He also told his disciples that he did not know when this was to happen.
“But of that day and that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32
Later, after Jesus had been resurrected from the dead and given immortality, his disciples asked him if he was to restore the kingdom to Israel at that time. (Act 1:6)
Jesus responded by saying “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7
The Bible simply does not tell us the exact time when Jesus will return however it does give us clues as to when he will return.
Signs of the return of Jesus
The people of Israel are a “special” people of God. The people of Israel are a people of sign and God has used them to demonstrate his power. Using the people of Israel God has shown that he is true to his word.
“You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he. Before me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10
God stated that the nation would be scattered.
“Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth even to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known – wood and stone.” Deuteronomy 28:64
God also stated that the nation would be re-gathered:
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.” Jeremiah 31:10
The Bible is clear in its teaching that the Jews would be re-gathered and established in the land of Israel.
Jesus also stated that Jerusalem would be under the control of foreign powers for a period of time, but this would not be forever.
“…Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Luke 21:24
Jesus also said that once this was fulfilled the Son of Man would return. “Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:27
In AD 70 the Jews lost control of Jerusalem as the Roman army invaded Israel with such vengeance that the Jews were scattered from one end of the world to the other. However, this was not to last. In 1967 the Jews wrested Jerusalem from Arab control. For nearly 1900 years Jerusalem had been under the control of foreign gentile powers, but the Israelis regained control of Jerusalem.
If Jesus was correct in saying that Jerusalem would again be under the control of Jews, we can also be assured that that his coming will be soon.
It is very important that we understand this Biblical teaching. In fact the Apostle Peter warned that there would be a time when people would mock this important teaching.
“…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?’ For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
The Apostle Peter was warning the readers of his letter that even though it might seem that God has “forgotten” his promise to send his son back to earth, God is true to his word and he will do as he has said.
God will not forget his promise and even though there would be a time when many would laugh and scoff at the teaching of the Bible this would not change the teaching of the Bible or the PURPOSE of GOD.
In fact one of the strong points that Peter makes is that God is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish (v9). God wants us to be in His Kingdom.
If Christ were to return now, would you be ready to go into the Kingdom.
If not, make the most of the time left to you so that you are ready and prepared when the Son of God returns.