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Christ is Coming SOON, Are YOU Ready?

Christ is Coming SOON, Are YOU Ready?

Christ is Coming SOON, Are YOU Ready?

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:

Matthew 24:27-31

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.

Matthew 24:30

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.

Matthew 24:37-39

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.

Matthew 24:40-42

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.

Luke 12:39-40

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.”

Luke 21:27-28

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.

1Thessalonians 4:13-18

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

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Isaiah 26:19-21

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.

  1. 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

  1. 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!

  1. 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

  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.

 

Christ's Coming

BIBLE TEACHING ABOUT CHRIST’S COMING!

BIBLE TEACHING ABOUT CHRIST’S COMING!

It was once fashionable in religious circles to say that Jesus Christ would never return to the earth. There are still plenty of professing Christians who believe that. But there are now many others who have come to believe that the Second Coming is a very important event.

Christ's ComingTrue Bible Students have always taught that the Return of Jesus Christ to the earth is vital to the fulfillment of the purpose of God. This article reviews Bible teaching about the Second Coming, both the events that will lead up to that miracle and the reason for the Lord’s Return.

New Testament Teaching
Someone has counted the New Testament references to this great event, and they number 318 occurrences! If you reflect that the number of times the word for Christian love occurs is only 115, you will begin to see the importance of this topic. Nor is it simply the case that only one or two New Testament writers refer to the matter in their writings. Treatment of the subject is widely spread.

Jesus spoke often about the Kingdom of God and his Second Coming. His parables, for example, were told to those who thought the Kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He was like a nobleman who had to go “into a far country to receive for himself a Kingdom and to return” (Luke 19:12). More than once he spoke of the Coming of the Son of Man (e.g. Matthew 24:27,30,37,39,48; 25:27; 26:64). And when he assured his disciples of his continuing spiritual, but invisible, presence “even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20), he inferred that then he would be visibly present with them for ever.

The testimony of the Apostles was equally plain. They had been clearly taught by the Risen Lord who, during the forty days before his ascension into heaven, instructed them about the Kingdom of God, the restored kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:3,6). It was the opening theme of his post-resurrection appearances that all the Old Testament promises were coming to their fulfilment in him (Luke 24:27). At the time of his ascension, as he was being taken up from the Mount of Olives into the clouds, God sent His angels to explain.

“Ye men of Galilee”, they said to the watching apostles, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

It is not therefore surprising that when the Apostles began to teach in the streets of Jerusalem, they said that their Lord Jesus Christ was to return to the earth as King. Peter gave the lead when he boldly announced that the grave could not keep Jesus imprisoned. He referred his hearers to a statement in Psalm 110:1, used also by his Lord, to show that he had gone to heaven only until his enemies have been subdued (2:34,35). Note the authoritative use of the Old Testament.

But also note a vital point. Bible teaching is never given just for the sake of informing us what happens next. It always has a deeper intention, for we are meant to use the knowledge it confers to prepare ourselves for those coming events:

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ . . . Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:36,38).

It should follow that our consideration of Bible truth concerning the Return of the Lord should also cause us to search our hearts.

Other New Testament Writings
But what of the writings of other New Testament authors? Let us look at just one of the New Testament letters, the First written by Paul to the Thessalonians. Notice how he centers his entire message on the truth of the personal return to the earth of the Lord:

“wait for his Son from heaven . . . which delivereth us from the wrath to come” (1:10);
“what is our hope or joy? Are not ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” (2:19);
“he may stablish your hearts unblameable . . . at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (3:13);
“the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout” (4:16);
“the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (5:2);
“I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:23).

You could try extending this investigation, if you wish. The emphasis on the Lord’s Coming continues in all the New Testament letters, but it is always related to practical Christian living. Because the Lord is coming again, there were matters in their lives that required attention! And it is so for us.

Old Testament Teaching
The same person who counted 318 references in the New Testament extended the search to the Old Testament, and discovered 1,527 such references to an event in God’s purpose which can be no other than the Coming of Christ as King. Let it be clear that the exact number is unimportant; there is always room for some difference of opinion about the occasional passage. But it is perhaps startling to some readers to consider that there could be five times as many references to the Second Coming in a part of the Bible which has suffered widely from neglect over the years.

The fact of the matter is this: the New Testament can only be understood once the Old Testament has also been studied. The two Testaments belong together as interdependent parts of God’s revealed truth. What the Old Testament foretells the New Testament fulfils, in part. But a very large amount of Old Testament prophecy remains unfulfilled.

Consider these promises of a King who will reign over God’s Kingdom on earth, and ask yourself whether they have ever been fulfilled:

GENESIS:“Thy seed (a descendant of Abraham) shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (22:17,18; see Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:16).
2 SAMUEL:“And when thy days (David) be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed (descendant) after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house (a Temple) for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (7:12,13).
“He (the promised king) . . . shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (72:6-8).
PSALMS:“The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (2:7,8; see Acts 4:25,26);
ISAIAH:“It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house (His Temple) shall be established in the top of the mountains (at Jerusalem) . . . and all nations shall flow unto it . . . for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations” (2:2-4);
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (9:7);
JEREMIAH:“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch (descendant), and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (23:5,6).

The Kingdom of God
Many times God has promised that He will rule the earth. What man has failed time and again to achieve, God will establish. The King will be a descendant of both Abraham and David (see Matthew 1:1). He will rule from Jerusalem, on David’s throne (see Luke 1:31-33). His Kingdom will be one of justice and righteousness; it will involve Divine education, Temple worship, and the exercise of Kingly power to establish peace on earth (see Revelation 11:15-18).

The Kingdom of God was once before established on earth. King David and his descendants reigned upon the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:5). There was nothing special about the throne itself. The Divine appointment was what mattered and when king after king had neglected God’s law, He brought that arrangement to an end. But even when the prophet Ezekiel announced the end of the Kingdom to King Zedekiah (in 21:25-27), he promised that God would restore the Kingdom on earth when he should “come whose right it is”.

The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth has therefore to be understood against that powerful Old Testament background. When Jesus began his public ministry by announcing that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Mark 1:15), he was saying to those who knew the Old Testament promises that he was the promised King. But Jesus had first come to achieve personal righteousness, and to make it possible for others to become right with God.

It is now possible for us to find peace with God through the forgiveness of our sins, by association with the saving work of the Lord Jesus. First we have to understand the Gospel, including Bible teaching about the work and person of the Lord Jesus, and the Kingdom over which he is now the King. Then we have to be baptized as believing adults into his saving Name (see Acts 8:1 2).

Behold Your King!
But what is the Second Coming of the Lord going to be like? For example, would it be possible to miss it altogether and not even be aware that it had occurred? Will it be visible or invisible? Will Jesus be there in person or merely a spiritual presence? And will he come to the earth or only towards the earth?

Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave. He was not an invisible spirit creature but One who could be seen, handled and held (1 John 1:1; Luke 24:39,40). His body was marked by the evidence of his suffering on the cross. Yet he was no longer subject to the limitations of human existence. He could come and go despite locked doors, and on Mount Olivet he ascended bodily to heaven, defying the law of gravity. The disciples had seen him go; he would return visibly. As the angel later said: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7). Or as Zechariah the Old Testament prophet had predicted, long before the crucifixion, “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for him” (12:10).

So it will not do to say that only those who look with faith will see the Lord. Some will look, see, and mourn (Revelation 1:7). Nor will it do to say that Jesus will come invisibly, for the Lord himself warned:

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets . . .” (Matthew 24:23,24).

Nor will it do to argue that the Bible talks of the presence of the Lord, meaning that it will be an invisible one. The New Testament also talks about the revelation of the Lord, using a word that means uncovering or manifesting. In fact, the presence (Greek: parousia) of the Lord turns out to be an especially suitable term. One of the most authoritative Greek Lexicons available says of the word:

“It became the official term for a visit of a person of high rank, especially of kings and emperors visiting a province” (Arndt and Gingrich).

It is such a visit by a King that the Scriptures foretell. The crowds who welcomed King Jesus into Jerusalem when he sat astride a donkey and they threw coats and’ palm branches before him, shouted out greetings that referred right back to the Promises of God: “Blessed be the kingdom of our father David that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Mark 11:10). Matthew comments that the rejoicing was a foretaste of what had been forecast by Zechariah the prophet, when he wrote “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee”.

Now if the initial royal visit was attended by such joy and rejoicing, consider what the next one will be like! The prophet had declared:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy king cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation. . . and he shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:9,10).

Dual Fulfillment
This Scripture illustrates a widely used feature of Bible prophecy: its joint short and long-term character. Jerusalem rejoiced at the Kingly coming of Jesus — “Lowly and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” — just as the prophet had said. But their joy was short-lived, for he did not then go on to establish worldwide peace, or commence to rule from Jerusalem over a Kingdom that was to last for ever. Jesus completed enough of the prophecy at that time to demonstrate that he was the Coming One, and to give us confidence that he will return to complete the promised transformation of the earth. Zechariah compressed the two comings in such a way that there appeared to be no interval between them. This has led some people to argue that the Kingdom will never come, because, they say, even Jesus expected it in the First Century, or at most shortly afterwards. It has thus been dismissed by some as an early Christian hope, which has now been superseded by a superior understanding. But when all the Scriptures are studied carefully, it becomes clear that the Coming of Jesus was not to occur immediately after his ascension to heaven. The Day and the Hour

Any attempt to show that Jesus was mistaken about the time of his Coming is doomed to failure. He clearly stated, more than once, that he did not know:

“Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

As he later said, this was something that the Father had reserved within His own authority (Acts 1:7). But Jesus did know that some long time would elapse before his Second Coming. He told parables to indicate that his coming would not “immediately appear” (Luke 1 9:11), that it would be “after a long time” (Matthew 25:19), and that there might be some delay for those who were waiting (25:3). Like their Lord, his followers were to appreciate that they could “not know what hour” he would come.

The apostles also acknowledged that they could not know the precise time of the great event for which they waited. Peter warned about people who would scoff, as so many have, at the “promise of his coming” (2 Peter 3:4). Indeed he poured scorn on their faithlessness, what he called “willful ignorance” — people believing what they wanted to believe, regardless of the evidence. And Paul was in no doubt either, for he went on record as saying:

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh . . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:1,2).

Can you complete that quotation? It holds the key to two vital matters concerning the early return of the King. Notice first what the verse above says. There would be general indications available — what Paul calls “times and seasons” — which would help keep the believers prepared. And the verse continues:

“. . . the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

When it happens the Lord’s Coming will be swift, sudden and unexpected. No-one expects thieves to strike. But they often succeed because people overlook the dangers. It is also the case that speed is vital to a successful robbery, which is why the figure is used by Jesus (Matthew 24:43), Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:2), and Peter (2 Peter 3:10), to emphasise the vital point. We must be on our guard, watchful, prepared, vigilant. The Lord could come at any time! He will come when we least expect him!

The Times and Seasons
That is why when Jesus explained what was to happen before his Return, he very carefully emphasised the need for watchfulness. Sitting with his disciples one day on the Mount of Olives, from where he would later ascend to heaven, he gave them some general indications of what was to happen prior to his “coming and the end of the world” (Matthew 24:3). This prophecy presents a fascinating challenge, for it combines a short-term prediction about the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, with a long-term forecast of world events.

A list of the predicted events in the three Gospel accounts (Matthew 24, Mark 1 3 and Luke 24), which does not claim to be a structured sequence of prophetic events, shows the following:

  1. The rise of false Christianity and false Christs
  2. The persecution of true Christians.
  3. Wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation.
  4. Earthquakes, famines and pestilences.
  5. Jerusalem surrounded by armies.
  6. The Jewish nation dispersed.
  7. Jerusalem in non-Jewish occupation.
  8. Tribulation and distress.
  9. Signs in the sun, moon and stars.
  10. The powers of heaven shaken.

Notice how believers are warned about the rise and growth of false Christianity. It is the Lord’s first concern. His words were fulfilled by the rapid development of wrong teaching in New Testament times (e.g. Acts 20:29), and are being fulfilled again at the close of this age. Elsewhere the message is that the true believers will comprise a very small remnant, compared with those who hold a distorted form of Christianity.

Antichrist
The apostles also warn about this development. Paul was emphatic that there would be manifestations of false Christianity, for he prophesied that the Day of the Lord:

“shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped” (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4).

The apostle Paul describes the man of sin in language that refers back to the prophet Daniel, who accurately foretold the rise and fall of four empires that exercised power in the Middle East. He traced the development from them to a false religious system, involving the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy, that is opposed to Christ and his true followers. This is counterfeit Christianity, and the apostle Paul describes it as “the mystery of iniquity” which was already at work, and “a strong delusion”.

The other thread of teaching in the Lord’s catalogue of future events concerned trouble. There were to be wars and rumors of wars, both within and between nations; there would be natural disasters and widespread hardship, earthquakes, famines and epidemics; terrors and fearful sights would be in the heavens, causing much fear and distress. People would not know which way to turn for fear of what was about to happen on earth.

To some extent these problems are as old as man. The tendency to war against one another is evident even in the first book of the Bible, and famine features there too. But even within Bible history the atrocities of which man is capable become increasingly ugly, and since then even more widespread horrors have been seen. The powers now available to mankind are enough to make any sane person fear for the future. More than ever before, these words of Jesus are coming true:

“There shall be . . . upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:25-27).

Tribulation
The reference to the sea and waves roaring, like others to signs in the sun, moon and stars, may be either symbolic or literal or some combination of both. The prophet Isaiah, for example, wrote about the wicked being “like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (57:20). Jesus may have been drawing upon such imagery to describe a world that was full of trouble because it was full of wickedness. He may also have been teaching us to look out for some upheaval of the physical order, like tidal waves, which would also be an indication of the end of the age. Certainly there have been many earthquakes and natural disasters over the past few years, all over the world. The apostle Paul described the whole world order as groaning and travailing in pain (Romans 8:22), like a woman waiting to be delivered of a child. It is thus evident that our present troubles are the birthpangs of a new and better world, soon to begin.

In both Testaments we are told that the tribulation that will come at the end of human government is the final herald of the Second Coming. It will be:

“a time of trouble such as never was” (Daniel 12:1);

“the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7);

“great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21).

Will the believers waiting for their Lord have to suffer this trouble, or will they be spared? The likelihood is that present-day believers will live through this time of trouble, indeed that they have already begun to do so. Jesus promised that for the elect’s sake that time would be shortened (Mark 13:20). But those who finally stand approved before the Judge are those “which came out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).

As that trouble increases, and God pours out His wrath upon the earth, there are indications that true believers will be sheltered from that outpouring. Isaiah describes the great shake-up of human society when God intervenes:

“Come, my people, enter into thy chambers. . . hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (24:18-23, 26:20,21).

We must therefore consider carefully what Jesus said:

“When these things (the signs of which he spoke) begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

We should not wait until total disaster has struck, and there is no escape route left. It is better to learn the lesson now, that this is the time immediately before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Nation of Sign
There is one great sign which removes all doubt concerning his imminent return. The nation of Israel is back occupying the land promised by God. The history of the Jewish nation has been a guide throughout the ages to the outworking of God’s purposes. They were called as a special people, because of the great promises that had been made to their Fathers. They were given the right to occupy the land we now know as Israel, conditional upon their faithful obedience to God. They were the people whose kings occupied the throne of God’s Kingdom on earth.

They forfeited these rights when, after centuries of indifference, they not only refused to accept the Lord Jesus as their Messiah, but were involved, with the Romans, in effecting his death by crucifixion. Because of that rejection, Jerusalem was overthrown. Throughout the intervening centuries Jews have wandered the earth as a stateless people, hated and persecuted almost everywhere they went, just as Scripture said they would be.

But Scripture also forecast a better future for this nation of sign, not because they would change their behavior and live to deserve better treatment, but because God would take pity on their plight and act to redeem them. He would remember the promises made of old to the Fathers and act to vindicate His great name. At the time of the end they would be brought back from the nations and once more be settled in their own land-the land of promise! So the prophets said:

ISAIAH:“The remnant shall return . . the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion” (10:21; 35:10).
JEREMIAH:“He that scattered Israel will gather him” (31:10).
EZEKIEL:“I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries . . . then shall they dwell in their land . . . yea, they shall dwell with confidence” (11:17; 28:25,26).
ZECHARIAH:“I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem” (8:8).

And so it came to pass. After nearly two thousand years of dispersion and down-treading, in 1948 the State of Israel was born by the decree of the United Nations, and in 1 967 the whole of Jerusalem was repossessed by Jews. It had taken all that time for the words of Jesus to be fulfilled:

“They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

Everything now indicates that the Times of the Gentiles are rapidly drawing to a close and the Time of the Kingdom of God is once more at hand. The bringing together of troublous times and the return of the Jews to the Land removes any doubt. Shortly King Jesus will return to Jerusalem as World Ruler, to reign over Israel and over all nations. Of all the available Signs of the Times given by Jesus and the prophets, the establishment of Israel-the Nation of Sign-is the clearest witness that the End is now at hand.

The “Rapture”

What then awaits the faithful follower of Jesus? Can he expect to go to heaven with the Lord at his Return? Hardly, for the Lord is coming to reign on earth, from Jerusalem. An elaborate scheme has been devised by some Bible readers which requires not one Coming but two. According to this, Christ’s Coming would be first for the Church only and would be a secret “rapture”. He would come again with the Church, for the world, and this would be visible and public. In some versions of this theory the interval between the two comings is very small; in others as much as seven years is thought to separate the two events.

There is very little Scripture that can be used to attempt to support these theories, for whilst there are some indications that a separation will occur between companions when Jesus comes (Luke 17:34-36), the main teaching about the circumstances of the Return is that given in Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians:

“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: 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” (4:16,17).

The phrase caught up is that from which the whole idea of a rapture has evolved; and the links with a supposed seven year period of tribulation have been achieved by the unsatisfactory interpretation of other Scriptures, especially from the Revelation. Clearly there is to be a catching away of true believers, both of the living and the resurrected dead, “to meet the Lord in the air”. They are to form a welcoming party who, with the angels who attend his coming, will make up his entourage. But they go to meet him, not he them. And their destination is made clear in the Scriptures already considered: the Lord and his followers are bound for Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4), “the city of the great king” (Matthew 5:35).

The Lord will come!
In these dying moments of human government, the powers of heaven will be shaken as men’s hearts fail them for fear. The nations will be engaged in a battle around Jerusalem. Then the Lord will come! Unexpectedly, suddenly, in great power and glory, bringing salvation for those who have faithfully waited and prepared for this central event in their lives; but bringing judgement upon all those who have wilfully ignored the faithful promises and gracious invitation of God:

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power: when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe” (2 Thessalonians 1:9,10).

It is vital therefore that we believe what the Bible so clearly promises. We cannot simply “wait and see”, because Jesus is coming to save those who already believe, not to give reasons for faith to those who have had clear evidence, but no inclination for the things of God.

When the Lord spoke to his followers about his eventual return to earth, he focused their attention more on the consequences of his Coming than on the sequence of events itself. To this day we cannot know for sure when Jesus will come. But we know perfectly clearly that when he comes he will call us to account, and ask us how we spent our lives on the eve of his return:

“Take heed . . . be not led astray . . . be not troubled . . . take heed to yourselves . . . preach the gospel . . . be not anxious . . . endure to the end . . . flee . . . pray . . . believe not false prophets . . . take heed . . . look up and lift up your heads . . . take heed to yourselves . . . watch . . . BE READY” (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21).

The apostles make the very same points as they reflect on the nearness of the Lord’s Return.

“What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness . . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:11-14).

“Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12,13).

“When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man who has this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2,3).

Take Heed to Yourselves
The Bible is our guidebook to the future, just as it is our handbook for the present. It alone will show us what God wants us to do. From it we can learn God’s purpose and promises. The first thing is to understand and believe those things that are true. We shall then come to appreciate the need for obedience to God, starting with baptism. And thus we shall be doing what Jesus commanded.

The coming Kingdom of God on earth will transform human experience. We need to learn to live now in harmony with our Creator. The Lord is at hand! It is now an urgent matter for us all to examine our lives, so that we are properly prepared for the Coming of the King.

BY TECWYN MORGAN

Christ is Coming SOON!

Christ is Coming Soon!

Christ is Coming SOON!

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.

1.    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

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!

3.    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

4.    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.