The Second Coming

Posted: March 10, 2013 in Matthew

Matthew 24:26-35, “The Second Coming”

Arrivals are often very exciting.  Like the child who counts down the day to her birthday or to Christmas, we can’t wait for the big day to finally get here.  Brides & grooms get nervous as their wedding day approaches, athletes get excited about championships, families jump for joy when soldiers come home, etc.  We love a good arrival!

The best arrival of all will be that of our Lord Jesus!  We have a day in our yearly calendar set apart to celebrate Jesus’ 1st coming, but it seems we ought to have one to look forward to His 2nd coming as well.  There is no doubt that our Lord Jesus IS coming back, and this is something that every orthodox Christian can anticipate with joy.

Of course, different Christian groups debate the order of events that surround His 2nd Coming & those are the things that Jesus looks at in this section of the Olivet Discourse.  Remember that Ch 24 began with Jesus leaving Jerusalem for the last time, proclaiming desolation upon it, and prophesying to His disciples about the soon destruction of the temple.  Left perplexed, a handful of the disciples came to Jesus while they were on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city & asked Him about it.  They wanted to know when these things would happen & what would be the sign of His coming & the end of the age (Mt 24:3).  Answering, Jesus told them to be prepared but not to panic.  There would be many trials along the way, but the tribulation would be a distinct event.  There would be much deception & much persecution, but eventually the end would indeed come.

One of the signs that would demonstrate the days of the Great Tribulation would be what Daniel prophesied as the abomination of desolation.  Antichrist would set himself in the Jewish temple, proclaiming himself to be god, and erecting an image there for people to worship.  That would be the sign that the end is rapidly approaching, and any believing Jew in Jerusalem would need to flee for their lives.  Although the judgments leading up to that time would be bad, the things that would happen afterward would cause the entire world’s population to be in danger of destruction.

That said, the days would be shortened and the end would indeed come.  Jesus would return in power & might & all the earth would see Him.  Jesus’ 2nd coming would be evident – it was described – and it was assured.  No one would miss Him on that day, but no one should want to wait until that day to trust Him. 

Matthew 24:26–35

  • The 2nd Coming is evident (vss. 26-28)

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

  • Jesus reiterates the warning not to be deceived.  In vss. 23-24 the issue was false teachers (in the form of false Christs and false prophets).  This time, the issue is false reporting.  It’s one thing to look into the face of a crackpot pretending to be Jesus – it’s another thing to hear a report from someone you might trust claiming that Jesus has come back.  As if when Jesus returns, He’ll return only to a select few people & everyone else will need to be informed along the way.  That’s not the way it will work.  Antichrist and his minions will engage in all sorts of deception during those days, not only in an attempt to keep non-Christians in the dark, but also an in attempt to mislead those who do have faith in Christ.  Antichrist will want Christians to be deceived, so there will be direct attempts from him (and others) to do so – even regarding what ought to be the most joyous news to any believer, the return of our Lord & Savior.
    • BTW – this isn’t an uncommon tactic of Satan.  The devil has often taken something good & true and twisted it into a lie.  This was what he did with Jesus during the wilderness temptation when Satan quoted a Scripture, and tried to use it to make Jesus tempt God the Father. (Mt 4:6-7)  Jesus was not fooled, and neither should we.  We ought to be Bereans in all things (taking things back to the Scripture for verification) – especially in claims that seem too-good-to-be-true.  God does not want us deceived.  He wants us to live in the truth & He’s made it possible that we can, by giving us the Spirit of truth (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) and the Scriptures.
  • Why shouldn’t people be deceived about false reports?  Because when Jesus comes, no one is going to have to guess at it.  It’ll be known!  There will be no mistaking it when it happens, which Jesus will go on to describe.
    • Likewise about the rapture of the church.  Christians sometimes worry about missing the rapture.  If you’re truly a born-again believer in Christ Jesus, then you never need to worry about missing the rapture.  After all, you aren’t the one in control of it; Jesus is.  When He calls us home, you’ll know!
  • How evident will Jesus’ 2nd coming be?  See vs. 27…

27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

  • Just as no one misses a burst of lightning in a dark night, no one will miss the Son of Man when He comes.  It will be evident to all, going through the skies – unhidden by the schemes of men.  What exactly will be seen?  Jesus will describe more of this in vs. 30.
  • That Jesus uses the picture of lightning is interesting.  Obviously lightning is something bright & powerful seen in the sky – which matches well with Jesus’ future return.  But lighting is also incredibly quick.  Could it be possible that Jesus’ return will be similarly fast?  Perhaps.  We’re told very clearly that the rapture will take place in a moment – in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52).  It’s possible that the 2nd Coming will follow the same pattern.  One moment the sky looks normal (relatively speaking, considering the events of the Great Tribulation!), and the next moment the sky is filled with the coming of Jesus and His armies as they flash around the world in a moment, revealing Christ to every nation and tribe.
  • The word “coming” is interesting.  There are other words that could be translated “come/go” (ἔρχομαι, for example), and these other words (and variations of them) are used throughout this chapter & the book.  However, the word used here (παρουσία) is only used by Matthew in Ch 24, and is used by none of the other gospel writers.  The epistles use the word quite frequently in regards to Jesus’ 2nd coming (Paul, James, Peter, John) – but the use in Matthew is unique within the gospels.  It’s a noun, which differs from the verb used elsewhere, so it speaks of an event rather than an action.  The word speaks of a “presence” or an “arrival.”  It was often used to describe a visit by a government official or other VIP.  The idea here is that when Jesus comes back, there is far more to it than just Him showing up.  There is a weightiness here – there is a special something taking place.  This is THE arrival of arrivals – nothing more important in all history will have taken place.  This is itself the culmination of history – the parousia.

28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

  • This proverb has caused a bunch of people a bunch of heartache, most likely for no reason.  Some look to this and see the judgment pictured.  Others look to this & wonder what the “eagle” or “vulture” might represent.  Scholars wonder at the cryptic message Jesus is conveying.  In all likelihood, it’s probably pretty straightforward.  In vs. 27 Jesus used the analogy of lightning to demonstrate that people will see His coming.  In vs. 28 He uses the analogy of carrion birds to say the same thing.  When you see a bunch of vultures circling in the sky, you know what brought them there – it’s evident & visible.  Likewise with Jesus’ coming.  It’ll be visible to all. 
    • Why carrion birds?  Don’t forget that Jesus comes back to the battle of Armageddon.  As soon as He shows up, the fight is over & dead bodies will lay strewn everywhere.  Revelation 19:17–18, "(17) Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, (18) that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”" []  It may be gruesome, but that’s the way war is.  People will have made the choice to go to war against Almighty God in a final act of rebellion, and they will face the inevitable consequence of it.
  • Again, the whole idea here is that Jesus’ 2nd Coming is visible.  It won’t be a secret – it won’t be something that can be hidden from the world.  It especially won’t be something that can be hidden from those who come to faith in Christ during the days of the Tribulation.  They won’t need to worry about missing out, because it will be evident to all.
    • Although it’s a different event, it brings up a good point about the rapture.  The idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is sometimes mischaracterized as a “secret” rapture or a “silent” return of Jesus.  This is a false description – sometimes even by well-meaning people.  (1) We need to remember is that the rapture is NOT the 2nd Coming of Jesus.  We cannot truly describe the rapture as “Jesus’ return” because He doesn’t actually return.  He descends from heaven with a shout, blows the trumpet, and we will rise in the air to meet Him in the clouds. (1 Ths 4:16-17)  Jesus doesn’t actually return to the earth at that time, so we need to be careful in our description of that event.  (2) Even with this, there will not be anything “secret” about it.  The effects of millions of born-again Christians disappearing in the blink of an eye will be anything but secret!
  • The 2nd Coming described (vss. 29-31)

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

  • When will it all take place?  As the tribulation comes to a close, massive disturbances will take place all around the world.  This seems to be described somewhat in the bowl judgments of Revelation 16 – specifically with the 5th bowl (darkness & pain) and the 7th bowl (massive earthquake unprecedented in size).  Jesus seems to be summarizing these events and some of the other events that take place during the Great Tribulation.  The description is very similar to some of the OT prophets in their descriptions of the Day of the Lord.  Isaiah 13:9–10, "(9) Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. (10) For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine." []  Isaiah was giving a proclamation against Babylon, telling how God would judge the empire for what they did in their evil.  God’s judgment of Babylon is also emblematic of what God would do at the 2nd Coming of Christ, when Jesus comes to judge the world.   Joel 3:14–16, "(14) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. (15) The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. (16) The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel." []  This same description had come up earlier in the book of Joel in reference to the tribulation – here, it is shown just prior to the coming of the Lord.
  • What was seen by the prophets is confirmed by Christ Jesus.  At the end of the Tribulation, things will be at the point that they cannot possibly get any worse, physically – apart from sheer annihilation. As Jesus said earlier, unless these days were shortened, “no flesh would be saved” (vs. 22) – everyone would die.
    • Question: “Why would God allow things to get so bad?  Worse yet – why would He cause things to get so bad?”  Because He is compassionate and merciful.  Obviously the wrath of God during the days of the Great Tribulation will not seem to be merciful at all – it will be utter torment for those involved.  But what is worse than 7 years of Tribulation is an eternity filled with it!  God loves everyone whom He has created & given life – He wants everyone to be saved.  Even through the Tribulation time, He will give mankind one final opportunity to repent from their sins & turn to Christ to be saved.  He is willing to let things get as painful as necessary for the maximum number of people to be saved.  Sadly, most will still turn away from God.
    • The good news in all of this is that no one has to go through the days of the Great Tribulation.  You can respond to Jesus today, while there is still opportunity.

30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, 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.

  • After these judgments come, that’s when the end comes.  Earlier the disciples had asked about the sign of His coming & the end of the age (vs. 3).  Jesus had answered in part in regards to the abomination of desolation, giving them the sign of when the judgments of the Tribulation would go into full swing.  Now He gives the remainder of the answer, telling them when the end would come.  After the judgments were complete, the “sign of the Son of Man will appear,” and that’s when Jesus would come.
  • What the “sign” actually is has been a subject of much conjecture and debate.  Some believe it will be a physical sign in the heavens – some believe that it is a banner of some sort, like an army waving a flag.  Others think it’s simpler than all of that, that perhaps the “sign” is Jesus’ return itself.  Certainly Jesus’ return will garner enough attention on its own, and if He comes as the lightning (as He said), that would definitely be a sign to all the world that He has come.  Jesus tells us three things about His coming:
  • Fact #1: everyone will mourn His coming.  The OT prophet Zechariah had written that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would look upon the Messiah they had pierced & they would mourn (Zech 10:10), and John’s gospel shows its fulfillment at the cross (Jn 19:37) – but there is an element of this that will also be fulfilled on the Day of the Lord’s coming.  Jerusalem will finally see the one that their forefathers had earlier rejected, and they will mourn the One they had crucified.  At the same time, Jesus doesn’t limit this statement only to the Jews.  He specifically says that “all the tribes of the earth will mourn.”  All peoples everywhere will grieve when they see Jesus coming in all power & might in the clouds.  They will know that their rebellion against God has been futile, and that they are without hope.  Keep in mind that God has been incredibly patient with humanity throughout history, and every day that the earth turns upon its axis is another day God has given everyone every opportunity to be saved by His grace.  But eventually that time will come to an end.  When people see Jesus coming in power, it will be too late. 
  • Fact #2: everyone will see Jesus.  He says “they will all see the Son of Man.”  This gets back to the idea that Jesus’ return will be visible.  Beyond just being in plain sight, Jesus’ return will be literally seen by every person on the plant.  This idea has been questioned by many.  After all, the earth is a sphere – how could Jesus come back to one place, and have every eye see Him.  Prior to the invention of television & the internet, this would have been technologically impossible, but now we can see events happening on the other side of the world in real-time.  But even beyond technology, we need to assume that Jesus is more than capable of doing such a thing.  (After all, it’s possible that the communications satellites and networks will be totally disrupted by the cosmic events of the Tribulation.)  Perhaps Jesus will encircle the planet over & over again in His coming, covering every continent.  Perhaps He does something else completely supernatural.  The possibilities are wide-open – after all, we’re talking about the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ & the end of the world as we know it.  It’s bound to be supernatural in how it works out!
  • Fact #3: Jesus’ coming will be glorious.  Again, this isn’t just any other day, with one more guy showing up alongside everyone else.  This is going to be something that only the prophets have ever gotten a glimpse of in the past.  Jesus seems to reference Daniel’s prophetic vision of the event.  Daniel 7:13–14, "(13) “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. (14) Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed." []  John used different language, but referred to the same thing.  [Revelation 19:11-16] Jesus’ return will be glorious!  No doubt He returns “with power and great glory!”  This is a huge distinction from His 1st Coming.  When Jesus came to 1st century Israel, He came in complete humility, taking on the form of a bondservant/slave.  When He comes the 2nd time, the Suffering Servant returns as the King of kings!
    • BTW – this doesn’t mean that Jesus changes.  He is still the same God and Savior He always was & ever will be.  The only change is the purpose in His coming.  The first time, Jesus came to seek & to save the lost.  The second time, Jesus comes to rule & reign.  When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He came in all humility – when Jesus comes with the clouds, He’ll come in all glory.  The exact same Jesus, but received in totally different ways.  The time to know Him & trust Him is NOW.

31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

  • When Jesus comes, He will collect those who belong to Him.  All over the world, there will be people who will have repented from sin & placed their faith in Christ during the years of the Great Tribulation.  This will be the moment that Jesus calls them to Himself as He sends out His angels to collect them from every nation.
  • This is NOT the rapture.  The rapture will have already taken place, as evidenced by the fact that Jesus was accompanied by armies in heaven, clothed in white linen (Rev 19:14).  That is not a reference to angels, but to the saints of God who were resurrected/raptured prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation.  We are the ones who will accompany Jesus at that time.  It is the angels’ job to gather the elect who were alive during the Tribulation, and bring them to Jesus.
  • The 2nd Coming assured (vss. 32-35)

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!

  • These are another few verses that have received no small amount of debate.  Some see the fig tree as a symbol of Israel, saying that when Israel starts to bud, it means the Tribulation is at hand.  The problem with that idea is the context.  Jesus isn’t talking about the beginnings of the Tribulation at this point; He’s talking about the 2nd Coming.  The reappearance of the nation of Israel is indeed exciting from a prophetic viewpoint, but it doesn’t mean that the Tribulation needs to begin within 40 years of Israel’s founding (and indeed, it hasn’t).  Fig trees are often (though not always) used in the OT as a symbol of Israel, and Jesus did curse a fig tree outside of Jerusalem because of their rejection of Him (Mt 21:18-19).  It could be argued that because the fig tree of Israel has started a return, that things are closer.  But although Israel is once again a nation, it is certainly not a believing nation.  Jews do not yet have faith in Jesus as Messiah, and it’s difficult to term that “fig tree” as yet truly blossoming. … On the other hand, Jesus could simply be talking agriculture.  How do you know when the seasons are changing?  By looking at foliage.  (We see it vividly every spring with azaleas & wisteria blooming throughout the area.)  Contextually, Jesus is teaching a similar lesson in regards to His 2nd Coming.  People will know that it is near (right “at the doors!”) when all of these things that Jesus has described have taken place.  He gave many visible indications ranging from the abomination of desolation to the cosmic disturbances just prior to the end.  When those things happen, it is like the fig tree whose branch is tender.  That’s the end.  Jesus gave very specific information in the Scripture in order that people would not be confused or misled.  They could simply follow the signs in the Bible.
  • There is great assurance in this!  This tells us that we don’t need to go off on wild-goose chases, following the latest prophecy fad-of-the-month.  We don’t have to panic, thinking the end of the world is upon us, because none of the things that Jesus warned about have come to pass.  At the very most, all we can say we’ve experienced so far are just the earliest beginnings of the birth pangs (vs. 8).  Even in all of that, we probably have only seen a foretaste of what will be fulfilled in the 1st 6 seals.  We simply haven’t gotten to the point of the 2nd coming yet.
    • The fact that we live in the end days is not a reason to panic.  It’s not even a reason to mourn the “good old days” that no longer exist.  It IS a reason for us to be ever more involved in the Great Commission!

34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

  • There is much in this loaded verse – but before we get to the details, we don’t want to miss the basic idea of what Jesus is saying in context.  No one is going to blink & miss the 2nd Coming.  Every single thing that Jesus said about the Tribulation and 2nd Coming will indeed come true, and it will be blatantly evident when it comes.  There is no wishing away the wrath of God – there is no way to avoid what is to come.  The proper way to respond to Jesus’ teaching is not to ignore it, but to ensure that we do not continue in rebellion against God, but in loving trust of Him.
    • People have a tendency of doing just that.  They don’t like the idea of eternal judgment, so they just ignore it & say God must not exist.  The problem is at that point, they aren’t dealing with reality (which is highly ironic, considering atheistic claims against Christians).  Consider someone has just received news that they are highly allergic to peanuts & that if they eat another peanut it could send them into anaphylatic shock (a reaction that could send them to the hospital & even cause death).  And yet instead of avoiding it, they say, “What does that doctor know?  I don’t believe him – I’m going to continue eating my PB&J!”  That would be shutting eyes to reality & willfully walking into danger.  On a far more serious level is when people do the same thing with God. They see something about God they don’t like, or they have an experience in a church they disagree with, and they write off Christianity completely, not considering the fact that they are writing off their only hope for eternal salvation.  Don’t ignore Jesus!  Don’t blind yourself to Him!  What Jesus said will happen, will happen.  That much is assured.
  • This generation” has been another cause for much debate!  The last time Jesus used the phrase was against the Pharisees, scribes, and all of Jerusalem in Mt 23:16, and the plain reference was to the generation currently alive in the city.  They would personally experience the judgment of God at the time Jerusalem was overthrown by the Romans in 70AD.  Because of Jesus’ use of the term again here, many people believe that Jesus must have meant exactly the same thing.  They think it would be that particular generation of Jews living in Jerusalem that would experience all of the events of the Tribulation that Jesus just taught.  They argue that for Jesus’ statement in vs. 34 to be truly accurate, He must have been describing the destruction in 70AD.  (This is the basis for preterism – the thought that the Biblical prophecies have already all been fulfilled.)  The problem is that very few of the things described by Jesus came true in 70AD, aside from the destruction of the temple & the city.  Either Jesus used highly symbolic language to describe the days of the Romans (so symbolic that His words are completely distorted from their plain meaning), or Jesus must have been referring to something else.  To look over Jesus’ words, there is simply nothing there that would indicate that He describes anything else than very real, concrete events.
    • The abomination of desolation is a very specific sign, and it has not been fulfilled.  There are two events from history that can come close, but nothing matches the description.  Antiochus Epiphanes did indeed set up an abomination (fulfilling one out of three of Daniel’s prophecies), but this could not be the fulfillment here because that event had already taken place almost 200 years prior to Jesus’ prophecy.  In looking after Jesus spoke these things, it could not refer to the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem because they burned the temple to absolute ruins before they had an opportunity to defile it & set up pagan sacrifices in the city.  Obviously it hasn’t taken place since that time, because there has been no Jewish temple to desecrate.  Thus it must be a still future event.
    • The city was indeed destroyed in 70AD, and people fled the city much along Jesus’ description.  But the event itself simply cannot be described in the same terms that Jesus used.  The destruction of Jerusalem was bad, but not the worst that the world had ever seen to date, or in the history of the world since.  It certainly was not an event that threatened the life of every single human on the planet.  For Jesus to be referring to the overthrow of 70AD would be for vss. 21-22 to be complete exaggeration to the point of not meaning anything.  Thus, this must also still refer to a yet future event.
    • There have been many false Christs and false teachers, just as Jesus said – but Jesus Himself has definitely not yet returned!  He made it clear that all the world would know His return – they would see it with their own eyes & everyone would recognize exactly what was happening at the time.  If Jesus DID return (as some preterists go so far to proclaim), it’s been the best kept secret in all history.  There ought to be no doubt that this event (of all!) is still future.
  • So if Jesus did not refer to the actual physical generation of the Jews living in Jerusalem at that time, what did Jesus mean?  There are different thoughts here.  There is a possible alternate translation of the word for “generation” as “race,” which leads some to believe that Jesus is saying that the race of the Jews will not pass away until everything He said comes to fulfillment.  Theologically & historically, we can affirm this idea (God has always had a remnant among Israel), but it doesn’t seem to be the most natural translation of the word.  Some have thought that Jesus is referring to the age of peoples between the cross & 2nd Coming – that the earth would not perish until Jesus’ return.  Again, the idea is true in that Jesus’ will return before humans have a chance to destroy ourselves – but that seems to stretch Jesus’ words beyond His context.  The most natural reading of a normal physical generation is best – we simply need to identify the generation.  Jesus has been speaking of almost entirely future events, and of the people (primarily the Jews) who will live through the days of the Great Tribulation.  That generation will see the beginning of the Tribulation, and they will see it all the way through to the end.  Keep in mind that a generation is typically considered anywhere between 40-100 years in the Scripture, and the duration of the Great Tribulation is only 7 years (with the harshest judgments coming in the last 3½ years).  All of it easily contained in one generation.  There is a limit to the Tribulation, and when the end comes, it will come swiftly.

35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

  • Again, there is no doubt that the Tribulation will indeed happen.  These things are assured, and nothing can change it.  There will be cultural changes & shifts in attitudes.  There will be a rise and fall of many nations.  But Jesus’ words will remain true.  Even into eternity when the physical creation is remade into a new heavens & new earth, Jesus’ words will always remain true – they will never pass away.
  • Jesus’ words are trustworthy!  God’s word never changes.  Obviously Jesus’ whole context here has been eschatology (the study of the end-times), but God’s word is faithful in every area.  There is no promise within the word of God that cannot be held to in faith – God is true!  This is not only comforting in the fact that we know that our Lord will one day come back to rule & reign, in fulfillment of every promise He made to Israel – but also for us as the Church.  The Bible tells us that Jesus paid the price for our sins (it’s true!) – that Jesus cleansed us and gave us a new birth (it’s true!) – that we have been made the children of God & the Bride of Christ (it’s true!) – that we are awaiting a day in which Jesus will gather us back to Himself (it’s true!)…it’s all true!  None of these things will change.  No warning about repentance from sin – no gracious invitation to be saved through the gospel – none of these things will pass until the time is fulfilled, and even then the effects of these things will reverberate through eternity.  We can trust the word of God in every respect!
  • Please note how Jesus shows His words have same authority, weight, and lasting faithfulness as God’s word.  The only being of whom we could say that His words would never pass away would be Almighty God, and Jesus places Himself on that same level.  And rightfully so – Jesus IS God.

Conclusion:
Praise God that our Lord Jesus is coming back!  And better yet, we as the Church will be with Him!  For those who are alive upon the earth with faith in Christ at the time, Jesus gives them great assurance.  He will indeed come back, and bring an end to the days of the Great Tribulation.  Although there would be incredible suffering during that time, it would not last forever.  That being said, those believers are to look for Christ’s appearing & not be deceived.

  • The 2nd coming would be evident to all…there would be no mistaking it when it happened.
  • The 2nd coming would be incredibly glorious.  Jesus will come in power & upon the clouds to rule & reign.  Every eye will see Him & His angels will gather His people to Him.
  • The 2nd coming is gloriously assured.  Nothing would sway God from His purposes & plan.  He cannot be written off or ignored – the word of God must be dealt with.

As much as these things will give hope to those who live through the days of the Tribulation, they ought to also give great hope to the Christian living today.  After all, this is the Lord God we serve!  We as the church do not place our hope & faith in a bunch of ideals, morals, and philosophy.  We don’t simply live out a bunch of good feelings.  We serve a Living Lord who is coming to judge the living & the dead!  We serve a Risen King who will one day return to the earth He created & rule AS King over all the earth.  The end of the world is not really the end – it’s the start of something else entirely & wonderfully different.  That’s a day to which every believer in Christ can look forward!  That’s a promise that can help us endure the things we face right now.  To look around at the world right now, we obviously are not yet in the kingdom of God.  Of course there are aspects to it as we live as citizens of the great King Jesus – but His rule is not yet known over all the world.  But it will be!  One day, everything that is wrong will be made right – and it all starts on the day that Jesus once again sets His foot upon planet earth.  We can hardly wait for the day!

Jesus is indeed coming – are you ready to see Him?  Maybe the thought of Jesus’ return doesn’t fill you with joy, but with dread.  You know that if you were one that remained here to see Jesus coming on the clouds, you would be one who would mourn – knowing that you had wasted your opportunity to be saved.  Today, you don’t have to waste it.  You’ve been given an opportunity by God right now to be forever forgiven & saved by Jesus.  Jesus is indeed coming as the King, but He has come first as the Savior & He offers you His love, mercy, and grace today.  Respond to Him!

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