CHRIST'S RETURN

 

According to scripture, before ascending to heaven Jesus told his disciples he'd return in the future. This is stated at John 14:3, which says (quotes from the King James Version):

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

This is paralleled by the angel's words at Acts 1:11, which states:

"...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."

Naturally, this makes believers ask if there is a way of knowing when his return will be. Although the Holy Bible doesn't actually give an exact date and time, it gives us plenty of signs to look for as that time approaches.

To begin with, the Bible makes it clear that when Christ returns he will have received the heavenly throne from the Father:

Daniel 7:13-14 -- I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve him...

1 Corinthians 15:25 -- For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Much of the information regarding the timing can be gleaned by reading Matthew chapter 24:

vs. 3 ...the disciples came to him privately, saying 'Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?' (Two separate questions: 1- When will these things happen?, and 2 - What is the sign that it's the end times?). vs. 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them; " Take heed that no man deceive you. vs. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ', and shall deceive many. vs. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. vs. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. vs. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (As vs. 6 points out, these aren't the signs of the actual end, these are only the beginning sorrows that precede the end) vs.9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. vs. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. vs. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. vs. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. vs. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. vs. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come. (Brotherly love will fade, Christians will be persecuted for their faith, and false prophets and false Christs will rise. Endurance to the end will save the faithful. Meanwhile, the true Christian gospel will be taught worldwide, and then - after that - shall the end come). vs. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the Holy Place (whoso readeth, let him understand). (this refers to Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11) vs. 16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains; vs. 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; vs. 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. vs. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! vs. 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; vs. 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. vs. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (This passage shows the intense circumstances in which the world will be living, and vs. 21 points out that it is at this time when the Great Tribulation begins) vs. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. vs. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. vs. 25 Behold, I have told you before. vs. 26 Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. vs. 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. vs. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (False Christs will continue to exist through this Great Tribulation; do not follow them, for the Real Christ is not come yet, and when he does come, it will be known simultaneously everywhere, just as flashes of lightning are seen everywhere simultaneously, not just in certain places. This is how we'll know a false Christ from the real Christ.) vs. 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. vs. 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. (This parallels Daniel 7:13-14) vs. 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.

Note, the disciples asked what the sign of his presence would be in verse 3, and the sign is told in verses 29-30, with the reality being that the signs of his presence occur immediately after the Great Tribulation.

These particular signs that signal the coming of Christ are spoken of repeatedly in scripture:

Joel 2:31 And the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.

Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.

And these particular signs seem to be connected with the sixth seal being opened by the angel at Revelation 6:12

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Returning to the passage in Matthew chapter 24:

vs. 32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. vs. 33 So likewise, ye when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
This is emphasizing that when we see these signs, we should know his coming is near.
vs. 34 Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. vs. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. vs. 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. The day will come upon us unexpectedly. vs. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. vs. 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 Noah entered into the ark. vs. 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. vs. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. vs. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (This is not The Rapture: Notice that this is compared to Noah's day, when the unrighteous were "taken away", i.e. destroyed. Therefore, this is referring to the unrepentant sinners being destroyed and the repentant ones spared.) vs. 42 Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. vs. 43 But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. vs. 44 Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

The idea of the wicked being taken/destroyed, when Christ returns is supported by several scriptures:

Revelation 19:11,13,19-21
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war...And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and his name was called The Word of God...And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse...

Zephaniah 1:14-18
The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD, the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

Ezekiel 34:11-13
For thus saith the Lord God "Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

So, if we put these things together, we can be sure we are now living in the time of the "beginning of sorrows". Thus, we know that time is moving steadily towards the Great Tribulation and the Return of Christ, and we must stay awake spiritually so as to not be caught "sleeping". May we all take advantage of the time we have to fortify our spirituality and spread the truth of Christ so that more may be saved in the end.

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ADDENDUM :

Sometimes people write us with questions regarding this particular essay, so we wish to address the questions one by one for everyone's benefit. Remember, don't just take our word for it, please check these for yourselves:

1. Why is Christ's return necessary?
Answer:
Yahweh gives Christ authority over everything until Christ defeats all of God's enemies (1 Corinthians 15:25). Death is the last enemy to be defeated (1 Corinthians 15:26). Some of the enemies to be defeated are the human rulerships (1 Corinthians 15:24). Thus, it is necessary for Christ to return to earth since he must defeat these human rulerships. After Christ accomplishes everything, God plans to establish His own global rulership (Daniel 2:44, 1 Corinthians 15:28, Revelation 21:1-4).

2. Where will Christ rule, and how?
Answer:
Christ will rule on Mount Zion (Revelation 14:1) which is synonymous with New Jerusalem. According to scripture, New Jerusalem will come to earth after it has been cleansed (Revelation 21:1-3). Christ continues to rule until Death is completely vanquished (1 Corinthians 15:26)

3. Who will Christ resurrect, why and when?
Answer:
Righteous hearted people will be resurrected (Luke 14:14, John 5:28-29), and those who show true faith in Christ will be resurrected (John 6:40, John 11:25, Acts 13:48). Some will be resurrected when he returns so they can rule with him, and the others will be resurrected after the millennial reign (Revelation 20:4-6).

4. Who will Christ not resurrect?
Answer:
All with wicked hearts, all who've blasphemed the holy spirit, and all who do not accept Christ will remain in death (Matthew 25:45, John 3:16, 36, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, 2 Peter 3:7, Mark 3:29 with 1 John 5:16).

5. Who will participate with Christ in this rule, and how?
Answer:
Those from the first resurrection will rule as kings and priests with Christ (Revelation 5:10, Revelation 20:4-6)

6. Who are the ruled?
Answer:
The ones ruled are whoever is on the earth (Revelation 5:10). The bible shows that there will be people to rule over during his millennium at Daniel 7:14, Matthew 19:28, 1 Corinthians 6:2.

7. What is expected of the rulers?
Answer:
Although the bible doesn't give a lot of detail, we do know the rulers will be priests and kings with Christ (Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10). They will be judging the "twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:29-30). For the identity of who "Israel" is, please read the page titled "New Covenant".

8. What is expected of the ruled?
Answer:
It is expected that they accept the rulership (Revelation 21:3).

9. What is the final result of all this effort?
Answer:
A world of peace,love,and righteousness, justice,and there'll be no more corruption (Isaiah 9:7, Isaiah 11:4-5, Daniel 2:44, Revelation 21:1-4).

 

 


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