One of the most wonderful promises in God’s Word is that Christ will return. It is the blessed hope when we will see our Creator and Saviour face to face, who is coming to gather His people.
Why is Jesus going to return?
“And if I go and prepare a place for you [i.e. the mansions in heaven], I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3.
“And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev 22:12. Jesus is returning to gather His people and reward them with everlasting life.
What will happen to the righteous when Jesus returns?
“...We which are alive and remain unto the coming [parousia] of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: 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.” 1Thess 4:16-17.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life…” John 5:28-29.
“...they [the faithful dead, Abel, Enoch etc.] without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:40.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they They that are Christ’s at His coming.” 1Cor 15:23.
“We shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Cor 15:51-53.
The living and the dead saints will be perfected together when Jesus returns.
How will Christ return?
“A cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, 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 1:9-11.“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him... and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Revelation 1:7.
“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 24:30
As Christ ascended bodily, visibly and literally so He will return. Every eye will see Him. His return will not be quiet, secret or invisible
“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. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming [parousia] of the Son of man be.” Matt 24:26-27. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth
also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2Pet 3:10.
Who will come with Jesus?
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” Matthew 25:31.
“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.” Matt 24:31.
What will happen to the living wicked when Jesus returns?
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man...the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot... it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed...one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, wheresoever the body [carcase] is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. Luke 17:26-37.
Those left behind will be left behind dead, supper for vultures. Rev 19:17. There will be no second chance. “...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...”
“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.” 1Thessalonians 5:2-4. As a thief means
unexpectedly (See Luke 12:39). Christ’s coming will be unexpected by the wicked.
How near is Christ’s coming?
“…when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33-34.
What are the signs?
a. Wars (Luke 21:9)
b. Distress in nations (Luke 21:25-26)
c. Increase in knowledge (Dan 12:4)
d. Scoffers (2Pet 3:3; 2 Tim 4:3-4)
e. Moral degeneracy (2Tim 3:1-5)
f. Craze for pleasure (2Tim 2:4)
g. Increasing lawlessness (Matt 24:12; 2Tim 3:13)
h. Destructive earthquakes, famines & diseases (Luke 21:11)
i. Gospel to all the world (Matt 24:14)
j. Spiritualism (1Tim 4:1; Rev 16:14)
k. Deceptions regarding the Second Coming (Matt 24)
What are we to do to be ready?
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt 7:21-23.