Jesus is Coming Again
"Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
Jesus is coming again! That "the coming of the Lord draws nigh" is being borne witness as never before. Even unconverted people on the street feel that something momentous is taking shape. The people of God know what that something is: the end of man's rule on earth and the return of the Lord Jesus. Sincere children of God everywhere are putting on "the whole armor of God" that they "may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil", for they know what lies ahead.
Jesus told his disciples that his saints would suffer great tribulation in the last days and that "after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers that are in heaven will be shaken. And then will they 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 uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven" (Mk. 13:24-27).
The saints of God everywhere are waiting, watching, and praying for the time when they shall see Jesus, "who will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned to be like his glorious body" (Phip. 3:21). "But of that day and that hour," we are told, "knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take heed, watch and pray, for you know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house [believers on earth], and gave authority to his servants [ministers], and to every man [member] his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch therefore, for you know not when the master of the house comes, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning, lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all: Watch!" (Mk. 13:32-37).
Those who believe in a visible, personal coming of Jesus are not following "cunningly devised fables", for our Lord repeatedly stated that he would return to earth and receive the faithful unto himself. Yes, our Lord promised to return for his "bride"; that is, for believers who are faithful to him, and this he will do at the close of this age.
The writer of Hebrews tells us, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. And unto those who look for him will he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb. 9:27-28). Just before he faced death, that old warrior, the apostle Paul, joyfully exclaimed, "There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day and not to me only, but unto all who love his appearing" (2Tim. 4:8). How those thrilling words have echoed in the souls of godly men through the centuries, and that echo has revived hope and encouraged the hearts of all who are seeking to be counted worthy of God's eternal rest. From Paul's words, we see that the faithful saints' expectation of the personal return of Jesus may grow beyond a mere longing, to the point of "loving" his appearing. Reader, such a love is demonstrated by obedience to Jesus' commandments, including his charge to "take heed, watch and pray."
Paul tells us, "The day of the Lord is coming as a thief in the night . . . But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. . . .Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Thess. 5:2-9).
The hope of our Lord's return vibrates through and touches the tenderest chord in the heart of each child of God. The thought of his coming sets on fire the passions of praise and gives hope and faith to all who are watching and praying. The bride cherishes the thought of the bridegroom's coming, anxious to see the one she loves. Beloved, "it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Indeed, as Paul further entreats, "The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light" (Rom. 13:11-12), for our king is coming to punish the wicked and to reward the righteous.
The angels confirmed Jesus' promise to return by saying to his followers, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). This is worded to meet the requirement of the most exacting legalist. "In like manner" means "exactly as" or "in the very same way".
We are told that "a cloud received him out of their sight ", and Jesus declared in Mark 14:62, "You will see the Son of man . . . coming in the clouds of heaven." Angels were present when he went away, and of his second coming, we read in Mark 8:38 that Jesus will come "in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Our Lord ascended from the Mount of Olives, and Zechariah (14:4), speaking of our Lord's return, tells us, "His feet will stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives." Is not this "in like manner" or "in the very same way"? The most technical scholar could not ask for a more precise wording concerning the promise of our Redeemer's return to earth.
Listen to a few biblical testimonies concerning the second coming of Jesus:
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not prevent them who are asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so will we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.
Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord. And He will send Jesus Christ, who before was preached to you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
Be patient brothers, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be you also patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draws nigh. Grudge not one against another, brothers, lest you be condemned. Behold, the judge stands before the door.
Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God! Therefore, the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we will be. But we know that when he will appear, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
Jesus' Testimony on His Return
If they shall say to you, "Behold, he is in the desert", do not go forth. Or [if they say], "Behold, he is in the secret chambers", do not believe it. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of man be.
The Scoffers' Testimony on Jesus' Return
The scoffers' testimony is in the form of a question: "Where is the promise of his coming?" When they fail to dissuade the children of God from looking for the return of the Savior, scoffers spiritualize his return, making it a mere metaphor. Child of God, watch and pray, for Satan would tell you, through misguided people, that the baptism of the Spirit, or some other spiritual experience, is the second coming of Jesus. This is wrong. Christ was here in spirit before his birth in Bethlehem (1Pet. 1:10-11); yet, it was his personal, visible appearance that we call his first advent. It will be his personal, visible appearance (in a glorified body) that will fulfill the prophecy of his second advent. He came first and sowed the seed of his kingdom. He will come the second time to gather the harvest.
The second coming of Jesus will not be a secret. The whole world will witness his return, not merely the righteous who are expecting him. In Matthew 24:30, we read, "Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. And then will all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." John agrees that Jesus' return will be witnessed by all men when he says, "Behold, he comes with clouds; and EVERY EYE will see him, and they also who pierced him. And all kindreds of the earth will wail because of him" (Rev. 1:7).
My friend, what will you do "when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ"? Are you ready to join in the song of the redeemed at his coming? Is your heart burning with loyalty? Are you living in such an attitude toward his coming that you will receive, with Paul, a crown of righteousness that is laid up for all who love his appearing? Are you ready for that joyful benediction, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord"? Child of God, you should be thrilled to know that you will soon be meeting with the saints of all ages, keeping company with angels, and singing and shouting around the throne of God!
"Behold, your King is coming!" This time, in the clouds of heaven, in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken up. Therefore you be also ready, for at such an hour as you do not think, the Son of man is coming." (Matt. 24:42-44)