Over 2000 years ago Jesus Christ came to this planet earth. The purpose of His first coming was to live a perfect life, to die and rise again so as to pay the penalty for the sins of people in this world, and to start the church, His spiritual body on earth. Christ then ascended into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God, interceding for the believers, watching over them, and waiting for that day when He comes back to earth to take them home to heaven.
This topic of Christ's Second Coming is very important, particularly when we realize that His coming, His appearing is not that far off. As Christians we should be excitedly looking forward to His soon return. First, let me mention a number of verses that tell us that Jesus Christ is coming back:
- John 14:3 "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
- Acts 1:11 "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go to heaven."
- 1 Corinthians 1:7-8 "as you eagerly wait for the Lord Jesus to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- Hebrews 9:27 "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him."
- 1 Thessalonians 1:10 "You turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, who rescues us from the wrath to come."
- 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 "They will be punished with everlasting destruction on the day He comes
to be glorified in His holy people, and to be marveled at among all those who have believed."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:8 "Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming."
- Titus 2:13-14 "while we wait for the blessed hope the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, who gave Himself to redeem us from all wickedness."
- 1 Peter 1:16 "Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Christ is revealed."
- Revelation 22:12 "Behold, I am coming soon. My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."
These are just some of the verses that speak of the Lord's return, but there are many more. You see God gives us a lot of information, a lot of details about the return of His Son, for He wants to impress upon us the importance of this momentous, cataclysmic, life changing, earth shaking, holy event. But He also does this because He really wants us to know what is going to happen, and to be ready for what is going to happen, and to be looking forward to what is going to happen.
But why is Christ coming? Let me list some of the reasons why:
1. Christ is coming back to take all believers still on earth to heaven.
2. Christ is coming back to give relief to all believers who are undergoing tribulation.
3. Christ is coming back to rescue believers from the wrath to come upon this earth.
4. Christ is coming back to punish all unbelievers who are left on this earth upon His return.
5. Christ is coming back to punish His chief enemy on earth,.the beast, the antichrist.
6. Christ is coming back to resurrect and glorify all believers.
7. Christ is coming back to save a great number of Jews, and fulfill His promise to the Jewish people.
8. Christ is coming back to restore this world from its fallen sinful condition, and so that He can begin His millennial reign on earth.
Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth because He is holy, and there needs to be justice. He is coming back because He is loving, and He wants to express His love and kindness to those who are believers. In short, Christ is coming back to take up the saints, to take out the enemy, and to take over the world. We believe that Christ's return, His second coming, could take place soon, even in our lifetime. Many specific prophecies are now being fulfilled that give clear evidence that the end of this age, the return of Christ, and the rapture of the believers is drawing near.
The main reason that we can say the return of Christ is drawing near is that the nation of Israel was miraculously reestablished as a nation in 1948 (Ezekiel 36-37, Isaiah 11). But what are some other events that have been taking place that are fulfilling God's prophetic Word concerning the return of Christ and are indicating that Christ's return will soon be taking place?
- The Jewish people took over Jerusalem in 1967. (Daniel 9:24)
- Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilence, and economic hardship are increasingly taking place around our world. (Matthew 24:48, Revelation 6:1-8)
- The alignment of particular nations is now taking place as prophesied. Russia, Iran, Libya (Ezekiel 38:1-6); European Union (Daniel 2, 7, 9); Arab nations (Psalm 83)
- The gospel is being preached to all the nations. (Matthew 24:14).
- The Jews are ready to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, and once again offer sacrifices
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, Matthew 24:15, Revelation 12:1-2).
- There is increasing anti-Semitism around the world (Zechariah 12:1-3, Daniel 9:27) .
- There is an increasing necessity and movement to sign a peace treaty in Israel (Daniel 9:27).
All these events, predicted in the Bible, have only recently begun to take place, signaling the soon return of Jesus Christ. God is giving us advanced warning so that we can know, not the specific time, but the general time of Christ's return. Matthew 24:32-41, Mark 13:23
How should we then live, knowing that Christ's return could take place in our lifetime?
- We should be preaching the gospel, making disciples until the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
- We should be living holy lives, hastening the return of Christ. 2 Peter 3:11-12
- We should be faithful in carrying out the work that God has given us to do. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
- We should be looking forward to the return of our Lord and Savior. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
- We should be spiritually awake and alert. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8
- We should be increasingly encouraging one another as we see the day of Christ getting closer and closer and closer. Hebrews 10:24-25
- We should take comfort in the fact that Christ will return soon to take us home to heaven, relieve us from our suffering, and rescue us from this wicked world and the wrath to come. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
As a church we believe that we are living in the end times, and that Christ's return could take place soon. We are not into speculation and date setting. But we are committed to understanding what God has told us in His Word about His Son's return. Our job as Christians is to interpret what's going on in the world in light of God's prophetic Word. As we study God's Word and then look at the world around us, we can see that the coming of Christ and the day of the Lord are getting closer and closer. 2 Peter 1:19
In His Word, God has told us everything that we need to know about Christ's return, and how we should then live. Let's not neglect this important and timely truth. Might we be good students, wise children, hard working servants, and a faithful bride to Christ. Let's not be asleep, but awake, alert and looking forward to the return of Christ, to the rapture and resurrection of the believers, and to being with Christ forever. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. Mark 13:23, Revelation 1:4, 22:20