When Will Jesus Return?
Don’t Get LEFT BEHIND
Regardless of your belief or doctrinal position, the fact that Jesus is coming back to gather all Christians from the earth was a promise Jesus made shortly before His crucifixion. The timing of His return has been the subject of much debate since the 1st century church. In John’s Gospel, Jesus said:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And 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. (John 14:1-3)
The Blessed Hope
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep (died) in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church. This is often referred to as the “rapture” of the church.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thess. 4:16-17)
Here are a few references that talk about the return of the Lord:
When Will This Take Place?
The Lord’s return will come as a surprise to many, but it won’t come as a surprise to the true believer who is eagerly waiting for His return. Jesus speaking in Matthew’s Gospel says:
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one Adeceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of Bwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be Cfamines, pestilences,and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and Dkill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many Afalse prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because Elawlessness will abound, the Flove of many will grow cold. But Ghe who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be Hpreached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:4-14)
While there is no exact date given by Jesus as to when he will appear in the clouds, the passage above contains some specific things that would precede His return.
The idea here is to avoid being led away from the real Savior and falling for some false savior, philosophy or substitute belief system. Further down the passage we learn that “false prophets” will also appear and mislead many believers into error. Believers must always listen with an ear of discernment, (“the spiritual man judges all things” (1 Cor. 2:15)) not accepting at face value the latest upstart that declares himself or herself to be the Messiah or messenger of God. History is replete with leaders claiming to be the chosen one or a special messenger from God. It is essential that all believers study the Bible and possess a solid working knowledge of what it says. Believers that lack knowledge of God’s word can easily be misled and will be deceived. Regular attendance and being attached to the local church is not only commanded in the Bible, it is necessary for your spiritual survival. The local church was designed by God to be a place of learning, growth and protection from all that can lead you into error. Secondly, the church is the body of Christ of which He is the head and commissioned with the mission to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
- Wars And Rumors Of Wars
Most likely, you have turned on the news or surfed the web and realized our world is in turmoil. Some of you have lost parents, siblings, family or friends to military conflicts that are raging all over the world. May I offer my deepest sympathy to you for having made such a sacrifice to protect our country. These signs of the times and others are all around us and are an indication of His soon coming return.
- Natural Disasters
Around 7 billion people occupy the earth and well over 500 million go to bed hungry each night due to famine and drought. The CDC indicates that pestilence, plagues or disease are on the rise around the world . Earthquakes and Tsunamis are also increasing on a global scale. All theses are growing concerns and serve as a warning that His return is imminent.
- Persecution Of The Church
When we read about hatred, persecution or Christians being executed for their faith in Christ, we generally associate these sufferings with the 1st century church. But martyrdom and persecution continues around the world till this day. Believers in the U.S. experience very little suffering for their faith at this time. Christian persecution in the U.S. is limited to being ridiculed in the media or secular work-place, along with a little social ostracization. Google the subject and learn about global persecution of Christians.
- Increase Of Evil
The last days prior to Jesus return will be marked by a rapid increase in unrighteousness, wickedness, evilness, lawlessness, disobedience and a wholesale disrespect for all that was once held as righteous Godly living. Men, women and children will be seduced by societal lust for the forbidden pleasures of ungodly lifestyles. I am speaking in a future tense here, but as many of you know, we are actually seeing an accelerated deterioration in society’s morals. As the Godly light dims in the collective consciousness of our nation we are rapidly losing sight of what is right and wrong. The latest victim of moral degradation is the traditional marriage. We know that since creation, marriage has always been understood to be between a man and a woman. After the creation of Adam, God said, “it is not good for a man to be alone” and so He created Eve, a woman. During Jesus’ earthly ministry He confirmed what a marriage is in very specific terms:
Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. (Matt. 19:4-6).
Unfortunately, the LGBT movement has managed to convince lawmakers to disagree with God and create laws that contradict creation, human nature and God’s laws. The definition of marriage now includes a man and a man or a woman and a woman. Friends, the world may be spinning out of control, but he who holds on to God will be saved.
- Many Believers Love For God Will Grow Cold
Societal deterioration away from God will take its toll on believers as the worldly philosophy gradually overtakes many believers. The prevailing darkness will cause many to lose sight of the importance of church attendance, prayer and worship. Many will grow comfortable in their own accomplishments feeling a sense of security. Listen to what God says to the church of Laodicea:
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Rev 3:14-21).
Many Bible scholars believe we are living in the “Laodicean” church age today.
- Stand Firm
The idea of standing firm and holding your ground as a believer involves endurance. Shallow believers not fully committed to Christ will find it much easier to follow the politically correct crowd and the philosophical views of a terminally ill society that failed to comprehend the consequences of rebellious living and faith in God.
- Gospel Proclaimed To The World And Then The End Comes
When Jesus ascended into the clouds He left the apostles in charge and with the responsibility of taking the “Good News” around the world. With the increase in technology and information we are nearing the completion of this mission. The mission and the message has not changed:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Eternal life is the free gift of God for all who turn to Him and are “born again.” If you would like to learn more about the “new birth” click here…