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Is The Return Of Our Lord Jesus Near?

Nov 6, 2007
In contrast to the rapture, the glorious appearing will be a spectacular event clearly visible to everyone on earth. Following the rapture and the seven-year tribulation, Christ will return with His church to establish His Millennial Kingdom. Jesus explicitly said so when the high priest asked Him to identify himself:

Then the high priest asked him, Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God? Jesus said,I am, and you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at Gods right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:61-62 (NLT)

The response provided by Jesus caused the high priest to tear his own clothing in horror. Why? Because the high priest knew the implications of this statement. Jesus was not only claiming to be the Messiah, but was proclaiming Himself the equal of God. The Jewish Leaders were familiar with the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah and His Kingdom. Jesus was directly referring to Psalm 110:

The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet. The Lord will extend your powerful dominion from Jerusalem; you will rule over your enemies. In that day of battle, your people will serve you willingly. Arrayed in holy garments, your vigor will be renewed each day like the morning dew. The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow: You are a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek. The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you. He will strike down many kings in the day of his anger. He will punish the nations and fill them with their dead; he will shatter heads over the whole earth. But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way. He will be victorious.Psalm 110:1-7 (NLT)

This psalm is a clear reference to the glorious appearing of Christ, as He returns to earth to judge His enemies. In returning, He comes with His church to punish the nations and to set up His kingdom in victory.

In addition, when telling the high priest he would see the Son of Man coming back on the clouds of heaven, Jesus identified Himself as the eternal ruler spoken of by the prophet Daniel:

As my vision continued that night, I saw someone who looked like a man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, royal power over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 (NLT)

These passages illustrate the future return of Jesus Christ. This will not be an allegorical or spiritual return of mere symbolic significance. It will be a literal return to earth to judge those nations who have aligned against Him. The glorious appearing is characterized by its visibility. Every eye on earth will witness the return of Jesus Christ:

Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send forth his angels to gather together his chosen ones from all over the world from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. Mark 13:26-27 (NLT)

The glorious appearing will be seen by all, just as lightning covers the sky:

For as the lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. Matthew 24:27 (NLT)

Those who anticipate the rapture will react to the Lords return with great celebration. But the glorious appearing will be accompanied by great mourning, for the majority of those who are left on earth at this time will be those who rejected Christ:

And then at last, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the nations of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send forth his angels with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. Matthew 24:30-31 (NLT)

The Book of Revelation reiterates the sorrow of those who have rejected Him:

Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the earth will weep because of him. Yes! Amen! I am the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end, says the Lord God. I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One. Revelation 1:7-8 (NLT)

The message is clear Jesus is coming! Therefore, we shouldnt live our lives in spiritual slumber. We need to wake up! Otherwise, His return will come upon us as unexpectedly as a thief in the night.

Our Conclusion

Our generation will surely see the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Christs return, both the rapture and the glorious appearing. How do we know? Because Jesus tells us so. According to the Lord, the most important sign of the imminence of His return is when Israel becomes a nation once again:

I assure you, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever. Matthew 24:32-35 (NLT)

Jesus instructed his disciples to look for the signs of his coming. In rebuking the Pharisees and Sadducees, he said You are good at reading the weather signs in the sky, but you cant read the obvious signs of the time! Matthew 16:3 (NLT). He was admonishing the religious leaders of his day, and their inability to recognize the time of his coming as foretold in the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. Just as the people of that day refused to recognize the signs of the times, we too must be on guard at all times, watching for the signs of his coming. We should be living our lives as if Jesus Christ could return at any moment.

In preparation for His return, we should serve others, exhibit patience, love each other, pray, and eagerly await His coming, knowing full well we are redeemed by His love. Peter underscores the importance of love when he notes that the things of this world will soon pass away:

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. 1 Peter 4:7-9 (NLT)

Peter also reminds us that we should be patient in awaiting Christs return:

But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isnt really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment. 2 Peter 3:8-10 (NLT)

Although we long for the Lords return, we must be patient. For His plan is to give ample time for all to come to know Him, so that not a single person will have to perish. We must also be patient with those who mock our belief that Christ will return, as they harbor their own belief that much time has passed (from a human perspective) since He first made His promise. Because they are not of the Spirit, the thought of the Lords return seems like mere foolishness to them. However, we shouldnt allow the naysayers of this world to corrupt us, because even this world recognizes our lives will pass from us in an instant. Instead, we should pray for everyone to come to full knowledge of Christ:

Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living! You should look forward to that day and hurry it along the day when God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and the new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God. 2 Peter 3:11-13 (NLT)

The things of this world can be very distracting, but we must remain focused on the end goal. This world is only temporary, but God will create a paradise on earth that is everlasting and eternal. Therefore, we should set out to live godly lives in order to secure His promise for ourselves. For where our treasures are stored, there our minds and hearts will be also.

One of these treasures is exclusively reserved for those who eagerly await the return of Christ:

Be dressed for service and well prepared, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. There will be special favor for those who are ready and waiting for his return. I tell you, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, there will be special favor for his servants who are ready! Luke 12:35-38 (NLT)

The Lord promises to give each of us a special reward a crown for eagerly awaiting His return. Paul mentioned this crown in a letter to Timothy:

And now the prize awaits me the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return. 2 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)

This crown is not just for Paul, but for all who love Christ and live their lives in anticipation of His return. By living our lives in hope of His imminent return, not only will we win the crown of righteousness, but we will live a more fruitful life on earth.

Those who believe the master will return at any moment remain faithful servants in charge of their masters estate, knowing that when He returns, He will be pleased to find them hard at work. Likewise, we should faithfully observe His commands to love our neighbors and to love our God with all our heart and mind and soul, knowing that when He returns, He will find us following Him in faithful devotion.

To learn more about the glorious appearing and the Second Coming of Christ, visit Britt's christian prophecy blog.
About the Author
Get more information at http://brittgillette.com Read more articles like this one at http://eagleheartministries.org/
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