In What Manner Will Christ Return?
If you have read "Is Jesus Coming Again," we can have the assurance that Jesus soon return is imminent. But how will He come the second time is the question posed by many searching minds and hearts.
As Jesus came literally, visibly, and personally the first time, so also will He come the second time in "like manner" (Acts 1:11). As His first coming fulfilled Bible predictions to the letter, so will the second.
"Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, (Revelation 1:7). He comes, this time, not as a man of sorrows, but as victor and conqueror to claim His own. In place of the crown of thorns, He wears a crown of glory, and "on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:12,16).
"And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3). The very first thing Jesus warned His disciples was "Take heed that no man deceive you (Matthew 24:4). He warned that before the Second Advent "false christs and false prophets shall arise and show great signs and wonders; in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." He said, "If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not" (Matthew 24:24, 23). To enable believers to distinguish between the genuine event and a false coming, several Biblical Scriptures reveal details of the manner in which Christ will return.
Christ's Audible Return
The Bible says that Christ's return will be neither quiet nor secret. "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him" (Psalms 50:3). The Scriptures emphatically declare that three loud sounds will accompany His return: the sound of the "shout," the sound of "the voice of the archangel," and the sound of " the trump of God " (I Thessalonians 4:16). "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" (Matthews 24:31). There is no secrecy here.
Christ's Visible Return
Christ's coming will not be an inward, invisible experience but a real meeting with Jesus Himself. Leaving no room whatsoever for doubt as to the visibility of His return, Jesus warned His disciples against being taken in by a secret second coming by comparing His return to the brilliance thunder of lightning (Matthew 24:27). "And every eye shall see him" (Revelation 1:7).
Scripture clearly states that both the righteous and the unrighteous well simultaneously witness His Second Coming. We read that then "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; see also Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; Revelation 6:15-17). At that time the righteous, with radiant faces, will look up and cry out, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation: (Isaiah 25:9).
Christ's Literal and Personal Return
The coming of Jesus is not at death, or in some secret rapture. The actual, personal presence of our Saviour Jesus Christ will appear. At the ascension the angels declared to the astonished disciples, "this same Jesus . . . shall so come in like manner" (Acts 1:11). The word "same" is not in the Greek text, but "this" is. The Greek word is houtos, a demonstrative word here used to stress the fact that He who returns will be the actual Jesus who ascended, and not another. In other words, they said that the same Lord who had just left them - a personal, flesh and bones being, not some spirit entity (Luke 24:36-43) - would return to earth. And His Second Coming would be as literal and personal as His departure.
Christ's Sudden, Unexpected Return
Christian believers longing and looking for Christ's return will be aware when it draws near (I Thessalonians 5:4-6). But for the unrighteous, Paul wrote, "the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (I Thessalonians 5:2, 3).
Some have concluded that Paul's comparison of Christ's coming to that of a thief indicates that He will come in some secret, invisible manner. However, such a view contradicts the Biblical picture of Christ's triumphal return along with all His angels (Matthew 25:31; 16:27; Mark 8:38; II Thessalonians 1:7). Jesus Himself said, "that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matthew 24:43, 42). The point is not that Christ's coming is a secret, but that, for the worldly minded, it is as unexpected as that of a thief.
But what about the two men in the field or two women grinding at the mill? To say that the second coming of Christ to gather His saints will be secret, in view of these clear texts of Scripture, and in the absence of any text that even hints at His coming being secret, is to deny the Bible as the Word of God. In an attempt to uphold their contrived theory, the rapturists quote Matthew 24: 40, 41 out of context. Please read this entire passage:
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the fields; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left" (Matthew 24:37-41).
Jesus is clearly drawing a parallel between the second coming and the days of Noah. Those who entered the ark in Noah's day were saved, and those who refused to enter the ark were left outside. But what were they left for? For a second chance? No, obviously they were left to be destroyed by the flood. So, says Jesus, will it be when He comes at the end of the world. One will be taken to heaven with the Lord and the other will be left for destruction. In verse 51, we see what happens to those who are left: "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." the passage in Luke 17: 26-37 has a parallel account of Jesus. In verse 36, "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." Now notice verse 37, the disciples asked, "Where, Lord?" They wanted to know where those who didn't go to heaven were going to be left. Notice Jesus' clear answer, "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together" (see also Revelation 19:15-18, 21).
The passage indicates clearly that their bodies are going to be left on the ground for the eagles to consume. When we compare Scripture with Scripture, the context is too plain to be misunderstood. Only as we accept all that the Bible says can we be guarded from such deceptive teachings that are confusing millions of sincere Christians today concerning the great triumphant event of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Yes, history is racing toward the climax of the ages. The sky is about to open, and our Lord Jesus Christ will soon descend with great power and majesty. Are you ready? The Bible declares, "Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2).
You can come to Jesus just as you are with a prayer of faith and repeat these words:
Lord Jesus, I invite You to come into my heart at this moment. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. My goodness could never earn eternal life, . . . so I put my trust in You. I accept You as my personal Savior. I believe that You died for me. Now, I open to You the door of my life. I receive You as my Lord and Master. Help me, Lord, to turn away from my sins to follow You. I accept Your free gift of eternal life. I do not deserve it, but thank You for it. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Having done that, you can have the assurance of being a child of the kingdom. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).
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The Staff at Bless'ed Word Ministries