The Return of Christ Jesus
Just about every Christian is in agreement that Christ Jesus will return at some point in the future. However, this event will include several associated events.
Jesus’ first advent was as a humble servant but many turned away and ignored him.
John 1:10 ‘He was in the world and although the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.’
His second advent will be as a warrior King. No-one will be able to ignore him but all must face his judgements.
Revelation 1:7 ‘Look, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.’
He will come to bring justice to a corrupt and broken world. He will establish his earthly reign from his throne in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 9;7 ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom.’
Jeremiah 3:17 ‘At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Lord.’
Jesus ascended to heaven in a cloud and will return in the same way.
Acts 1:9 ‘After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight….this same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’
Zechariah 14:4 records Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. Some assume this means he will return to Jerusalem although others will argue that there will be a second Passover, where Jesus will rescue the remnant of Israel and bring them triumphantly to Jerusalem.
The time of his return is not known. Many have tried to predict the date but no-one has got it quite right so far!
Matthew 24:36 ‘No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.’
Some assert rightly though that we can be aware of the seasons and thus not be caught out unawares.
1 Thessalonians 5:4 ‘But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like the others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.’
His return in power and glory will usher down the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.
John 14:2 ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Revelation 21:2 ‘I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband.’
Revelation 22:3 ‘The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city and his servants will serve him.’
Note carefully that the Holy City will come down from the heavenly dimension to earth.
The return of Christ Jesus will initiate the resurrection of the dead.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 ‘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.’
Then those who are still alive:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 ‘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.’
Matthew 24:31 ‘And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one of the heavens to the other.’
The return of Christ Jesus is our blessed hope and we should live with a healthy expectation of his return.
Titus 2:13 ‘…while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’
The return of Christ Jesus will happen in the fulness of time and therefore we should not be discouraged if his return seems to tarry.
2 Peter 3:3 ‘First of all, you must understand that in the last days, scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our Fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
Many will arise claiming to be the Christ. They may even perform miraculous deeds. They will certainly be charismatic and persuasive.
Matthew 24:4 ‘Jesus answered, “Watch out that no-one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Christ and will deceive many.’
We are called to pray earnestly for the return of Christ Jesus, in unison and agreement with the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 22:17 ‘The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come, and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.’
The Greek word for the return of Christ Jesus is ‘parousia’. It means to be in his presence. A good word to impress your friends with!