Certainly one of the greatest historic events of all time, was the birth of Jesus the Messiah in Bethlehem in accordance to the promise of Genesis 3:15. His birth ushered in a new dispensation for all mankind which God, our Heavenly Father, predestined before time.
Another historic event that changed the world forever took place the day Jesus was crucified to pay for and purge all the sins of mankind on Golgotha outside of Jerusalem. Then followed His historic resurrection from the dead – making a way to eternal life for everyone who would follow Him as their Lord!
Fulfilling many prophecies
Jesus’ first coming to earth and His life here was marked by the fulfilment of many prophecies given over several centuries. His institution of the Communion Covenant before His crucifixion, His appearance in His resurrected body and His ascension to heaven have been extremely significant to His followers since it happened. The one prophecy and promise by Jesus Himself that believers are expectantly waiting for, is His return. The second coming of the Lord Jesus will be a most wonderful event that will be witnessed by all the universe, including all mankind across the earth!
Scriptural evidence for the Second Coming of Jesus is found, among others, in the Gospels (Matthew 24–25; Mark 13; Luke 21:5–26; John 14:25–29), in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 19-22), etc.
The question may arise, how will the second coming of the Lord Jesus be different from His first coming to earth? And what will transpire at that time that we should take note of? How can we prepare for this event?
What are the signs of His coming at the end of the age?
The disciples asked Jesus this same question in Matthew 24! He answered them giving clear details in Matthew 24:4-14 –
Deception will rise – Matthew 24:4 – …Take heed that no one deceives you.
False Jesuses and Messiahs – Matthew 24:5 – For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Wars and fearsome times – Matthew 24:6 – And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Famines, pestilences, earthquakes – Matthew 24:7b – …And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Tribulation, executions, hatred – Matthew 24:9 – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”
Offense and betrayal – Matthew 24:10 – And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
False prophets – Matthew 24:11 – Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Lawlessness and apathy – Matthew 24:12 – And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
The Gospel will be preached to all nations – Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
What will His return be like?
>> It will be visible and physical – The event of His incarnation was announced by angels to simple shepherds in the countryside outside Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-21). At His second coming the heavens will open and every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7). It will be a literal physical return of the Living Lord Jesus Christ. We read a clear account of this in Revelation 19:11.
>> It will be audible – His return will not only be visible, it will also be audible. He will announce His coming clearly – it will be so powerful, it will cause the dead in Christ to rise!
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
- Matthew 24:31 – And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
>> It will be unexpected – The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus is certain, yet no one knows exactly when it will occur, not even the angels in heaven – only our Heavenly Father. Jesus said He would come at an hour we do not expect (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44; 25:13; Mark 13:31-32; Luke 12:40).
>> It will be victorious and triumphant – Jesus is coming “on the clouds of heaven with power.” (Matthew 24:30). At His first coming he was born as a helpless baby in a manger and He died as the Lamb that was slain for the salvation of all mankind. However, at His second coming, the scene will be very different – He will come with power to judge from a throne of authority.
>> It will be glorious– The return of the Lord Jesus will be a global event, witnessed by every eye. Several verses explain this glorious Return:
- Matthew 25:31 – “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
- Matthew 24:30 – Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
What will happen to mankind?
At His second coming, Jesus will judge all mankind – the living and the dead. The living includes all who will be alive when he returns. The dead includes everyone else, all who lived and died physically throughout history. Jesus said very clearly that everyone who has died will be raised from the dead and be judged (John 5:26-29).
The righteous resurrected dead, together with the righteous living, will receive their glorified bodies and live forevermore with the Lord. The unrighteous dead, together with the unrighteous living, will be judged and cast into the lake of fire. This is clearly explained in Revelation 20:15; And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
How can you prepare for Jesus’ Second Coming?
>> Be sure you love the Lord with all your heart and mind and soul, and all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:30). Be in right standing with Him in all your ways, all the time (John 3:15, 1 John 1:9).
>> Cultivate a strong, consistent prayer life – watch and pray for you do not know when the time will be of His coming (Mark 13:33-37).
>> Live expectantly of His second coming (Mark 13:28–29, Psalm 96:13, 2 Timothy 4:8).
>> Ask for discernment so you will not be deceived (Psalm 119:12, Matthew 24:4).
>> Accept that life is filled with uncertainties and brokenness – do not become offended at the Lord just because you do not understand all of His ways (Matthew 24:10,12).
>> Encourage one another to run the race with endurance and not give up (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
>> Remember all your days are in His hand – only He knows the number of them. Live as if today is the day (Psalm 90:12, Matthew 24:36).
>> Keep faithful in the work the Lord Jesus instructed His followers to do (Mark 16:15-18).