Jesus is coming back to earth someday! If He came today would you be ready? Are you looking for Him and longing for His coming? Heb 9:28 says, “…Christ …shall appear a second time…to those who eagerly await Him.”
The early believers spoke and wrote about His coming soon but they did not know when. When the disciples asked when it will happen, Jesus answered, “…No one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matt 24:36
Not long before His crucifixion, as Jesus was sitting with His disciples on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, they asked Him, “What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Several times before this as He was teaching the disciples He told them that He was going to be killed and raised to life again. Mark 9:32 says, “They did not understand this statement and they were afraid to ask Him.”
Now Jesus begins speaking about His coming and of the end of the age. He begins with a warning, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ, the Messiah’ and will mislead many.”
Then He describes the state of chaos the world will be in. There will be wars and rumors of wars, nations rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom and in various places famines and earthquakes. This could be today’s newspaper!
He says they will be persecuted and hated by all nations because they bear the name of Jesus. Many will leave the faith and betray and hate one another. The love of many people will grow cold because of the lawlessness and iniquity.
False Christs and false prophets will show great signs and wonders so as to mislead people, even Christians. If someone says He is in this or that place, do not believe them because Christ’s coming will be like a flash of lightning, from the east to the west.
Just like in the days of Noah, people were living ordinary lives, eating and drinking, and marrying until the day Noah entered the ark, and they didn’t understand until the flood came and took them all away; that’s how His coming will be. There will be two men working side by side, one will be taken and the other left.
Over and over He told them to be ready because they do not know when He will come. He is coming on a day and at an hour when they do not expect Him. He warns them not to live without restraint, as if His coming is a long way off.
Luke 21:25-36 says “there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars and upon the earth, distress of nations in bewilderment and perplexity at the roaring of the tossing of the sea . Men will be fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
“Then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near…recognize that the kingdom of God is near….Be on your guard….keep on the alert at all times, praying….”
At the Passover meal, the last supper Jesus had with His disciples, He knew His time had come to leave this world and go back to His Father in heaven. He tried to prepare them but they didn’t understand. He told Peter, “Where I go, you cannot follow me now, but you shall follow later.” John 13:36
He told them, “Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places… I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
After His crucifixion and resurrection Jesus was with them for forty days teaching them. His last words to them were, “Stay in Jerusalem, wait for the Father’s promised baptism of the Holy Spirit that I told you about, Who will empower you to be My witnesses to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:1-5
After He had said these things, as they were looking into the sky, He disappeared into a cloud. Two men in white clothing appeared and said to them, “Why are you looking into the heavens (sky)? This Jesus will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11
Peter, who was there as Jesus disappeared in the cloud, that day, waited with others in the upper room in Jerusalem for the promised baptism. After he received the Holy Spirit with power to witness, he stood up and preached his first sermon with the result that three thousand souls believed on Jesus.
From that day on Peter determined to tell people about Jesus! The man who had run in fear and denied that he knew Jesus, now boldly encouraged believers to continue in the faith in spite of the Roman persecution under Nero’s reign. He wrote letters of encouragement and also of warning.
He reminded them that he was an eye witness to all that he told them about Jesus. He had heard the Father’s voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son with Whom I am well pleased.” But the message will not be accepted by everyone!
Mockers will come saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since our fathers passed away, all continues as it was from the beginning of creation.”2 Pet 3:3
They forget that God already destroyed the earth once by a flood. He is not slow about His promise, but He is patiently giving people time to repent. He does not want anyone to perish. His patience is their opportunity for salvation. But eventually the Lord will come as He promised.
In Paul’s letter to Timothy he told him, “Realize this, that in the last days difficult, perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable,”
“Malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as this.” 2 Tim 3:1-5
As believers who are looking eagerly for His coming we are to live differently. We are to “abide (stand firm) in him, so that when he appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him at His coming.” 1 John 2:28
“Now we are children of God, and it has not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3
“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes (kindred) of the earth will mourn (lament) over Him…’I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, ‘Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev 1:7-8
In a letter to the Thessalonian believers Paul tells them that those who are alive when Jesus comes will not go before those who have died. He describes the coming of the Lord. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God;”
“And the dead in Christ (believers who have died) will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord…Comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13 -18
Jesus’ words of comfort to Martha regarding Lazarus’ death were, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” John 11:25-26
Paul explains a mystery to the Corinthian believers, “We shall not all sleep (die) but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Cor 15:50-53
In the light of Christ’s coming, how should we live? Jesus explained the way to live to the multitudes and to His disciples. “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
“For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”
“For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man (Jesus) will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38
Jesus is coming for all those who have repented of their sins and have accepted His salvation. He is coming for all who believe in Him. Those who are trying to establish their own righteousness will not go with Him. They will be left behind!
Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Jesus is not going to take unrighteous sinners to heaven. His death on the cross made salvation available to all who believe and accept His provision.
Romans 10:8-10 “The word of faith is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
Jesus is coming! The fact that He has not come yet does not mean He is not still coming! His words to us are, “Be ready! Live as if He is coming today! Watch!”