“May we be a people who worship Jesus, long for His return, and proclaim His Gospel in our own neighborhoods and to the ends of the earth.”
Pastor Steve Sommerlot
Jesus is coming back to judge all people and when He returns, He will setup His kingdom on earth and rule until a new heaven and a new earth are created to be the final eternal home of al who have believed.
One of the most exciting coming events is the return of Jesus to this earth! The second coming of Jesus is called “the hope” of those who believe in Him. It shows that God is in control of all things, and that He’s faithful to the promises and the prophecies in His Word. In the first coming, Jesus came to earth as a baby in a manger in the city of Bethlehem, exactly as prophesied. Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies as Messiah in His birth, life, work, death, burial, and resurrection.
Just like Jesus fulfilled prophecies in His first coming, when He returns a second time, He will fulfill many yet unfinished prophecies. In His second coming, Jesus will be a conquering king, rather than a humble suffering servant. Imagine the day when Jesus comes! All that has been foretold, will suddenly come to pass. Jesus will fulfill the role of Israel’s deliverer and king. He will set up His kingdom from His throne in Jerusalem, and rule until God creates a new heaven and new earth–which is the eternal home of all who believe.
Almost 2000 years have gone by since Jesus ascended into heaven. After His ascent, angels appeared and said to those gazing up into the sky,
Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven
Zechariah explains that the location of this second coming will be the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. And Titus calls the second coming a “blessed hope” in which we should be eagerly anticipating.
In fact, Jesus predicted His own second coming. When He was near the very end of His ministry with the disciples, He began to clearly explain to them that He must be betrayed, handed over to the authorities, killed, and raised from dead on the third day according to the Scriptures (in other words, all this was prophesied). As the disciples began to grasp the fact that Jesus was going to be killed even Peter protested! It must have been very troubling news. So, at the last supper, Jesus calmed their anxieties, with the reassurance and promise that He’d come back again to get them.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
The Bible explains that the second coming is “near.” Many Bible scholars use the word imminent to describe the second coming. This means that Jesus could come back at any moment. There’s nothing more in Bible prophecy that needs to happen before Jesus comes again. Interestingly, the first century Christians, many of whom were facing physical persecution, encouraged each other with the nearness of the coming of Jesus. The Apostle Paul spoke of the second coming to the Corinthians: “as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7-8). James reminded his readers to “be patient, therefore brothers, until the coming of the Lord” (James 4:7). The Philippians were told that “The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). And John wrote in Revelation that “the time is near” (Revelation 1:3). Since the disciples and the early Church were to expect the coming of the Lord at any time, how much more should we be waiting in eager anticipation?
Some controversy has surrounded those who try to predict when Jesus will return. The disciples even asked Jesus, “When will these things happen?” (Mark 13:4). Jesus responded to them:
Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
It’s wise for us to understand that in discussions of the end times, God does not intend for us to fully understand the timing of His plans. We are simply told to wait, to be alert, to watch, and to be ready, because the return of Jesus is near; it is imminent.
The second coming and the events attached to it, are both words of comfort and of warning! Jesus said,
And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.
This speaks of a response to the truth of learning of Jesus’ return. It’s a general command at the end of the book of Revelation encouraging those who have read the book and understood it, to long for Jesus’ return, to hope for their resurrection bodies, and anticipate eternal rewards! It’s also a warning that awful judgment waits for those who choose to turn away from the truth of Jesus. When the Apostle John heard these words, look at his response:
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.’
In the gravity of this scene, John wrongly placed his response, but he did show a heart to immediately worship!
Responding with worship to the truth of the second coming is certainly appropriate! Jesus’ return is spoken of in the greatest detail:
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
It is shortly after the days of the second coming, seeing Jesus on His throne, that many in Israel and in the whole world will look back to Jesus’ death, and mourn for not having accepted Him the first time He came. May we be a people who worship Jesus, long for His return, and–knowing the future—continue to proclaim His Gospel in our own neighborhoods, moving outward to the ends of the earth.