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The Second Coming of Christ: 5 Verses on His Return

Author: Patrick Krentz Th.M., Managing Writer for Foundations by ICM


Easter is over. Eggs were painted, the ham was eaten, and traditional songs were sung on the church lawn at sunrise. What’s next? We don’t have another religious holiday on the schedule for most of the year. Let me suggest that, while we spend Easter day looking back at what Jesus accomplished, we should also spend some time looking forward to what he is still going to do.

If you read the Gospels you will notice they don’t end with the resurrection. After rising from the dead, Jesus hangs out with his followers for a while, teaching them and telling them he will be coming back–the Second Coming of Christ. This quickly became, and still is, one of the most misunderstood things that Jesus talked about. Thankfully, Jesus did not leave us in the dark.

Let’s take some time to look at 5 things Jesus tells us about his return.


1. He will return

“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, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if Igo and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”(John 14:1-3)

This first one may seem obvious, but it also needs to be abundantly clear. We are not merely hoping he might someday return. He promised that he would. He reassured his followers that he would not leave them alone. He gave three promises of assurance; first, that he would be with us always (Matthew28:20); second, that he would send his Spirit to be our comforter, guide, and teacher (John 14:4-15); and of course, third, that he would return.


2. Nobody knows when Jesus will return

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There He is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is, in the innerrooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:26-27)

Jesus made it very clear that anyone claiming to know when he would return is a fraud. He says this on several occasions. He also exhorted his followers to keep watch and to always be ready, because he could return at any moment (Matthew 25:13). As we read these words some 2000 years later, keep in mind that they are not any less true. Consider also Mark 13:33, and Luke 12:40.


3. He is coming quickly

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”(Revelation 22:12)

Considering that it has been so long, how can this be true? When the New Testament refers to his return coming quickly, being ‘near’ or ‘at hand’, it is not referring to the order of events in history, but rather to the manner in which they will occur. That is, he is not necessarily returning soon in terms of a short amount of time, but that when he returns it will happen quickly. Listen to what Jesus says in revelation 16:15, “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake…”

Indeed, it would not make sense for Jesus to tell us, on the one hand, that nobody knows when he would return, while on the other hand, telling us that he would return in a short period of time.


4. He will gather to himself all who belong to him

“Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”(Matthew 24:30-31)

When he comes, he will rescue all his elect from across the earth. Paul comforts the church of Thessalonica with these words: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet theLord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”(Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Whether this is what many call the Rapture, or whether this will happen at the Second Coming, the fact remains that he will gather up all believers and they will be with him forevermore.


5. He will defeat all the enemies of God’s people

“Behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.”(Malachi 4:1)

On the cross, Jesus defeated death. At his resurrection, Jesus sealed our victory and life in him. When he comes back, he will defeat the last enemies of God. Consider the account of the final battle from Revelation 19:19-21:

“And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

The imagery is graphic and gruesome but also incredibly reassuring. Jesus will return quickly at a time when we are not expecting him, he will gather us to himself to be with him forever, and he will defeat all of our enemies.

These are amazing promises, all of which are made possible by the accomplishments of Jesus at the first Easter. As the holiday season fades, let these words of promise encourage you to make yourself ready for his return.

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Is Jesus Coming Back in 2022?

Author: Patrick Krentz Th.M., Managing Editor for Foundations by ICM


When you read the letters of the Apostle Paul, you may notice something surprising – he seemed to think the world would end in his lifetime. Was the Holy Spirit inspiring an error when he wrote about Jesus returning soon? It’s been two thousand years… was he crazy? What possible justification could there be for his “wrong” opinions to be codified in inspired texts? Well, I think both he and the Holy Spirit were justified in preserving these thoughts. Let’s take a few moments to consider Paul’s words, and to think about why, perhaps, we should think the same.


The End of the World As We Know It

First, let’s recognize that Paul did believe Jesus could return very quickly – possibly while he was alive. This would be the climax of history, the end of the world as we know it, and the beginning of the age of the Messiah. Consider his words to the church in Thessalonica who were distressed about believers who had died. These believers were confused because they did not know what would happen to believers who had ‘gone to sleep’ prior to the return of Christ. Paul reassured them, saying:

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. 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. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NIV)

Do you see his argument? He said, “we who are still alive will be caught up.” His grammar, at least, anticipated that even he would be included in this great event.


Who’s Crazy?

So the question remains, was Paul wrong? Did he misunderstand the words of Jesus or the teachings of the other Apostles? And more importantly, did the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to write in error? The simple answer to each of these questions is No. Here’s why: every believer should think exactly the same thing that Paul thought and taught – that Jesus could (and would) return in their lifetime. Consider more from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians:

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6)

In the first verse of this passage, Paul explains: “about times and dates we do not need to write to you…” Why? Because, first of all, times and dates don’t matter: we need to be ready all the time. But, second, because Paul and the Thessalonians don’t know when the return will happen.

So, while Paul expects Jesus to return soon, he understands that ‘soon’ could be quite literally any time. His emphasis is not about when Christ will return, but that we should be ready when he returns.

In several parables, Jesus tells stories of those who are waiting for their master to return (Luke 12:35-40, 42-49, Matthew 25:1-13, 14-30). He severely warns those who wait to watch at all times, expecting their master’s return at any moment. Jesus summarizes, saying: “You also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.Don’t be caught sleeping, distracted, or unprepared just because he’s been gone longer than we expected.



What’s Our Response?

Be crazy, therefore, as Paul is crazy. Expect the return of Christ in your lifetime. Live as if Jesus will return tomorrow, next week, next month, three years from now… Live like you believe what Jesus, Paul, and other New Testament writers say about the end of the world. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul and others to write about the return as imminent, meaning that it could happen at literally any moment. They were not wrong, they simply did not know when it would happen (and neither do we). This imminence of the return hasn’t changed even though it has been two thousand years since the time of Paul.

Jesus says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32 NIV) He also says, “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:40 NIV) If you believe in these words, they will radically change the way you live.

Peter encourages us toward this end, saying: “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:7-8 NIV)

The End

The Holy Spirit allowed Paul’s expectations to pepper his inspired writings because this is exactly how we should think, how we should live, how we should speak. Jesus is coming back soon… are you ready and watching?

Let’s close with the words of Jesus, the very last words in Scripture, which were repeated four times in the book of Revelation: “Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20 NIV).


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