Summary: Both the Old and New Testaments speak of how the world we know will end and that God is working out His purposes until then. When Jesus comes again, believers will be judged and then enjoy eternity with God in Heaven. Unbelievers will also be judged and t
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after all my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another” Job 19:25-27.
Both the Old and New Testaments speak of how the world we know will end and that God is working out His purposes until then. When Jesus comes again, believers will be judged and then enjoy eternity with God in Heaven. Unbelievers will also be judged and then spend eternity in Hell.
The glorious and incontestable fact that Jesus is coming the second time is the Christian’s firm hope; but, the revealed details take some though and study. Jesus’ own description of His second coming cannot be surpassed. “I will come back and take you with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). “Immediately after the distress of those days… the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky… They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” Matthew 24:29-30.
Dr. George Sweeting once estimated that “more than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy...Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1800 references appear in the O.T., and seventeen O.T. books give prominence to this theme. Of the 260 chapters in the N.T., there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return-one out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 N.T. books refer to this great event...For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are eight on Christ’s second coming.” (Source: Today in the Word, MBI, December, 1989, p. 40.)
At His ascension into Heaven while the disciples stared heavenward, two men dressed in white stood beside them and said: “Men of Galilee… why do you stand here looking into the sky? 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” Acts 1:10-11. Paul also emphasised it: “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” 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
The second coming of Christ is the great expectation of the church. As Christians we should, with Paul, love to look for “that blessed [and] glorious hope appearing of our great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” Titus 2:13. The return of Jesus is an incentive for holy living: “And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming” 1 John 2:28. “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” 1 John 3:3. Neither the prophets or the apostles mention the return of Christ for speculative purposes but always as a motive for practical daily holiness. We could summarise this doctrine with Peter’s words “What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives” 2 Peter 3:11.
Extraordinary and momentous events will take place at the second coming of Jesus. The resurrection of the believing dead will occur, and believers who are still alive will be changed and “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The resurrection of the dead is emphasised in the New Testament, and also taught throughout the Bible. Job said: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after all my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another”
King David anticipated this resurrection: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” Psalm 16:9-10.
Daniel mentions it: “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:1-3.