Summary: Message discussing Jesus’ words on three facts about His impending return.
Fact and Fiction about Jesus’ Return
Matthew 24:4-5, 23-51
April 26, 2009
One of the topics that fascinates Christianity more than probably any other is the topic of the second coming of Christ.
Books are written about it, sermons are preached about it, and when taken to extremes, cults are formed around it.
If a person isn’t careful, it can become an obsession that means more to them than actually living for Christ and helping others live for Him.
Jesus is returning. There’s no doubt about that. Jesus says so, and I’m willing to bet my life that He’s right.
But aside from that black-and-white truth, there is a whole lot of guessing, speculation, and downright error about His return.
God: Jesus points out three facts about His return in chapter 24, and I want us to take a look at them, contrasting them with the fictions that are out there regarding each of these. (p. 701)
We’re not going to read every verse in this passage, but we’re going to hit the main verses that highlight the facts about His return.
FICTION: He’s already back.
There is no shortage of people claiming to be Christ returned.
Examples: Lord Maitreya, Sun Yung Moon, Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda.
FACT: Jesus is coming back in the future.
Verses 4-5 –
4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
Then jump down to verses 23-26
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ’Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ’There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 "So if anyone tells you, ’There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ’Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Pretty self-explanatory, don’t you think? If someone tells you Jesus has returned, they’re wrong. It’s pretty simple.
Amazing how many people fall this, isn’t it? It’s pretty obvious from this passage that Jesus has not already returned.
Here’s another piece of fiction that’s out there today:
FICTION: His return will be secret.
This idea, of course, is what’s behind all the false Christs popping up.
Obviously, if Jesus returned secretly, than it’s easy to convince some people that the one you believe is the Christ is really Jesus returned.
And for some reason, tons of people believe this piece of fiction, and they therefore fall for the lies of those who claim to be the second coming of Jesus.
FACT: His return will be public.
Verses 27-31 say this –
“For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 "Immediately after the distress of those days "’the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Folks, there will be no mistaking the fact that Jesus has returned, when He has. It will be witnessed by the entire world.
When someone believes that Jesus has returned secretly, I have to wonder – did they miss this part of the passage?
How can anyone miss all this stuff – sun darkened, stars falling from the sky, planets shaking, and Jesus coming on the clouds with power and great glory?
“Secret Christs” don’t come with power and great glory. They come in all sneaky-like.
But when Jesus returns, it’ll be the most awesome event ever witnessed by humans.
It’ll be awesome in a good way for those who belong to Christ, because it’ll be the great blessed hope of our Savior gathering us to be with Him in glory forever.
It’ll be awesome in a bad way for those who are outside of Christ, and especially for those who have rejected Him.
They’ll see that they have made a mistake that they will pay for for eternity, and I believe that they will also anguish over those they’ve convinced to reject Jesus as well.
In any case, it will be public – with mighty power and great glory. Not sneaky and privately.