Summary: The Creed says that "from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead". Jesus is coming again. What does that mean to us?
The Apostle’s Creed
Together: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead;
I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy *catholic church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
As we approach Christmas -- the first coming of Jesus; for the purpose of redeeming from sin and proclaim the Kingdom
Jesus WILL come again -- to complete what he began; not the work of salvation, but the outworking of it -- everything restored, renewed
Should Jesus not return, the whole thing of Christmas would be pointless. It would be a play with only the first act. Why bother going?
He shall come
"Men of Galilee," they said, "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 1:11)
Personal coming (It will be Jesus and not some substitute)
A glorious coming
For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. (Luke 17:24)
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. (Matt.25:31)
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 (1Thes.4:16)
This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. (2Thes.1:7)
No wonder it says that Jesus is coming "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed" (2Thes.1:10)
Visible (“Every eye will see him”)
Sudden (Not a gradual return)
Unexpected (Like a thief in the night -- not secretly, but unexpectedly; off guard).
What has to happen before Christ returns? How will we know when the time has drawn near?
Matt.24 - Wars, earthquakes, rumours of wars, famine (v.6-8) -- but very intense and large scale, and all happening at the same time; coupled with and in connection with the "great tribulation" (v.9); massive apostacy or turning from the faith, God and His laws (v.10); many false prophets (v.11); The gospel being preached to the ends of the earth (v.14)
The Antichrist, 666 or "man of lawlessness" (2Thes.2); who dethrones God, while enthroning himself (Mt.24:15 - the "abomination that causes desolation");not someone who simply opposes Christ, but is a RIVAL Christ; he defies God and His law very openly; appears to possess supernatural powers, and can perform miracles; launches great persecution against the Church/people of God
Signs in nature itself (v.29) -- followed by Christ’s return (v.30-31)
What about the "Rapture"? (believers being "caught up" with Christ)
Some believe that Jesus comes first secretly to rapture his church before the great "tribulation", takes them into heaven and then comes ultimately at the very end.
ie. Jesus returns more than once. BUT: The Bible always talks of ONE coming, THE coming. And this coming or return is always in connection with triumph and judgment. ie. the two will occur one after the other -- He comes TO judge.
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. (1Thes.4:16-17)
This is simply describing how the living and the dead in Christ will all get to share in the triumph and glory of Christ in His return.
cp. to a Superbowl or Stanley Cup parade, or ancient Roman armies returning after defeating and conquering the enemies of Rome.
-ie. it is describing the one and same event: The second coming of Christ
1. That Jesus is coming again means that we have a "blessed hope" to cling to
-- regardless of circumstances, and all hell breaking lose; disease, divorce, abuse, persecution, anything that might cause anxiety, depression, fear -- nothing can keep Jesus from coming back in order to fix and restore all things, and draw us to himself.