Summary: Things we can expect to occur when Jesus comes for His church.
"When Christ Comes"
Many things will be different when Jesus comes back. Things will happen that can not happen until that day. Things will change. The Bible tells us we can expect a number of things to take place when Jesus appears. We have much to look forward to.
It is impossible for us to review all that will transpire when Christ comes, even in those first moments when Jesus descends, but what I have done is made a brief study of a few of the highlights. Anyone interested can use tonight’s sermon as an example of how to do a similar Bible study for your own benefit.
All I have done is taken a few of the Scriptures that speak of Christ’s return, and that mention something happening with His return, and have noted what that event is. I hope you will pick up where I leave off.
When Christ Comes ...The Righteous Dead Will Live Again
...a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice 29 and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (Jn 5:28b-29)
The grave is almost always a solemn setting. Because it means a separation for as long as this life endures we tend to think of it as permanent. But the grave is NOT a Christian’s "final resting place." Actually, it is not anyone’s final resting place for we will all eventually end up spending eternity in one of two places. Elsewhere we read, 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 Th. 4:16)
The hope of life after the grave is a wonderful promise for the redeemed. For we know the life enjoyed eternally is greater than the one experienced this first time around. We are not being raised to re-live an existence of the same quality and nature. We are raised to eternal life. This is a quality of life far superior to our present condition. It is a far better life we have been promised than the one we have been assured would be our lot in this "three-score years and ten." (Ps. 90:10) The Bible has warned us that our 70-80 years here would be filled with suffering. It has been right about that, why shouldn’t we believe what it says about the next life? I do not mean that as a down-hearted remark, I mean for it to be encouraging. God has not sugar-coated the facts of life for us so there is no grounds for us to be pessimistic about the future.
When Christ Comes ...We Will Be Resurrected
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. (1 Cor. 15:21-23)
When Jesus comes back, those of us who have gone the way of the grave will be resurrected. Though dead, the saints of the ages will live again in the resurrection. It was this resurrection that Martha believed in at Lazarus’ tomb. Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." (Jn. 11:23-24) The Old Testament Patriarch, Job, believed in the resurrection of the righteous. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)
The promise of God to you and I is, if we are taken by the way of the grave, we will one day be raised from the grave to enjoy eternal life in the presence of the Lord. That day will be when Jesus comes back.
When Christ Comes ...We Will Be Changed
in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:51-52)
We will be changed into His likeness ...we’ll be like Him. (1 Jn. 3:2) we will be given a resurrected body. It will be given to us in a glorified condition. The old hymnist wrote,
"On the resurrection morning when all the dead in Christ shall rise,
I’ll have a new body ... praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life.
Sown in weakness, raised in power, ready to live in paradise,
I’ll have a new body ... praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life." (#134, COG, I’ll Have A New Life)