The second coming

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. '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.' (Act 1:10–1)

Jesus is coming back

Eschatology is the study of biblical prophecy that relates to the end times: the events that will take place at a point in time the Bible refers to as 'the end of the age' (Mat 24:3).

It's a controversial subject that is open to interpretation, but Christians should familiarize themselves with the scriptures that describe these important future events: we could be living in the generation in which they come to pass.

As our opening text tells us, our Lord is now in heaven, but he will come back to earth again in the same way his disciples saw him go into heaven. Jesus is coming back, and I believe he will come back in the resurrection body he had when he went into heaven.

His resurrection body

Let's look at some of the facts about his resurrection body:

But why should our Lord's resurrection body be of interest to us? Because the Bible teaches that when he returns we will be given a body like his (1Co 15:35–54).

The return

Luk 24:50–1 tells us that Jesus ascended into heaven from the vicinity of Bethany, a village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, 3 km east of Jerusalem; and I believe he will return to the exact spot he ascended from.

Zec 14:1–5 tells us that he will return at a time when Jerusalem is being attacked by armies. When his feet touch the Mount of Olives it will split in two. Half of the mountain will move north and half will move south, forming a valley that will run from east to west. The people of Jerusalem will flee to safety through that valley: his return will be a dramatic event.

Zec 14:9 says that on that day he will be king over the whole earth. Jesus is coming back, physically, to reign on earth for a thousand years (Rev 20:1–6). Present governments and kings of the earth have a limited time to rule, and then the King of kings will come to reign.

He is coming soon

That is my interpretation of these scriptures, but I would advise every Christian to read them for themselves and form their own opinion (Act 17:11).

The subject involves detective work: searching the Bible for relevant passages, verses and clues and then piecing them together, in chronological order, to form a picture of what is going to happen at the end of the age.

A Christian might say: 'Well that's the future, it won't affect me.' But the events that precede our Lord's return could begin at any time. Jesus said that we must keep watch because we do not know on what day he will come (Mat 24:42).

The events are centred around our Lord. If we love him, we will want to know everything the Bible teaches about him, including the fact that the one who was rejected by mankind and died a criminal's death, will one day return in triumph to rule the world. Isn't that something to look forward to?

Jesus spoke about his return and said that we must be ready for it, for he will come at an hour when we do not expect him (Mat 24:44).

He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.'

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen. (Rev 22:20–1)

Those are the last words of the Bible; the final words of God's message to mankind. Jesus is coming soon. His return to earth is a very important subject.

Michael Graham
February 2004
Revised July 2022

Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version (Anglicised edition). Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica (formerly International Bible Society). Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved.

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