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Will Jesus Christ Return to Earth?
When one of my nephews was only five he heard me talking about Christmas being the time when we celebrate Jesus Christ's coming to earth. He wanted to know if Jesus would come to earth again.
Christ's first coming 2,000 years ago is a fact of history. He is as real a person as was Julius Caesar. In fact, the Encyclopedia Britannica gives more space to the life of Jesus than it does to many of the world's great leaders combined. The secular historian, Josephus, who lived in and wrote about civilization in Bible times, also verifies the historical Jesus.
But one question people have been asking ever since the time of Christ—and perhaps even more so in these days of ever-increasing terrorism, wars, and threats of wars—is the same one my nephew asked: "Will Jesus come to earth again?"
The only reliable source for an answer to that question is in God's Word, the Bible, which in the words of Herbert Lockyer, Snr., gives us the Promise, the Proof, the Plan and the Preparation for Christ's return.
First, the promise. Actually, every prophet in the Old Testament part of the Bible except Jonah promises or makes reference to the end of this world age (as we know it), which will be marked by the second coming of Jesus.
Christ himself will come
down from heaven with the
great trumpet call of God.
Jesus himself promised he would return. His disciples were troubled when he told them that he would soon be leaving them, so he assured them with, "There are many homes where my Father [God] lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am going."1
When Jesus did leave, two angels gave the same promise. Imagine the surprise of Christ's disciples on the day he returned to heaven and two angels appeared saying: "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."2
And almost every writer in the New Testament repeats the promise. According to one Bible scholar there are 308 references to Christ's second coming in the New Testament alone. This promise pulsates throughout the entire Scriptures, right through to the last page and the last word. "Yes, I am coming soon," Jesus said.3
Second, the proof. One of the great proofs we have for Christ's second coming is that God always keeps his promises. This is seen in the many prophecies from the Bible that have already been fulfilled.
For example, Christ's first coming was predicted hundreds of years before it took place. A thousand years before, Samuel declared that Christ would come through the lineage of David,4 and he did. Around 700 BC Micah wrote that Christ would be born in Bethlehem,5 and he was. About the same time Isaiah predicted that Christ would be born of a virgin,6 and he was, and 600 years before Christ came, Daniel accurately stated the time of Christ's birth.7
David and Isaiah both specifically foretold the sufferings of Christ and the manner of his death hundreds of years before they happened. "They pierced my hands and feet,"8 David wrote in the Psalms in a vivid picture of Christ's crucifixion—a torturous death unheard of in David's day. And Isaiah prophesied that Christ would be "pierced for our transgressions"9 which was also fulfilled when Roman soldiers thrust a spear into Christ's side when he was on the Cross.
Christ's first coming, death and resurrection, were predicted hundreds of years in advance and fulfilled in minute detail. History gives complete evidence of these facts. We can therefore be just as certain that every prophecy relative to Christ's second coming will also be fulfilled.
Third, the plan. Only God knows the exact day of Christ's return, but the one thing he made clear is that on that day, as the Bible says, he "will come down from heaven with a mighty shout and with the great trumpet call of God. And the believers who are dead will be the first to rise to meet the Lord. Then we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever."10
In heaven there will be a great time of celebration after which each Christian will receive his or her special rewards based on his or her faithfulness to and service for God here on earth.11
Two will be in a field; one will
be taken and the other left.
Many Bible scholars believe there will be a time of distress and war on earth the like of which the world has never seen before with the climax at the great battle of Armageddon. Eventually, this world age will then end with judgment of all sin and evil, at what the Bible calls the Great White Judgment Throne of God.
Because God loves us he sent Jesus, his Son, to die in our place to pay for our sins so he could offer a free pardon to all who confess their sins and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour—and to deliver us from the Great White Judgment Throne of God. Tragically, all who fail to accept God's pardon will have to face God's judgment of sin which is eternal separation from God, the source of all love and life; that is, they face eternal death.
Fourth, the preparation. Christ likened the Kingdom of Heaven to ten virgins preparing for a wedding. When the bridegroom appeared only five were ready. Only these were included in the wedding. The others were left behind. That is how it will be when Christ returns. Those who are ready will be taken to heaven. Those who are not will be left behind. As Jesus said, "Two will be in a bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two will be working together; one will be taken and the other left. Two will be in a field; one will be taken and the other left."12
We do not know the exact time of Jesus' return except that he said, "When you least expect me, I will come."13The important thing is to be ready for Christ's return when he comes. If you would like to accept God's gift of sins forgiven, salvation, and eternal life so you will be absolutely certain you will be ready for Christ's return, seek out a Christian friend and ask them how you can be saved. You don't have to be in a big fancy church or with a preacher. This is between you and Jesus and He will be right there waiting for you. There are many Christians here that will be more than happy to help you. God bless you all.
1. John 14:2,3 (TLB). 2. Acts 1:11 (NIV). 3. Revelation 22:20 (NIV), Isaiah 35:1,7. 4. II Samuel 7:12-16. 5. Micah 5:2. 6. Isaiah 7:14. 7. Daniel 9:25, 26. 8. Psalm 22:16. 9. Isaiah 53:5. 10. I Thessalonians 4:16, 17. 11. II Corinthians 5:10. 12. Luke 17:34-36 13. Matthew 24:44 (Paraphrased).