Jesus Christ visited the earth for the first time about two thousand years ago. Now, we are awaiting His return. How do we know Christ will come again? While Jesus was on earth, He often spoke of His return. In John 14:3, Jesus said, “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
After Jesus ascended into heaven, two angels told the disciples that that Jesus would return in the same way as He went into heaven (Acts 1:10–11). In 1 Thessalonians, Paul teaches that Christ will descend from heaven with a cry of command and the sound of the trumpet of God (4:16). The book of Revelations is filled with references of Christ’s second coming and ends with Jesus’ words, “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20). As the creed proclaims, Jesus will come again in glory.
As the Old Testament points to Christ’s first coming, the New Testament points to Christ’s second coming. Christ’s second coming is the hope of the body of Christ. The Scriptures clearly proclaim that Christ will visibly come again in an instant.
The Timing of Christ’s Return
When will Christ return? This is quite the mystery, as only God the Father knows when Christ will return. In Matthew 24:44, Jesus said, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 25:13 says, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” The time is unknown but we can be sure of His return. Knowing that Christ will return at an unexpected time, how should we live our lives?
Even though we do not know when Christ will return, we should long and hope for His return. Why is this? Upon Christ’s return, He will destroy all powers of sin and death. As Titus 2:13 says, we are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” May we proclaim with John, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
The Impact of Christ’s Return
Even though we do not know when Christ will return, we do know what will happen upon His return. The Scriptures and the creed declare that upon His return, Christ will judge the living and the dead. Acts 10:42 says that Jesus has been appointed by God to be the judge of the living and dead. Second Timothy 4:1 says, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead.”
Upon His return, Christ will also reward those who believed in Him and judge those who did not believe. Christ’s followers will be rewarded with an eternal life shared with Christ, worshipping the Triune God in a new heaven and new earth, with no sin, no hardship, no sadness, and no death.