Second Coming of Jesus – Signs of His Return
single most important event in human history until now has been the
coming of Jesus the Messiah, who entered time and space to save us
from our sins. By taking on human form (theologians call this
“incarnation”), visiting our planet and dying on the
cross, he opened up the perfect way of forgiveness and reconciliation
with God. Were it not for these actions we would all be separated
from God for eternity.
other major event will, of course, be the Second Coming of Jesus.
The Bible repeatedly warns us to be ready for that day.
Saviour to Judge
first time Jesus came into the world, his mission was to be our
Saviour. Next time he will come as Judge. Same person, different
purpose. The first time, most people missed him. Only a minority
realised who he was. Next time, every eye will see him. Every knee
on earth will bow before him. Every crown and government will be
surrendered to him. He will rule over the nations with judgement and
justice. The Bible says that he will judge the world according to
God’s righteous standards (Acts 17:31). Every sin committed in
secret will be brought out into the light (Luke 12:2). Jesus said
that even idle words that people speak will be revealed (Matthew
Christians, we should look forward to the return of Jesus with great
anticipation, because our sins have already been taken away and we
have peace with God through him. The Bible says we will all give an
account of our lives (Romans 14:9-13), but the final judgement for
Christians will be for rewards, based on how we lived and what we
have done for Christ. It will not be for sin – Jesus has
already taken our sins and judgement on the cross. There is no
condemnation to those who believe in him (Romans 8:1). In the
context of eternity, the Second Coming should give us cause for as
much joy as the first Christmas morning. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says
that we (Christians) wait for God’s Son to come from Heaven.
Nothing else is as important (or at least should be).
of the times
find that people are fascinated with the future. My first job was in
the Weather Bureau, where I watched observers and meteorologists
working together to interpret the signs in the atmosphere, track
climate change, study satellite photos and tell the community what
kind of weather to expect. This was important during cyclone
seasons, droughts and when planning special outdoor events. Often
they got it wrong, with disastrous consequences. But they were only
only we could read the signs and predict the future with accuracy.
Most of our radio stations and pulp magazines feature horoscopes and
tarot readings. Millions of Australians regularly read the stars.
We want to know what is going to happen and the extent to which we
can change the future to meet our needs and desires. David Suzuki
has written a book entitled “Re-inventing the Future”.
had a lot to say about what the world would be like prior to his
return. While there are elements of prophecy that are subject to
faulty interpretation, conjecture and out-of-context flights of
fancy, it is worthwhile briefly recounting what he said (especially
in Matthew Chapter 24), and what the other inspired writers of the
New Testament had to add concerning political, social and economic
conditions that will prevail as we approach that Great Day. What are
the signs of the end? What are the indicators we should be
identifying and watching, so that we will not be alarmed about the
direction of life in the Human Village, but see the hand and purpose
of God at work to bring about the fulfilment of His Plan.
Jesus said there would be wars and rumours of wars. The people of
his day lived in a part of the world continually beset by conflict.
Wars and rumours of wars were common. Jesus was saying that the
world will become even more dangerous. The governments of the world
already spend more on arms than any other cause. The Bible talks
about nations rising against nations, communities against
communities, with world leaders concentrating power in relatively few
hands. Increasing levels in military activity will eventually lead
to people demanding peace at any price. Leaders who guarantee peace
will be rewarded with the levers of control. When peace is
proclaimed and human conflict appears to be at an end, destruction
will come and there will be no escape (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Pacifism, militarism, peace movements, legislators, educators,
scientists and international organisations will all fail in the end.
The only event that will cause a cessation in human tragedies will be
the coming of Christ. He will step in and establish his government.
and the Prophets also said there would be an increase in earthquakes,
deadly diseases and famines, an escalation in human knowledge,
research, information traffic, world travel, and great scientific
advances. As knowledge increases, the wisdom to know what to do with
it will be high jacked by anti-Christian agendas. There will be
signs in the heavens, probably a mixture of man-made and cosmic
events never before seen or understood. Jean Paul Satre wrote a book
called “No Exit”. He believed there was no way out. The
Bible tells us not to be worried, but to look for the return of the
Saviour. He is the ultimate Exit; out of the world, into God’s
the end of this stage of human history will see God virtually
displaced in favour of man as God – but only for a period. The
Bible says people’s hearts will become harder than ever; they
will love themselves and their possessions more than God and set
themselves up in his place. Rebellion against God and revulsion
against His people will become universal. Immorality, the collapse
of the family, mental break-down, the cult of greed and every kind of
sexual perversion and blasphemy against Christ will become the norm.
Atheism will become the new religion. The State will increasingly
regulate what we are able to say and think. Technology will be used
to monitor those whose world views do not fit; that includes
evangelical Christians. Legislators in the West will implement
anti-Christian programs designed to gut and disempower the
proclamation of the Gospel.
have been periods like this in past human history but nothing
cataclysmic has occurred. This causes some to scoff and ridicule.
Peter says that, more and more, people will decry the promise of
Jesus’ return. (2 Peter 2:3, 4). Why should we be concerned?
I recently read a detailed account of the Black Death that swept
across Europe in the 14th
Century. Between a quarter and a half of Europe’s population
perished. Many people thought it was the end of the world.
Historians believe that in the history of man there have been less
than 100 years without a major conflict somewhere. We’ve seen
the worst wars in human history in the past hundred years, but we
survived. So, what’s different?
time of which Jesus spoke will be characterised by more widespread,
violent, barbaric, scientific clever and devastating wars, new
virulent diseases and widespread human suffering. Don’t let
the unbelief of some make you sceptical. The signs Jesus mentioned
are like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle. When the puzzle is
complete, the end will finally come. I don’t know when this
will occur. Only God knows. We need to be ready.
should we live?
we believe the words of Jesus, we should live as though this life is
only a dress rehearsal for the one to come. Where we are a thousand
years from today will depend on the decisions that we make about
Jesus now. The Bible says that after death will come judgement
(Hebrews 9:27). After judgement, eternity.
believers we should look forward with anticipation to the return of
Jesus Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:13). We should seek and carry out
the will of God, so that we will be pleased when he comes, not caught
out doing something else (1 John 2:28). When he comes again we will
be like Him (1 John 2:2, 3). We should remind ourselves that He will
come, and adjust our lifestyles accordingly. He will not delay any
longer than God’s perfect timetable (Hebrews 10:36, 37). We
should be patient and keep our priorities in line with His ways
(James 5:8). Peter tells us that this is the hope that makes us
different from unbelievers (1 Peter 3:15).
Christians we don’t need to panic or feel insecure about the
future of the world. The Bible says that our reaction should be to
“look up” because our redemption is closer than ever.
Man was created to “look up” (anthropos),
to God, not to become mired in pessimism and despair. Life without
God is the death of hope and beginning of despair. Relationship with
God is the only thing that gives us hope for the future. Our mission
is to share this message with the world around us.
Second Coming of Jesus is not a myth perpetuated by raving fanatics,
hot-headed dusty prophets who spent too long in the sun and imagined
things that were so startling they became apocalyptic. The author is
the Holy Spirit, who moved them to predict both his first coming and
return. People talk about doom and destruction. But God knows
everything: the past, the present and the future - your future. Our
trust is in Jesus who died on the cross so that we could be forgiven,
who rose again in power to give us new life, who ascended to the
right hand of God to represent us there, and will come for us on that
day. We should be motived to reach those who don’t know him
and face a certain future judgement. We should review how we live
and the attitudes that we have regarding the future.
prophecy relating to the first coming, suffering and resurrection of
Jesus came to pass. The Bible closes with the promise by Jesus that
he will come again, as surely as night follows day. It may be in our
lifetime. Maybe later. We simply don’t know. Let’s
live as though we believe the stage is set.
the last NASA space shuttle blasted off into space it was powered by
more than four million kilos of thrust, just to escape the downward
drag of the earth. The return of Christ will provide us with enough
thrust to escape the gravity of the earth and take us into the
eternal presence of God (1 Corinthians 15:51-57). Let’s make
sure we are ready, that there is nothing in our lives to tie us down.