Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about the Return of Christ is not a fantasy, but a real, rock solid revelation from that Grand Old Book. The teaching is one of the oldest, most established doctrines of the Church. It gives you something to look and live for.
Come with me and let’s explore just a few facts regarding His glorious return. First, lets see that Paul committed himself by saying he was, “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).
In another place he wrote, For our citizenship is in heaven from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20; cf. Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:29-31, 37, 44; 25:31; John 14:1-3). The Bible teaching about the Return of Christ is clear: He is on His way when the time is right.
The Christian Church has always held this belief. For example, the Apostles’ Creed (@A.D. 350) reads, “he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”
The Nicene Creed (@ A.D. 381) states, “and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead.”
What, then, is the nature of the Bible teaching about the Return of Christ? In this Bible study, I will explain just a few of the major points. The story is strange, but certain to occur.
The Return of Christ: Literal and Bodily
The Bible teaching about the Return of Christ clearly describes His arrival as being personal, outwardly, visible, and in bodily form – and later you will see it is very spectacular!
Here is the evidence. After Jesus had risen from the dead, He was in His glorified, physical body. He appeared many times to His disciples and at one time to over 500 people at one time (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). He remained on earth for 40 days, offering many proofs of His resurrection, and also giving last minute instructions to His apostles (Acts 1:1-3ff.).
Then, the time came for His departure into heaven. He was standing among His disciples, and probably others, then began His ascent upward into the sky. A cloud received Him, and He disappeared from their sight. Can you imagine the astonishment on their faces as they gawked at this very strange exit?
Then, two angels appeared to the stunned group, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11; cf. Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 24:27; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:3). But that is not all – there is more.
The Return of Christ Will Be in Great Power and Glory
The Bible teaching about the Return of Christ discloses that it will be the most sensational, spectacular, extravagant occasion ever performed. It will beat anything you could ever see in the casinos of the Las Vegas – or the coronation of any king!
The Bible says, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29, 30; cf. 25:31; Revelation 19:11-16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
I encourage you to read all the verses I have referenced so far to gather a fuller picture of this absolutely stunning grand entrance.
The Return of Christ Will Be Preceded by World Calamity
The Bible teaching about the Return of Christ includes the bad with the good. The bad is that the entire world will be embroiled in political, religious, economic, physical, and social turmoil. A world leader, called the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9), will wreck havoc and evil of unmentionable proportions upon the world scene.
I don’t want to depress you too bad, but times will be so bad – well, here is what Jesus said, “for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved” (Matthew 24:21; cf. 24:1-31).
Jesus goes on to explain that right after those terrible and destructive days, He will return (Matthew 24:29).
The Return of Christ Will Bring Good
The good about the Bible teaching about the Return of Christ is that He will land on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1-4), and, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne” (Matthew 25:31).
It will be judgment time (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). Christ will be, “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God…And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9; cf. verses 5-10). The good is that the bad will be gone.
For those who have personally received Christ as their Savior, (link) good times will roll, “when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed…in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him” (2 Thessalonians 1:10, 12).
The Time of the Return of Christ
When will Christ return? No one knows, not even the angels in heaven (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44; Acts 1:6, 7). Many people have guessed, but they have all turned out to be wrong. In fact, some have predicted the date of His arrival, amassed a following, and waited for His appearance in the sky. The problem is He never showed up.
Consequently, based on the Bible teaching about the Return of Christ, if anyone tells you they know the date of His return, they are lying to you. Maybe they are just ignorant and mean well, but they simply don’t know when He will return.
With this overview of the Bible teaching about the Return of Christ, Esmie and I pray for your excited interest in Jesus Christ, His Bible, and the fascinating events of the future. All the best to you, and may God richly bless you.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS:
1. Study 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Describe the event that occurs, and how that should comfort believers.
2. What are your thoughts on the Return of Jesus Christ? Explain.
3. Study the following verses: Matthew 25:31; 24:31; Jude 14; 1 Thessalonians 3:13-17; Zechariah 14:5).
What are the different parties involved in this event?
4. How severe will be the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21:22)?
5. Who first predicted the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15)?
6. How should the Return of Christ influence your behavior (Matthew 24:42-51)?
7. What will Jesus’ role be when He returns (Matthew25:31-46)?
8. Will the judgment of Jesus be just and fair (2 Thessalonians 1:4-10)?
9. Why do you suppose Christ is waiting to return (Acts 15:14, 16a; cf. verses 14-18; Romans 11:25)?
10. What stands out to you the most in this Bible study? Explain.
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