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1. What special promise did Jesus give before He went to heaven? John 14:1-3 NKJV
“I will again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Christians through the ages have eagerly anticipated the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to return as the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). It means the end of sin and reunion with God.
2. What sign immediately precedes Jesus’ return? Matthew 24:3-5 NKJV
“‘What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many.’”
Jesus’ return is not a “blessed hope” to Satan. Jesus warns the devil will preempt His return with false christs. These “false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). Majestic supernatural beings work real miracles and claim to be holy angels and even Jesus Himself (2 Corinthians 11:14; Revelation 13:13).
3. What has Jesus done to help His people prepare for His return? Matthew 24:25 NKJV
“See, I have you beforehand.”
Jesus gave prophecy to prepare us for what is coming. This is why it is vital we understand prophecy. The deceptions are so overwhelming that the only way to escape will be to trust the plain teachings of the Bible and not what is seen with the eye. In this lesson we will look at eight characteristics of Jesus’ return. Knowing these will help shield you from being deceived. Only Jesus can do all of these things. Satan may imitate one or two in a limited way, but it is impossible for him to do all at the same time and on the grand scale Jesus will.
4. To what part of our world will Jesus return? Matthew 24:26-30 NKJV
“Therefore, if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be… and then the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will the Son of Man coming.”
Jesus’ return is GLOBAL. He will not appear in select places scattered around the world. If you have to turn on CNN to hear an interview with the “returned Christ” you can know it’s not the real Jesus. The brightness of His true coming fills the entire sky. All the nations of the earth will see Him in the sky like lightning. Anything short of this is the devil’s deception.
5. How many people will see Jesus come in the sky? Revelation 1:7 NKJV
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and eye will see Him.”
Jesus’ return is very VISIBLE. Everyone living on the planet sees Him in the sky. There is no missing it.
6. How can everyone see Jesus return at the same time? Matthew 25:31 NKJV
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and the holy angels with Him.”
Jesus returns in His brilliant glory with EVERY ANGEL. These bright beings are “innumerable” and fill the sky (Hebrews 12:22). Can you imagine the effect this will have? One angel at Jesus’ resurrection was so majestic that his glory caused 100 war-hardened Roman soldiers to faint with fear (Matthew 28:2-4). Imagine this multiplied a few billion times!
7. Why do all the angels return with Jesus? Matthew 24:31 NKJV
“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
The angels GATHER GOD’S PEOPLE together from around the world to take them to heaven.
8. Who of God’s people do the angels gather? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 NKJV
“And the in Christ will rise first. Then we who are and remain shall be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
The second coming reunites Jesus’ dead and living followers. Those who died as believers are resurrected first. Then Christ’s living followers are caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. Notice Jesus doesn’t set foot on earth this time. This is another way to tell the true Christ from the false.
9. Does Jesus return quietly? 1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a , with the voice of an , and with the of God.”
Jesus’ return is AUDIBLE and anything but quiet. According to Scripture, when He returns everyone will hear it and see it. (Notice this is the same “trumpet” and gathering of the elect mentioned in Matthew 24:30, 31.) Jesus’ shout, the archangel’s voice, and the blasting trumpet are so loud even the “dead in Christ” hear it. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth” John 5:28, 29). This is the day heaven has waited for so long! There is no keeping God and angels quiet.
10. What happens to our bodies when the trumpet blasts and we are gathered to meet Jesus? 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 NKJV
“We shall all be , in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on .”
We will be CHANGED. Jesus will give us the wonderful treasure of immortal bodies that never feel tired, get sick, or die.
11. What happens to those who haven’t followed Christ? 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 NKJV
“When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not God, and on those who do not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day.”
Jesus’ return DESTROYS THE LOST. Note that this takes place at the same coming as “when He comes to be glorified in His saints” (verse 10). The same event that leads the saved to say, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us” (Isaiah 25:9), causes the lost to cry “to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 6:16). What makes the difference between being saved or lost? The saved “obey the gospel” and accept the Lordship of Jesus.
12. How does Jesus come as a “thief in the night”? 2 Peter 3:10 NKJV
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the
will pass away with a great , and the elements will melt with fervent heat;
both the and the works that are in it will be up.”
The “thief in the night” phrase is often used to prove a secret rapture. The Bible, however, says when He comes as a thief, the heavens pass away, there is a great noise, and everything burns up. This is no secret snatching of the saints and leaving the lost alive. So how does Jesus come as a thief? Jesus explained, “If the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” His coming is like a thief because we “do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42-44).
13. What shape is the earth going to be in after Jesus returns? Jeremiah 4:23-27 NKJV
“I beheld the earth… and indeed there was no … and all its cities were broken down at the presence of the Lord, by His fierce anger.”
Jesus’ return DEMOLISHES THE EARTH and completely depopulates the planet, leaving “no man.” All the saved are gathered and taken to heaven. The lost are destroyed by the brightness of His coming. There is no one left to even bury the dead (Jeremiah 25:30-33).
There you have it—the Bible’s eight characteristics of Jesus’ coming. The return of Christ is 1) GLOBAL in its scope, 2) VISIBLE to everyone, includes 3) EVERY ANGEL, 4) GATHERS both the living and dead in Christ to heaven, 5) AUDIBLE to every ear, 6) CHANGES the saved from mortals into immortals, 7) DESTROYS the lost, and 8) DEMOLISHES the earth so it cannot support life. Only Jesus can return in this manner.
14. Have you made the decision to be ready for Jesus’ return?
Jesus is returning to take His children back to the mansions He has prepared for them in heaven (John 14:1-3). If you’ve not asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, now is the time to do it. Prophecy indicates His return is soon. There are no second chances. Accept Jesus today so you can go to heaven when He comes.