One Return of Jesus

The “coming” of Jesus will mark the end of the present order and the commencement of the “age to come,” including the New Creation

Photo by Vincent Ledvina on Unsplash
The New Testament promises Jesus will return to the earth at the “
end” of the present age, and with great power and glory. His “arrival…on the clouds” will result in the judgment of the ungodly, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the arrival of the New Creation, and the termination of death. Thus, it will be an event of great finality - [Photo by Vincent Ledvina on Unsplash].

In the parable of the wheat and the tares, when Jesus arrives, humanity is divided before him into two groups - The just and the unjust. The “wheat” is gathered into the “barn,” while the “tares” are tied into bundles and burned. The wheat represents the “sons of the kingdom,” and the tares symbolize the “sons of the evil one” who sowed the “tares,” and the “harvest” portrays the “end of the age” - (Matthew 13:24-30).

Likewise, the parable of the sheep and goats pictures all nations gathered before Jesus for judgment, “then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” The “sheep” inherit the “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” but the “goats” are cast into "everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” The first group receives everlasting life, the second, “everlasting punishment” - (Matthew 25:31-46).

In his ‘Olivet Discourse,’ he taught that when the “Son of Man comes” he will be accompanied by his angels. All nations will mourn at his arrival, and he will send his angels to “gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” - (Matthew 24:29-31).

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul stated that at his “arrival,” dead Christians will be resurrected and gathered with those believers who are still alive to “meet him in the air” as he descends from heaven.

His “arrival” will be heralded by “the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God,” and from that point. Forward believers will be with him “forevermore.” Instead of “wrath,” God appointed believers to attain salvation through Jesus. In contrast, the “Day of the Lord will arrive with sudden destruction” upon the unprepared, and “they shall in no way escape.” That same day will bring salvation to the faithful but destruction to unbelievers - (1 Thessalonians 4:13-185:1-7).

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle wrote that the righteous will be vindicated when Jesus is “revealed from heaven with his angels,” but their persecutors and all “who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” will pay the ultimate penalty - “Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.” On that same day, Jesus will be “glorified in his saints.” Once again, at his return, the righteous are vindicated and the wicked are condemned - (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Paul labeled this one event the “arrival” or parousia of Jesus, the “Day of the Lord,” and the “revelation of Jesus from heaven.” Regardless of which term he applied, on that day Jesus will gather his saints and judge their persecutors, including the “man of lawlessness” - (2 Thessalonians 2:1-9).

To the Corinthians, Paul wrote that at his “arrival” the righteous dead will be resurrected, the kingdom of God will be consummated, and the “last enemy, death” will be terminated. All this he categorized under the term “the end” (“then comes the end”). Furthermore, on that day, the saints will inherit the kingdom and receive “immortality” - (1 Corinthians 15:20-57).

Peter links the judgment of the wicked, the dissolution of the existing creation, and the arrival of the New Creation to the “arrival” of Jesus, all events that will occur on the “Day of God” - (2 Peter 3:3-13).

The book of Revelation also connects the judgment of the wicked to the coming of Jesus. On that day, “every eye will see him” and “all the tribes of the earth will wail because of him.”

The “Day of the Lord” will be the day of His “wrath” against the wicked. It will be characterized by great celestial and terrestrial upheaval, and the victory of the “Lamb” will culminate in the New Heavens and New Earth – (Revelation 1:7, 6:12-17, 11:15-19, 16:12-21, 19:17-21).

The New Testament tells a consistent story. The one and final “arrival” of Jesus will mean the final judgment, the resurrection of the dead, terrestrial and celestial upheaval, the consummation of God’s kingdom, the cessation of death, the final overthrow of all God’s enemies, and the New Creation wherein righteousness prevails forevermore. And thus, that day will arrive with a grand note of finality.



Comments

POPULAR POSTS

Is Russia "Rosh"?

Son of Destruction