Summary of His Arrival

The arrival of Jesus in glory will mean the resurrection of the dead, the commencement of the New Creation, and the final judgment

Arrival Sun - Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash
Several Greek terms are applied in the New Testament to the return of Jesus at the end of the present age including 
parousia (“arrival”), erchomai (“coming”), and epiphaneia (“appearance”). But regardless of which term is used, in each instance, it is singular and refers to only one “coming” of the “Son of Man.” Nowhere does Scripture refer to two or more “comings” of Christ - [Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash].

The term parousia is applied to the return of Jesus most often in the letters of Paul, though not exclusively so. It signifies an “arrival” rather than the process of someone or something “coming.” For example, Paul was “comforted by the arrival of Titus” – (1 Corinthians 16:17, 2 Corinthians 7:6-7).

The first use of parousia for his return is in the version of the ‘Olivet Discourse’ recorded in the gospel of Matthew. Just as lightning flashes from east to west, “so shall be the arrival of the Son of Man” - (Matthew 24:27-28).

The creation itself will be disrupted, and “all the tribes of the earth will smite their breasts.” The event will not be limited to Judea, it will be global in scale and all nations will experience it. He will arrive “upon the clouds” and dispatch his angels to gather his disciples to himself - (Matthew 24:30-31, 25:31-46).

Judgment will occur when he “arrives,” not years or even centuries later. The godly “will inherit the kingdom,” and the ungodly will be cast “into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.”

Prior to his “arrival,” it will be “just as in the days of Noah” when men were “eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage” until the flood came and destroyed them all. This describes normalcy – men going about their daily business as if nothing catastrophic would even occur (“They observed not until the flood came and took them all away” - Matthew 24:37-39).

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul responded to some voices that were denying the future resurrection of the righteous. In the process, he listed several events that must transpire at or before the “arrival” or parousia of Jesus, including:
  • The consummation of the kingdom of God.
  • The bodily resurrection of dead believers at Christ’s parousia.
  • The subjugation to Jesus of all “rule and all authority and power.”
  • The cessation of death, the “last enemy.”
  • The bodily transformation of believers who remain alive at the time - from mortality to immortality.
To the Thessalonians, Paul declared they would become his “crown of boasting” at Christ’s parousia when he arrived “with all his saints.” Believers will then be wholly sanctified and found “blameless” before him - (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:13, 5:23).

At his “arrival,” dead believers will be resurrected and assembled along with those still alive for “a meeting of the Lord in the air.” Thereafter, believers will “be with the Lord forevermore” - (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

The parousia will coincide with the “Day of the Lord,” the time when believers will be “gathered together” to Christ. But that day will not occur until after the “apostasy” and the unveiling of the “man of lawlessness” whom the “Lord Jesus will paralyze with the manifestation of his arrival” - (2 Thessalonians 2:1-9).

According to Peter, his parousia will mean nothing less than the “day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly men.” Like Paul, he links the “arrival” of Jesus with the “Day of the Lord” when “the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise…and the earth and the works therein will be discovered…the heavens will be dissolved and elements becoming intensely hot are to be melted” - (2 Peter 3:3-14).

On that day, the old order will make way for the “new heavens and the new earth according to his promise in which righteousness dwells.” His parousia will result in the destruction of the present world order and inaugurate the new one.

Thus, his “arrival” will be universal - all men will experience it. It will be marked by celestial and terrestrial upheaval. Jesus will gather his people to himself. The righteous inherit everlasting life, and the ungodly receive everlasting punishment.

His “arrival” will mean the final defeat of God’s enemies and the consummation of His unopposed reign. Death will cease, and the New Creation will be unveiled in all its glory. All these events occur at the parousia or “arrival” of Jesus.



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