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THE RETURN OF THE LORD
“ I will come again”
John 14:3

In John 14, Christ promised believing saints that He would come again, that he would return a second time. The second advent of Christ is delineated in numerous Biblical passages such as Heb. 9:28 and Titus 2:13. Christ’s Second Coming is like a single drama that has two major acts: the rapture (Acts 1:11) and the revelation (Rev. 19:11-21) Delineated below is a brief summation of major events that will occur in conjunction with our Lord’s return.

I. The Return of Christ will bring deliverance for the saints. When the rapture takes place, the bodies of deceased saints will first be resurrected. Almost simultaneously, a living generation of saints will be instantly delivered from God’s tribulation wrath (I Thess. 1:10, 5:9, Rev. chaps. 6-19) that follows the translation of these saints in the air (I Thess. 4:13-18). Satan’s power to harass (I Thess. 2:18) these saints will be forever ended. All the church age saints will receive incorruptible bodies, no longer subject to decay and temporary dissolution (I Cor. 15:51-58).

II. The Return of Christ will bring a deposition for servants. A deposition is a summons to appear at a hearing where individuals must give witness concerning certain events/actions. This deposition, for church age saints, has been announced in advance (Rom. 14:10). It will occur at the judgment seat of Christ immediately following the rapture, where God will publicly audit the believer’s life service (Rom. 14:12, I Cor. 4:5, II Cor. 5:10). This judgment is delineated in I Cor. 3:11-14, and will be based on the sort of service, not the size of one’s labors. The joy of receiving rewards (I Cor. 9:24-27) and crowns to lay down at Christ’s feet (Rev. 4:10) should motivate every genuine saint to effective service.

III. The Return of Christ will bring delusion to society. When the Saints’ exodus occurs at the rapture, (though it will only involve a minority of earth’s inhabitants), Satan, via his anti-christ emissary will deceive the world’s masses. As the tribulation period commences the devil will pawn off one of the biggest lies he has conceived (II Thess. 2:9-12). This massive delusion will be a direct result of God’s blind fold upon a Christ rejecting, sin saturated society.

IV. The Return of Christ will bring a desecration of the sanctuary. According to Daniel 9:24-27, the anti-christ will make a pact with the Jews at the beginning of the tribulation period (Daniel’s 70th week) using the promise of peace (Dan. 8:25). Israel will discard trust in her military genius and armaments, supposedly resting safely as a nation in her “unwalled villages” (Ez. 38:11). In the middle of this 7 yr. period, the anti-christ will suddenly break his covenant and will demand that he be worshipped as god in the tribulation period temple (cp. Dan. 9:26-27 and Matt. 24:15).
For the next 3½ years, the Jewish nation will experience the greatest outbreak of persecution that she has ever confronted (Rev. 12:6, 12-13; 13:5). The tribulation period will culminate in the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16), when the world’s conglomerate powers from the four quarters of the earth (Dan. 1l:36-45) assemble for a bloody siege against Jerusalem (Zech. 12:1-2, 14:1-2)
At the moment when it appears that the Jews will be totally exterminated, Christ will return to the earth “with ten thousands of his saints” (Jude 14) in revelation power. He will plant his feet on the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4) and Armageddon’s slaughter will become a devastating reality (Zech. 14:3, Rev. 19:11-21), as the world’s nations confront the wrath of God (Zech. 14:9). In humble repentance, the Jews will look on “him whom they have pierced” (Zech. 14:10) and “all Israel shall be saved (Rom. 11:26).

V. The Return of Christ will bring a dismantling of the sword. After casting the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20) and satan into the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1-3), in triumphant glory, Christ will set up his millennial one thousand year kingdom on this earth (Rev. 20:1-6). World peace, the notable goal that has so elusively escaped man’s grasp will become a blessed reality during this golden age of human history. Israel shall finally dwell safely among the nations of the world (Jer. 23:6), with Jerusalem as central worship capital of the world (Is. 2: 2-3, Zech. 14:16).
With Christ reigning supreme via a “rod of iron”, (Rev. 2:27, 12:5), world disarmament will be realized as the world’s nations “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks” (Is. 2:4). The earth’s geographical, ecological and agricultural conditions will be drastically altered. Even the wildest animals will be domesticated, becoming safe playmates for children (Is. 11:6-9). Individual life spans will revert back to the type lengths experienced before the flood (Is. 65:20-25), as human longevity once again become a normal experience.

VI. The Return of Christ will bring the doom of satan. As earth’s golden age expires, satan will be loosed out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:3b, 20:7). In a fatal endeavor, he will gather the world’s nations for one last desperate revolt. These Christ rejecting forces will be instantly destroyed (Rev. 20:9) and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, where he will be eternally tormented without cessation (Rev. 20:10), a doom that was first predicted in Gen. 3:15 and sealed at Calvary (I John 3:10). His power to deceive, delude and destroy eternal souls will be forever terminated.

VII. The Return of Christ will bring the destruction of sinners. After satan’s everlasting destruction, the Great White Throne Judgment will take place, a judgment that culminates in eternal retribution for all Christ rejecting sinners (Rev. 20:11-15). With one sweep of his judging broom, Christ will turn this world upside down, purging it of every trace of sin, iniquity and evil (II Peter 3:7-13). As the new heavens and the new earth beautify the eternal canvas (II Pet. 3:13), time will slip into oblivion (Rev. 10:6).
Conclusion: The glory of Emmanuel’s Lamb (Is. 7:14, John 1:29) will be believer’s theme throughout the eternal aeons (Rev. 5:8-14); it should the believer’s central anthem today (Col. 3:11). DJ

PS: While the FD editor’s preaching/teaching endeavors include numerous ministries, he greatly enjoys preaching in prophetic Bible conferences, which are always conducted with a warm evangelistic slant.


Editorial-June-July 2003 The Fundamentalist Digest; permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.
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