Shelby G. Floyd
In an hour of seeming defeat, Christ promised his disciples that one day he would come back from heaven to take them home to be with him.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Jesus Christ spoke these words in the last hours before he died on the cross. From a human standpoint his campaign was a failure. His little army was frustrated and discouraged as their hopes of the victorious Christ were shattered by his cruel death on the cross of Calvary. But then Jesus encouraged them with his promise, “I will come again.”
After Jesus was resurrected from the dead and as he was ascending to heaven, angels repeated the promise that he would come again: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
From the New Testament we learn that Christ will definitely return for his bride—the church. He will then take her to the new home.
1. Christ will come a second time, “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).
2. How will Christ return? The same Jesus that left the earth will return as the glorified Lord. This was promised to the apostles as they stood watching him ascend to heaven. “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
3. Why is Christ coming back a second time? Christ is returning to raise the dead and transform the living (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Christ is coming to execute righteous judgment upon all (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46).
4. When is Christ coming back again? In the parable of the ten virgins we have the first hint that it might be a long time before the Lord would return: Jesus said, “While the bridegroom tarried…” (Matthew 25:5 Emp. SGF). In spite of all the date-setters predictions, they have all proved false. Jesus said that no one knows the time of his return except the Father:
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come (Mark 13:32-33).
However, there will be a signal that no one will miss when he actually does come. It will be the trumpet sound of God.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Let us be prepared for that awesome day!
Copyright © 2020 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142