People I know, love, respect… who are conservative Christians… who love Jesus… disagree about the finer points of Christ’s return. This reminds me not to be dogmatic, but humble. It also reminds me to be respectful of those who disagree with my view. Anyway, here are a few of my thoughts about the Return of Christ.
The term “Last Days” includes from the time Jesus ascended to heaven and will continue until he returns. “Last Days” as used in reference to the particular day we are living as immediately preceding the return of Christ is not necessarily accurate. Jesus could not return for another 1,000 years and still be in line with Scripture.
It is impossible to predict or know when Jesus will return.
But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. (Mk 13:32-33)
The return of Christ will not happen until after the Antichrist is revealed.
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction… (2 Thess 2:1-3)
The sign of Jesus’ return will be… His return.
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory… (Mt 24:30)
When Jesus returns, it will be like in the days of Noah (Life as usual).
For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Mt 24:37-39)
When Christ returns, THEN will be the resurrection, rapture and Second Coming.
For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:15-17)
Because of all the above, it is best to stay ready for His return.
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Mt 24:44)
Thus: I do not think there are multiple resurrections (One before the tribulation… after the tribulation… and then after the 1,000 year reign). I don’t think Jesus will come back until after the Antichrist is revealed. I do not believe the rapture will be “secret.” I do believe that when Jesus comes back… He will come all the way back to earth and set up His kingdom (Thus the resurrection, rapture, and return are all one event as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4).
I’m not sure anything much else can be nailed down… at least in my mind.
There is one more thought I have. If we believe that Jesus is coming back… that the only way to God is through Jesus… and that those who don’t believe in Jesus will be separated from God for eternity in a place the Bible calls hell, then shouldn’t we be telling everyone that Jesus is the way to be saved?