The PromiseSearch the Word | Vol. 27 No. 3 | Mar-Apr 2016
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
“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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1–3.
Pressures build. Responsibilities grow. Sometimes we aren’t sure we can bear the endless cycle of pressure. We are like a kitten that has climbed a rope and now cannot get down, but hangs by it’s tiny, yet strong, claws. We hang on because we don’t know what else to do. The past is gone; the present is bleak; and the future seems without hope. Hang on for what? Just more of the same?
More hassles? More confusion? More headaches?
The word gospel means “Good news.” Get ready for some of the best news ever given—a reason for “hanging on.” The truth about life is that everything adds up after all. History is not an endless series of cycles, with each civilization making the same mistakes, eternally. Instead, it is the background against which God is working out His loving plan to rescue Planet Earth—including you!
And this plan isn’t hidden, either. With the new perspective faith provides, newspaper headlines take on a whole new impact. Now they are signposts, marking the progress of the plan.
Everywhere we can see God’s hand, behind and through the great and small events of our day. It’s almost as if posters were up everywhere saying, “CAUTION: God at work.”
Where another might see only hopelessness and despair, the Christian sees the birth pangs of a new age, the promise of the Great Day. And soon—almost before we know it—the Great Return.
Christ’s promise to return for His followers was the great theme of the apostles. It is estimated that one in every 25 verses of the New Testament speaks of this event. But Satan has sought to confuse people so they will not be ready to meet him. Before Jesus’ first coming in Bethlehem, Satan was successful in confusing the Jewish people by causing them to misapply the prophecies of His second coming to His first coming. As a result, few were ready to receive Him. Now Satan is applying the prophecies of Jesus’ first coming—such as the 70th week in Daniel 9—to His second coming. And again it is working effectively to deceive! Let us see what the Bible says about Jesus’ second coming.
1. Before Jesus returned to heaven, what did He promise to do? John 14:1–3
Jesus promised that He would receive us to Himself when He came again—not in some secret rapture beforehand, as some people are teaching today. See Revelation 22:12–14, Hebrews 9:28, 2 Timothy 4:8, 1 Peter 1:13 and 5:4, 1 John 2:28, and Psalm 50:3.
2. When Christ ascended to heaven, what additional promise was given? Acts 1:10, 11
The first chapter of Acts describes how Jesus went back to heaven. Notice the emphasis on the fact that the disciples actually watched Him go up. “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9–11, emphasis added.
3. To what “blessed hope” did the apostle Paul look forward? Titus 2:13
4. The disciples understood that Jesus’ coming would mark what point in the world’s history? Matthew 24:3
1. Why is it important for us to know the vital details about how Jesus will come? Matthew 24:23–24
2.What did Jesus say to do when people tell you that He has come secretly? Matthew 24:24–27
3. How can we know when the real Christ has come? Matthew 24:30, 31
4. Will Christ’s coming be secret and silent, as a thief in the night? 2 Peter 3:10–12
5. While we don’t know the day or hour, will Christ’s people be taken by surprise? 1 Thessalonians 5:2
THE REAL DEAL
1. How will Jesus come? Acts 1:9–11, Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:26 and 14:62, Isaiah 55:15, Psalms 104:3, 4
2. How many people will see Jesus come? Revelation 1:7
3. How easy will it be to see Him? Matthew 24:27
4. Who will come with Jesus? Matthew 25:31
5. How many angels are there? Revelation 5:11
6. What two sounds will be associated with Christ’s return? 1 Thessalonians 4:16
1. What does the Bible say will happen to the righteous who have died when Jesus comes again? 1 Thessalonians 4:16
2. Then what will happen to the righteous who are alive? 1 Thessalonians 4:17
3. Where will we meet the Lord? 1 Thessalonians 4:17
4. Where is the place that Jesus has promised to prepare for us? John 14:2
5. Where is His Father’s house? Matthew 7:21
6. So where is the inheritance of the righteous? 1 Peter 1:4
7. Alive or dead, what will happen to all the righteous when the trumpet sounds? 1 Corinthians 15:51–53
8. What will happen to death? 1 Corinthians 15:54
1. Will all people be rejoicing when Jesus comes? Matthew 24:30
2. What will they be mourning? Jeremiah 8:20
3. What will happen to the wicked at Jesus’ second coming? 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9
HOW TO BE ON THE “RIGHT SIDE”
1. What must we do in order to be prepared to face God? 1 John 2:28; Titus 2:11–14
2. What does everyone do who has the hope of Christ’s return? 1 John 3:3
3. What offer does Jesus make to every sinner? Isaiah 27:5
4. If we do these things, what will we be able to say when Jesus comes? Isaiah 25:9
Jesus’ second coming will be an all-encompassing surprise to the world, at which time all will be eternally separated—some for everlasting destruction and some for eternal life. Is the glorious appearing of Jesus your blessed hope? Do you want Jesus to redeem you from every lawless deed, and to write His law of love and righteousness in your heart, so that you will rejoice to see His face?
I understand that Jesus will come again, not silently or secretly, but with power and great glory, to take His redeemed ones home. I desire to be ready to meet Jesus and go to heaven with Him when He comes.
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