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The Testimony Of Jesus Christ

Chapter Eleven

The Return of Jesus Christ

Almost two thousand years ago, God sent His only begotten Son into this world, to be born of the virgin Mary. Christ lived without sin and died for our sins on the cruel cross of Calvary. He rose from the grave; and shortly thereafter, He left this earth to ascend back into the presence of the Father, where He now makes intercession for us. When He left this earth, the angels of God promised He would return again. Since that time many have anxiously awaited His return.

Although the Bible assures us that He will come again, some have doubted and scoffed. Apparently some doubts began to emerge shortly after our Lord returned to heaven. Peter stated in his second epistle that scoffers would surely emerge. He wrote, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4). The sad reality is that such attitudes have persisted, even to the present. Doubt may have begun to creep into the hearts of some believers too. Yet, the promise that Jesus will come again continues to strengthen the faith of many.

The scriptures which verify the return of Christ are far too numerous to be discounted or discredited. In this brief study, we will endeavor to explore some of the vast resources of scriptures which reaffirm our faith in His coming. Certainly nothing could be more relevant than the words which Jesus spoke on this subject. He said to His disciples, “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 14:2-3). Jesus promised, “I will come again.” While some may apply this passage to the time of death, it seems to also have a connection to the visible coming of Christ.

On another occasion, Jesus referred to His return by saying, “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:64). It is interesting to note that the coming of the Lord is connected with His appearance in the “clouds.” It is a fact that is repeated in Revelation 1:7. John said, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” While space will not permit enlarging upon the connection between His return and the clouds, it is helpful to know this precise detail of His appearance.

Another fact of which we can be certain is that the return of the Lord Jesus will be visible. He left this earth visibly, and according to the angels of God, He will return in the same way. The angels declared, “...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 1:11). Since Christ could be seen with the eye at His departure, He will be clearly visible to the eye at His return. Yes, we will be able to see Jesus when he comes again!

But when will He come again? Almost two thousand years have passed since that angelic promise, and He has not yet visibly returned. We must keep in mind that His coming will be according to God’s schedule, not ours. For example, a thousand years is a long time to us, but for God it is as a day. The Bible says, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). When Peter made that statement, he was discussing some of the events of the Savior’s return. Therefore, we cannot possibly predict when Jesus will come again.

Even so, many have attempted to pinpoint the time of His return. In recent years, some have endeavored to calculate the time of His coming. When they were proven wrong, they recalculated only to be wrong a second time. The Bible is clear on this matter: no one will know when Jesus is coming. The Bible says, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). If God will not tell the angels when Christ will return, certainly He is not going to share such wonderful knowledge with a mere mortal.

Because we cannot know the time of His return, we can be relatively sure that many will not be expecting Him. Luke said, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40). His appearance will be as unexpected as a thief in the night. Jesus said, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15). When He comes, no doubt many will be surprised.

Though unexpected by some, He will find many who are waiting on His return. Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). Notice that it does not say “if” He comes, but “when” He comes. The Bible declares, “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37). Even now, many of us are lovingly and longingly awaiting His coming. We are, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

The Bible gives us the best of news in a world that declares that Jesus is coming again. When He does, those who have died will live again. Paul also mentioned the “clouds” saying, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). What a glorious day that will be!

So we continue to wait, holding fast the assurance of His words. John wrote, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). Our hearts resound the words “come quickly, Lord Jesus.” “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28). “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8).


If you did not believe in the second visible return of Christ at the beginning of the chapter, you probably are not convinced yet. However, those who do believe have found cause for joy and celebration. We, who are born again, may live in this world of sin and sorrow, but our hearts are turned heavenward. With glad expectations, we wait.

But what are we doing while we wait? Do we spend too much time accumulating worldly goods we will someday leave behind, or are we actively engaged in the service of our Savior? Let us work for His glory while we wait for our glory. Paul said, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Is that your hope, the foundation of your faith? Then spend more time living for Christ while waiting for His return.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015