After His death and resurrection, Jesus ascended into the heavens, while disciples stood awestruck and attending angels made this promise: “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11, NASB).
Unlike the incarnation, where our Savior’s full deity was cloaked in His humanity, the Second Coming of Christ will be visible to everyone on planet Earth. “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27, NASB).
For the believer who has placed his faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross, it will be a time of great rejoicing. The dead in Christ, and those alive at His coming, will receive new, redeemed bodies.
For the unbeliever, however, it will be a time of terror and dismay, as they see the Savior they have rejected and scorned coming in great power and glory. Fear and trembling will overwhelm them as they await their final judgment and assignment to hell’s lake of never-ending fire.
Although the Bible says that certain signs will precede and accompany Jesus’ glorious return, it also tells us that no one knows the day or hour when it will occur. The Scripture’s emphasis is always on spiritual readiness.
The believer in Jesus Christ is to be eagerly watching and waiting for the return of the Savior. Like the servants in the parable of the talents, followers of Christ should be busy with the Lord’s work, using their time, talents, and resources for the sake of the Kingdom.
We also should be boldly sharing our faith with those who still live in spiritual darkness and death, telling them of the great joy of eternity with Christ and the great horror of eternity apart from Christ.
Above all, believers should be daily yielding to the rule and reign of the Holy Spirit, walking in holiness. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, … you ought to live holy and godly lives” (2 Peter 3:10-11, NIV).
Throughout 2009, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will be focusing on the theme of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove will feature numerous seminars on the return of the Savior. Our television programs, print materials, and Web site will regularly address the topic of Christ’s soon return.
It is my prayer that this emphasis will increase your love for the Savior, and encourage you in the faith. Death, sin, sickness, and every form of evil will be done away with as Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom. No more tears, no more pain, no more despair.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Bible verses marked NASB are taken by permission from the New American Standard Bible, ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.
from the January 2009 issue of “Decision” magazine