Christ's Second Coming divides people as sheep from goats, saved & unsaved, for eternity.
Christ gives several signs of his return as he speaks to the 12 in the Olivet Discourse. The table shows the signs in the two versions of the discourse and their fulfillment in Revelation.
Alt-leftists rail for open borders in an age of Islamic terror, China persecutes the Church and freethinkers, U.S. schools believe snowflake students can't handle alternative viewpoints ... the makings of Antichrist's perfect storm.
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Jesus tells his disciples that just as when the fig tree buds they know summer is near, so the appearance of the signs of the end should indicate to them the time of his Second Coming.
Summer's only just begun, but spiritually, the heat is already on, and the Bible’s forecast is for ever-hotter going.
Luke 21 carries a version of Jesus' Olivet Discourse on the end-times. Verses 29-31 contain a key point. “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near," Christ says.
The turbulent skies and seas, social upheaval, racial hatred and other signs of the "beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:8) are here. They tell us spiritual summer is upon us. Now, I won't be giving you "19 Reasons Why Jesus Is Coming Back in 2019," but I will tell you a recent national poll revealed more than three-quarters of evangelical Christians believe we are living in the final of the last days. More than half of all Protestants, nearly half of all Roman Catholics, and more than 40 percent of all Americans agreed.
This is not all bad news. Look up – we're going up! “We who are alive and remain shall be caught up,” says 1 Thessalonians 4:17 of Christians on earth when Jesus calls his church to heaven. In a moment in time – the “twinkling of an eye” – millions upon millions of Christians will leave earth, changing the course of history forever and bringing unspeakable joy to believers.
I think we still have a little time to go before this happens, but it will not be long. Unfortunately, life likely will get worse before it becomes better. “Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived,” 2 Timothy 3:13 says.
Almost everyone in the West seems to feel great stress although modern conveniences make the tasks of daily life easier than ever. Youth in particular are continually complaining of unbearable pressures – taking tests, finding jobs, dealing with others’ different views – that previous generations handled easily. At the same time, Muslims are executing “infidels” by tossing them from buildings or beheadings. China is demolishing churches and persecuting any independent thought through torture, solitary confinement and murder. Streams of unvetted refuges are hurtling over America’s southern border.
With the weak meeting the strong, the lawless overcoming the lawful, the devil is mixing the ingredients to his perfect storm to cause as much of humanity to keep away from God as possible. The final seven-year-long whirlwind of evil – the Tribulation – will commence when the Rapture, or “catching away,” of believers proves correct the Bible’s mandate for accepting Christ.
The world’s sinister dictator for the globe's last “week of years” (Daniel 12:1) has not been revealed yet, but he surely lies in wait for the worldly. This wicked ruler, Antichrist, will exalt himself and persecute those coming to the Lord during the Tribulation. This will be especially intense during the period’s second half, in which the devil’s man will demand worship as God in a rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
Thus, Judgment Day is rapidly approaching. “Jesus … will judge the living and the dead at his appearing,” says 2 Timothy 4:1. At Christ’s physical return or “second coming,” he will divide people as sheep and goats, the faithful from the unbelieving. The former are to rule with him for a thousand years on a purified planet, then go to the heavenly New Jerusalem for eternity, while the latter burn in the fires of hell forever and ever.
These words remind us that Jesus' arrival will be a blessing to some and curse to others. If the thought of his appearing stirs in us fear, we must think and pray about why. We cannot take a day for granted. Soon enough, the Second Advent will be upon us.
In the meantime, stay faithful to Christ and wait out the devil; he'll eventually make a mistake. “The accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down,” Revelation 12:10 says. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
The blasphemous one's future is doomed even if he seems to be gaining momentum these days. This verse from Revelation tells us he slanders Christians day and night, but God will silence him.
Isaiah 14 says the former Lucifer ("Morning Star"), now Satan ("The Adversary"), will be in the Lake of Fire for all time, and if we see him, we will wonder why so many feared him so much. This master of shadow – not substance – cannot stand the brightness of Jesus’ coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
As we sing at church, "Sinners will be running on that Great Day” of Jesus’ appearing and judgment of all who dwell upon the earth. “The Day of the Lord is great and very terrible; who can endure it?” prophesies Joel 2:11. This passage relates God's holiest name, Yahweh, and the awe-inspiring moment of his dominion soon to come upon all flesh.
The only ones getting out of this eternally alive will be those with Christ's mark, not that of the beast. The rest will be what we might call "the living dead," those who exist but must endure an inescapable, nightmarish torment.
Get ready for the Great Day now; there will be no time to do so when it comes upon us as a thief in the night. If we are unprepared then, we will dwell forever in heat, with no hope of relief.
About the author: The Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D., has an earned doctorate and taught both journalism and religious studies in universities, winning three honors for scholarly research on the intersection of faith and media.
He's won 25 awards for professional media writing and production in a career stretching back to the 1980s and covering every mass medium. For 20 years, he's worked in public relations and marketing with outstanding results in placing articles, generating click-throughs, growing social-platform accounts, and more.
Ordained in 2003, he's clergy and has served congregations and denominations in numerous positions of pastoral, administrative and educational leadership. He has a master's degree in theological studies from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. Click here for more on Huckins.
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