Why Will Jesus Christ Return?

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Why Will Jesus Christ Return?

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Amid the trials of life and worsening times, there remains ever before us a wonderful hope. Though the world is beset by darkness and will yet grow darker, a turning point lies ahead in the coming of the Savior of the world—indeed the second coming, as Christians understand. Is that really going to happen? And why?

It’s commonly believed among those who identify themselves as Christian that Jesus Christ died, rose from the dead, went away to heaven and that He will one day return as He promised. Of course, the nature of this return is disputed. For instance, some think His return is spiritual through the Church. Yet most Christians believe He will literally return in power and glory—and polls reveal that a large percentage believes His return is within mere decades.

Still there are those who ridicule the idea. The Bible warned that scoffers would come in the last days saying, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created” (2 Peter 3:3-4 2 Peter 3:3-4 [3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] 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.
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, New Living Translation).

Yet as prominent as the belief in Christ’s return is, it stands oddly against another popular conception in conventional theology of people having an immortal soul that flies away to be with Christ immediately at death. This would seem to leave no good reason for Jesus to return and for the resurrection of His followers that is supposed to occur then. There are explanations that try to join these concepts, but they really don’t fit together very well.

Even most who focus on Christ’s return still think of it in terms of a step on the way to heaven.

Amid the confusion, we need to understand: Why is Jesus coming back? Is there yet unfinished business for Him here on earth? What does He intend to do when He gets here? And what does it mean for our future? We’ll examine 12 reasons from the Bible—starting with six here and covering the other six in the next installment.

1. To fulfill prophecy and promises

First of all, Jesus specifically said He would return—and He must be true to His word. He told His disciples, “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3 John 14:3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
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). He further said that in the end time “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” (Matthew 24:30 Matthew 24:30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
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; see also 26:64). The nations will then be hostile to His return.

As part of “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1 Revelation 1:1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John:
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), the apostle John reiterated: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him” (verse 7).

When Jesus’ disciples watched Him ascend into the clouds from the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem, two angels told them, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11 Acts 1:11Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.
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). This was an important part of what they would serve as witnesses to (verse 8). And they did—faithfully.

We find the promised return of Christ foretold all through the New Testament—in all four Gospels and the book of Acts and from every New Testament writer.

But the promise did not begin in the New Testament. The coming of the Messiah in power and glory is the message of the whole Bible, starting with the prophets of Old Testament times. As Jude 14-15 states, “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied . . . saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints [or holy ones], to execute judgment on all . . .’”

Psalm 96 likewise states: “For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth” (verse 13, emphasis added throughout).

Many prophecies speak of the coming of the Lord in might and the great changes He will bring to the world. Some of these prophecies speak of Christ’s first and second comings together even though a gap of time separates these events.

For instance, Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
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begins, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . ,” in reference to Jesus’ first coming. But then the prophecy jumps far into the future: “. . . and the government will be upon His shoulder [as Ruler!]. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (verses 6-7). The latter part of this prophecy did not happen at Christ’s first coming, but it will when He comes again.

The One who came as a sacrificial Lamb will return as the powerful Lion of Judah (see Revelation 5:5 Revelation 5:5And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
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, 11-13). As Hebrews 9:28 Hebrews 9:28So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation.
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tells us, “. . . So Christ was offered once to bear the sin of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin [no longer to die as sin-bearer], for salvation.”

The promises and prophecies of Christ’s return are certain. We are assured that “God . . . cannot lie” (Titus 1:2 Titus 1:2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
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) and that, as Jesus said, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35 John 10:35If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
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). God is the “God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:4 Deuteronomy 32:4He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
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; Psalms 31:5 Psalms 31:5Into your hand I commit my spirit: you have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
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; Isaiah 65:16 Isaiah 65:16That he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from my eyes.
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). His Word is truth (John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
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).

Jesus Himself, God who was made flesh, was the Word who inspired the Old Testament and magnified God’s message in the New. He declared Himself to be the very embodiment of truth (John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
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). The truth is what He came to bear witness to (John 18:37 John 18:37Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.
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). The apostle Paul affirmed that “the truth is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21 Ephesians 4:21If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
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). Christ and the Father sent the Holy Spirit of truth to guide us into all truth (John 16:13 John 16:13However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
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)—the same Spirit that inspired the writers of the Bible (1 Peter 1:10-12 1 Peter 1:10-12 [10] Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you: [11] Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. [12] To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did minister the things, which are now reported to you by them that have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
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; 2 Peter 1:20-21 2 Peter 1:20-21 [20] Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. [21] For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
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).

Clearly, if we can’t count on the truth that Jesus is coming back, then we have nothing we can count on! But we can count on it absolutely—“looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13 Titus 2:13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
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). Paul expressed this longing with what was apparently a common Aramaic prayer in the early Church, Maranatha, translated “O Lord, come!” (see 1 Corinthians 16:22 1 Corinthians 16:22If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
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, King James Version).

Jesus must return to maintain the very integrity and honor of the Father and Himself—to uphold the truth of all They have proclaimed. But of course, the promise of Christ’s coming was not just meant to demonstrate Their truthfulness on fulfillment. Other great purposes behind Christ’s return are revealed in many specific promises and prophecies. He definitely has vital work still to do here, as we will see!

2. To save mankind from total destruction

We desperately need Christ’s return, or the human race is doomed.

The world is growing worse and worse. Paul told us to “know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1 2 Timothy 3:1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
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)—times of increasing danger and distress. He then gives a list of selfish, hardhearted and evil attitudes and behavior on the rise (verses 2-5).

This is the age in which we live—becoming more and more like the days of Noah, when people’s thoughts were perpetually evil and God determined to destroy the world with a global flood, except for Noah’s family (Genesis 6:5 Genesis 6:5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
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, 11-13). Jesus said that before His return, conditions would be like the days of Noah, with people going about normal activities amid the increasing wretchedness, oblivious to the catastrophic destruction that was coming (Matthew 24:37-39 Matthew 24:37-39 [37] But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, [39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
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).

In fact, Jesus said that the end of the age will turn into the worst time ever before His return, warning, “For then there will be great tribulation [horrible trial and distress], such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21 Matthew 24:21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
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).

Conditions will be so bad that “unless that time of calamity is shortened [cut short from running its course], not a single person will survive . . .” (verse 22, NLT). “But,” we’re then told, “for the sake of the elect [God’s chosen people] those days will be cut short” (same verse, English Standard Version).

Mankind has now come to the point where we are able to exterminate ourselves from the planet through nuclear armaments and other weapons of mass destruction. And many prophecies show that the nations are progressing relentlessly to a coming time of terrible world war in which such weapons will be unleashed. Moreover, still other prophecies warn that God will send cataclysmic disasters on an unrepentant humanity that would wipe out any yet remaining if the effects of these disasters are not cut short.

Thankfully, Jesus will intervene as He promised to keep mankind from being obliterated—again, for the sake of those elect or chosen of God!

3. To resurrect and transform His followers to immortality

Jesus promised eternal life to His followers, stating that He would raise them up at the last day (John 6:39-40 John 6:39-40 [39] And this is the Father's will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. [40] And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
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, 44, 54).

Just after describing all people on earth seeing His return (Matthew 24:30 Matthew 24:30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
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), Jesus said of Himself: “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven [the sky around the earth] to the other” (verse 31).

This includes Christ’s true followers who are still alive when He comes as well as those who’ve previously died: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 [16] 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: [17] 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.
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).

Jesus thus comes for His spiritual Bride, the Church—His collective body of believers—with Him as the Bridegroom and Husband (compare Matthew 25:1-13 Matthew 25:1-13 [1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. [2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. [3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: [4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. [5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. [7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. [8] And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. [9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. [11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not. [13] Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.
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; Ephesians 5:25-33 Ephesians 5:25-33 [25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [26] That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. [28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. [29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: [30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. [31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. [32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. [33] Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
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).

Many have the idea that Jesus will come just to take us all away from here permanently to live in heaven. But this is not what the Bible teaches. Rather, it shows that we will live with Christ on the earth, as we’ll later see.

When we are raised to meet Christ, He will change us—transforming us into immortal beings, our bodies glorified as spirit bodies, just as He has. He “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body” (Philippians 3:21 Philippians 3:21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.
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). “. . . When He is revealed [at His coming], we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2 1 John 3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
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). As Jesus “became a life-giving spirit” at His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:45 1 Corinthians 15:45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
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), so will we be (verses 47-49)—now made immortal and incorruptible (verses 52-55).

In this transformation, Jesus will complete our redemption begun at His first coming. He redeemed us, bought us back, from death through His own sacrifice (Galatians 3:13 Galatians 3:13Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:
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; 1 Peter 1:18-19 1 Peter 1:18-19 [18] For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
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; Revelation 5:9 Revelation 5:9And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
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). Yet we still die, so full redemption is something for which we still wait. Jesus said that with the coming of end-time events, “your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28 Luke 21:28And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.
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). We await “the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:14 Ephesians 1:14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
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), “the redemption of our body” at Christ’s coming (Romans 8:23 Romans 8:23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
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). This corresponds to ultimate salvation, being free from sin and death and living forever with Christ and the Father!

4. To appear in glory for vindication and honor

At His first coming, Jesus, despite being the Creator God made flesh who came to save us all, was mocked, persecuted, brutalized and torturously executed in shame and humiliation. Though He rose from the grave, He was seen by only a few—these among His followers—and was still rejected by His nation. Many people today still scoff at Him and even use His name as a curse word.

While Christ’s suffering and the continuing rejection of Him by many is part of God’s plan being worked out, this treatment of the Maker and Savior of humanity is obviously not what He deserves. He deserves honor, glory, adoration, devotion and worship from all. Those who resist will be put in awe of Him and made subject to Him.

Jesus gave up His divine majesty and might to humble Himself to the point of coming to die a criminal’s death by crucifixion (Philippians 2:5-8 Philippians 2:5-8 [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
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). “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven [the angels], and of those on earth, and of those under the earth [those dead and buried who are later raised], and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (verses 9-10).

God does not intend for the last public view the world would have of Jesus to be that of a bloody condemned criminal still dead on a cross—with only few witnesses to His rising. Instead He will be completely vindicated, appearing to the world as the living, all-powerful God that He is. He will manifest His awesome power at His coming. This will also vindicate His followers.

We look for this time ahead when “the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels” (Matthew 16:27 Matthew 16:27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
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). Paul speaks of “when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe” (2 Thessalonians 1:10 2 Thessalonians 1:10When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
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; compare John 17:24 John 17:24Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
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). He will also then show His glory to the nations: “It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory” (Isaiah 66:18 Isaiah 66:18For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
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). Indeed, as we earlier read, “every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7 Revelation 1:7Behold, he comes 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.
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).

Jesus will at last be given the proper respect and honor due Him!

5. To reign as King over all nations

We are further told that “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him” (Matthew 25:31-32 Matthew 25:31-32 [31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: [32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:
American King James Version×
). At the blowing of the seventh and last trumpet of Revelation, not only will the dead in Christ be raised but a wonderful announcement will go forth: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
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, ESV). And then at last the Kingdom of God will come.

Jesus will return in power to take over the nations and rule them as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:15-16 Revelation 19:15-16 [15] And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. [16] And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
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; compare 17:14). “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9 Zechariah 14:9And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
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). It is prayed in Psalms 67:4 Psalms 67:4O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah.
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: “Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth.”

Christ’s followers from this age, then glorified with Him, “shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
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)—the Millennium—“and they shall reign on the earth” (5:10, ESV). Rather than going away to remain in heaven, they will live here with vital work to do—bringing wonderful transformation to the whole world. Jesus called this time “the age to come” (Mark 10:30 Mark 10:30But he shall receive an hundred times now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
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; Luke 18:30 Luke 18:30Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
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) and “the regeneration [or rebirth], when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory” and His 12 apostles “will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28 Matthew 19:28And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
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).

It will be a time of incredible renewal, starting with Israel and expanding over the whole world!

6. To deliver and elevate Israel

As we’ve seen, Jesus will inherit the throne of David over Israel (Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 9:6-7 [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
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; see also Luke 1:32 Luke 1:32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:
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). In sitting on this throne, He will rule over all the world, with Israel promoted above all nations.

Jesus’ return will enable the fulfillment of God’s plan for Israel.

In recent centuries, the nations descending from ancient Israel have been greatly blessed in fulfillment of promises made to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (see our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy to learn more). This is not a matter of racial preference, but of family inheritance and responsibility. God’s intent is to bless all nations through Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 12:1-3 Genesis 12:1-3 [1] Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you: [2] And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: [3] And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
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; 26:4; 28:14).

However, prophecies show that shortly before Jesus comes back, the Israelite nations—now of northwest European heritage, as well as the Jewish people—will experience the coming time of terrible trial, called the great tribulation, because of egregious national sins. “It is the time of Jacob’s [or Israel’s] trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7 Jeremiah 30:7Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
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)—that is, after going through it.

The Israelites and the Jewish people will face animosity and devastating attacks from other nations. God warned the Israelites, “In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste” (Ezekiel 6:6 Ezekiel 6:6In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
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). Jerusalem will be beset with “all nations of the earth . . . gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:1-3 Zechariah 12:1-3 [1] The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, said the LORD, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. [2] Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. [3] And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
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).

Yet Jesus will intervene to defend His people: “Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:3-4 Zechariah 14:3-4 [3] Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. [4] And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
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). Jesus will return to the very spot from which He left—but now as divine warrior.

Various prophecies show that He will gather the scattered exiles of Israel back to the Promised Land. The two divisions of the nation, the northern tribes of Israel led by Ephraim and the southern tribe of Judah, will be fused back into a single undivided nation ruled again under King David, now resurrected (Ezekiel 37:15-28 Ezekiel 37:15-28 [15] The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, [16] Moreover, you son of man, take you one stick, and write on it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions: [17] And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand. [18] And when the children of your people shall speak to you, saying, Will you not show us what you mean by these? [19] Say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand. [20] And the sticks where on you write shall be in your hand before their eyes. [21] And say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, where they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: [22] And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. [23] Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. [24] And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. [25] And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelled; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. [26] Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the middle of them for ever more. [27] My tabernacle also shall be with them: yes, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [28] And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the middle of them for ever more.
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). As already mentioned, each tribe will be ruled by one of the 12 apostles (Matthew 19:28 Matthew 19:28And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
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). And these and David will all reign under Christ’s overall rulership over the world.

Jesus will deliver the Israelites physically and also spiritually. Many think the New Covenant that Jesus brought—through which people are forgiven by His sacrifice and true obedience to God is made possible through His Spirit—was just for the Church in this age. But God said He was making the New Covenant “with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,” whereby He would put His laws in their hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31:31-34 Jeremiah 31:31-34 [31] Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: [32] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was an husband to them, said the LORD: [33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, said the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, said the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
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).

The Lord also foretold that His Spirit would be poured out on the Jewish people at Jerusalem—and that they would look on Him “whom they pierced,” deeply grieving over their rejection of Him for all this time and now ready to repent and follow Him (Zechariah 12:10-11 Zechariah 12:10-11 [10] And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. [11] In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
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).

“And so,” as Paul writes, “all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant with them, when

I take away their sins” (Romans 11:26-27 Romans 11:26-27 [26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: [27] For this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins.
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). And this will be wonderful for the rest of the nations (verses 11-12). Israel was meant to be a holy example for the world—as it will be when Christ returns!

Be sure to read about further reasons for Jesus’ second coming in our next issue. As we see already, there is yet much for Him and His followers to accomplish at His return. Trust in His promises. As Hebrews 10:37 Hebrews 10:37For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
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assures us, “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry”!

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