Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then 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 ESV)

Jesus told his disciples that he was going away, but he made them a promise to come again. He said, In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3 ESV) At Jesus’ ascension two men in white apparel made this announcement, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11 ESV) Many New Testament epistles affirm the return of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:7; 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; James 5:7-8; 2 Peter 3:12; 1 John 2:28).

There were times during his ministry that Jesus spoke of his ascension to the Father and his bodily return to earth. Even after being arrested he affirmed his return (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62). Once he ascended to the Father (Hebrews 1:3; 10:12) he again assured the church that he would return. In the Revelation Jesus said, And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. (Revelation 22:7 ESV) Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. (Revelation 22:12 ESV) Surely I am coming soon. (Revelation 22:20 ESV)

We have a graphic picture of what the world will look like before Jesus returns. Many will be led astray by false prophets, some of them even claiming to be Christ. There will be wars and rumors of wars as nation rises against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes, famines and persecution of believers for Christ’s sake. Many people will fall away and betray one another as lawlessness increases and the love of many grows cold. The gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed to all nations then the end will come. (Matthew 24:5-14 ESV)

Scripture makes it clear that only the Father knows the time of the Son’s return (Matthew 24:36) and that he will come at a time when he is least expected (Matthew 24:44; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 16:15) However, his return will not be a secret. There will be doubt that he has returned. Matthew recalls Jesus’ words that when he returns all the tribes of the earth will see him (Matthew 24:30). Paul writes, For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV) His return will be earth shaking.

Though there will be others who claim to be the Christ (Matthew 24:5) there will be no mistake when the real Christ returns. Jesus said, So, if they say to you, “Look, he is in the wilderness,” do not go out. If they say, “Look, he is in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:26-27 ESV)

When Jesus returns; . . . we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:51-55 ESV) Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2 ESV)

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16 ESV)

That’s why we praise him!