Matthew 24:26–30, So if anyone tells you, There he is, out in the desert, do not go out ; or, Here he is, in the inner rooms, do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcas, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of sky, with power and great glory.
What Jesus says is going to happen before the coming of the Son of Man (His second coming)
1. The sun will darkened.
2. The moon will not give light.
3. The stars will fall.
Jesus is to return again, He will come at a specific moment in time – Matthew 24 : 36, No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. There are many today, who are making predictions about the time of Jesus’ return. We must always remember that this is something which only God knows. However, the Bible also teaches that His return should not be a surprise to believers. Verse 44 of the same Matthew 24 advises to be ready. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.
Jesus Christ demands that as faithful servants, we should be ready and that we long for His coming.
Jesus gives the example from the days of Noah in Matthew 24:37–42, As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark ; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. These examples describe the behavior of men at the time of His second coming, means that people will carry on life as usual but you be ready, looking for His return.
Let’s read Matthew 24:31, And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Also read Matthew 24:40–42, Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Now compare them carefully with 1st Thessalonians 4:16 and 17, For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
1. What will the angels do on the day of the return of Jesus? They will gather His elect (believers)
2. What will happen to believers who have died before the coming of the Lord? – They will be raised from the dead to meet the Lord.
3. What will happen to true believers who are alive at the time Jesus return?
They will be taken up to meet the Lord.
But according to the parable of the sheep and the goats which is found in Matthew 25:31, and following, what else again will take place - There will be a judgment of the nations. Read 2nd Peter 3:12–13, As you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
Peter mentions three of the events which will take place at the “day of God”
That, the earth and the heavens that we know will be destroyed. A new heaven and a new earth will be created. And perfect justice will rule in all of the new creation.
Revelation 20:1–6, And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
It is true that this passage in Revelation 20:1–6 is difficult to understand. Many of the differences of opinion which are found with regard to the coming of the Lord have to do with different ways of understanding this passage and different methods of interpretation which are applied to it.
To be continued next week.