When we look at our circumstances, it’s hard to imagine that the Lord is ever coming back. Thankfully, His return is not based on our imaginations, but on the sure promises of His Word.
Behold, He cometh 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. (Revelation 1:7)
The following is adapted from Revelation 1-11 MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series.
|God’s promises require Jesus’ return.||Scripture makes many clear promises of Christ’s earthly reign: Genesis 49:10; Psalm 2:6-9; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Daniel 7:13-14 (just to name a few). Yet, none of these promises were fulfilled during Christ’s first coming to earth. Therefore, since “God is not a man that He should lie,” these promises must be future, meaning Jesus must come again – as promised – in order to fulfill them.|
|Jesus’ promise requires His return.||Jesus Himself promised many times that He would return: Revelation 2:16; 3:11; 22:7; 12, 20. The classic gospel passage John 14:2-3 makes it very clear that Christ has every intention of returning for His people.|
|The guarantee of the Holy Spirit requires Jesus’ return.||The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” (John 15:26; 16:13). He is the One Who inspired the writers of Scripture. (See John 14:26.) Many times throughout the New Testament He inspired the writers to speak of Christ’s return. Thus, all three members of the Trinity have promised the return of Messiah. They have put their veracity on the line!|
|God’s program for the Church requires Jesus’ return.||In Revelation 3:10 Jesus makes this statement:
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)
The statement “will keep thee from the hour of temptation [testing]” is a reference to the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture cannot happen without Christ’s return and He has promised by His own word to keep us from the hour of testing (tribulation).
|Christ’s program for the unbelieving nations require His return.||Psalm 2 speaks of a time when Christ will rule the earth. Passages like Joel 3:1-2; 9-17 describes how He will judge the unbelieving nations. Christ did not make any such judgements while on earth in His first coming. He must return to carry that out.|
|God’s program for Israel require Jesus’ return.||God is not finished with Israel, His covenant people and God never breaks a covenant.
(1) I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Like the Romans passage above, Jeremiah 13:35-37 makes it very clear that God will in no way set aside His chosen people. Despite everything that has happened during her history, the Israelites have never ceased to be a people and a nation. The same cannot be said for many of her enemies such as the Philistines, the Hittites, etc. In addition to her continued existence, God also promised Israel salvation, peace, prosperity and a kingdom. It is obvious that these promises have not yet been fulfilled. Christ must and will return to fulfill them.
|Christ’s humiliation requires His return.||When He came to earth the first time, Jesus was despised, rejected, condemned and finally punished as a common criminal. But Christ declared that “every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11). Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit notes:
(10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Christ’s crucifixion was not the end of the story, because He rose from the dead. His resurrection was not the end of the story because “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). The Lord will return to claim His kingdom and every knee shall bow.
|The judgment of Satan requires Christ’s return.||Satan may be the earth’s ruler for now, but he is a usurper who deals in death. (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Hebrews 2:14-15) Christ is the rightful ruler Who deals in life and He will return to reclaim what is His. (Revelation 5:1ff; Romans 16:20; 1 John 3:8)|
|Believers’ expectation demands Christ’s return.||When Scripture speaks of “hope,” it is not hope in the sense of wishful thinking: “I hope my team wins today!” Instead, it is hope in a sure thing. The return of Jesus Christ is a sure hope because it is promised by God Himself.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:19)
But as believers we have hope far beyond this life! We are “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) and it is not a vain hope “for the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:11).
Sometimes when we consider the Lord’s return, we see it as an escape from this world and we can think of a hundred reasons why He should come back right now, and there is nothing wrong with praying: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). But the Rapture isn’t so much an escape from our present circumstances as much as it is an opportunity for God to glorify Himself before all of creation. We know that when He does return, it will be in glory and it will be at a time when it will bring the most praise to His name. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”