Although the exact timing of Jesus’ return to Earth is unknown, Christians eagerly await his coming. Jesus promised to come back to Earth to reign with righteousness and justice. His return will mark the fulfillment of God’s plan for the world and His promises to those who trust Him. This article will explore what the Bible says about Jesus’ return and how we can prepare for its arrival.
Overview of Jesus’ Return
The Bible teaches that Jesus will come again, although the timing of His return is unknown. In general terms, His return is divided into two parts: The Rapture of the Church and The Great Tribulation. Both will be preceded by several promise-fulfilling events—including tribulation, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and signs in the sun, moon, and stars—and will include the physical presence of Jesus on earth for judgment.
The Rapture is a celebration for all those who have placed their trust in Jesus by admitting their need for a Savior and accepting Him as Lord of their life. This future event will occur at an unknown time before the Great Tribulation begins. At that time, every believer alive on earth, symptomatically referred to as “the Church,” will be taken to heaven with Jesus in what’s known as “the rapture.” Those who are asleep in Christ shall also be raised incorruptible during this same instant before God pours out His wrath with judgment upon sin for seven years — “the great tribulation.” During this period, mankind will experience tremendous desolation and tragedy like none ever seen or experienced before since man’s fall from God’s grace. Once these seven years have been fulfilled, Jesus will return to the earth with clouds bringing His glory — fulfilling Isaiah 9:7 “Of Judah shall come (him) who would be ruler in Israel; whose going forth have been from old; even from everlasting!” When he comes, He will bring a full end to all rebellion upon earth, allowing mankind to live eternally with him; since He has already paid our debt on Calvary’s cross due to our sin — redeeming us back unto God through Him alone!
The Bible is the main source of information when determining when Jesus will return to earth. In the Bible, Jesus provides clues about his return and descriptions from other members of the New Testament. Let’s take a look at some of the evidence we have from the Bible about Jesus’ return.
The Olivet Discourse
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus gives His followers a preview of when He will return to Earth. This discourse is found in the book of Mark, chapter 13. Jesus speaks of wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, and other signs which will signal the end of times. He also speaks about persecution and witnessing too many people before His return.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that we should not be alarmed by such signs but be aware that the coming Kingdom will arrive at some point in an unknown hour. In verse 36, He says that the exact day or hour is known only by God Himself: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Additionally, throughout his ministry, Jesus spoke about living with an attitude of readiness for his return – always ready for His sudden coming.
In Mark 9:1-2 (NIV), Jesus says: “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” Later on, Matthew 24:31-36 (NIV) reads: “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather his elect from the four winds… So you also must be ready because you cannot predict when it will happen”. The Bible encourages us to watch and rejoice since it is on its way!
The Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book in the Bible and contains many prophecies about when Jesus will return. It isn’t easy to interpret some of these prophecies as each passage has various interpretations.
Revelation 1:7 states, “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.” This verse is interpreted to mean that when Jesus returns, everyone will witness His return, and everyone who has rejected Him throughout history will be convinced that He is Lord.
Moving onto Revelation 19:11-16 which states, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True…and out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword…and he hath on his vesture…King of kings and Lord of lords.” This passage points to a victorious return for Jesus as King of kings and Lord over all things on Earth, including the Church. He will come triumphant with an army behind Him, ready to defeat those who oppose Him. Along with this victory march into Jerusalem comes the second coming described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 which states, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven…and we which are alive [shall] be caught up together with them in the clouds…to meet the Lord in the air: (NIV). At this time, those believers who remain alive until His coming will be resurrected from death or transformed into immortal bodies without experiencing physical death along with Jesus’ resurrection body 4 days earlier (1 Corinthians 15).
In conclusion, Revelation shows us that when Jesus returns, He will do so triumphantly as King over all kings boasting His full authority over earthly realms while simultaneously drawing believers together with Him—both those who have passed away before His coming and those still alive at His second coming being united forever under God’s ultimate reign—which leads us here today still waiting expectantly for His revealing glory!
The Parable of the Fig Tree
In the New Testament, Jesus told a parable concerning the fig tree as a sign of his return. In Matthew 24:32-33, Jesus states, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it† is near, right at the door.” This refers to a specific moment when all of the signs and prophecies throughout Scripture will culminate in Christ’s final return.
Jesus tells us in this parable that from the moment we see evidence of God’s hand—namely through nature—we are to recognize His imminence. We are also to recognize that Jesus expects His followers to observe and remember these signs so we can be prepared for His glorious return (Matthew 24:42).
In addition to this parable from Matthew 24, other New Testament passages also point towards an eventual second coming. Paul offers several notable passages on this topic, such as 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 which talks about Christ’s coming into power and glory with angels at his side while proclaiming judgment upon those who have refused to love him or wrongfully persecuted his followers. Acts 17:31 also mentions “His appointed day” when He will judge sin rightly and make everything new again, as promised by Revelation 21:7-8.
These texts ultimately give us a picture of what it looks like when Jesus returns just as He promised—which is depicted literally and figuratively throughout Scripture. By understanding these stories better, we can gain greater insight into how God is sovereignly unfolding His plan within our lives, leading us closer to eternity with Him.
Signs of Jesus’ Return
Believers have been speculating about the return of Jesus since the time he ascended into heaven. There are many verses in the bible that suggest that Jesus will return to earth one day. These verses offer some clues to signs that will accompany Jesus’ return. This article will explore some of these signs and see what the Bible says about them.
The Rise of False Prophets
Jesus, Himself, warned of false prophets who will be a sign that He is coming soon. He said, “For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24). At the end times, there will be an increase of people claiming to be prophets or messengers from God. Still, they will clearly contradict what His Word, the Bible says. Not only will they proclaim false messages that appeal to the pride of mankind, but they may try to claim powers of healing or do other miraculous signs which will only be meant for deceiving people into believing their lies. As Jesus said, regular believers should “take heed” or pay extra attention and arm themselves with knowledge from the Bible to not fall prey to these false prophets. Therefore as believers observe a rise in people claiming divine messages that contradict God’s Word, we should use it as an indication that Jesus is coming soon!
The Growth of Apostasy
One of the primary signs of Jesus’ return is the growth of apostasy. This is seen in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 with Paul’s warning that before Jesus returns, “that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” The Greek word translated as “rebellion” in this verse can also be called “apostasy.” So, we can expect people to turn away from their faith and become unfaithful in preparation for Christ’s return.
Apostasy does not signify merely a disagreement between variations of Christian belief but rather a complete repudiation or rejection of Christianity altogether (e.g., 1 Timothy 4:1–5; Hebrews 10:25). Ultimately, apostasy rejects God; it is a turning away from Him and His truth (2 Peter 2:18–21). In addition to embracing various false religious cults, apostates also dabble in various forms of moral depravity, which they justify by their humanistic philosophical systems that run counter to biblical truth (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:8).
The Bible indicates apostasy increases before Jesus’ return (see Matthew 24:11; Mark 13:6–7). As more people abandon absolute truth for relativistic beliefs and immorality runs rampant, we should recognize this as an indication that Jesus could come again at any moment. We are not just waiting for some random event but rather signs foretold by God Himself that point directly toward His Son’s imminent return.
The Reunification of Israel
One sign of Jesus’ return is the miraculous reunification of the nation of Israel which took place on May 14, 1948. This event was foretold in the Bible over 2,000 years ago (Ezekiel 37:22). With Israel again becoming a nation for the first time since 586 BC when Babylonians destroyed it, this fulfilled one of the prophecies in Scripture about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The Bible also states that when Israel becomes a nation once more, this will be a time for believers to begin watching and praying for Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:32–35). This fulfillment is only one sign God has given us to prepare us to receive His Son again. As believers, we should recognize this as an incredible opportunity to seek out God more intently and grow in our faith. While we continue seeking Him, we can trust God will prepare us and help us navigate through these times while providing us with strength and promises that He will protect and never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8).
Timing of Jesus’ Return
The timing of Jesus’ coming back to earth is a frequently asked question among many Christians. While only God knows the exact moment of the return of Jesus, the Bible does provide some hints and clues as to when He will come back. This section will explore the different theories and biblical evidence around the timing of Jesus’ return.
The Rapture is a future event that believers in Christianity look forward to with anticipation and hope. This event marks the beginning of the end times and foretells a time of great tribulation on Earth. The return of Jesus is seen as the climax to God’s plan for mankind’s redemption from sin and represents the end of suffering and injustice through His returning power and glory.
The expectation of Jesus’ return has been referred to by several different names within Christianity, including “the Parousia,” the Second Coming,” or “the Glorious Appearing.” This return is also known in Greek as “apokachaustesis” which literally means ‘apocalypse’ or ‘revealing.’
In addition to Jesus coming again, many Christians believe that there will be two distinct phases involved with His second coming. The first phase, typically termed “the Rapture,” will involve believers gathering before Him in the air, where they enter Heavenly glory and escape judgment. At the same time, those on Earth are left behind to endure various forms of tribulation. The second phase, commonly referred to as “the Second Coming” or “Glorious Appearing,” will involve Jesus coming back down to earth with His saints and all righteous angels for a decisive battle against worldly forces at Armageddon – marking a final victory over evil and sin, uniting all believers under one God forevermore!
The Great Tribulation
The Great Tribulation is a period of suffering on Earth predicted by Jesus and multiple books in the Bible. It will come after an initial period of peace and is also known as the “time of Jacob’s trouble” by Old Testament prophets. This time is believed to be preceded by specific major world events, referred to as birth pangs which will occur at frequent intervals that become more severe, indicative that the end times are near.
Most teaching concerning the Great Tribulation comes from Jesus, who warned in Matthew 24:21 that it would be a time when “there will be great distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” Similarly, Daniel 12:1 says there will be “a time or distress such has not been since nations came into existence.” At the same time, Revelation 7:14 speaks of “a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” Other references to tribulation are found in Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 12:4-12.
The exact timing for when this period begins cannot be known for certain; only God knows for sure, and He has not revealed this information specifically within His Word. Some Bible teachers use certain prophecies to suggest potential options for how soon it could arrive; however, there is no definitive way to determine if predictions such as these are accurate or if they ought even to be considered valid interpretations of Scripture with regards to The Great Tribulation..
The Millennial Reign
The Millennial Reign is the 1,000-year period when Jesus will be on earth ruling with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15). This 1,000-year period follows the unveiling of Jesus to the world at His second coming (Revelation 19:11–16). It precedes eternity when believers will be in heaven (Revelation 22).
At Jesus’ second coming, He will end evil and war and establish a perfect government on earth. Revelation 20 describes this period as peace, rest, and joy for all believers. The Bible teaches that Jesus will reign over all creation from Jerusalem during this time. He will judge all people with justice by God’s written laws. All His enemies will be destroyed, and those who serve Him faithfully rewarded (Isaiah 11:3–5).
During this millennial kingdom, righteousness will spread across the earth as everyone learns to reverence God and keep His commandments forever. Isaiah 11:8–9 describes what life under Christ’s reign could look like: “The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah As the waters cover up the sea.”
God has promised that those who trust Him during this time worldwide—composed primarily of believing Jews remaining on Earth after Christ’s return—will share in Christ’s millennial reign (Matthew 25:31–34). By contrast, Satan and everything he stands for—sinful human nature itself—will have no power or influence at this time (Revelation 20:3).
Jesus Christ’s return to earth is one of the most significant religious events; however, it is unknown when the Lord will come again. Despite the uncertainty of this timeline, Christians around the world can still prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ by living a moral life, strengthening their faith, and showing love to all. This article has discussed the various theories related to Jesus’ return and the importance of faith in preparation for His coming.
Preparing for Jesus’ Return
Jesus’ return will be sudden and unexpected, so it is important to be constantly vigilant and prepare our hearts and lives to welcome his coming. We believers can do this by continuing to live a life of faithfulness, humble service, obedience to God’s Word, and prayer. We must set our minds on the eternal things rather than the perishable things of this world (Colossians 3:1-3). We must stay alert because “in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44).
As we eagerly anticipate Jesus’ return, let us hold fast to His Word, which tells us that God is faithful in His promises. He shall come again just as He has promised— though no one knows the exact day or hour— so we must remain steadfast in our faith until that time. He shall judge all of mankind according to their works, both good and bad (Revelation 20:12), for at his coming, “every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7). Until then, may we keep striving for holiness, repentance from sin and fellowship with our Lord for it is written, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering toward us” (2 Peter 3:9).