Do you think Jesus Christ is coming back to earth?
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. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NIV
Billy Graham told the story about being invited to visit President-elect John F. Kennedy in Palm Beach, Florida. It was just before he was to be inaugurated. Driving back from the golf course, President Kennedy parked his car, turned to him, and asked, “Do you believe Jesus Christ is coming back to earth again?” Billy Graham was shocked. He wrote, “I was dumbfounded at his question. For one thing, I never dreamed that Mr. Kennedy would ask a question like that, and for another, I wasn’t even sure that he knew Jesus was supposed to come back. Having only been with him a few times prior to that incident I had no grasp of his religious knowledge. ‘Yes, sir, I do,’ I replied. ‘All right, explain it to me,’ President Kennedy said.” For several minutes Billy Graham shared with John F. Kennedy about the second coming of Jesus Christ. In thinking about this moment, Billy Graham said, “I have often wondered why he asked that question, and I think part of the answer came a thousand days later when he was assassinated. Cardinal Cushing read the verses [1 Thessalonians 4:16-18] at President Kennedy’s funeral, and millions of people watched and heard the services around the world.”
Many people have thought about or asked President Kennedy’s question. The truth that Jesus is coming again has been preached and taught around the world since Jesus ascended into heaven. This is the future hope for every Christian. All believers will be “caught up” or snatched away. Anyone who has died, and anyone who is alive, and anyone who has declared Jesus Christ to be his/her personal Savior and Lord will no longer remain on earth but will join Jesus Christ in the air.
This Scripture passage above teaches you that:
- Jesus Christ is literally coming. This is the greatest hope for any believer. It is described as the Bible’s most hope-filled prophecy. The most often-mentioned event in the Bible is Christ’s second coming. It is referred to more than 300 times in the New Testament. Paul told Titus this was the “blessed hope.” [Titus 2:13 NIV]
- Jesus Christ is personally coming. This is a 2-fold event. First, Christ’s Church [believers]will be raptured. Jesus comes for His saints. He comes personally but not permanently to earth. Christ meets believers in the air. Then there is a second coming when Jesus Christ and his saints will come back to earth together. Read Revelation 19:11-21. This will not occur until the Great Tribulation comes upon the earth. Whether you choose to believe the rapture precedes the tribulation is not to be debated. The point is that Jesus is personally coming. He is not sending a substitute. There will be no taxi driver or chauffeur sent to pick up His honored guests to take them to their heavenly reward. Jesus promised He would personally come. Read John 14:1-4. What an extraordinary time.
- Jesus Christ is imminently coming. There will be an angelic command and a trumpet call. The actual time of Christ’s return is unknown. No one knows the hour. The Bible describes it as being like a thief in the night. [1 Thessalonians 5:1-3] Bible scholars have described Christ’s return as imminent meaning unexpected, unannounced, threatening or close at hand. It is very unwise to fix a date. To be ready at all times is necessary.
God has prepared a future. It will happen. God wants you to be forward-looking. Be filled with hope that someday Jesus Christ will come again...for you! Keep your eyes on the skies!
SOMETHING TO DO
Check out the many Bible references mentioned above. Always read or listen to the news with these passages in mind. Prophecy unfolds.
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, that someday You will return. For me! And all believers! Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, that You have provided salvation and prepared heaven for me and all believers. Remind me to not get caught up in this world but instead to look forward to being caught up in the air with You, my Savior, Lord, Healer, Baptizer, and King. AMEN