WHAT COMES AFTER THE RESURRECTION?
WHAT COMES AFTER THE RESURRECTION?
Easter – the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection – is over; what’s next? As we read the Scriptures, we see very clearly what will be the next greatest event in history – the second coming of Jesus. What comes after the Resurrection? The Return!
In Lk 24 we read about the resurrection of Jesus, His appearances to His disciples, and His ascension into heaven. Then in Acts 1:9-11, we read about the return of Jesus back to Earth. We don’t hear much about the second coming today. But, the return of Jesus was a major teaching in the early church and is a predominate truth in the Bible. So, I want to share some simple basics regarding this great truth!
(1) How Do We Know Jesus Is Coming Back?
In the Old Testament, there are over 300 prophecies foretelling the first coming of Jesus, and Jesus fulfilled every one of them! Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return. That averages to 1 1/6 references for every chapter in the New Testament. That’s like saying, on the average – every time I read a chapter in the New Testament, I’m going to read at least one reference to the return of Jesus. How cool is that!?
Of the 27 books in the New Testament, all but 4 make one or more references to the return of Jesus! Whole chapters are devoted to His Second Coming: Matt 24, Mark 13. Whole books are written about the Second Coming: 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians. So I think it is to safe to say that Jesus is coming back!
(2) How Will Jesus Come Back?
First – it will be literal. As we read Lk 24, we see clearly that the resurrection, the appearances, and the ascension of Jesus were all literal, physical acts of His body. So it will be with His second coming – it will be the literal, physical return of Jesus from heaven, back to earth. Acts 1:11 reads, “Men of Galilee,” the angels said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Second – it will be personal: “The Lord, Himself, will come down from Heaven…” (1 Thess 4:16). In Jn 14:1-3, Jesus promises that He, Himself will come back; He, Himself, will take us with Him…so that He, Himself may be with us forever.
(3) When Will He Return?
There have been many attempts to determine the time of the Lord’s return; but, He has made it clear that the exact time of His coming is hidden in the counsels of God. Mark 13:32 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
However, even though we do not know the day or hour, we do know that His coming will be:
Sudden: Mt 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Unexpected: 2 Pet 3:10…the day of the Lord will come like a thief.
1 Thess 5:1-4 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 … 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
Matt 24:42-44 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
The Lord commands us to keep watch…be ready… keep engaged in kingdom work…because the return of Jesus will come at an hour when we do not expect Him – like a thief in the night.”
(4) Jesus’ Return Is Our Blessed Hope!
Titus 2:11-13 “…while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”
The return of Jesus is our “blessed hope”!
• Jesus came the first time – to seek and to save us.
• He died – to take the punishment for our sin.
• He rose – to put us in a right relationship with God.
• He ascended to Heaven – to pray and intercede for us.
• He is returning – to rule forever with us.
The Bible is a big book…filled with truth, wisdom, and revelations from God. But, I’ve heard it said…that the final words of a person are often his most important. If this is true, consider the final words of Jesus in Rev 22:20, “Behold, I am coming soon.”
I love celebrating the resurrection of Jesus; but I look beyond His resurrection to His return…that is our blessed hope!
Happy “After Easter”.