As we approach a New Year, in the midst of many new year’s resolutions and commitments, as the people of God let us be resolved to remember the return of the King. The Bible promises on many occasions that the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God is going to return one day. We don’t know when, but we do know He will. The Old Testament prophets prophesied of His future coming (Psalm 96:13; Daniel 7:13-14; Zechariah 14:4).
In Matthew 24:29-31 we read the following from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself,
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”
Here we see that the Lord Jesus Christ is telling His disciples that they are to anticipate this future event. Of course, in order for Him to return He must first leave which He does at the end of the gospel accounts (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9). In Acts 1 Luke is recording the final days in which the Lord Jesus Christ was one earth with His disciples. As they had followed Him to the Mount of Olives and saw Him ascend to Heaven, we read these words,
“And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven'” (Acts 1:10-11).
While they witnessed the ascension of Christ, the angels informed them that just as He ascended, so must He descend again one day.
In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians in chapter 1 we read,
“and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
The apostle Paul describes this revelation of Jesus Christ as an event that is accompanied with judgment. His saints will be released from hardship and the unbelieving will receive retribution.
Clearly, the anticipation of many portions of Scripture (so much more could be included in this post) is the anticipation of the future return of Jesus Christ. Old Testament prophets spoke of it, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself predicted this, angelic beings affirmed it, and apostles wrote of this as they prepared the church. It is a reality, promise and confident expectation – “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
What does this mean for us as we approach yet another year? In the midst of a discussion on the events surrounding the Lord’s Second Coming, the apostle Peter writes, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness” (2 Pet. 3:11). We are to remember His return by living lives that prove it. By the Lord’s help, let us be resolved in 2014 to remember the return of the King and walk in the pathway of holiness to the glory of God. Happy New Year.