In my last post I discussed the certainty of Christ’s return and the importance of being ready. In this post I want to answer the question, what will happen when Christ returns? When He comes back, there will be consequences. After declaring the certainty of Christ’s coming, John goes on to say in Revelation 1:7-8,
“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen”
During our Lord’s earthly ministry His glory was veiled. Though many believed in Him and were genuine followers, no one saw His glory (apart from Peter, James, and John who saw a glimpse at the Mount of Transfiguration). The day is coming when our Lord returns that all will see Him in His glory and there will be no denying who He truly is! John states, “and every eye will see Him.” This reveals that every single individual will be an eyewitness to this climactic event. This is why we ought to always reject any claims that Christ has returned (cf. Matt. 24:23-25).
As a result or consequence of our Lord’s return, John makes mention of two groups who are greatly affected at the time of the event. The first group are designated as “those who pierced Him” and the second as “all the tribes of the earth” (Rev. 1:7).
Who does this first group refer to? Though it is true that the Romans were the ones who physically pierced our Lord at the crucifixion, I don’t believe that this is whom it is referring to here. I take this to be an allusion to Zechariah 12:10, which is a reference to Israel that will be fully realised at the time of the second coming. After putting them through a time of trial, at the Lord’s return Israel will repent of their sins and all Israel will be saved (cf. Rom. 11:25-27).
The second category “all the tribes of the earth” I take to be a reference to all unbelievers alive at the time of this event. This climatic event will lead to great emotional sadness (“wail on account of him“) for those who rejected the gospel (cf. Matt. 24:29-30).
Despite one’s specific view concerning the future of Israel and the specific order of certain eschatological events discussed in the doctrine of end times. There are two major consequences to Christ’s return that are crystal clear. For those who believe it will be the reward of everlasting life and for those who don’t it will be the recompense of everlasting judgment (Matt. 25:46).
Photo Credit: NASA Hubble space photography