Before Jesus came to earth, people looked for a Messiah who would come as a king. Jesus surprised them by coming as a suffering servant. Even so, many recognized Him and received Him as their Lord.
After Jesus completed His ministry on earth, and after He died and rose again, He ascended into heaven. From that day forward, the people who had received Him began to wait. They looked ahead to the time when He would come again as the long-awaited King. Because He said He would.
Various theories have been promoted concerning the day of Jesus Christ's return, but all believers and Biblical scholars agree on two points: one, He is coming again, and two, many will be surprised when it happens.
Paul wrote, the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come. . . . (I Thess. 5:2,3a NIV)
Peter said the event would come, like a thief . . . elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (II Pet. 3:1b,2b)
Jesus changed the course of history—and those who received Him as Lord believe He will radically change the future as well. During His earthly ministry, He described His return when He told the people that they “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory . . . Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Mt. 24:30b,35)
Originally published October 14, 1983.
Picture: Lindenwood Park, Fargo, 2009. Photo by Solveig.