It's Easter season, and we're celebrating the first coming, atoning death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's also an appropriate time to give thanks for His promise that "if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." Pastor John MacArthur gives us 10 reasons why our confidence in Jesus' return is well placed. – AP
When we talk about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, we're talking about the events that necessitate Jesus' coming being brought to their culmination, their fulfillment, and their realization. To show you how critical this is on a broad level, let me just take you through a little list.
- Jesus must return because the promise of God demands it. In the Old Testament, Psalm 2, God promised that His Son would come and be King and rule with a rod of iron over the nations of the world. That has never happened. In Isaiah, the prophet said that this Son would have the government of the world upon His shoulders. And that has never happened. The promise of God demands the return of Christ.
- The claims of Christ Himself demand it. Jesus repeatedly said He was coming. You find it in all the gospels — in Matthew, in Mark, in Luke, in John — that He's coming, that He's away for a while preparing a place but He's coming back, that He's coming to take His own. This is His own promise and His own Word is at stake.
- The testimony of the Holy Spirit demands it. The Holy Spirit promises it through the Scripture. The Holy Spirit is the one who inspired the prophets to speak of His coming to set up His Kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the one who inspired Paul, John, James, and the writer of Hebrews. And they all refer to the return of Christ to establish His glory.
- The future of the church demands it. The church has been told that we're looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). That's what we're looking for. First Thessalonians 1:10, "We are waiting for His Son from heaven." He's gone to prepare a place for us, He'll be back to take us to be with Himself. We're told that there will be a marriage supper of the Lamb. The future of the church demands that the bridegroom come and take His bride to the prepared home that He has made ready for her.
- The corruption of the world demands it. The last chapter of world history will be the coming of the Messiah who has a right to take the title deed to the earth. In Revelation 5, Jesus takes it out of the hand of God on the throne, unrolls the title deed to the earth, breaks the seven seals, sets loose the judgment of the Tribulation. This world will be judged and it will be altered and taken to something like its original Eden. So the corruption of the world is not the end of the story. The last chapter will be written by Christ.
- The covenant He made with Israel demands it. There is coming a time of Israel's salvation. Israel will be gathered back into the land, Ezekiel says. They will receive the gospel truth. They will have their stony heart removed. They will be given a heart of flesh. God's Spirit will be put within them. They will be the recipients of New Covenant salvation. The covenant with Israel demands that Christ come and fulfill His promise.
- The vindication of Christ Himself demands His return. Are we to think that the last view the world will ever have of Jesus is Him hanging on a cross, naked in shame? But that will not be its last view! He will be vindicated! John writes in Revelation 1:7, "Behold, He's coming with the clouds and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him." Everybody is going to see Him...everybody. The vindication of Christ means He has to come.
- The judgment of Satan demands it. The ruler of this world will be cast out, the ruler of this world will be destroyed. The ruler of this world will be finally vanquished, defeated. Satan will not have the last word in human history.
- The hope of believers demands it. We are groaning along with the rest of creation, eager for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to liberate us and to free us from sin and this cursed world. Paul calls it the anxious longing. We want Christ to come because He promises when He comes we're going to get new glorified, sinless bodies. This is our hope.
- The groaning of the whole creation demands it. Romans 8 says the whole creation groans. It personifies creation as experiencing the pain of the curse and wanting the glorious revealing of the Son of God.
God's promise, Christ's promise, the Spirit's promise, the future of the church, the future of the world, the future of Israel, the future of Christ, the future of Satan, the future of believers, and the future of creation itself all demand that Jesus return. This is not a minor issue, this is the end of the whole story. And He is coming.