1. The appearance of Jesus in glory. Jesus’ return will be with “a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God” (1 Thess.4:13-18). He will return in great glory, the glory of his Father (Mt.16:27; 19:28; 25:31). The angelic hosts will accompany him. Every eye will see him (Rev.1:7). Revelation 19:11-16 gives us a vivid picture of Jesus riding on a white horse – eyes blazing with fire, a two edged sword coming out of his mouth, his robe dipped in blood and the armies of heaven riding with him.
2. The destruction of the wicked. Those who have rejected Jesus will be shocked at his coming and will seek to run from his presence (Jude 14-15 and Rev.1:7). These are those who don't acknowledge God and who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will be destroyed with the ‘brightness of his coming’. The second coming will be one of judgement on the wicked, not of mercy any more. Jesus will return in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and refused to obey the gospel. The ungodly will be destroyed with the brightness of his coming (2 Thess.1:7-10). They will be punished and banished from God’s presence (2 Thess.1:7-10; 2:3-12).
3. The resurrection of the righteous – all believers who have died “in faith” will have their bodies resurrected and will live forever with a glorified body (1 Thess.4:13-18. 1 Cor.15:51-57. Heb.9:28. Phil.3:20-21). In that sense Jesus is coming ‘with’ his saints. This refers to all of the righteous believers who have died in faith since time began – there spirits are in heaven right now but they are waiting in expectation for the resurrection and glorification of their bodies.
4. The ‘rapture’ of remaining believers – Jesus will return for (those who are “alive and remain” and escape death) and with his saints (those who “died in faith”). See 1 Thess.4:16-17. In this sense, Jesus is coming ‘for’ his saints – those who are alive and remain on the earth when he returns. There is a generation that will never die! Jesus will come in their generation whole they are still alive. Many have hoped to be a part of that company and we do too!
What a day that will be! It will be more dramatic, more explosive and more exciting than any movie you have ever seen! The second coming is a great source of comfort and of hope for us as believers. There is coming a time when pain, crying and suffering will be gone. We will be reunited with our loved ones who have died and gone to heaven.
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