What does the Bible say about Christ’s return? Christians have been asking questions about this ever since He ascended into heaven, and have come up with a lot of different answers. So what can we know for sure? Let’s find out.
While there is much that is unknown about the second coming of Christ, the Bible does speak clearly about a number of elements. Among the essentials of what we can know with confidence are:
- That it will be unexpected (Matt. 24:44).
- Everyone will notice (Matt. 24:30-31).
- Jesus will have a physical body (Matt. 24–25).
- His power and glory will be fully seen (Matt. 24:30).
- Jesus will judge the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt. 25:31-46).
- Sin and death will end (Rev. 21:1-4).
- All creation will be redeemed (Rev. 21–22).
- Only the Father knows when that will be (Matt. 24:36).
Christians of all stripes have more or less been in agreement on these points for the last two thousand years or so. But there are areas that are less clear, and as a result disagreement. The biggest point of disagreement is the meaning of the millennium in Revelation 20. And chances are, you’ve heard at least one of the more common interpretations:
- One says Jesus will return to rule on earth for a literal thousand years before the final judgment.
- Another says the millennial reign is happening right now in the church age to be followed by His return.
- And a third says the millennium represents Christ’s reign in heaven and in the hearts of His people while we wait for His return.
But even these more common interpretations, all agree on the result of Jesus’ second coming: when Jesus returns, all things will be made new. Death will die. Sin will end. And finally we will be made fully new.
Jesus’ return is what every Christian longs for, the “blessed hope” of every believer. And while we might not know all the specifics, it is what motivates us to grow in faithfulness and gives us good news to tell the whole world.