Sure looks different from the first coming!
JUST BEFORE THE RETURN
“Then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be…But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Matthew 24:21,22). Wow! Terrible suffering.
RELIGIOUS APOSTASY. “Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray…And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (24:5,10-12. Six times–”many”).
WORLD WARS. “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (6,7). Much worse than WWII, when 85 million perished.
NATURAL DISASTERS. “There will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (7b), as the earth is coming unglued.
PERSECUTION AND MARTYRDOM. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (9). Christians aren’t winning any popularity contests before the return of Christ.
WORLDWIDE EVANGELISM. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (14). In spite of opposition, the message goes out!
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (29-31).
WHAT? The universe is unraveling, getting ready for a redo!
WHEN? No one knows, not angels, not even Jesus (36). “…the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (44).
HOW? Glory and power, total visibility, the opposite of the first trip in humility and hiddenness.
FOR WHOM? The elect, the chosen. Two opposite responses to his coming: rejoicing or mourning. Unbelievers and demons will weep because their time is up.
SO WHAT? Stay awake (42) and do your job (45,46). That’s our assignment–until then!