Monday, 15 February 2010

Secret or public return of Jesus

As brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus, we believe that Jesus (Yeshua) will return from heaven to raise the dead to life and judge the world in righteousness.
How Jesus is coming back to the world can be open to debate and already opinions are formed about this.
It appears there are many shades of view that range between the secret return and the public return. There are also many who say that they are just not sure at all. Andy Walton has written an article wherein he looks at the evidence in the scriptures and tries to piece together the order of events surrounding the return of Jesus – especially from the viewpoint of those who are still alive and remain at his coming.
He looks at a the order of events of which we can be certain like Jesus returning in physical clouds whereby all mankind on earth shall witness this and trumpets shall be blown by the angels. Also we are told that the elect shall be gathered. There does appear to be some delay between the dead being raised when the trumpet sounds and the living believers being gathered to be with Christ.
We also can ask if the tribes of the earth are already mourning and have seen or are seeing the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven.
Andy Walton wonders what the “sign of the Son of man” is that causes the earth to mourn? He recognizes that we have some people with faith and some without faith. But all grow weary of waiting for Christ to return.
Revelation 1:7 says: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindred’s of the earth shall wail because of him.” The word translated “wail” here is only used 8 times in the NT. It is exactly the same word translated “mourn” in Matthew 24:30. Revelation says that Jesus comes with the clouds and every eye shall see him. We now know these are literal clouds and we also will witness this. But when the earth sees him and the angels, men wail and mourn. They literally beat their chests in grief. For me it looks strange that Jehovah Witnesses keep to their idea that Jesus has already returned, though we do not find any writings where it is confirmed that several people saw him.
Andy Walton recognizes that we often think of Jesus descending quickly to the earth. But why should he? For every eye to see him he only has to descend to earth over a 24-hour period and as the world turns everyone would see him. What if his descent took days or weeks? He wonders. Jesus will finally descend though and his feet will come to rest on the very Mount he left from – the Mount of Olives (see Zechariah 14).
We don’t know the day or the hour when Jesus shall come as a thief in the night (1
Thessalonians 5:2) and
will appear in heaven, for when he does appear, it will be too late to change the outcome. But Andy Walton thinks that to those who are watching and remain sober (verse 6), Jesus will not come as a thief because they shall recognize the great noise(2 Peter 3:10).We have to have faith now! “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
>About how Jesus might return. >
The Return of Jesus Christ – The Possible Order of Events –
For Those who are “alive and remain” at his Appearing
Click here to download the PDF of this article

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Geheime of publieke terugkeer van Jezus