When is Jesus Coming Back?

1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 – For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Like a kid excited to open their presents, knowing all that will happen when Jesus returns, Christians have always asked, “When is Jesus coming back?” If you want to study this more, it is called “eschatology”, which is the study of the end times. 

There is great debate among Christians who love Jesus and believe the Bible on the details surrounding His return. Since we won’t really know until He does return, it can be fun to delve into this area of Bible study but is nothing we should divide over. 

The Thessalonians had this very sort of question, and Paul’s answer is that he does not know because only the Lord knows when He will return. Paul does teach, however, that there will be birth pains. Paul is quoting Jesus Christ. 

In my book New Days Old Demons, I write, “…the words of Jesus from Matthew 24:8 kept echoing in my mind, ‘All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.’ In context, Jesus is talking about the signs of the end of the age, what the world will be like as we get closer to the persecution of God’s people and increase of evil before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. In this section of Scripture, Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple, which happened in 70 A.D., which would be followed by false christs that were counterfeit anti-Christs; the increase of political conflict and wars lead by evil rulers of godless nations; and physical and natural disasters referred to as ‘famines’ and ‘earthquakes’. Following all of this will be the outlawing of Christian faith, tribulation, martyrdom, and increasing hatred of believers, and mass apostasy as numerous people fall away from the faith…When Jesus uses the language of ‘birth pains’, He is saying that history will be born again just as believers are. When we were born, our mothers experienced great pain and pressure that slowly increased until the suffering was unbearable. But, out of this suffering came birth and new life. Jesus is saying that the closer we get to the end of this age and the beginning of the age to come, the birth pains will get more frequent and intense.”

Paul’s encouragement is to live life prepared to meet Jesus any day. We never know if we will die today or if Jesus will return. So, we should live every day ready to meet our Lord face-to-face. 

Lastly, we do not know when Jesus will return, but the Bible does tell us what will be happening just before He does. 2 Timothy 3:1–5 summarizes the “last days” saying, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

Our only hope is Jesus Christ. Thankfully, He is guaranteed to return before it’s too late and will make all believers and all creation perfect forever! 

Who are you most looking forward to meeting and what are you most looking forward to experiencing in the Kingdom of God?

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