by Jimmy Evans
I’ve been teaching on the end times for more than 40 years. And during those four decades, I’ve heard just about every possible response to end-times teaching. Some people get very excited about it. It encourages them and they tell other people about Bible prophecy. Because you subscribe to this newsletter, I imagine you fall into that category. Maybe you’ve even told your friends about Tipping Point.
But another category of people does not get excited about the end times. This kind of teaching makes them fearful. It bothers them. Our subscribers at endtimes.com are all ages, young and old, but I have noticed that a lot of the folks who don’t like end-times teaching tend to be younger people.
I’ve heard them say something like this: “I don’t want Jesus to come back because I want to get married. I want to have kids.” That’s pretty typical. And I understand it! All of us want to experience the blessings that God has given us to experience.
But the Bible mentions the return of Jesus 329 times. After the doctrine of salvation by grace, it’s the second-most mentioned concept in Scripture. If the return of Jesus is mentioned that many times in God’s Word, we can assume it’s important. It’s something we need to know about and pay attention to.
Here are three major reasons the doctrine of Christ’s return is so important:
The return of Christ proves His deity
Jesus claimed many times to be God. Revelation 19:16 proclaims Him “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
You’ve also confessed the divinity of Jesus. You’ve said to your friends and family, “I believe Jesus Christ is Lord. He created everything. He is the Lord of all.” Maybe people hear that and believe it, but it is just as likely that they will hear that and laugh.
They use His name as a curse word. They’ll mock Christianity. Maybe they believe a historical person named Jesus of Nazareth existed, but they don’t believe He was or is the Son of God. They don’t believe in the Resurrection and they sure don’t believe that He is Lord.
That won’t always be the case:
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.—Philippians 2:9-10
Every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess that He is Lord. It will be unmistakable. His return doesn’t just validate every promise made in the Bible, but it validates the words of Jesus Himself, who declared Himself to be God in the Gospel of John:
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.—John 8:58-59
That’s Jesus identifying Himself with the words of Yahweh in the Old Testament. Jesus called Himself “I AM,” the proper name God used to identify Himself to Moses in Exodus 3. The Jewish people who heard Him say this was so taken aback by His words that they were ready to stone Him for blasphemy. They ended up executing him anyway.
But someday, His return in glory will put to rest all doubt about whether Jesus is God. It doesn’t just establish the authority of Scripture, it validates the divinity of Jesus.
His return motivates us to live for Him
If you believe that Jesus is coming back at any time, you live a better life. You live for Him. You make better decisions. As 1 John 3:3 says, “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
The “hope” John is writing about is the hope of Christ’s return. When you have that hope within you, you live a pure life.
Part of living for Jesus involves telling others about Him. The hope of Christ’s return also motivates us to evangelize. Have you ever heard the term Maranatha? I’m sure you have because I’ve seen some of you use the word in the comments here at Tipping Point. This is a Greek phrase—marána thá—that the earliest Christians used as a greeting. It literally means, “Come, our Jesus,” or “O Lord, come.”
The Jews used to greet each other with the Hebrew word shalom (“peace”). But converts to Christianity faced hardships. They were persecuted. They understood they would never know peace apart from Jesus, and the world would not know peace until His return. So they greeted each other with the reminder that He was coming back. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus!
Having the return of Christ on their mind at all times gave them greater urgency to tell other people about Jesus. They knew—as I believe—that the Rapture could happen at any moment. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. And after the Rapture, a time of Tribulation will come, bringing suffering beyond anything the earth has ever experienced.
You don’t want your family or friends to be here for that, so you tell them about Jesus—through the example of living a pure life and through your verbal witness. You don’t have to shove Jesus down anyone’s throat, but you can always tell them what He did for you.
His return motivates us to endure
Sometimes it can be hard to be a follower of Jesus, period. But to be a Christian who is always talking about the Rapture and the end times can be even more difficult. People will scoff. That’s not just something I’ve noticed. It’s a promise in the Bible:
…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.—2 Peter 3:3-4,10-13
Those scoffers will soon realize that they were wrong. It will be as clear as the bright light of the presence of Jesus and the fiery destruction of His judgment. In the face of those scoffers, knowing what is coming, you can stand firm in your conviction. Do not waver. Do not be ashamed.
Remember the words of Jesus Himself:
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”—Mark 8:38
Jesus is coming any day and we need to stand by, watching and waiting. We need to keep our eyes on heaven. We need to live a pure life, evangelizing and enduring in this evil time. Because we refuse to be ashamed of Jesus, He won’t be ashamed of us.
Cover to cover, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is Lord and Jesus is coming again. That message doesn’t make me fearful. It makes me motivated.
What about you?