The Return of Christ

Revelation 1:7-9

It is tempting to believe that Christ's coming will not be literal. Here's how we can be confident that it is: In his gospel account, John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that those who condemned Christ would be among those who would see Him coming in the clouds of glory mt2664. The reality at his coming will echo His literal statement to those who arranged His crucifixion.

.7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Passages linked often include more than the one verse indicated in the link code.

  He cometh Notice the present tense. Christ's departure assured His return! In a sense, it had begun to happen. The seeing part was future tense.
.With clouds As He rose from the earth, He said He would return the same way visibly and with clouds ac0109.
  Every eye We will see Him directly. How can this be for a large earth? We don't know except that if Christ with all the angels can come from heaven without a space ship, He is quite capable of fulfilling the seeing part. Also lu2127.
  They ... which pierced Fulfillment of zc1210. It took only one man to pierce His side jn1934. Those who arranged it will no doubt be included. Because the resurrection at the coming of Christ does not include the wicked dead 1th0416, re2005wh, we may expect these wicked ones to be raised in the second resurrection re2009,12.
 .7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.   Kindreds of the earth ... wail These people will have refused the kingdom of heaven. They cry out in desperation re0617. There will be no second chance.
  Earth This seems to include the righteous but they rejoice tt0213. The people of the earth are those who, at the end of time, will have followed the beast from the earth.

 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
  I am ego eimi. See on jn0620.
  Alpha ... Beginning ... Essentially the same jn0101. The first pair may represent the Word as the expression of the Father and the second as the creator and finisher. If the Father is speaking, we may modify this interpretation. Many manuscripts omit "beginning ... ending." Compare re2213.
  Almighty From Pantokrator, "ruler of all." Compare re1915, re0408, re1607, 1sa0111, je0219, am0905.

 9 ¶ I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of [in] Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
   I John The Apostle speaks directly, not in symbols.
  Kingdom Of grace mt0417, ac1422.
  Patience Literally "remain under" implying self-control. John probably could have won freedom at the expense of giving up his place in Christ's kingdom. See ro0207, re1412.
  Was Literally "came to be."
  Patmos About 55 mi. (90 km.) SW of Ephesus. John was there as a Roman prisoner.
  For the word Literally "on account of the word." Compare v2.
Previous comments table
Next comments table
General navigation bar below

The coming of Christ under various symbols
   John is talking to us directly in our verse here. We will see Him in the clouds as pictured above. His coming is also symbolized by His riding the white horse and in other ways re1911a, re1413f.

To hear the hymn music, Christ Returneth, click. Courtesy of a Grace Methodist Church. Or Christ is coming click. Turn off your media player to avoid its coming on next time you open the page.

The rapture and the visible coming

     "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."  (Rev. 1:7)
     "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. [and so on]." (Rev. 7:4, 5).

Jesus warned against the rapture idea
    After I wrote what follows I discovered a meaning to one of Jesus' statements that had previously been unclear. Do you remember the story of the wicked servant who said his Lord was delaying his coming? Then looking at the context, I discovered much more on the topic. I invite you to read beginning at mt2437 and continuing to the end of the chapter. You can read my notes, too. The comments here provide an understanding of the relevant texts and the issues, so please read them both.

   The scene of the rapture, as it is generally understood, does not involve clouds and everyone seeing Christ. Neither are loud sounds connected with it as we read about in 1 Thess. 4 1th0416f. The claim is that the rapture is first and the coming with grand sight and sound occurs later. The Bible doesn't teach this. The 144,000 are said to be different. We study about them in chapters 7 and 14, 1401b. Let's look at a popular text.
   "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (Luke 17:34-36) See on lu1726-end.
   This scene doesn't explain the trumpet sound and the visible appearance of Christ. Of course, not every passage about an event gives the same details. If this does describe a quiet rapture, the end of the story is different from the popular explanation. Those left are not left to come to Christ during a tribulation. They die. Notice the next verse.
   And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." (Luke 17:37, for the context, lu1734)
   If this is not the rapture scene, what is it? I believe it describes the close of probation. Matthew's description begins with the story of the flood. Study the whole passage carefully mt2436ff.
   "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. 24:38, 39).
   Noah and his family entered the ark, but the rain did not come for another seven days ge0704. T