When Will the Lord Return?

ClockThe “end times” are an intriguing topic to many people. They wonder what will happen and speculate about when the end will be. Throughout the years, some have even tried to predict the date of Christ’s return; yet every one of these dates has come and gone. This is not a sign that the end of the world will not happen, just that there are false prophets who erroneously claim to know the “secret things” of God (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The Scriptures do not provide us with a date for the Lord’s return, nor are we given signs to look for that will signal that the end is approaching. However, the New Testament certainly provides a description for when the Lord will return. So in this article, we will use the Bible to answer this question: When will the Lord return?
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Eagerly Awaiting the Return of Christ

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).

As citizens of heaven, Paul said that we ought to be eagerly looking forward to the Lord’s return. But there is more to this than just the mental desire for Christ to return. Notice the words of God revealed through the prophet Amos:

Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, for what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light; as when a man flees from a lion and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall and a snake bites him. Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, even gloom with no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20).

There were people in Amos’ day – just as there are in our day – who were looking forward to the day of the Lord. They thought it would be a time for their deliverance rather than judgment and punishment. We do not want to delude ourselves like those of whom Amos prophesied. If we want to genuinely and properly look forward to Christ’s return, there are certain things we must do and things we must understand.
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Why the Interest in Judgment Day Predictions?

According to Harold Camping, May 21, 2011 was supposed to be the Judgment day. Here we are, a couple days later, and we are still waiting for the Judgment. This was not the first time for Camping to make such a prediction. He is also not the only one who has presumed to announce the date of this event. Despite all of the failed prophecies, there are still many people willing to believe that someone like Camping has figured out the date of the final Judgment. They ignore the Scriptures that say, “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36), and “the day of the Lord will come like a thief” (2 Peter 3:10). But why?
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Another Judgment Day Prediction

Man has repeatedly tried to predict the date of the Day of Judgment. Predicted dates have come and gone and been replaced with future dates. These predictions are made by those who twist the Scriptures any way they can to come up with a date that suits them.
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All Continues Just as it Was

When Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles were there to witness the event. Afterward, two angels appeared to them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Christians today “eagerly wait” for the Lord to return, as the angels said He would, and bring the faithful home to heaven (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

That was about two thousand years ago. Yet we remain watchful, knowing that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief” (2 Peter 3:10). But there are many today who will ridicule this idea. They say we should live as we please here because this is the only life we will have. We should not be surprised that there are such people. After all, Peter wrote about them in the first century. As the apostle began discussing the day of the Lord, he wrote, “Knowing this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).
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How Much Does God Hate Sin?

Flight of Lot

Sin is not taken very seriously by many in our society. People ignore it, make excuses for it, and joke about it. This casual attitude is in stark contrast with the way God views sin.

There are three examples from the book of Genesis that clearly demonstrate to us just how much God hates sin. We will briefly look at each of these examples as well as how they compare with God’s view of sin under the gospel age.
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The Preterist View Heresy

The Preterist View, also called Realized Eschatology or the A.D. 70 Doctrine, is an error that seems to resurface every so often. The doctrine states that the Second Coming of Christ, the final judgment, and the end of the world occurred in A.D. 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem at the hand of the Romans.

Max King essentially wrote the book on this doctrine, making the case for it in his 1971 book, The Spirit of Prophecy. Bill Reeves wrote a series of articles answering King’s arguments and demonstrating from the Scriptures the truth about the end times.

If you come across the doctrine today, the arguments made by its proponents will likely be essentially the same arguments made by King in his book. So if you are looking for material to help answer this issue, the articles by Brother Reeves should be useful.

This series of articles, The Preterist View Heresy by Bill Reeves, is available on the website of the Parkway church of Christ.