10 Things Jesus Really Said About His Return

Another false teacher has joined (for the 2nd time) the historic cohort who arrogantly thought they had figured out when Christ will return. This is tragic on two levels. First, there are many who were duped. Tons of people believed Harold Camping’s prediction and invested time, energy and money spreading it. These people spent their savings to spread a false message. Secondly, it’s tragic that many will now slip toward the opposite extreme. They suspected Jesus wasn’t going to return anytime soon and now see this false prediction as confirmation he really isn’t. This is an equally tragic mistake. Jesus said a lot about his return and one of the overarching messages was His followers should keep themselves ready and waiting.

Here are 10 things Jesus really said about his return.

1.  No one knows the day or the hour of my return.

In Mark 13:32, Jesus had been teaching his disciples about his return and says, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Luke records it this way, “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Lk 12:40).

Jesus told his disciples even He didn’t know exactly when He would return. This is fascinating! At this point in history, God the Father knew the exact number of years, months, days and seconds until Christ would return and Jesus didn’t. Therefore, it cannot be figured out. It is extreme arrogance to claim to know something Jesus didn’t.

Also, Jesus applied this truth to their lives, “Be ready.” Jesus didn’t know if he would return in their lifetimes, but his instructions to them are his instructions to us almost 2,000 years later. Get yourself ready for my return, leave nothing undone.

2.  There will be several signs, increasing in intensity, as my return draws near.

The above statement did not mean Christ’s followers shouldn’t pay attention to the signs of his return. They mustn’t try to figure out the day or the hour (obvious to most), but should pay attention to natural events and recognize the potential fulfillment of Christ’s words as they happen.

Jesus promised there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes in various places (Matt 24:6-7). And also, “signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Lk 21:25-27).

Additionally, Jesus used the term “birth pains” to describe these signs. Like the pain of childbirth, these signs will get more intense and frequent as the day draws close. When we see increasing numbers of earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, Jesus instructs, “straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Lk 21:28). Once again, Jesus instructs us to pay attention to the signs of His return in order to be ready when He comes.

3.  Pray for the strength to escape the things that are going to take place.

In Luke 21:36, Jesus taught his followers, “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” From the context, the “escaping” Jesus refers to is escaping from the judgment and wrath God will bring upon those who have rejected Christ.  Jesus teaches his disciples to pray for the strength to escape. Too many believe Christians will escape by default, but Jesus told his disciples to pray for strength to escape, and so we must.

4.  It will seem like a normal day.

In Luke 17:26-30, Jesus compared the day the Son of Man will be revealed to God’s judgment in the days of both Noah and Lot. In both these times, people were going about the normal business of life: eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, and building. In the midst of this apparent normalcy, God’s judgment and wrath fell. Jesus said this is what it will be like when He comes. It will be a great cosmic interruption that will be like lightening which “lights up the sky from one side to the other” (Lk 17:24).

5.  I will repay everyone for what he has done.

In the last chapter of Revelation, Jesus told his followers He is coming and “bringing his recompense…to repay everyone for what he has done” (22:12). Matthew 25 describes the scene when Jesus will sit on his glorious throne and all nations will be gathered before him to be judged (31-33). All people will stand before Jesus and give account for what they did in life. How glorious it will be to stand confidently in the imputed righteousness of Christ in that day.

6.  Not everyone who expects to make it into the Christ’s kingdom will.

Some of the most sobering words of Jesus are about those who will not be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” What could be worse than hearing these words from Jesus?

At the end, there will be many people who will think they are in because of their ministry credentials. And Jesus will say, “I never knew you” and call them “workers of lawlessness.” Their repentance was in word only. They acted like followers, but didn’t have a saving relationship with Christ based on faith and repentance as the foundation of their lives. Jesus said there will be many people in this terrifying condition, living their lives thinking they were in and finding out in the final analysis they weren’t.

7.  There will be great persecution and many will fall away.

Jesus promised great persecution would break out against his followers and would cause many to fall away (Matt 24:9-10). It’s relatively easy to follow Christ when things are going well, but when times get tough we find out what we’re made of. Is our faith in Christ only as strong as the comfort we enjoy? If God’s enemies come and take everything will we cling to Christ or fall away? Jesus promised many would make the incomprehensible choice to fall away.

8.  Because of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.

Jesus promised that sin would lure many away from Him (Matt 24:12). These are people who once loved Christ warmly who have cooled in their affections for Him. They’ve traded in their desires for Christ for worthless idols. Sex, money, power and other false gods have replaced the love of Christ in their hearts. Their love grows cold as they lose the war against temptations to sin. Stoking the heart’s fiery love for Christ must include destroying the wet buckets of sin that can so quickly quench it. True Christ followers must repent often and much.

9.  Be on guard, keep awake.

Jesus continually told his followers to stay awake, to watch their lives, and to be ready for his return. In Matthew, Jesus gave four parables to explain how and why his followers should be prepared for his coming: the homeowner and the thief (24:42-44); the good and wicked servants (24:45-51); the 10 virgins (25:1-13); and the talents (25:14-30). In each of these parables, Christ described readiness with working to complete the work Christ gave us, namely fulfilling the Great Commission. Every Christian is to diligently use the gifts and opportunities God provides to reach the world for Christ.

To be awake is to be ready and willing to do Christ’s will. In Gethsemane, Jesus’ disciples slept instead of joining Him in prayer. They weren’t doing what Christ asked, but slept. In the same way, many Christians today are asleep to Christ’s will. They don’t seek him or ask for his direction. Instead, like the disciples in the garden, they sleep. Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Awake, awake, put on strength” (51:9).

Peter says it well, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:7-8).

10.  I am coming soon!

Four times in the book of Revelation, Jesus said to the churches, “I am coming soon!” (Rev 16:15; 22:7,12,20). It was originally meant as an encouraging word to 1st century Christians suffering by the hands of Rome and has continued to encourage Christ’s followers throughout the ages. Christians in every generation are to hold tightly to the promise that Christ will return soon.

As the writer of Hebrews reminds, “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Heb 9:28). Like young children eagerly longing for Christmas morning, Christians eagerly wait for Christ to return. In doing so, we live out Paul’s wonderful promise to the church in Thessalonica, “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:17). Nothing is greater than to be with Jesus Christ always and forever.

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29 Responses to 10 Things Jesus Really Said About His Return

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do you think there has been a noticeable increase in natural disasters as of late? Data seems to be inconclusive, but scientists and meteorologists seem to keep telling us “no.”

    • Andrew Hess says:

      I’ve seen research suggesting they are increasing and some suggesting they aren’t. When you consider lives impacted, it does seem we’ve had an increasing number of major disasters impacting large masses of people in the last several years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fair enough. I know God is not out to trick or deceive, so I am certain He will reveal Himself in due time. I appreciated your timely article. Thanks.

  2. Christer says:

    Thanks Andrew. You are definitely a teacher. Good word(s).

  3. A good word bro. This is the kind of thing the body needs to hear, think about, be motivated by, and respond to every day.

  4. I know that He’s Coming Soon … I live to shout it … we’ll need an army to get the point across

  5. JESUS NEEDS YOU … join His Army … help us SHOUT ! ” JESUS CHRIST IS LORD !
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ HE’S COMING SOON (FOR FEW) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. Pingback: “Like a thief in the night…” | OSNOVA™

  7. karen says:

    It helps me in my studies to realize that Christ’s 2nd Coming is actually 2 events or phases: (1) in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, believers meet the Lord in the air; and (2) in Zechariah 14:4-5 the Lord’s feet stand upon the mount of Olives. The 1st event is commonly called the Rapture when believers are removed from the scene as the 7-year Tribulation begins to unfold on earth. There are no signs for the Rapture – and this should encourage all believers to share The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 10:9 – more concise references if needed) now while this window of opportunity is yet open. The 2nd event is when the Lord returns with the saints to save Israel and stop Armageddon.

    Many events happen between the Rapture and Our Lord’s Return to the earth – so yes, there are signs for The Lord’s appearance upon the mount of Olives. However, believers will not be on the earth to experience the horrors of the tribulation (souls will be saved during this time, too).

    Here’s 1 Thess 4:16-18, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” See also 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 wherein God reveals yet another mystery about the Rapture.

    Believers too will be judged – this also encourages me to share God’s Word and contribute to the Body of Christ. See 1 Cor 3:12-15 and 2 Cor 5:10 for references to the believers’ judgment (we can earn reward, suffer loss, but NOT lose our salvation as stated in Scripture).

    I hope this is well received. May God continue to bless many through you & yours!

    — karen
    @castingcrumbs on Twitter (I follow you on Twitter)

    • Andrew Hess says:

      Karen,
      Thanks for you comment. I agree. That is a helpful way to think about Christ’s multiple returns. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!
      Andrew

  8. Derrick Day says:

    The 11th Thing Jesus Really Said About His Return:

    Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    The TRUE Gospel of the Kingdom (wholeness, completion, nothing broken, nothing lacking) has not been preached in all the world. The Lord, Jesus, said it, not me…

  9. Ivan Kukard says:

    Thank-you Karen. What you say is so typical of the Lord. Right now He is giving so much warning, and so many chances for man to come to Him in submission and repentance but that is not enough for Him is it? No, even at the end beyond the 11th hour, He still gives man another window of opportunity. Man can see that the rapture has come and gone and that millions of Christ’s faithful have been taken away, and there is still the open door and all they have to do is call out for His mercy, to knock on that door…and they will not be refused entry! That mercy and grace is amazing indeed
    PS The email addy etc given here are for real

    • karen says:

      Dear Ivan, your comment arrived by email – and just to clarify, and I say this with humbleness of heart with no desire to offend, that I do not believe the Rapture has come and gone. We are not in the midst of The Tribulation at this time. My belief, based solidly on Scripture, is that the Rapture is yet to come.

      And yes, God’s grace is unfathomable. Just like when the door of Noah’s Ark remained opened for 7 days for any to enter (Gen 7:10), God desires for none to perish, none to succumb to the second death. And to offer up His Only Son as a sacrifice for our sins, as the way to reconcile man unto Himself through each believing heart – there are no words. Believe The Gospel – “Christ died for our sins … He rose again” (1 Cor 15:1-4)

      Such love God has for each of us. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt 10:30) We cannot imagine this kind of love.

      May God bless you in your studies of The Word, and bless many through you. — karen

      • Ivan Kukard says:

        Hi All
        And Hi Karen, as I was praying this morning I began counting my blessings and what a hit! It is always good to check on what the Lord is doing in your own life at any one time because it is too easy to lose focus under a load of troubles, I am so glad that I belong to Jesus Christ!
        In response to the issue of the rapture, I did not mean to imply that the rapture has already happened, I was writing in the future-tense and not the present-tense. All Christians know that the rapture is still to come at some predetermined but humanly-unknown time and I was simply illustrating that even after the rapture, when many will have lost hope there will still be time to come to Him and be saved
        In our home we are very poor, and not by our own doing but by circumstance. Yet we have something that is far more precious than gold or jewels and that is the love of Christ that we share. My wife and I share this love with each-other, and together we listen to our family and friends talk when they visit and we are deeply troubled that so many live as if there is no need to fear God’s awesome wrath and power, they live and love as if there is no heaven and hell. So many who once proclaimed Christ as savior have drifted into apathy and indifference. It is so humbling to be Christian and we pray that those in this world today who are Chritians will remain so
        Feel free to visit the site mentioned here
        With Love In Jesus
        Ivan Kukard

  10. Mark says:

    You conveniently left one out

    “Verily I say unto you, there are some standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.”

    • VUYOKAZI says:

      yes Mark its true the verse is on Mathew 16:28 and luke 9 :27 and these verse confirms what karen has stated on 1 thess 4:16-18,i am blessed MAY gOD GIVE ME STRENGH TO PRAY ALWAYS AND SHARE GOSPEL TO THE POOR IN SPIRIT

  11. Paul says:

    I appreciate the lesson and it’s sure made me look at myself and my perspectives and realize I’m failing miserably. I see now I too, need to repent and push harder in what I want to be and what my lord expects of me. I’ve received it and I believe it. Now I must live it.

  12. Alba flood says:

    Iam skerd of what I Reid today here

    • VUYOKAZI says:

      do not be afraid Alba u r blessed to recieve such revelations and mysteries of the kingdom ,live for Christ who has yo soul in his hands and wait for him eargerly and be blamelessy in yo action

  13. VUYOKAZI says:

    thank you so much Mr Andrew and Mrs Karen and others who have shared in the warnings of the return of Our Lord Jesus Christ ..i am so revived ,Lord give me strengh to alway watch and pray ,i want to meet Him in the Clouds on that day

  14. Violet Vinaywa says:

    Thank you. For the good work

  15. Greedy says:

    I am so afraid of failing Jesus, and am scared that on that day Jesus will say I never knew you. I don’t want to be a person trying to just get to heaven by the skin of my teeth. I want to be where Jesus is.

  16. carol says:

    I AM NOT AFRAID, THE lord asks only one thing from us and it is simple, to believe in him, We must be saved, there is no other way. He loves us all, each and every one of us, He offers us a gift that is everlasting, just believe. He will return soon .If you would like to know more about what he spoke to me about, I would love to share with you.

  17. allen993 says:

    I Always Believed There Will Be An Increase In Natural Disasters Before The Lord’s Return To Earth And Lots Of Wars Will Be Fought By The Nations And Kingdoms Mentioned In The Book
    Of Matthew, Mark And Luke Predicting And Foretelling The Prophecy Of Christ’s Return!

    PS I Am Ready For What Will Happen To Us And The World Will Face Tribulation As The End
    Approaches In My Lifetime And I Pray That God Would Help Us To Endure The End!!!
    God Bless All Of Our Brothers And Sisters Of Christ?

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