The second coming of Christ: good news and bad news

Since this is the season where we celebrate the first coming of Christ and his sacrificial death for sinners, we should also think about his second coming when it will be much different. You can reasonably say it will be both good news and bad news for everyone who has ever lived.

It will be good news for those who have trusted him with their life and have accepted his death as payment for their sins. We should eagerly look forward to it, for this world is not our final destination and as children of God we long to be with the one we belong to for eternity.

But, as John Piper points out, we should not be quick to believe rumors about his second coming:

Jesus is going to return to earth. I pray very soon. He said that before he comes—periodically throughout history—some people would think he has already come.

If they say to you, “Look, he is in the wilderness,” do not go out. If they say, “Look, he is in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. (Matthew 24:26)

Then he gave two reasons not to believe such rumors.

The first is that his coming will be globally unmistakable. It will be as publicly unmistakable as lightning.

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)

And that brings us to the bad news. For those who don’t believe, it will be a terrible time of realization that all hope is gone:

The second reason for not believing these rumors is that he will come like vultures come on a corpse.

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (Matthew 24:28)

When the world is as ready for judgment as road kill is for the vultures, then he will come in great wrath.

The Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8)

This will not be private, secret, or pleasant for unbelievers. He will come “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). And the judgment will be like vultures sweeping in on the corpse of human rebellion.

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