The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is an event of utmost importance for all people. For most, it will be something exceedingly terrible because they lived in sin and yet they had felt secure. Yes, very many had a superior smile for people who had spoken to them of death, judgment, and eternity. The Lord Jesus also refers to a group of people: “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:22-23) But those who “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14), who have served Him faithfully, will rejoice when the Lord comes.
There will be a great gathering of people of all ranks when the Lord comes with flames of fire to take vengeance on those who have disobeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then the Lord will repay each one according to his works.
Jesus has already visited this earth once. But He will come again, as He promised. His second coming, however, will not only be vastly different from His first coming but will also serve a totally different purpose. The first time, He came in lowliness as the Savior and Redeemer of man. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him”(John 1:11). He was rejected by men and crucified.
But everything will be completely different at His return. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matthew 16:27). Then great men, esteemed as valiant, but who hardened their corrupt hearts and ignored the warnings in Scripture, will cower in caves. They will seek to hide in the mountains and look for other places of refuge (see Revelation 6:15-17). Then there will be no escape, and no one will avoid divine judgment and punishment. Yes, that will be a terrible day, a day of wrath for all who have rejected God and His grace.
At His first coming into this world, Jesus was treated shamefully. Our so-called Christian world is also full of people who have the same godless spirit as the Jews of that time, although they often profess to be followers of Jesus. Many people also believe that when Jesus returns, He will not sit in judgment nor end all things but rather will establish a millennial reign, bringing peace throughout the world. The devil, who caused the Jews to reject the Lord Jesus, is still deceiving people today. He causes many to accept false and deceptive hopes. But when the Lord returns, there will be no more time of grace.
Godlessness is becoming more and more prevalent in the world. It is easy to see that we are living in the last times. The conditions today are similar to the time of Sodom and Gomorrah. Is it not a fact that the world today is so hardened and has lost all reverence for the Word of God that it intentionally turns a deaf ear to the teachings of Christ? Many know what God’s Word demands but love sin more than God and live without caring about the divine warnings.
Many professing Christians of our time become completely absorbed in the things of this world. The gathering of treasures or enjoyment of life is the highest goal that people pursue. They indulge themselves, live in carnality and worldly pleasures of all kinds, and do not think of the salvation of the soul for which Christ shed His blood.
Jesus also says of the signs of the last days: “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11-12). Isn’t today’s world full of false and deceptive teachings? Does not injustice abound, and has not love grown cold in many? Whoever has open eyes cannot fail to see and recognize this. We do well to heed the admonition of the apostle Paul to his spiritual son Timothy: “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). If we follow this admonition, this promise will also be true for us: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10). The Lord calls to all of us, “Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (verse 11).