A Singular Event

Jesus will return from Heaven at the “end” of the present age accompanied by great power and glory. His “arrival” or Parousia will result in the consummation of the Kingdom of God, the judgment of the ungodly, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the unveiling of the New Creation, and the termination of Death. Thus, the coming of the “Son of Man on the Clouds” will be an event of GREAT FINALITY.

For example, in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, humanity is divided into two groups before the “Son of Man,” the just and the unjust. The ears of “wheat” are gathered in the “barn,” while the “tares” are tied in bundles and burned. The wheat represents the “sons of the Kingdom,” and the tares symbolize the “sons of the evil one.” The “harvest” takes place at the “end of the age” - (Matthew 13:24-30).

[Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash]
[Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash]

The 
Parable of the Sheep and Goats pictures all nations gathered before Jesus for judgment after his arrival - “Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” The “sheep” inherit the “Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world,” while the “goats” are cast into "everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels” - (Matthew 25:31-46).

In both parables, one group receives everlasting life and the other “everlasting punishment.” There is no third group or neutral state - (Matthew 25:31-46).

In his ‘Olivet Discourse,’ Jesus declared that when the “Son of Man comes” he will be accompanied by his angels and all nations will mourn. At that time, he will send his angels to “gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” - (Matthew 24:29-31).

ACCORDING TO PAUL


In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes that at the “arrival” of Jesus, the righteous dead will be raised, and together with those believers who remain alive, the entire Assembly of the saints will “meet him in the air” as he descends from Heaven.

His arrival will be heralded by “the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God,” and from then on, his followers will be with him “forevermore.” Instead of “wrath,” God appointed the righteous to obtain salvation through Jesus.

In contrast, the “Day of the Lord will arrive with sudden destruction” upon the unprepared, and “they shall in no way escape.” The same day will bring salvation to the faithful but destruction to the wicked - (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-7).

In his second letter to Thessalonica, the Apostle states that the righteous will be vindicated when Jesus is “revealed from heaven with his angels,” but their persecutors and all “who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” will pay the ultimate penalty, “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”

On that day, Jesus will be “glorified in his saints” for all to see. Once again, the Scriptures state that the righteous will be vindicated and the wicked condemned at the “arrival” of Jesus, an event linked inextricably to the “Day of the Lord” - (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, 2:1-9).

Paul calls this event the “arrival” or Parousia of Jesus, the “Day of the Lord,” and the “Revelation of Jesus from Heaven.” Regardless of which term is applied, the Lord will gather his saints and judge their persecutors at that time, including the “Man of Lawlessness” - (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9).

To the Corinthians, Paul writes that on that day the righteous dead will be resurrected, the Kingdom of God consummated, and the “last enemy, Death” will cease forever. All this the Apostle assigns to the “end” and the “arrival” or Parousia of Jesus (“then comes THE END” - 1 Corinthians 15:20-57).

Beach Sunset - Photo by Donald Janssen on Unsplash
[Photo by Donald Janssen on Unsplash]

PETER & JOHN


The Apostle Peter connects the judgment of the wicked, the dissolution of the existing creation order, and the arrival of the New Creation to the “arrival” or Parousia of Jesus, events that will occur on the “Day of God” - (2 Peter 3:3-13).

The Book of Revelation also links the judgment of the wicked to the coming of Jesus. On that day, “every eye will see him” and “all the tribes of the earth will wail because of him” – (Revelation 1:7).

The “Day of the Lord” will be the day of His “wrath” against the wicked. It will be characterized by great celestial and terrestrial upheavals. The victory of the “Lamb” will culminate in the New Heavens and New Earth when “New Jerusalem” descends from Heaven to the Earth – (Revelation 1:7, 6:12-17, 11:15-19, 16:12-21, 19:17-21).

The New Testament tells a consistent story. The “arrival” of Jesus will mean nothing less than the final judgment, the resurrection of the dead, the gathering of his saints, the consummation of God’s Kingdom, the cessation of death, the final overthrow of all his enemies, and the New Creation wherein righteousness dwells and prevails forevermore. Thus, that Day will end on a grand note of finality.



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