The Bible opens and closes with the same event—a voice crying out. At the beginning of time, it shattered the darkness with, “Let there be light.” At the end of time, this same voice will break into a slumbering world with a loud cry, and a trumpet blast. Jesus, the hero of the Bible and the King of kings, will return to welcome God's people into an eternity with him, to punish evil once and for all, to judge the living and the dead, and to make all things new.
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In The Chronicles of Narnia, a hopeful beaver speaks the profound words of a prophecy about the return of Aslan, the Great Lion and ruler of their world. And Mr. Beaver’s words ring true for every hopeful heart that has believed the story of the Bible and put their trust in our King, Jesus.
Wrong will be right,
when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth,
winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane,
we shall have spring again.
(C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
What if every wrong were made right—every unjust deed brought to true justice? What if there were a day when sorrows ceased—a day when you’d never have to say goodbye again? What if all that hardens your heart, frustrates you, and chills your attitude were banished from existence, so that it was always summer as the season of your soul? What if there were no more death, no more bidding farewell to good things, but instead, always, always life? What if all that’s sad and wrong were, as one author puts it, “to come untrue”?
What Happens at the Close of Our Story?
It feels like a fairytale, doesn’t it? We end all our fairytales this way. “And they lived happily ever after.” Why is that? Because we know the hope of a happy ending is not just the stuff of make believe—it’s our story (Revelation 21-22). We long for happy endings because a happy ending is what God created us for—it’s what’s coming.
But we forgot something which Mr. Beaver’s recitation included—The arrival of the King. We leave him out of our fairytales—except sometimes we do include him under the guise of the prince.
There is a close to our story—the story of this world—just like there’s a close to all other stories. It closes with the coming of our King (1 Thessalonians 4:16). He will close the chapter of this weary broken world and bring those who love and trust him into a new chapter—one that never ends and is far better than the first.
God has always planned for his visible Kingdom to be among us. But the only way to reunite heaven and earth was to restore rebellious hearts to a right relationship with him through a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin. Jesus, the King of kings and Son of God went to the cross “for the joy set before him”—to pay for the sins of all who will trust in him, and to give them new hearts that are ruled by His Spirit, who can enjoy his presence and loving relationship for all eternity (Hebrews 12:2).
A Reckoning at the King’s Return
But all this beauty and delight and peace in the Bible and that Mr. Beaver speaks about are preceded by a reckoning and a roar. Before the Lion shakes his mane, he bares his teeth. So it will be with the true end of all things.
When the true King of Righteousness returns, all who have put their trust in him, who have humbly let him clothe them in his righteousness, who have lived in loyalty to him and obedience to his Word, and who have awaited his return in love—they shall “love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
But so there will be many who have denied his existence, defied his Word, rejected his good news of free forgiveness, who will shake their fists and receive the due reward for rebelling against the King of kings (Revelation 19:11-15).
Evil will meet its death, and evil includes those who have refused to accept his cleansing and his reign in their lives. He promises to put away all that is not good, and to punish those who have contributed to the evil in the world by putting them outside his kingdom for an eternity in hell. When the King comes, he establishes his kingdom, but he also rids the world of tyrants and traitors (Revelation 20; 1 Corinthians 6:8-10; Matthew 7:21-23).
A Happy Ending for All Who Love the King
The curse, or “winter” as Lewis describes it, that lies over our world will be lifted and replaced with the glories of the new Creation. The end of the story will start just like the beginning—no death, no pain, no tears, just life on earth delighting in God’s presence and his gifts (Revelation 21:4). When the King comes, will you recognize him? Will you be looking for him? Will you love his appearing?
He wants you to come into his kingdom (Revelation 3:20; Romans 10:9; Acts 4:12). Do you know you need his mercy, his forgiveness, his righteousness, and his love? He is ready to welcome you in, if you will bow your heart before him and ask him to help you love him with the love he is worthy of.
So 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.
HEBREWS 9:28 ESV
until Christ returns.
It is for the final act
in the great drama
that the church
awaits with longing.
What Does the Bible
Say About Jesus' Return?
How many times is the return of Jesus
talked about in the Bible?
George Sweeting answers this question well,
and we've broken down his explanation
into a visual format for you in this graphic.
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
For as the
in the east
and shines to the west,
so it will be
Son of Man comes.
Well, Christians think he [God] is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why he is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining his side freely...
God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when he does.
When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over.
God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on his side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else—something it never entered your head to conceive—comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?
For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up.
That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not.
Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.
He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
Brothers and sisters, the coming of Christ is near. The ultimate epiphany is just around the corner. If we think otherwise, we tragically impoverish our souls. Most Christians think little of Christ’s return, or if they do think about the day they will see Christ, they associate it with the day of their death. This is a proper hope, but death is not a pleasant thing, and thus the expectation of seeing Christ is mixed with a certain fear of the dark veil. But it is not so with his second coming. It is all joy! And that singular joy is meant to be a boon [a blessing] to our souls.
The end of
and of sober mind
you may pray.
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The following article is
a reflection on a single verse
in Revelation about the coming
of the Lord Jesus.
It's written by Horatius Bonar,
a Scottish hymn-writer
from the 1800s.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells
a parable about ten virgins
waiting for their groom,
to help us think about whether
we are ready for the day
This sermon, preached
many years ago, engagingly
challenges us today
as it explains Jesus' parable.
But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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.