Come, follow Jesus!
(the real Jesus)

ONLINE EDITION
The Gospel
in simple terms
for nonbelievers
and new believers

view/save as PDF
also available as a
paperback book

Come Follow Jesus - the real Jesus
Buy printed book from publisher
Buy from Amazon.com

Home
Jesus said, "Come, follow me."
How can you follow Jesus?
"But I'm a sinful person, not fit to be a follower of Jesus!"
Your new life as a follower of Jesus
Find fellowship with other followers of Jesus
Your prayer life
Know your Bible
Your service to God
"Jezebel" in the churches
"If we deliberately keep on sinning . . ."
Why believe the Bible?
Who is Jesus?
What did Jesus teach?
What is life really all about
Angels and demons
Gray areas, mysteries and religious authorities
What Jesus revealed about life after death
'But my relatives won't like it if I follow Jesus!'
Watching for Christ's return
How I came to follow Jesus: the testimony of David A. Reed
Why this book?
Dedication, copyright, ISBN & Scripture references
Contact

Come, follow Jesus! (the real Jesus)
online edition of the book by David A. Reed
The Gospel in simple terms for nonbelievers and new believers.
How to become a follower of Jesus Christ, and live as Jesus commanded

Home  |   Jesus said, "Come, follow me."  |   How can you follow Jesus?  |   "But I'm a sinful person, not fit to be a follower of Jesus!"  |   Your new life as a follower of Jesus  |   Find fellowship with other followers of Jesus  |   Your prayer life  |   Know your Bible  |   Your service to God  |   "Jezebel" in the churches  |   "If we deliberately keep on sinning . . ."  |   Why believe the Bible?  |   Who is Jesus?  |   What did Jesus teach?  |   What is life really all about  |   Angels and demons  |   Gray areas, mysteries and religious authorities  |   What Jesus revealed about life after death  |   'But my relatives won't like it if I follow Jesus!'  |   Watching for Christ's return  |   How I came to follow Jesus: the testimony of David A. Reed  |   Why this book?  |   Dedication, copyright, ISBN & Scripture references

<   PREVIOUS         NEXT   >

Watching for Christ’s return

 


After his death and resurrection, Jesus appeared alive to his followers over the course of some weeks.  Then, as they watched, he rose into the sky until he disappeared from their sight.  Two angels told Jesus’ followers,

“‘You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.’” —Acts 1:11


Jesus himself spoke often to the disciples about his return, his second coming.  It will not be like his humble birth in a barn or his submissive death on the cross.  Rather, Jesus said he will return with great power and glory,

“‘Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  Then he will send out his angels, and will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.’                                                                         —Mark 13:26-27


Jesus will return as King of the kingdom of God.  When he was put on trial before the high court of the Jews, and the high priest demanded to know whether Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God,

“Jesus said to him, ‘You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.’ —Matthew 26:64


Jesus knew the Jewish religious leaders would understand this to be a reference to the book of Daniel, where the prophet wrote,

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  There was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”      —Daniel 7:13-14


Jesus devoted a significant portion of his teaching to the subject of his return.  Many of his parables are devoted to this theme, describing how people would be caught by surprise, and would be rewarded or punished at that time.  You may wish to read, for example, the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the talents, and the parable of the sheep and the goats—all found in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew—and the parable of the faithful and wise servant at the end of the twenty-fourth chapter.


Jesus encouraged us to

“‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 

. . . be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.’”   —Matthew 24:42-44 NIV


We can “be ready” by living the way the Bible teaches us to live, and we can “keep watch” by eagerly praying for Christ’s return and by paying attention to world events that point to the imminence of his coming.  Which events?  When Jesus told them about the coming destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, his disciples asked him, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3)  Jesus answered them with a lengthy discussion of future world events, recorded for us in Matthew chapters 24-25, Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21. 


After speaking about armies surrounding and destroying Jerusalem, and the Jewish people being scattered worldwide, Jesus went on to speak of future events that would lead up to his return in power:

“‘There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.’”                                             —Luke 21:23-28


The Apostles also elaborated on the end times in their letters found in the New Testament.  And the Old Testament prophets wrote at length on these matters, too.


It would take a whole book to discuss these prophecies adequately, and their relation to events down through history and in today’s world.  I have, in fact, addressed the end times prophecies in my book LEFT BEHIND Answered Verse by Verse and in the online version of that book that can be read for free at http://www.LeftBehindAnsweredVerseByVerse.com — as well as on my web sites http://www.BeastsOfRevelation.com   http://www.JerusalemVerses.com   http://www.BlueHelmetsToJerusalem.com   http://www.1260days.com   http://www.ProphecyTimeline.com   http://www.BibleForetoldHolocaust.com   http://www.WW7.com and http://www.TheGreatTribulation.net


There is considerable controversy among Christians as to how to interpret the various end times prophecies, and just how the foretold events will unfold.  As was the case with those who were watching for the Jewish Messiah’s appearing back in the first century, and who were surprised to see how Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies, we may all be surprised to see how the end times prophecies will actually be fulfilled, and when.  But even a simple reading of the Bible gives those who are keeping watch good reason to believe that Jesus will return very soon.


We can learn, too, from God’s past interventions in human affairs when mankind’s behavior deteriorated to the point that God forcefully put a stop to it:  the flood in Noah’s day, the destruction of immoral Sodom and Gomorrah, and God’s intervention to stop the construction of the tower of Babel.  (See Genesis chapters 6-8, 11 and 18-19.)  Has our world today reached the level of violence that prompted God to destroy the pre-flood world?  Are people today behaving like the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah?  Has our technological advancement resulted in attitudes like those of the people who were building the tower of Babel?  Then we have further reason to be in eager expectation of Christ’s return.


Developments in the Middle East over the past few decades appear to have set the stage for prophesied events that could not take place without a Jewish Israel having been restored and a Jewish Jerusalem becoming powerful in the region.  And without a United Nations organization and a restored Jewish Jerusalem, how could Zechariah’s prophecy ever come true, that the nations of the earth will unite to attack?

“One day all the nations on earth will come together to attack Jerusalem.  . . . I will bring all the nations together to fight Jerusalem.  . . . Then the LORD will go to war against those nations.”           —Zechariah 12:3; 14:2-3 NCV


This appears to describe the same war as the battle of Armageddon foretold by the Apostle John in the book of Revelation:

“These evil spirits are the spirits of demons, which have power to do miracles.  They go out to the kings of the whole world to gather them together for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.  . . . to the place that is called Armageddon in the Hebrew language.” —Revelation 16:14-16 NCV


Could we imagine the United Nations mobilizing to enforce its resolutions concerning Jerusalem?  That might well fit the scenario described by John and by Zechariah.  There are various theories and interpretations circulating in the churches today as to just when and how Christ will return, and what will happen on earth as the day approaches.  Will one of these theories prove to be correct?  Or will Jesus surprise all of us?  Only time will tell.  Meanwhile, we need to follow Jesus’ advice:

“‘Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.’”—Mark 13:33 NKJV


<   PREVIOUS         NEXT   >