How Soon Is Jesus Coming Again?

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Gary Curtis

This is part one of a two-part article. Watch for part two, coming soon to

John the Revelator recorded Jesus’ repeated promise to come again. Not only did Jesus declare three times in the last chapter of John’s book of Revelation that He was coming again, but He also clarified that this future return would be “soon”:

— “’Behold, I am coming soon'” (Rev. 22:7a, BSB).

— “’Behold, I am coming soon'” (Rev. 22:12a).

— “’Yes, I am coming soon’” (Rev. 22:20b).

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Those declarations were recorded nearly 2,000 years ago, and even abiding and faithful followers might reasonably question just how soon Jesus’ “soon” return was intended to be. Apparently, it was and is not “immediate,” but maybe it was what theologians term “imminent.” This word underscores the certainty of Christ’s Second Coming (parousia in the Greek) in the future but with an uncertain timetable.

Disciples Question the Timing of End-Time Events

In Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus responded to key end-time questions from His disciples on the Mount of Olives during Holy Week, before His death, burial and Resurrection. He warned them of seeing “the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) … for then, there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Matt. 24:15b-16, 21, ESV). This period corresponds to the prophecies and timing of events found in Daniel 9:24-27, 11:31-39 and 12:1-13.

In verses 29-31 of Matthew 24, Jesus explained that “immediately after the tribulation of those days,” discerning disciples “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The book of Revelation reveals this tribulation will manifest as affliction, pressures and even physical persecution and martyrdom for some of His chosen or “elect” ones. 

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Jesus seems to say that some of His followers will still be alive and on earth during at least part of the tribulation period. They need to “watch” and be “ready” for such dramatic circumstances (Matt. 24:42-44). John the Revelator indicated the beast will be allowed to “make war on the saints and to conquer them” (13:7) until “the hour to reap has come” and “the harvest of the earth” is consummated (Rev. 14:14-16). 

The apostle Paul affirmed that though we may be oppressed, abused or even killed for our faith, neither “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” or even “death” can separate believers “from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35, 39). 

Ultimately, we will be victorious in the last days by relying on Jesus Christ’s sacrificial redemption on the cross as the Lamb of God (John 1:29-36; Rev. 5:6, 11-12), the effectiveness of Jesus’ blood and the authority of God’s Word (Rev. 12:10-11) and our confident assurance that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 13:8).

Let us add our voices to “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!'” (Rev. 5:13).

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Gary Curtis served for 27 years as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California. Since retirement in 2016, he has continued to blog at Gary and his wife live in Southern California and have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

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