Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (NKJV)
The Second Coming of Christ is a major topic in Scripture. Indeed, it was promised to the disciples at the very moment when the Lord Jesus was disappearing from their sight and they hadn’t even really had time to begin to digest all that He had said to them in the 40 days He had been with them after His resurrection.
In Acts 1:9-11, we read, Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
There is one difference. When Jesus left this world, it was a private affair. Only the eleven saw Him leave. When He comes back, it will be very public.
Every eye shall see him.
Before fairly recent technology, it wasn’t seen how this could happen. Now, with all the electronic devices, the internet, and the ubiquitous IPhone, it becomes more clear. Still, there are places where these things aren’t available. Though I won’t be dogmatic about it and mean no disrespect to Him, my own view is that He’ll orbit the earth once or twice on His way in to this world. There have been some who have taken exception to this idea.
However it happens, I believe that what’s left of the world will come to a standstill as its King comes to take His rightful place among those whose last remark about Him was, “We have no king but Caesar,” John 19:15.
Even they who have pierced Him (emphasis added).
A common view, perhaps the majority view, is that God is done with Israel as a nation. The church has taken her place and all those OT promises to Israel are somehow “spiritually fulfilled” in and to the church. Certainly, there’s nothing in our verse in Revelation that indicates anything about Israel’s spiritual condition at or as a result of our Lord’s return. If it weren’t for other Scriptures, it might easily be said that Israel will only be judged and condemned for her rejection of her Messiah.
One of those OT Scriptures which casts light on this subject is Zechariah 12:10,11. There God says, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplications; then they will look of Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem….”
To strengthen and clarify His statement, God continues in 13:1, “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.”
This is when, and how, all Israel will be saved, Romans 11:26. This doesn’t mean every Jew that’s ever lived, as some say that we believe, but only those Jews alive at that time who have gone through the judgment of their King.
“the judgment of their King”!?
We read of this in Ezekiel 20:33-38, “As I live,” says the LORD God, ” surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the LORD God.
“I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel.”
Then God goes on to say that every Jew in the land will then serve Him, vs. 39-44.
This event sheds some light on Matthew 25:31-46, the judgment of nations, when the Lord Jesus, on the throne of His glory, v. 31, judges those nations on the basis of how they have treated “His brethren.” Those who believe that the Gospel is about nothing more than doing something about social ills take the references to clothing and feeding simply to mean that we’re supposed to take care of the poor and homeless.
While it’s true that Scripture does indeed tell us to take care of the poor and needy, that’s not what Matthew 25 is about.
Joel 3:1, 2 tells us what it is about. There God says, “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem” [at which time Ezekiel tells us He will judge them and “purge out the rebels.” Having done that] “I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel” (emphasis added). These are the “brethren” to which our Lord refers in Matthew 25.
And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him.
Revelation indicates that when our Lord returns to this world, there won’t be many people left. We’ll get into this as we get further into the study. And those who are left will not be happy to see Him.
Remember, while Matthew tells us that some nations will care for and protect Jewish people, Zechariah 14 tells us that the armies of the other nations have gathered against Jerusalem and have apparently conquered it. It seems that most of, if not all, Jerusalem lies in ruins and her people have been subjected to terrible atrocities. When it seems that anti-Semitism has won, and Israel has finally been destroyed, suddenly her Lord will appear. Along with some other things, what we mentioned above will happen. Things will finally be set right – things over which politics and mere religion have no power. Indeed, politics and mere religion are and will be the cause of most of these troubles.
Even so, Amen.
While what happens in this world affects the true believer, even at its very best this world has no hope for him or her. This world can never be “home” for the true believer. If we understand this, then we must also understand that the only hope we have is in the return of the Lord Jesus. This is regardless of what we believe will happen when He returns.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.