Is it true that Jesus could come today for believers? The Bible teaches this view, yet many people have voiced doubts concerning this belief. What does the Bible teach about our attitude to Christ’s coming?
Reason #1: Jesus Commanded It
First, Jesus commanded He would return at any moment. John 14:3 shares, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Jesus will return, taking His followers to be with Him in heaven with the Father.
Jesus has already fulfilled His promises to die and resurrect from the dead. His yet future promise to return for His people will certainly be fulfilled as well.
Reason #2: The Apostles Expected It
Second, the apostles lived like Jesus could return at any moment. Paul wrote, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 Paul added, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
This moment, known as the rapture (based on the Latin word rapturos meaning “caught up”), is taught as something that will take place at any moment, bringing God’s people to Him in heaven. We are called to be prepared for this moment and to expect it, just like the early believers.
Reason #3: The Times Anticipate It
Some people question why Jesus has waited so long to fulfill His promise to return. 2 Peter 3:8-9 explains, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” The Lord’s patience is for those who have yet to believe.
However, our world continues to point toward Jesus coming for His people at any moment. For example, many Bible prophecies predict the Jewish people residing in their homeland of Israel. The modern nation of Israel has now existed for 73 years, offering a period that fits the Bible’s prophetic timeline.
In addition, increased technologies and changes in governments point toward a time when the predictions of a global leader controlling commerce could soon take place. As Ezekiel 38 reveals, nations that will oppose Israel in the future closely resemble nations that stand against the nation today.
We don’t know when Jesus will return, but we know He will. We also know He can come at any moment. This should impact how we live today, following His ways and sharing Him with others (Matthew 28:18-20).