12 November 2023: When will Jesus return? (part 3)

Bethel Baptist Church
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12 November 2023


“We are the Lord’s garden made up of beautiful flowers each one reflecting the beauty of the Lord in various ways with a pleasing and perfumed fragrance. Let’s stay close to the Lord so we may receive all that He has for us.”



Songwriters: Martin W. Sampson, Benjamin William Hastings, Dean Michael Ussher. For non-commercial use only.


When will Jesus Return?

As we have previously mentioned, there is a tension in the Scriptures between those texts that seem to point to the imminent return of Christ, e.g., in the last book of Scripture there are several,

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place … Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Revelation 1:1, 3

Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll … ‘Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done … He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Rev. 22:7, 12, 20

And, on the other hand there are Scriptures that speak of several signs that will take place before Jesus returns e.g., The Preaching of the Gospel to all Nations; The Great Tribulation; The Salvation of Israel. It is clear that the Lord, as He has inspired the various writers by the Holy Spirit, wants that tension to be there. How do we explain the fact that these NT writers wrote of Jesus’ imminent return? Wayne Grudem explains it thus:

“As for the texts that say Jesus is coming soon’, we must realise that biblical prophets often speak in terms of prophetic foreshortening’, which sees future events but does not see the intervening time before those events occur.”

Wayne Grudem

Grudem then quotes George Ladd:

“The prophets were little interested in chronology, and the future was always viewed as imminent … the distant is viewed through the transparency of the immediate. It is true that the early church lived in expectancy of the return of the Lord, and it is the nature of biblical prophecy to make it possible for every generation to live in expectancy of the end.”

George Ladd

I can remember when I was in India asking an Indian man for directions to a place I needed to get to. It was all “straight”, whether he pointed to the left, right or in fact straight ahead, and it was always, “just a few miles walk”, when it was actually a 12-15 mile walk, which was nothing to him who was used to walking everywhere and what to us would be a long distance. Peter reminds us that the Lord has a different perspective on time than we do,

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.

2 Peter 3:8-9

Quote of the week

“How sweet is rest after fatigue! How sweet will heaven be when our journey is ended.”

George Whitefield

Verse of the week

But in those days, following that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory”.

Mark 13:24-26

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, help us to live with the expectancy of Your Son’s imminent return. Enlighten us by Your Spirit so that we understand the signs of the times, in Jesus Christ, Amen