Lesson 9: Jesus is Coming Again!
Jesus appeared on the earth for forty days after He rose from the dead. He was seen by over 500 people. Then He went back to Heaven. Now He is seated at the right hand of God the Father. He has all power in Heaven and on earth.
One day He is coming back to take us to be with Him. He said,
"In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2, 3)
How do we know that the Lord Jesus is coming again? We know because He said, "I will come again." For those of us who have received Jesus as our Savior, His coming will be a time of great joy. Why? Because He is coming to take us to be with Him — forever!
What happens when a believer dies?
The first believers were excited about the fact that the Lord Jesus was coming some day to take them to be with Him. Many of them thought that Jesus would come in their lifetime, and they were very sad when some of their loved ones died. They thought that those who had died would somehow miss out on the wonderful blessings when Jesus comes again. Let us see what happens when a believer dies.
The Bible tells us that the body is the "house" in which the soul lives. We can understand this because we live in a house. The house is not us; it is just the place where we live. Likewise, my body is not me; it is just the "house" in which I live.
When a believer dies, his soul, the real person, simply moves out of the "house" in which it has lived. The body is buried, but the soul goes immediately to be with Christ. The apostle Paul said that, for a believer to die, is "to depart, and to be with Christ." This is a "gain." It is far better than continuing to live in this world. Paul said, "For to me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21 ).
Why did Paul say that it was "gain" to die? Because to die is to be with Christ, and this is far better than being here.
When a Christian loved one dies, we are sorrowful because we love them and we miss them. But we must remember that they are with Christ and this is far better than being here. And one day we will be with them, and we will never again have to say goodbye.
What will happen when Jesus comes?
When Jesus comes, all believers—both those who have died and those who are still living—will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The Bible says,
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ [the believers who have died] shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)
Believers who have died will be instantly raised from the dead.
The very first thing that will happen when Jesus comes is that the believers who have died will be raised from the dead. They will have glorious new resurrection bodies!
Believers who are living when Jesus comes will be instantly changed.
God is letting us in on a strange and wonderful secret. When Christ comes, there will be a trumpet blast from the sky, and all believers who have died will suddenly become alive, with new bodies that will never be sick or die.
We who are still alive when Jesus comes will suddenly be changed. We, too, will be given new resurrection bodies. Our bodies will be instantly changed and made like Christ's glorious resurrection body. The apostle Paul said,
"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [with new resurrection bodies], and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52)
All believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
The third wonderful event is that all believers will be caught up to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. All of this will happen in a moment of time. We will be taken instantly to Heaven with the Lord Jesus. We will not need space suits or space ships. The Lord Jesus Himself will take us to Heaven instantly.
What about those who are not saved?
When Jesus comes, what will happen to those who have never taken Him as their Savior? They will be left behind to face a time of great trouble on earth like no one has ever seen before. There will be devastating earthquakes, terrible wars, horrible diseases, and millions of people starving to death. Jesus said,
"For then shall be great tribulation [a time of great trouble], such as was not since the beginning of the world…" (Matthew 24:21)
I am sure that you understand now why it is so important for you to tell your friends and loved ones about the Lord Jesus. We want them to go with us to be with the Lord Jesus and not be left behind to face this terrible time on earth.
Believers will be judged
When the believers go to Heaven with the Lord Jesus, there will be a judgment called "the Judgment Seat of Christ."
This judgment is not to see whether or not we are saved. Every believer is saved forever. But believers will be judged to receive rewards. It is very important for us to understand the difference between salvation and rewards.
* Salvation is a gift and we have it now. We receive the gift of eternal life the moment we take Jesus as our Savior. The Bible says,
"For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
* Rewards are earned and we will receive them when we get to Heaven. Did you ever receive a reward for doing something well? God is going to reward His children for the good things they do for Him.
When we tell others about Jesus and show them how they can be saved, God will reward us for this.
Remember, salvation is a gift and we have it now. Rewards are earned, and we will receive them when we get to Heaven.
How do we earn rewards?
We earn rewards by faithfully serving the Lord Jesus. The Bible speaks of some very special rewards for those who serve the Lord Jesus faithfully. They are called "crowns."
There are five beautiful crowns which will be given to believers as rewards.
The Crown of Rejoicing...
for those who win others to Christ. This is sometimes called "the soul-winner's crown." (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
The Crown of Righteousness...
for those who look for and love Christ's return. (2 Timothy 4:8)
The Crown of Glory...
for those who faithfully teach and preach God's Word. (1 Peter 5:4)
The Incorruptible Crown...
for those who "run a good race" in the Christian life. (1 Corinthians 9:25)
The Crown of Life...
for those who suffer for the name of Christ, especially those who lay down their lives for Him. (Revelation 2:10)
Christ is coming soon!
We live in an exciting time. The most wonderful event is about to happen—the Lord Jesus is coming for His believers to take us to Heaven, to be with Him forever. Jesus said,
"Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Revelation 22:12)
Unsaved people may laugh and make fun of us, but God's Word is clear—Christ is coming for His believers. God's Word says,
"The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven." (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
"The dead in Christ shall rise." (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
"We shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:52)
"We shall be caught up." (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
"So shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
When will Christ come?
Does anyone know when Jesus will come? No, no one knows when He will come. Jesus said,
"Be ye therefore ready also: For the Son of Man comes at an hour when you think not." (Luke 12:40)
How can I be ready?
The Lord Jesus is coming soon! There are four words which tell us how we can be ready for His return. These words are: Love, Obey, Serve, and Look.
Love the Lord Jesus.
The Lord loves us with all His heart, and He wants us to love Him. There is nothing more important for us than loving the Lord Jesus with all our heart.
Obey the Lord Jesus.
Believers are obeyers! If we truly love the Lord Jesus, we will gladly obey Him. Jesus said,
"He that has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me: And he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love Him, and will manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21)
Serve the Lord Jesus.
The time to live for Jesus is now! The time to serve Him is now! Do you know some people who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior? Would you like to win them for Him? Then start praying for them. Tell them about the Savior. Tell them about these online Mailbox Club lessons. Help them to join the Mailbox Club.
Look for the Lord's coming.
When the Lord Jesus comes, He wants to find His believers "watching and waiting" for His return.
When you wonder whether or not you do a certain thing, ask yourself this question, "Would Jesus like to see me do this?" If you do not think He would like to see you do it, do not do it!