30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 NKJV
In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus confirms that the trials we see in Old Testament prophecy will indeed happen in the last days before Messiah’s return. It will be a time of great conflict in the land of Israel. Many nations will invade the Holy Land and surround Jerusalem, just as Nebuchadnezzar had done a century after Isaiah’s time. But this time, the Lord will intervene on their behalf, having promised through Isaiah never to chastise them again.
When Messiah Jesus returns to earth, He will usher in the eternal kingdom of heaven. Jerusalem will become the spiritual and governmental center of the world. Jesus, the final king in the royal line of David, will rule and reign over the entire world from His throne there.
The prophet Isaiah tells us that in the last days, nations who had not known the Lord will flock to Jerusalem to worship Jesus, drawn like a magnet to Israel see His glory as well as the abundant favor He will pour out upon that nation.
5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.” Isaiah 55:5 NKJV
The prophet Zechariah also speaks of this time following the Great Tribulation that leads up to Christ’s return.
16 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. Zechariah 11:16 NKJV
It will be a time of great restoration and peace. Both Isaiah and Micah tell us that global weapons of war will no longer be needed, and some will be converted into farming tools. Prosperity, equality, and justice will be the rule, dishonesty and violence will be put away.
We can hardly imagine this all happening today. It seems so otherworldly. But then again, it is of another world – God’s kingdom.
It is often difficult to think about eternity when we are so busy trying to scratch out a living to survive. It is easy to set the concept aside and not even give it consideration. After all, we have forty or fifty years of hard work to do here and that takes up so much of our time and energy.
But it is important to take time to consider God and our eternal future. As someone has said, eternity is not just trillions of years, it is trillions of trillions of years, and that is just the beginning. That helps to put life in perspective and shows the importance of using our limited time here wisely today.
Scripture tells us that most people who see the returning Christ will mourn. That is because they have hardly given God a thought throughout their days and will not be ready. Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25 about ten virgins who were awaiting a bridegroom in the night, a reference to Jesus’ return. Five of the virgins were wise and five foolish. The wise ones were spiritually ready, with oil to light their lamps when the bridegroom arrived in the night. The five foolish ones had not been ready, and when he came, they needed to go buy some oil. By the time they had purchased oil for their lamps, the bridegroom had already come and gone, accompanied by the five wise ones. It is so important to be ready for the Lord.
When Jesus comes and people finally come to their senses and see the truth, they will run, not walk, to be with Him. But it is not wise to wait. Christ is all around us today through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Father loves us and is reaching out to draw us to Himself. When we receive Christ in our hearts and believe that He died for us and that the Father raised Him from the dead, we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in our heart. We are sealed by Him for eternity as we seek to follow Him day by day. We know God is real by His presence within us and around us, and that His word and all His generous promises are true.
God tells us in His word that Jesus will return on the clouds of heaven one day. Do you believe HIm?
Father, we surrender to You and to Jesus. Confirm Your generous promises in our hearts and help us to be busy about Your work, even as we labor to do our own. Grant us strength, faith, and favor through the Holy Spirit, and seal us for the day when we will see Christ coming on the clouds of heaven. May that be a day of great joy and celebration for us, and not a day of mourning because we are not ready. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.