The Glorious Appearing of Christ
“That thou keep his commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords” - (2 Tim.4:14,15).
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” – (Tit.2:13).
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”- (Rev.19:11-16).
The glorious appearing of Jesus Christ to earth the second time is the most exciting event in Bible prophecy. What a thrilling scene this is. Just to read it makes goose pimples come out all over me. This is the great climatic event toward which all things in this world are moving today – the glorious second coming of Christ to this earth to establish His kingdom. It is the consummation of all history. (Rev.19) is the most graphic picture of Christ’s second coming found in the Bible. All the born again saints of God have been eagerly looking for it for 2000 years. It is our blessed hope and we long for it. We look forward to meeting our savior face to face, the one who died for us on the cross.
Christ returns to take over the kingdoms of the world and make them His own. This is the event the saints have been praying for, for two millenniums – “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” – (Mt.6:10,13). This is the event of which saints have sung about for twenty centuries in happy anticipation.
The contrast to His first coming and appearance is stupendous – it is absolutely remarkable. That first time He came to be our Savior, humbly, to be born in a manger. He suffered Himself to be abused and beaten, and spit upon and scourged and crucified and to shed His blood for atonement for sinners. He demonstrated God’s grace and mercy towards sinners. The next time our Lord will not come in humility riding upon an ass and having salvation, but He will come in power and great glory riding a white war horse. His glorious appearing will significantly counterpoint His humble birth and life and death two thousand years before. His coming will be the final manifestation of the wrath of God upon a sinful Christ-rejecting world. He puts down the Antichrist and his armies and all unrighteousness and rules the earth as Emperor in righteousness. There will be peace on earth as nations will not make war any more.
The glorious appearance of Christ is not to be confused with His coming for the church at the translation or rapture in the air. In (Rev.19) He comes to earth in awful judgment upon His enemies who will be made His footstool. There are two phases of the second coming of Christ. First He will come ‘for’ His true church to take all believers out before the tribulation. This is done in secret without appearing to anyone. He will come again visibly about seven years later at the end of the great tribulation ‘with’ His church army to set up His kingdom on earth at Armageddon. Christ never comes to earth at the rapture, only in the air.
There are two classes of passages in the Bible which concern the return of the Lord. The first one, the rapture, speaks of a secret coming, whereas the second speaks of His ‘appearing’ in public when everyone shall see Him – ‘Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him…” – (Rev.1:7). These two groups of passages can never be harmonized unless we distinguish between the two events, the secret rapture before the Tribulation and the public appearing at the end of the Tribulation. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars, shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” – (Mt.24:29,30).
We are waiting eagerly for an imminent rapture which could occur at any time. We don’t know the day or hour. But we do know the time of Christ’s glorious appearing – it’s at the end of the tribulation at the battle of Armageddon. Christ wants His bride, the Church, to share in His glorious appearing – “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” – (Col.3:4). We don’t look forward to wrath, but rapture, when we return with Christ in glorified bodies. He comes as a thief in the night to the unbelievers but not to the tribulation saints at Armageddon – (Rev.16:15,16) (1 Thes.5:1-9).
The weapon of Christ’s army is strange indeed. The heavenly armies do not make war themselves, they have no weapons. The Lord alone has the weapon – it’s the sword of the Lord – only our General will fight for us. He has no carnal weapons but only the all- powerful Word of God that proceeds out of His mouth. At His first coming the sword of the Lord’s word was the gospel of salvation and the amazing grace of God. At His second coming the sword of the Lord Jesus’ mouth will be the sword of the Lord’s vengeance and judgment. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds)” – (2 Cor.10:3,4). “The sword of the spirit, which is the word of God” – (Eph.6:17). “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” – (Heb.4:12).
The Word of God makes plain that God so loved the world that He gave His beloved Son on the cross and that all who avail themselves of God’s grace are saved and have eternal life and the wrath of God no longer abides upon them. On the other hand, the same Word of God says plainly that those who spurn God’s mercy seat and grace must experience His judgment without mercy. But even in the tribulation wrath God remembers mercy and a “great multitude” are saved. How foolish it is to rest in the portions of the Word of God that speaks of the love of God and reject the portions that deal with His righteous judgment. This present hour reveals the grace of God and suspended judgment. The tribulation will give conclusive evidence that God brings every evil work into judgment and that those who spurn His grace must experience His wrath. So we, the church, watch for the imminent rapture that comes secretly. Some of us are called to be ‘watchmen’ so that we can watch for and edify the church – “And watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” – (Eph.6:18). We watch and warn about the rapture and the tribulation and then the glorious appearing of Christ at Armageddon.
We preach continually the
gospel of the kingdom and the grace of God in Christ Jesus, as our Savior has
taught us – “Preaching the gospel of the
kingdom” – (Mt.4:23). And again in (Mt.24:14) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for
a witness unto all nations; and then
shall the end come.” When you believe the gospel of Christ and are born
again, you are destined to rule and reign during the
Are you saved by Jesus Christ and born again by the Holy Spirit? Repent of your sins and believe on Christ in your heart by faith for remission and forgiveness of sins and you will be saved. Do not spurn the love of God and His marvelous, amazing grace of His beloved Son on the cross. It is the most precious gift in the universe – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” – (Eph.2:8). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” – (I Jn.4:9). We are offered eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you reject Him, the second death in the lake of fire for eternity will be your destiny. Be saved today and appear with Christ at His glorious appearance to earth.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla-
Would love to hear from you!