“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 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. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.Matthew 24:29-31 ESV
This passage belongs to the two chapters (24-25) which are often called the “Olivet Discourse. It is designed to provide his disciples a prophetic overview of events that will take place in the near and far future.
The coming of the Son of man will be characterized by (1) cosmic renewal, (2) powerful and glorious appearing, and (3) discriminating gathering.
- Christ’s return equals cosmic renewal. This passage can be understood figuratively or literally. Regardless of your interpretation, it is clear that these will be “earth-shattering” events, through which all creation will be radically transformed, a cosmic renewal at the return of Christ.
- Christ will be revealed as the eternal Ruler and King of the kingdom of God, designated by the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:13–14) to receive worship and to exercise dominion over the earth, in every tribe, tongue, and nation.
- Christ will return with His Angels, he will not only gather to himself all believers alive on the earth (the militant church) but will also bring with Him all the redeemed who are in heaven (triumphant church). From this, it is implied that there are those who will not be gathered unto Christ but away from Him.
For the believers, this is our glorious hope, because Christ will gather us unto Himself. All will mourn for joy because all the believers will see Christ as He is.
If you are not yet in Christ, know this: Christ will certainly come again, not to save but to judge the living and the dead. Trust in Him before it’s too late.
To God be the glory!