How Will the Second Coming of Jesus Differ From His First?

What can Christians do to prepare?

By Megan Bailey

We all know about Jesus’ life on earth. He was born in a manger to Mary and Joseph, spent His life sharing the Word of God, then died heroically on the cross for the world’s sins. But His return to earth will look very different. The first time Jesus arrived on earth He went unnoticed, but when He returns the second time all eye will be looking toward heaven.

Matthew 24:30 shares with us the return of Jesus Christ. It says, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory”. When Jesus returns, it will be because He is set to judge the people of earth. Scripture says that people will begin to cry because they are scared of the judgement, unsure of where they stand with Jesus. Revelation 1:7 says “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him”.

Jesus first came to earth over 2,000 years ago, but the exact year and date are uncertain. He was born in a remote, humble stable in the town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:4). When Jesus comes again, nobody will know except the Lord. Not even the angels will be able to predict the date. Matthew 24:36 says “But of that a day and hour known, no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” He will also come to earth by coming down from the heavens (Acts 1:11, Mathew 24:30).

In His first coming He endured the mockery of men who despised Him for His goodness. Although He was the Son of God, He allowed them to put Him to death, that He might thereby provide salvation for the world. When He comes again, all mockery will cease for He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. He came the first time as the Lamb of God; He comes again as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Two thousand years ago the religious leaders shouted in scorn, “He saved others, but He can’t save himself!” (Matthew 24:42). The day is coming when the whole world will see Jesus as He really is. When that happens, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).

When Jesus was born, shepherds and wise men were there to welcome Him to earth. But when Jesus returns, it will be a spectacle for all of earth to see. Everyone, everywhere, will see Jesus at one time. Isaiah 40:5 says “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Scripture paints a picture of what His return may look like. Revelation 19:11-16 says “The heavens opened, and behold a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war…and the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations and He will rule them with a rod of iron…And on His robe and on His thigh, He has a name written, ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.’”

The major signs leading up to the second coming will be much different from the first. When Jesus was born, a star in the heavens shined bright. But when Jesus returns, we can expect tumultuous times. Matthew 24:6-13 tells us, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Jesus paid for our sins, and we can thank Him by repenting our sins, sharing the Word of God, being devout servants, and following His plan for us. To prepare for His second coming, we also need to repent. In the 11th chapter of Romans, Paul exclaims “God has not rejected His people, has He?” Then answers his own question saying “May it never be.” God has not forgotten us. He never has and He never will. Doctrine tells us that we should be baptized, stand up for our faith, and listen out of His voice. When we have Jesus in our hearts and truly believe in His teachings, we will be accepted into heaven. We have nothing to fear about His return, because we know we will be accepted into His kingdom.Megan Bailey is the Social Media Specialist and Content Producer for Beliefnet. She attended James Madison University where she received a degree in psychology.

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