By Jim Gibson
The second coming of Jesus has fascinated and inspired Christians for almost two thousand years. That great Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul, referred to this momentous event as the “blessed hope” in Titus 2:13. After showing himself to his disciples for forty days after his resurrection, Jesus gathered them together at a familiar place close to Jerusalem called Olivet. The last time they had met together on this mount was on that fateful night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest there in the garden of Gethsemane. Unlike that night of despair and hopelessness, this meeting on the mount of Olivet was one filled with hope and promise. After giving last minute instructions to his disciples, Jesus was taken up from them in a “cloud”. While the disciples were looking up into heaven witnessing this glorious happening, two angels appeared and declared unto them these unforgettable words:
Ever since that historic day, Christians have been divided over the events that would follow Jesus’ promised return. Speculations have run rampant and even churches have been split because of the differences of opinion concerning this captivating topic. This paper will attempt to discuss some of the most widely held views, and hopefully, will present to the reader a clearer understanding of these future events. This writer believes that the best way to evaluate this much disputed topic is to consider those scriptures which are plain and forthright, and which speak directly to the topic in question, and to avoid those passages which are obscure and riddled with symbolism. With God’s help, this I will endeavor to do.