The passages below speak of the appearing, revelation, and coming of Christ. Were we to transliterate the Greek words in each verse below, we could speak of Christ’s epiphany (appearing), apocalypse (revelation), and parousia (coming). While these terms make for an interesting study, especially when used other passages, it encourages us first and foremost to see how their use equips us to be better “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13; cf. 1 Cor 1:7).
We should not question “the promise of his coming,” as do false teachers who do not recognize that Christ’s delay in coming is time given for more people to repent (2 Pet 3:4, 9). Rather, we should “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord…the coming of the Lord is at hand” (Jas 5:7–8).
Until Christ comes again, we should abide in Him “so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28). Towards that end, we should pray that we would “be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:23). Should we suffer for Him, we should “rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Pet 4:13; i.e., the glory of Christ).
We look forward to reuniting with deceased believers through the resurrection and rapture that accompany the return of Christ. Among the resurrected “at his coming” will be “those who belong to Christ” (1 Cor 15:23). Living believers “who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep” (1 Thess 4:15). Deceased believers are resurrected, and all are raptured and reunited in the air with the Lord (1 Thess 4:16–17). This event is “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him” (2 Thess 2:1).
When He does come again, we look forward to our glorification and are thus commanded to “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:13). We also anticipate that “the tested genuineness of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:7). Added to this praise and glory and honor is the reward for our ministry to others, which Paul describes for himself as the “hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming” (1 Thess 2:19).
Summarizing the above, we do not doubt but patiently wait for Christ to come again. Until then, we should abide in Him, suffer as God sees necessary, and live blamelessly before Him. Our hope is not just in Christ Himself, but also the many blessings His coming brings. We are reunited with the believing dead and raptured together to Him. Our faith is then praised, and we are rewarded for our service to God. What an amazing return this will be! This truly is our blessed hope!
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.