I must say, when it comes to eschatalogical positions, I am a panmillennialist (to borrow a term from a former pastor’s wife). In other words, I believe that “it will all pan out in the end.” Yuck yuck.
I don’t worry too much about how to interpret unfulfilled Old and New Testament prophecies. If anything, I shy away from dispensationalism and lean towards symbolic interpretations, but, frankly, I spend no time worrying about when Jesus will return.
But I always liked this passage about that occasion:
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ESV)
I think it would be pretty cool to see Jesus return the way He left: on the highway to Heaven. And being caught up with Him is fairly interesting, too – though I find myself wanting to symbolize on that point.
But as far as Jesus’ return, I can’t deny this eyewitness scene in Acts:
And when [Jesus] had said these things, as [the apostles] were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11 ESV)
Jesus really did ascend to the Father.
And He really will descend to take us to the Father. And dead or alive, it appears we’ll join him on the journey right up through the clouds.
Better than any ride at Disneyland or Dollywood!
And the best part?
No matter how we get there, “we will always be with the Lord.”
Forever and ever. Amen.
Nothing beats that.
Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 19:1 – 20:18, Psalm 119: 1-8, Proverbs 27:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).