A Singular Event

The New Testament promises that Jesus will return to the earth at the “end” of the present age. His glorious “arrival…on the clouds” will result in the judgment of the ungodly, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the arrival of the New Creation, and the termination of death. Thus, it will be an event of great finality.

In his parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus portrayed the “Son of Man” arriving at the “end of the age” when he will divide humanity into two groups - The just and the unjust. The “wheat” will be gathered in the “barn,” while the “tares” will be tied into bundles and burned.


In the parable, the wheat represents the “sons of the kingdom,” the tares symbolize the “sons of the evil one,” and the “harvest” of both groups will occur at the “end of the age” - (Matthew 13:24-30).

Likewise, the parable of the sheep and goats pictures all nations gathered before Jesus for judgment. “Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” The “sheep” will inherit the “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” but the “goats” are cast into "everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Thus, the first group receives everlasting life, and the second suffers “everlasting punishment” - (Matthew 25:31-46).

In his ‘Olivet Discourse,’ he taught that when the “Son of Man comes” he will be accompanied by his angels. All nations will mourn at his arrival, and he will send his angels to “gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” - (Matthew 24:29-31).

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul states that at his “arrival,” dead Christians will be resurrected and gathered along with those believers who are still alive to “meet him in the air” as he descends from heaven.

His “arrival” will be heralded by “the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God,” and from that point forward, believers will be with him “forevermore.”


Instead of “wrath,” God has appointed believers to attain salvation through Jesus. In contrast, the “day of the Lord will arrive with sudden destruction” upon the unprepared, and “they shall in no way escape.” The same day will bring salvation to the faithful but destruction to unbelievers - (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-7).

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle writes that the righteous will be vindicated when Jesus is “revealed from heaven with his angels,” but their persecutors and all “who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” will pay the ultimate penalty - “Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”

On that same day, Jesus will be “glorified in his saints.” Once again, at his return, the righteous are vindicated and the wicked are condemned - (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Paul labels this one event the “arrival” or parousia of Jesus, the “day of the Lord,” and the “revelation of Jesus from heaven.” Regardless of which term he applies, on that day Jesus will gather his saints and judge their persecutors, including the “man of lawlessness” - (2 Thessalonians 2:1-9).

In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes that at Christ’s “arrival,” the righteous dead will be resurrected, the kingdom of God consummated, and the “last enemy, death” will be terminated. All this he categorizes under the term “THE END,” singular (“then comes the end”). Furthermore, on that day, the saints will inherit the kingdom and receive “immortality” - (1 Corinthians 15:20-57).

Peter links the judgment of the wicked, the dissolution of the existing creation, and the arrival of the New Creation to the “arrival” of Jesus, all events that will occur on the “day of God” - (2 Peter 3:3-13).

The book of Revelation also connects the judgment of the wicked to the coming of Jesus. On that day, “every eye will see him” and “all the tribes of the earth will wail because of him.”

The “day of the Lord” will be the day of His “wrath” against the wicked. It will be characterized by great celestial and terrestrial upheaval, and the victory of the “Lamb” will culminate in the New Heavens and New Earth – (Revelation 1:7, 6:12-17, 11:15-19, 16:12-21, 19:17-21).

The New Testament tells a consistent story. The one and final “arrival” of Jesus will mean the final judgment, the resurrection of the dead, both terrestrial and celestial upheaval, the consummation of God’s kingdom, the cessation of death, the final overthrow of all God’s enemies, and the New Creation wherein righteousness prevails forevermore. And thus, that day will arrive with a grand note of finality.



The Living Word

The Suffering Servant