WHY CHRIST CAN RETURN AT ANY MOMENT
• 1 Corinthians 1:7 – “awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
• 1 Corinthians 16:22– ”Maranatha.” “Mar” (“Lord”), “ana” (“our”), and “tha” (“come”), meaning “our Lord, come.” The Arabic greeting implies an eager expectation.
• Philippians 3:20 – “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”
• Philippians 4:5 – “The Lord is near.”
• 1 Thessalonians 1:10– ”to wait for His Son from heaven,”
• 1 Thessalonians 5:6 – “so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”
• 1 Timothy 6:14 – “that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
• Titus 2:13 – “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;”
• Hebrews 9:28 – “so Christ… will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
• James 5:7-9 – “Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord… for the coming of the Lord is near… behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.”
• 1 Peter 1:13 – “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
• Jude 21 – “waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”
• Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20 – “I am coming quickly!” This means that Christ could come at any moment, quickly without warning.
• Revelation 22:17, 20 – “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’” “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
It is significant that all of the above passages relate to the Rapture and speak of the Lord’s coming as something that could occur at any moment, that it is imminent. These passages could only be true if the New Testament is teaching an imminent return. This is why believers are waiting for a person — Jesus Christ — not just an event or series of events such as those related to the Tribulation leading up to Christ’s Second Advent in which He returns to the earth and remains for His millennial reign. In contrast, Second Coming passages are often accompanied by events that must take place before the return. This is never the case with Rapture passages. Always, it is Christ Himself who could come at any moment. Gerald Stanton offers this insight: “The posttribulational view robs every generation of an imminent, and consequently of a comforting and purifying hope. It argues that, because the Rapture was not imminent in the first century, it is not imminent in any century, and it cannot be imminent now. The Antichrist and the Great Tribulation are ahead, and there is no basis for expecting Christ to come before such clearly scheduled events.”