Gregg Nydegger column sig

Back for one time only — Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords. Appearing soon in the sky near you. Don’t miss it.

In fact, the Bible says no one who’s alive at Jesus’ Second Coming will miss it. “Behold, He’s coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7). “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

How loud will the angel’s voice be? It will be the shout heard ‘round the world. Plus, as the old song says, “When ol’ Gabriel blows his horn, he’ll let the whole world know it’s time for judgment morn.”

That’s a lot of noise.

But wait, there’s more. Jesus will return in blazing fire, enveloped in the glory of God and accompanied by thousands of His mighty angels. Try to imagine the sound of their voices growing into a crescendo as they declare, “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and Christ, and He’ll reign forever and ever.” Jesus knows how to make a spectacular entrance.

As we’ve discussed in prior columns, since His Ascension, Jesus has been at His Father’s side in Heaven. For two millennia, the resurrected Christ has fulfilled the role of eternal High Priest: mediating, interceding, advocating and providing prayer access for all believers in God’s presence.

Jesus has also been working hard to ensure our heavenly home is ready for our arrival. In John 14:3, Jesus promised His followers, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I’ll come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Jesus’ promise here alluded to Jewish wedding customs, and particularly, a betrothal period (a legally binding, contractually sealed engagement), when the groom-to-be returned to his father’s house to make preparations for his future bride to come live with him there. The Bible portrays Jesus as the Groom, and the Church as His bride.

However, also according to Jewish wedding customs, the betrothal period didn’t end until the groom’s father said everything was ready. That’s because the groom was still under the father’s authority, and because the groom would be bringing his bride back to the father’s house.

It wasn’t the groom’s decision for when to get his bride and bring her to her new home, nor his call about when the official wedding ceremony and feast would happen. It was the father’s command. When the father said it was time, then, and only then was it time.

How amazing that when we listen to the words of Jesus (the Bridegroom) talking about when He’ll return for His bride (the Church) Jesus followed that exact custom. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

Jesus acknowledged that, as the Son, He willingly submitted to the Father; that as the Son, He couldn’t just do what He wanted when He wanted. This is Jesus perfectly and symbolically fulfilling the place of the Bridegroom in a Jewish betrothal. Thus, when the time is right, when the Father says, “Go!” Jesus’ Second Coming will commence.

But until then, Jesus is hard at work in preparation, wanting everything to be perfect for our arrival. Jesus longs to come get us and bring us to His Father’s house.

When that day comes, when earthly time ends and eternity begins, when Jesus is revealed on the clouds as the King of kings and Lord of lords, if Christ isn’t our High Priest, Mediator, Intercessor and Savior, then He’ll be our Judge.

On that great and terrible day, if Jesus isn’t our Lord, if we’re not part of the Church — His bride — then He won’t be able to take us to the Heavenly place He’s prepared for all who are His.

Are you ready for the sound of the trumpet and the voice of the archangel? Are you ready to see Jesus returning in glory on the clouds? Is Jesus preparing a place for you?

When we acknowledge and confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, repent of our sins, and are baptized into the name of Jesus, we’re added to the Church, the Bride of Christ (Acts 2:38, 47). Are you betrothed to Jesus?

“Behold! I am coming soon!” Jesus declared. Even so come, Lord Jesus!

Gregg Nydegger is the evangelist at Christ’s Church at Monticello.