What does the Bible teach about Christ’s return to earth?

When Jesus said He was coming:

Matthew 23: 36 – “…All these things shall come upon this generation. (1st century)
The Apostles asked, what would be the signs of His coming. Matt. 24: 3
Jesus answered: Matthew 24: 4 – 26
-the signs of His coming
1) when many false prophets and false christs arise deceiving many
Matthew 24: 4-5, 11-12, 23-26
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24: 4-5
And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many . . . .” Matthew 24: 11-12
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.”                             Matthew 24: 23-26
2) when wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes abound        Matthew 24: 6-7
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.” Matthew 25: 6-7
3) when they would be afflicted, betrayed, hated, and killed          Matthew 24: 9-10
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”                                                                    Matthew 24: 9-10
4) when many would leave the faith                                                    Matthew 24: 12
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
5) when the Gospel is preached in all the world                                Matthew 24: 14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”                                                  Matthew 24: 14

6) when they saw the abomination of desolation in which they
should hurriedly flee from Judea to the mountains                          Matthew 24: 15-20
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (“whoso readeth, let him understand:) Matthew 24: 15
7) when there would be great tribulations that they had never known
Matthew 24: 21 -22
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.Matthew 24: 21-22

Jesus answered in Luke 21: 20 – 21
8) when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed about with armies
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.”                                                                                                                                 Luke 21: 20-21

Note 1: One must ask, who was Jesus talking to when He said “ye” (you)?
Note 2: History tells us that Judea was attacked by the Romans in the mid 60’s AD
and Jerusalem completely destroyed in AD 70. * (Hill, page 22)

* (Christianity’s Great Dilemma. Glenn L. Hill. Moonbeam Publications, Lexington, Ky.

When Jesus said He was coming: (continued)
Like the gospel of Matthew, the gospel of Mark also recorded what Jesus told His disciples when He would return and what signs they were to look for.
                                                                  Mark 13: 5 – 37
In addition, the gospel of Luke also records the words spoken by Christ to His disciples telling them the signs of His second coming.
Luke 21: 5 – 36
All three of these gospel passages on the signs of the return of Christ are referred to as the Olivet Discourse.

Matt. 24: 5, 11  false prophet, false messiahs
The apostle Paul said to the Ephesians in Acts 20: 29 -31 watch for grievous wolves who would enter in among them, and again in II Corinthians 11: 13, he said, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” Also, in the following passages, these false prophets are addressed: II Timothy 2: 16-18; II Timothy 3: 13; II Peter 2: 1-3; I John 2: 18-19; I John 4: 1; II John 1:7. 

We, also, in our times have false prophets, but the above references was for their times, the first century church.

Matthew 24: 6       rumors of wars
Tacitus, a Roman historian of the first century recorded that the times were “full of calamities, horrible with battles, rent with sedition, savage in peace itself.”                          (Meek, p. 104)**
AD 43 Roman conquest of Britain begins

AD 42- 43, 41-54 Wars in Asia, India, Middle East

AD 51 Roman conquest of Wales

AD 66 – 70 the Roman seize of Jerusalem

Matthew 24: 7         famines, pestilences, earthquakes
-There was great famine during the reign of Claudius in 41-54 AD.
-When the Romans surrounded Jerusalem, there was great famine.
-There were earthquakes in the Roman world including Jerusalem during the first century.

Matt. 24: 8-10   afflicted, betrayed, hated, and killed
-The Christians suffered much persecution in the first century by the Jewish hierarchy and under the Romans, especially under Nero.
-Even among those professing to be Christians was betrayal & hatred

Matt. 24: 12     many would leave the faith
-In I Timothy 4: 1, the apostle said, “. . . the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils:”

Matt. 24: 14    the gospel was preached in all the world
-The Romans considered Rome to be both city and world. The empire stretched from Great Britain to West Asia to North Africa.
-The apostle Paul said in Romans 10:18, “. . . their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world, and again in Colossians 1: 5-6, “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, wereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world . . . .” and in Colossians 1: 23, ” and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven . . . .”

Matt. 24: 15-20    the abomination of desolation
“The Zealots, of whom Eleazar became leader, took over the temple and were thus the abomination of desolation that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24: 15.”                                         (Geoff Wright. Daniel’s 70th Week Revelation.)

Eleazar was the son of Ananias and the governor of the temple. He “defied the authority of the high priests and became the man of lawlessness and the son of destruction.” (Geoff) He kicked out the high priests from the temple. This was the sign Jesus spoke of that God’s people were to flee the city, and they safely did. For a fuller explanation, read on Kindle, Geoff Wrights essay, Daniel’s 70th week Revelation.
Matt. 24: 21 -22          great tribulations
-There was much famine and terrible behaviors inside the walls of
Jerusalem while the Roman army encircled it; then, once the Romans
were inside most were savagely killed and many taken off into slavery.

Luke 21: 20-21   Jerusalem was compassed about with Roman armies
-The Romans completely encircled Jerusalem in which none of the people could escape.
In summary, Christ said:
1) “He would come during the time frame of God’s judgment on the nation of
Judah, which judgments reached their climax in AD 70.” (Hill, p. 48)
2) “His coming would occur in the generation of the people to whom He
preached when He was on Earth.” (Hill, p. 48)
“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste
of death, til they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Matt. 16: 28
** CHRISTIAN HOPE THROUGH FULFILLED PROPHECY. Charles S. Meek. Faith Facts Publishing. Spicewood, Texas, 2013.


THE WORKS OF JOSEPHUS. Josephus, Flavius. (Translated by William Whiston). Hendrickson Publishers. Peabody, Massachusetts, 1988.

Josephus was a Jewish historian who was well educated and who followed the “Pharisaic form of Judaism”. He tried to warn the Jews about revolting against the Romans. Having failed in that endeavor, he became a commander in the Jewish army and served in Galilee. He was captured by the Romans at Jotapata. Gaining respect for the Romans, he helped them against the Jews but tried to persuade the Jews to end their revolt, though unsuccessfully. After the end of the Jewish revolt, he went to Rome with Titus, son of Vespasian, who had befriended him. There, he took their family name, Flavius, and began to record the Jewish history and the Jewish revolt, of which he was an eye-witness. It would seem that God preserved the writings of Josephus as a testimony of His prophesied judgment against Israel in which future generations could have an accurate account of the horror that took place there.