Step 13: The Disciple Looks for the Lord's Return and Prepares for the Judgment Seat of Christ

The Lord Jesus clearly said, “I will come again” (John 14:3).   In His parable of the absent king who returned to have a reckoning with the servants for whom he gave “ talents,” the Lord effectively foretold that He too would return (Luke 19:15).   When Jesus returns, He will both judge His defectors and His faithful servants.   Before ascending to Heaven, following His resurrection, angels announced, “The Son of Man shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go” (Acts 1:11).   He ascended from Mount Olivet and will return to this same spot (Acts 1:12; Zech 14:3-4).   He will come with ten thousands of His saints following (Jude 14).   Coming with His saints is not the same as coming for His saints (I Thess. 4:13-18).   This event, “the Rapture,” is not the same as the earlier event, the Revelation (public manifestation of the coming Messiah).   He promised, “Surely I come quickly” (Rev. 22:7, 12).   The disciple’s response is, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).  

 

When will this be?     He said, “No man knows the day or the hour” (Matt. 25:13; 26:36-42).   He will come as a “thief in the night,” unexpectedly (I Thess. 5:2).   Since we do not know exactly when He will return, we should be watching for His appearance (Matt. 25:13; Mark 13:35; Luke 12:46).   The true disciple will be doing this daily, awaiting the imminent return of the Lord.  

 

In connection with His coming (immediately prior), there will be an evaluation of the believer’s life and service at the Judgment Seat of Christ.   This is for the purpose of recognition and rewards, as well as a realization of loss because of misused, careless living as a Christian (Rom. 14:10; II Cor 5:10).   This is not a judgment for sins because Christ has paid for these by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26; I John 1:7).   We will never be condemned because of these sins ( Rom.8:1).   Sins of the unsaved are to be judged after the Millennial Reign of Messiah at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15).  

 

Due to these solemn coming events, each true disciple will be daily evaluating his or her own life as to conformity with God’s will.   If we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged (I Cor. 11:31-32) and disciplined here accordingly (Heb. 12:5-11).  John 13:17 says, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

 

The Lord commanded that we be on the alert at all times, watching for His return (Matt 24:42‑46).   “We do not know the day or the hour” (Matt 25:13; Mark 13:32).   It can be at any time.   The committed believer will do this and not be among the many who will lack this faith (Luke 18:8).   The last prayer of the Bible says, “Come Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).

 

“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them!” (John 13:17).