And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.* Mark 13:26-27
There are many things to learn from these two verses. The truth that the Lord has not yet returned is clearly shown. Jesus will return after the gospel is published among all nations. He will be seen when He returns. He will return after the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet is observed. When He does come, He will gather His elect to Himself. (Romans 8:38-39)
He will not return until there are days of affliction, “such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.”* So we know He may appear very soon, but He has not yet made His second appearance.
Why was Christ so specific about His second coming? I believe it was to prevent us from falling victim to heresy, or the false doctrine of those who claim Christ has already returned.
We know Christ came the first time emptied and lowly. (Matthew 11:29, Phil. 2:6-7) We learn in Mark chapter 13 that when He comes the second time He will come with power and glory. When Jesus Christ returns we will see Him as He is. He is described in Hebrews as having the radiance of Yahweh’s glory and the exact expression of Yahweh’s substance, and upholding all things by the power of His word… (Hebrews 1:3)
What will happen to those who refuse to acknowledge Christ as God in the flesh? This much we know, Christ is of God’s substance and has the Holy Spirit. Because they are One, to refuse any part of the fullness of God is to refuse God. How can these be among the elect of Christ that He mentions in the same passage if they refuse this truth?
From the two verses in Mark we learn that when Christ returns there will be those on earth who are Christ’s elect. These are spread throughout the earth, but on THAT DAY, they will be gathered. Notice they are gathered from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven, so this group will be every person who has trusted Christ.
Christ will come again to reclaim His own so that where He is, there we may be also. He did not return in 1914.
The prophet Isaiah made reference to “that day” many times, but all of chapter eleven tells of the day of Christ. Here is one verse:
But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:4*
Christ has the power to slay with only the breath of His lips. He upholds all things by the power of His word. He became flesh and dwelt among us. No wonder He is called the’ living Word.’
*Some translations capitalize the pronouns referring to God and others do not.