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Discovery Magazine 5/1/2005

He’s Coming Back

by  Zach Smith

Throughout the Bible, God promised many things, and all of those things have come true. He promised Abraham that he would become the father of many na-tions (Genesis 12:1-3), and he did. Both Jews and Muslims look to Abraham as their father, but Christians look to Abraham as a spiritual father. God spoke many times in the Old Testament about how the Israelites were to carry the Ark of the Covenant. In Numbers 4:15-19, God said that touching the holy things (which included the Ark) would bring death to those who were not authorized. Uzzah was a man who disregarded both God’s commands for carrying the Ark of the Covenant and God’s warning about touching it—God’s promise came true, and Uzzah died. Jesus promised His apostles that they would receive the Holy Spirit after He died (John 15:26-27), and that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-3). God the Father and Jesus the Son always keep their promises.

That is a great comfort to us, because there is a promise that Jesus has not yet fulfilled. After Jesus was crucified and God raised Him back to life, He appeared to the apostles for forty days (Acts 1:1-3) before returning to the Father. But immediately after He left,God provided us with one more promise—that Jesus would come back. Luke recorded in Acts 1:10-11: “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, whoalso said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’”

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the promises of God have come true. In the same way, the promise that Jesus will return will also come true, because God is not a liar (Titus 1:2). But there is also another promiseassociated with His coming again—one that is a little scary to think about. In Matthew 13:47-50, Jesus gave a parable, using fish as the example, telling how at the end (meaning when He comes back), He will separate the good from the bad. We know where those who are good and have followed God’s commands will go. But we also know where those who have not followed His commands will go. Jesus has promised that He will return—but when He comes, which kind of  “fish” will you be?

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