"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven,
and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds
of heaven with power and great glory."
I love athletic events. I am the kind of person that will watch almost anything that involves competition. While living in England I would watch Cricket matches. If you have never seen a Cricket match, go outside and watch your grass grow, and it will be about the same experience. That is the only sport that I know of that takes breaks for tea time. However, because of who and how I am, strangely I started to enjoy it. I think I know why. It is the drama. Some of you remember the slogan from the wide world of sports: the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Amazingly it happens all at the same time. My family has watched a lot of the World Cup this year. My wife enjoys it, but she always feels bad for the team that loses. While one team celebrates, another team lays on the pitch with tears running down their cheeks. What brought one person joy brings another person sorrow.
So will be the second coming of Christ. Jesus Christ has promised us that there will be a day that He will return for His children, the elect. We are encouraged from Scripture to not only look for His appearing but to love His appearing. We are instructed to lift up our heads because our redemption draws nigh. No man knows the day or the hour that this will take place, but it most definitely will take place. Jesus is coming again to take His children home. For the believer this is a day of joy, and we look forward to that day. However, the lost will face agonizing sorrow on that day.
There has been a theory for years that teaches a "secret rapture". In other words, there are those who believe that all of a sudden the Christians will be taken out and the lost will walk around wondering what happened. According to this passage this will not be so. Jesus Christ is going to step out of glory in all of His glory in the midst of a cataclysmic event. The Bible says that all the tribes of the earth will see Him on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. I can see in my mind's eye the believers weep with joy because redemption has come. He has fulfilled His promise to His children. Oh, what a moment! At the same time the Bible says that the earth will mourn. While standing beside a believer who has joy in his heart, the lost will weep because their day of judgment has come. What they denied would ever happen is now a reality right before their very eyes. This goes far beyond the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. This is joy unspeakable and full of glory compared to agonizing despair and hopelessness.
If you know Christ today, live in the light of this moment. Work, watch, and wait knowing that Christ's promise will be fulfilled. If you are not in a relationship with Christ today, don't live in the agony and dread of that day. It is sure; Christ is coming again. Give your heart to Christ. If I am standing next to you when that day comes, I pray that we will be caught up together.
May you see Him as He is and rejoice!