By Merrill Olson
World history is barreling toward a conclusion that has already been foretold in Scripture and ordained by God. Regardless of what the scoffers say (2 Peter 3:3-7), the Lord Jesus Christ will return as He promised (Matt. 24:29-30; Mark 13:24-26; Luke 21:25-28).
No one knows when it will happen. It could be soon or years from now, even centuries. Nevertheless, it will occur because God “is not slack concerning His promise, as some call slackness” (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, the Lord will return.
By the end of the Great Tribulation, the spiritual wretchedness and decay of this world will be like a rotting carcass. The stage will then be set for His Second Coming as the wickedness and rebellion of mankind has exhausted God’s mercy and patience. The Lord Jesus will appear in judgment with “power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30).
The apostle Paul writes that “the Lord Jesus [will be] revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:7-8).
The book of Revelation (Rev. 19:11-16) pictures Christ coming on a white horse from heaven. He is accompanied by the angels and the saints “clothed in linen, white and clean” (v. 14) in all the glory of heaven. He has a sharp sword in His hand “that with it He should strike the nations” (v. 15). He is, also, “clothed with a robe dipped in blood” (v. 13). This is not the blood He shed on Calvary but that of His enemies as He brings judgment on the world and destroys all the armies that have arrayed themselves “to make war against Him” (v. 19).
Who are these armies? They are the world’s armies that the “demons” (Rev. 16:14) have gathered to “Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16) to fight against the Lord (Rev. 19:19).
Therefore, the formidable and seemingly invincible armed might of the “beast” (Antichrist) with all of his firepower will await the coming of Christ. However, he will be no equal foe for the Lord Jesus for the war will be short lived. The Bible says, “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (v. 20). This final hell is the ultimate destiny of Satan (Rev. 20:10), his angels (demons), and all unredeemed (Matt. 25:41).
What happens to members of the world’s armies? God’s Word says that “the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:21). These scavenger birds (Matt. 24:28) will be used by God to cleanse the land.
The rest of the living mankind will be judged at the “sheep and goat” judgment (Matt. 25:31-46). For us, in Christ: “The LORD is [our] light and [our] salvation” (Ps. 27:1).
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