Jesus’ Second Coming and Judgment Day
Many Christians know about Christ’s second coming on the clouds. However, it’s important to note that His second coming on the clouds is different from Judgment Day.
“‘At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.’”
In terms of Judgment Day, the Old and New testaments describe Jesus coming in blazing fire to punish and judge people who do not know God or obey the gospel (Isa 66:15–16; 2Th 1:7–10). On the other hand, Jesus explains He will come a second time on a cloud to gather His elect from the four winds (Mt 24:30–31).
Comparing Jesus’ appearance and purpose at each event teaches us that these will happen at two separate times, not simultaneously.
Which event should take place first?
While Jesus was on this earth, He said that people in the last days would not have faith (Lk 18:8). Yet, faith is necessary for salvation. We cannot expect salvation without faith.
So, Christ promised He would return to first bring salvation by restoring faith before the Judgment Day (Heb 9:28). And Christ’s second coming is characterized by clouds.
After Jesus comes on a cloud, those who have received Him are now able to lift up their heads because their “redemption is drawing near.” These people can have confidence in their salvation because they have learned true faith from Second Coming Jesus.
Clouds Means Flesh
“Coming in a cloud” is a metaphor for coming in human likeness, also described as coming in the flesh. The Bible compares human beings to clouds (Jude 1:12; Pr 25:14). And, in a vision, Daniel foresaw “one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven” who would receive authority, glory and a kingdom (Da 7:13–14). Jesus received authority (Mt 28:18), glory (Jn 17:10) and a kingdom (Lk 22:29). So, in actuality, Daniel saw Jesus coming in the future. And he described Christ’s coming as “coming with the clouds” because clouds represent human beings.
Since Second Coming Christ is coming in human form to restore true faith on earth before the Last Judgment, we must know where to find Him.