Thematic Bible: Coming of the lord jesus Christ


Thematic Bible





For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this [spiritually] unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him when He returns in the splendor of His Father, accompanied by the holy angels."

and to provide [future] rest for you, along with us, who are afflicted. [This will occur] when Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire [i.e., at His second coming], accompanied by His mighty angels.

And it was also prophesied about [these] people by Enoch, the seventh [descendant] of Adam [Gen. 5:18-24], who said, "Look, the Lord came with thousands upon thousands [Note: The Greek uses the plural form of "myriad," which means 10,000] of His holy ones [i.e., angels],

But we want you to be informed, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep [in death] so that you do not grieve, as other people do [i.e., the unsaved], who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [from the dead], [we also believe] that God will bring [back to life], along with Jesus, those in [fellowship with] Him who have fallen asleep [in death]. For we say this to you by [the authority of] the word of the Lord [Note: Paul was either quoting what Jesus had previously said, or was giving a revelation he had received from the Lord. See I Cor. 14:37], that we [Christians] who are [still] alive, who are left [on earth] when the Lord returns, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. [Note: The point Paul is making is that the living will not be "changed" (I Cor. 15:51-52) and taken to heaven before the dead are raised]. read more.
For the Lord Himself [i.e., Jesus] will come down from heaven with a commanding shout [Note: This probably refers to Jesus' voice. See John 5:25, 28], [and] with the archangel's voice [i.e., Michael. See Jude 9] and with the sound of God's trumpet; [at this] the dead in [fellowship with] Christ will rise [from the dead] first. Then, we who [will still] be alive, that are left, will be caught up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so [from then on] we will always be with the Lord. So, encourage one another with these words.


"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world].

Then I saw heaven open, and there before me was a white horse whose rider was called "Faithful and True." And He [i.e., Christ] judges and wages war in a just way. And His eyes are [like] blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns, and He has a name written [on Him] which is known only by Him. And He is dressed in a robe that has been dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is "The Word of God." read more.
And the armies in heaven, dressed in expensive, white, clean linen, followed Him, [riding] on white horses.


But we want you to be informed, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep [in death] so that you do not grieve, as other people do [i.e., the unsaved], who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [from the dead], [we also believe] that God will bring [back to life], along with Jesus, those in [fellowship with] Him who have fallen asleep [in death]. For we say this to you by [the authority of] the word of the Lord [Note: Paul was either quoting what Jesus had previously said, or was giving a revelation he had received from the Lord. See I Cor. 14:37], that we [Christians] who are [still] alive, who are left [on earth] when the Lord returns, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. [Note: The point Paul is making is that the living will not be "changed" (I Cor. 15:51-52) and taken to heaven before the dead are raised]. read more.
For the Lord Himself [i.e., Jesus] will come down from heaven with a commanding shout [Note: This probably refers to Jesus' voice. See John 5:25, 28], [and] with the archangel's voice [i.e., Michael. See Jude 9] and with the sound of God's trumpet; [at this] the dead in [fellowship with] Christ will rise [from the dead] first. Then, we who [will still] be alive, that are left, will be caught up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so [from then on] we will always be with the Lord. So, encourage one another with these words.

"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world].


May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised, for He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in [fellowship with] Christ. [Note: The term "heavenly realms" is used somewhat differently throughout this book. Here it refers to Christians as part of the church on earth]. Even before the creation of the world God chose us, who are in [fellowship with] Christ, to be dedicated [to Him] and to be without just blame in His sight. Out of love God predetermined that we should be [considered] His adopted children through [fellowship with] Christ. This is what pleased God and is what He wanted, read more.
so that we would praise His glorious, unearned favor, which was freely given to us through the One whom God loved [i.e., Christ]. In [fellowship with] Christ we have redemption [i.e., we have been bought back from Satan] through His blood, and have forgiveness of sins according to the abundance of God's unearned favor, which He lavished on us. [He used] wisdom and understanding, in doing what He intended through Christ, to make known to us His secret plan, according to what pleased Him. [He did this] to fulfill His plan at the proper time, by bringing together everything [in the universe] under Christ's headship --- things both in heaven and on earth. It is in [fellowship with] Christ that we [Jewish Christians] also were selected as [God's] inheritance [i.e., to receive His never ending blessings], having been predetermined according to the plan of God, who works out everything in harmony with what He wants.

Now brothers, you do not need to have anything written to you about the times and dates [i.e., of Christ's second coming], for you know perfectly well that the day of the Lord [i.e., when He returns, See II Thess. 2:1-2] will arrive like a thief coming in the night. [For] when people are saying, "Peace," and "Safety," then [is when] destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape it. read more.
But you brothers are not in the dark about that day, so that it sneaks up on you like a thief, for all of you people belong to the light; you belong to the daytime. We do not belong to the night or to darkness. [Note: In this passage "light" and "daytime" refer to spiritual illumination, while "darkness" and "night" refer to spiritual ignorance]. So then, we should not be [spiritually] asleep, like the rest [i.e., the unsaved world], but we should be alert and sober [i.e., in control of our senses]. For people sleep at night, and get drunk at night [i.e., generally speaking]. But, since we belong to the daytime [i.e., are enlightened], we should be sober. We should put on the "flack jacket" of faith and love, and for a helmet, the hope of being saved. For God did not appoint us to [suffer His] wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep [i.e., alive or dead], we could live together with Him. Therefore, [continue to] encourage one another, and build each other up [spiritually], just as you are also doing.

Now concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered to Him, brothers, we request that you people do not become shaken up in your mind, nor alarmed, either by a spirit [i.e., by some prophetic prediction], or by a report, or by a letter supposedly from us, that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns] has already come.


Now concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered to Him, brothers, we request that you people do not become shaken up in your mind, nor alarmed, either by a spirit [i.e., by some prophetic prediction], or by a report, or by a letter supposedly from us, that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns] has already come. Do not allow anyone to deceive you in any way, for it will not occur until the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness becomes evident. [Note: This "rebellion" refers to a significant falling away from the teaching and practice of true Christianity (See I Tim. 4:1), characterized by the rise of an authoritarian religious leader]. This man is doomed to be destroyed read more.
[for] he opposes [the true Gospel message] and exalts himself against everything that is called "God" or that which is worshiped. So, he sits in God's temple [i.e., the church ?] displaying himself as [though he were] God. Do you not remember that I used to tell you these things when I was still with you? [But] for now, there is something holding him back [i.e., holding back the man of lawlessness from emerging, See verses 3-4], and you people know what it is. [It is restraining him] so that he will not be revealed until his own [due] time. For this mysterious lawlessness is already at work [or, "this lawlessness is already secretly at work"]; but the one who is holding it back [will continue to do so] until he is removed. And then the lawless person [See verse 3] will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the brilliant appearance of His presence [i.e., at His second coming]. The coming [of this lawless person] is according to the work of Satan, [and will be] attended by all kinds of powerful [i.e., miraculous] signs and false wonders, and all kinds of wicked deception toward those people who are perishing [spiritually], because they refused to love the truth so they could be saved. And this is the reason that God sends them a strong delusion [to influence them]: It is so that they would believe the lie, in order that all those who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in wrongdoing, would be condemned.

As Jesus left the Temple, His disciples approached Him as He was walking along the road and pointed out the Temple buildings. He responded to them by saying, "Do you see all these structures? Truly I tell you, there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign that indicates your presence and the end of the [present] age?" read more.
And Jesus answered them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]' and they will lead many people away [from the truth]. And you will hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending]. Do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And famines and earthquakes will occur at various places [in the world]. But all these things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. At that time people will turn you over [to the authorities] for persecution and will [even] kill you. And people from all countries will hate you for being loyal to me. And then many people will fall away [from God] and they will turn one another over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment], and they will hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people away [from the truth]. And because sin will abound, many people will grow cold in their love [for one another]. But the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. And this good news concerning the kingdom [of heaven] will be preached to people throughout the world as a testimony [of God's message] to all nations. Then, [after that] the end [i.e., of Jerusalem, the Temple, etc.] will come. "Therefore, when you see that disgusting thing which causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman armies. See Luke 21:20], which Daniel the prophet spoke about [Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11], standing in the sacred place [i.e., Jerusalem and especially the Temple area], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. [Also], the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside], is not to take any of the belongings from his house as he comes down [to flee]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] is not [even] to return [to his house] to get his coat. It will be too bad for those who are pregnant and who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that it will not be in the winter or on a Sabbath day when you will have to flee [from the city]. [Note: Jewish Sabbath day restrictions on travel (only three-fifths of a mile) and city gate closures would make leaving the city nearly impossible]. There will be great trouble [during these times], such as had never been from the beginning of time up to the present, or ever will be [in the days to come]. And if those days had not been as short as they were no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], those days will be short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'There [he is],' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform great [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray even the elect [i.e., God's people], if possible. You see, I have told you [all this] ahead of time. Therefore, if people say to you, 'Look, he [i.e., Christ. See verse 23] is in the desert,' do not go out there. [Or if they say], 'Look, he is in an inside room,' do not believe him. For just like lightning that appears in the east can be seen even in the west, so it will be with the presence [i.e., coming] of the Son of man. Wherever there is a dead body, [you can expect to see] vultures gathered there. [Note: This may mean that such a significant event as the coming of Christ would surely not go unnoticed]. "But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky'] "Now learn this parable [i.e., a brief analogy to illustrate a lesson] from the fig tree: When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see all these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. [Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But no one knows when that day or hour will come. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son [of God] know [when it will happen], but only the Father [does]. As it was during the days of Noah, so it will be when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. For in those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking [i.e., partaking of ordinary meals], men were getting married and women were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day Noah entered the ship. And the people [i.e., of Noah's day] did not know [when it would happen] until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be the same way when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. At that time there will be two men [working] in a field; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord. See I Thess. 4:17], while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord. See II Thess. 1:7-9]. Two women will be grinding grain at a millstone [Note: This was a hand-operated device where two persons sat across from each other and rotated a circular stone over kernels of grain]; one will be taken, while the other one will be left. Therefore be alert, for you do not know on what day the Lord will come. But you should know this: if the owner of a house had known when a thief was coming, he would have been watching so as not to allow his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will come at a time when you least expect Him.

As Jesus left the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, look at the kind of stones these buildings are made of " And Jesus responded to him, "Do you see these huge buildings? There will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, over near the Temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Him privately, read more.
"Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when all these things are about to be fulfilled?" Then Jesus began saying to them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [i.e., from the truth]. [For] many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ] and they will lead many people astray. And when you hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending], do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And earthquakes will happen at various places [in the world], and there will be famines. These things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. "But pay attention to yourselves, for people will turn you over to [Jewish] councils [i.e., for judgment] and you will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings for being loyal to me. [This will afford you an opportunity] for witnessing to them. And the good news must first be preached to people of all nations. And when they lead you into court, and hand you over [to be judged], do not worry ahead of time about what you will say, but [just] say whatever you are told [i.e., by God] when the time comes. And [at that time] a person will turn his brother over to be killed, and the father will do the same to his child. And children will rebel against their parents and will turn them over to be killed. You will be hated by all people because you belong to me, but the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., the end of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. "But when you see that disgusting thing that causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman army. See Luke 21:20] standing where it ought not to be [i.e., surrounding the besieged city of Jerusalem], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those of you in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. Also the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside] should not go down into his house to take anything out [when he flees]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] should not return [to his house] to get his coat [even]. [It will be] too bad for those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that [your flight] will not be in the winter. There will be great trouble during those days, such as had never been from the beginning of God's creation until the present, or even will be [in the days to come]. And if the Lord had not kept those days as short as they were, no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], whom He chose, He kept those days short. And then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'Look, there He is,' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray [even] the elect, if possible. But pay attention, for I have told you [all this] ahead of time. "But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world]. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen.

Then, as someone [i.e., of His disciples. See Mark 13:1], spoke of how the Temple was decorated with beautiful stones and objects dedicated as gifts, Jesus said, "As for these things you are looking at, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." So, they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when these things are about to be fulfilled?" read more.
And He replied, "Pay attention, so that you are not led astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ],' and 'The time is near.' [But] do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and uprisings [going on], do not be afraid, for such things must necessarily happen first. But the end will not come right away." [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Nations will wage war against one another and kingdoms will attack one another. And great earthquakes will happen, and at various places there will be famines and disease epidemics. And there will be fearful events and great [supernatural] signs from heaven. But before all these things happen, the authorities will grab hold of you, and persecute you, and turn you over to the synagogues and prisons [i.e., for punishment and confinement]. They will take you in front of kings and governors for being loyal to me. It will result in [an opportunity for] witnessing to them. Determine in your hearts, therefore, not to plan ahead how you will answer them [when interrogated], for I will give you a mouth [i.e., the ability to speak properly] and wisdom [i.e., the knowledge of what to say], which none of your opponents will be able to resist or speak against. But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me. However, not one hair of your head will be lost. [But], by holding out steadfastly, you will gain your life. [Note: This means either "preserve your earthly life," or "attain never ending life"]. "So, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Roman] armies, then you will know that her total destruction is near. Then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. And those who are inside of the city are to leave it [immediately]. And those who are in the countryside should not enter the city. For these are times for punishment [i.e., to be inflicted on Jerusalem], so that everything written [i.e., by the prophets] may be fulfilled [i.e., about Jerusalem's destruction. See Dan. 9:26-27]. It will be too bad for pregnant women and those who are nursing [babies] in those days! For there will be great distress in this land [i.e., Judea, and especially Jerusalem], and raging anger [will be shown] against these people [i.e., by the Roman armies]. And people will die by the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [unconverted] Gentiles [i.e., by the Romans and later by others] until the times of [domination by] the Gentiles are fulfilled. "Then [Note: This event answers to the "immediately" of Matt. 24:29, and suggests the next major event on God's calendar] there will be [supernatural] signs [evident] in the sun and moon and stars. And on earth [there will be] distress among nations; they will be perplexed by the roaring of the ocean's churning waves. [Note: Probably this is figurative language for highly agitated conditions on earth]. Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer." Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."


But we want you to be informed, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep [in death] so that you do not grieve, as other people do [i.e., the unsaved], who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [from the dead], [we also believe] that God will bring [back to life], along with Jesus, those in [fellowship with] Him who have fallen asleep [in death]. For we say this to you by [the authority of] the word of the Lord [Note: Paul was either quoting what Jesus had previously said, or was giving a revelation he had received from the Lord. See I Cor. 14:37], that we [Christians] who are [still] alive, who are left [on earth] when the Lord returns, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. [Note: The point Paul is making is that the living will not be "changed" (I Cor. 15:51-52) and taken to heaven before the dead are raised]. read more.
For the Lord Himself [i.e., Jesus] will come down from heaven with a commanding shout [Note: This probably refers to Jesus' voice. See John 5:25, 28], [and] with the archangel's voice [i.e., Michael. See Jude 9] and with the sound of God's trumpet; [at this] the dead in [fellowship with] Christ will rise [from the dead] first. Then, we who [will still] be alive, that are left, will be caught up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so [from then on] we will always be with the Lord. So, encourage one another with these words.

But now Christ has been raised up from the dead; [He is] the firstfruits of those who have died. [Note: By "firstfruits" is meant the first installment of the crop which promises the entire harvest eventually]. For since death happened to a man [i.e., Adam], the resurrection from the dead also happened to a man [i.e., Christ]. For as all people die [physically] in [their relationship to] Adam, so also will all people be made alive [physically] in [their relationship to] Christ. [Note: However, some view "made alive" as referring to the new spiritual life given to believers]. read more.
But each one [is raised up] in his own turn: Christ as the firstfruits [See verse 20]; then those who are Christ's [i.e., believers], when He returns.

If then you people have been raised up together with Christ [i.e., from your burial in immersion, See 2:12-13 with Rom. 6:4], pay attention to the things that are above [i.e., heavenly things], where Christ is seated at the right side of God. Focus your minds on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you died [with Christ, See 2:20], and your life is [now] hidden with Christ in [fellowship with] God. read more.
[So], when Christ, who is your [or, "our" source of] life, appears [i.e., at His second coming], then you people also will appear with Him in splendor [i.e., in heaven].


"Then the kingdom of heaven will be similar to ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the [bride and] groom. [Note: The picture here is that of a newly married couple returning from a festive reception to the groom's home where they continued celebrating and were welcomed by a late evening wedding party] Five of the bridesmaids were foolish and five were sensible. The foolish ones did not take enough olive oil for their lamps with them, read more.
but the sensible ones took [extra] oil in containers, along with their lamps. Now when the [bride and] groom were late [in arriving], the bridesmaids all got drowsy and fell asleep. Then at midnight someone shouted, 'Look, the [bride and] groom are here. Come on, let us go out and meet them.' Then all the bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps [i.e., removed the burnt wicks and replenished their lamps with oil]. The foolish ones said to the sensible ones, 'Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.' But the sensible ones answered, 'There might not be enough for us and you, [so] instead, you should go to the store and buy some for yourselves.' And while they were away [trying] to buy olive oil, the [bride and] groom arrived, and those who were ready [to welcome them] entered the [house where the] wedding reception [was being held] and the door was shut. After that, the other bridesmaids also came asking, 'Sir, Sir, [please] open the door for us!' But he answered them, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Therefore, you should be watchful, for you do not know the day or hour [i.e., when the Son of man will return].

"You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return]. It is like a man who left his house on a trip to another country. [Before leaving] he put his servants in charge of his affairs, giving each one a [particular] job to do, then he ordered the gatekeeper to stay alert [i.e., while he was gone]. So, be alert, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return, whether [some] evening, at midnight, at dawn, or at [mid-] morning. read more.
[Be alert], for he might come unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I am telling you, I am telling everyone. Be alert "

"Fasten your belts [i.e., get things ready], keep your lamps lit, and be like men expecting their master to return from the wedding reception, so that when he does come and knock [at the groom's house, See note on Matt. 25:1-12], they will immediately open [the door] to him. Those slaves whom their master finds being watchful when he returns are [certainly] blessed. Truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt [i.e., get things ready] and have them recline [at his dinner table] and will come and serve them. read more.
And if he comes between nine o'clock and midnight or between midnight and three o'clock in the morning and finds them being watchful, those slaves will be blessed [for doing so]. But you should realize this, if the owner of the house had known exactly when the burglar was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. So, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will return at a time when you least expect Him."

And as the crowd listened to these things, Jesus told them another parable, because He was close to Jerusalem and they assumed the kingdom of God was going to appear right away. So, He said, "A certain distinguished gentleman went to a distant country to receive a royal appointment [i.e., as king over a territory] and then return. [Note: This is the only parable of Jesus' that correlates with a known incident; that of Herod's son Archelaus going to Rome to receive from Caesar Augustus an appointment to rule over Judea, Samaria and Idumaea in So, he called ten of his slaves and gave each of them a sum of money [Note: The amount of each sum was equivalent to one hundred days of a farm laborer's pay, or about $7,000 in 1994]. [Then] he said to them, 'Invest this money until I return.' read more.
But the citizens [of his newly acquired kingdom] hated him and sent a delegation after him [i.e., to the person who appointed the gentleman king over them], saying, 'We do not want this man to rule over us.' And it happened when the gentleman returned, having received his appointment as king, that he ordered the slaves to whom he had given the [sums of] money, to report to him. He wanted to find out how much [money] they had made on their investments. So, the first one appeared in front of him, and said, 'Master, your sum of money has earned ten times more.' And the gentleman replied, 'Well done, you are a good slave. Because you have proven trustworthy over a [relatively] very small matter, you will [now] have charge over ten towns.' Then the second slave appeared, and said, 'Master, your sum of money has earned five times more.' And the gentleman said to him also, 'You [will] have charge over five towns.' Then another slave appeared and said, 'Look, master, here is your sum of money. I kept it [safely] wrapped up in a cloth, for I was afraid of you, knowing you are a hard man to deal with and that you pick up [and keep] something you did not lay down [i.e., lose], and you harvest a crop that you did not plant.' The gentleman replied to him, 'I will judge you [based] on what you [yourself] have [just] said, you evil slave. [Since] you knew that I am a hard man to deal with, picking up [and keeping] something I had not laid down, and harvesting a crop I had not planted, then why did you not deposit my money in the bank? [Then] when I returned I could have withdrawn [the original sum of money] plus interest.' Then he said to those who were standing around, 'Take the sum of money away from him and give it to the one who made ten times as much [with the original sum].' But the people said to him, 'Master, he [already] has ten times as much money [as you gave him].' [So the gentleman concluded], 'I tell you, to every person who [already] has something, [more] will be given, but from that person who has [almost] nothing, even [the little] he has will be taken away from him. But bring those enemies of mine here [i.e., the citizens. See verse 14], who did not want me to rule over them, and kill them in front of me.'"

Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. read more.
Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."


"And write [this] to the angel of the church at Sardis: These are the words of Him who has the seven Spirits of God [i.e., Jesus, who has the Holy Spirit] and the seven stars [i.e., the seven angels of the seven churches. See 1:20]: I know about your deeds, that you have a reputation for being [spiritually] alive, but you are [really] dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains [i.e., those few in the church who were trying to stay faithful], who are about to die. For I have not found [any] of your deeds to be complete before my God. So, remember how you have received and heard the message [i.e., they had eagerly accepted the Gospel]; [now] obey it and repent. For if you do not become [spiritually] alert, I will come as a thief [i.e. unexpectedly] and you will not know the [exact] time that I will come upon you [in judgment. See 2:16, 25].

"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky'] read more.
"Now learn this parable [i.e., a brief analogy to illustrate a lesson] from the fig tree: When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see all these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. [Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But no one knows when that day or hour will come. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son [of God] know [when it will happen], but only the Father [does].

Therefore, you should be watchful, for you do not know the day or hour [i.e., when the Son of man will return].

"Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. read more.
Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. But no one knows when that day or that hour will come; not even the angels in heaven or the Son of God know, but only the Father does. "You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return]. It is like a man who left his house on a trip to another country. [Before leaving] he put his servants in charge of his affairs, giving each one a [particular] job to do, then he ordered the gatekeeper to stay alert [i.e., while he was gone]. So, be alert, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return, whether [some] evening, at midnight, at dawn, or at [mid-] morning. [Be alert], for he might come unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I am telling you, I am telling everyone. Be alert "


"And write [this] to the angel of the church at Sardis: These are the words of Him who has the seven Spirits of God [i.e., Jesus, who has the Holy Spirit] and the seven stars [i.e., the seven angels of the seven churches. See 1:20]: I know about your deeds, that you have a reputation for being [spiritually] alive, but you are [really] dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains [i.e., those few in the church who were trying to stay faithful], who are about to die. For I have not found [any] of your deeds to be complete before my God. So, remember how you have received and heard the message [i.e., they had eagerly accepted the Gospel]; [now] obey it and repent. For if you do not become [spiritually] alert, I will come as a thief [i.e. unexpectedly] and you will not know the [exact] time that I will come upon you [in judgment. See 2:16, 25].

Therefore be alert, for you do not know on what day the Lord will come. But you should know this: if the owner of a house had known when a thief was coming, he would have been watching so as not to allow his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will come at a time when you least expect Him. read more.
"Who then, is the trustworthy and sensible slave, to whom his master has assigned the management of his household to provide timely meals for its members? That slave will be happy when his master returns to find him doing his job [well]. Truly I tell you, he will put that slave in charge of his entire estate. But if that slave, with evil intent, should think to himself, 'My master will not be back very soon,' and then becomes physically abusive to his fellow-slaves, and eats and drinks [at parties] with drunkards, that slave's master will return on a day that he least expects, and at an unknown hour. And [that master] will whip him to shreds and will turn him over to suffer the same fate as hypocrites do. That fate will involve crying and excruciating pain."

So, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will return at a time when you least expect Him."


It is like a man who left his house on a trip to another country. [Before leaving] he put his servants in charge of his affairs, giving each one a [particular] job to do, then he ordered the gatekeeper to stay alert [i.e., while he was gone]. So, be alert, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return, whether [some] evening, at midnight, at dawn, or at [mid-] morning.

[Jesus continued], "Do not allow your hearts to be upset. You should believe in God, and believe in me also. There are many rooms in my Father's house, and I am going to prepare a place for each one you [in them]. I would not have told you this if it were not so. And if I go to prepare a place for each of you, I will return to take all you to [be with] me, so that you also will be where I am. read more.
And you all know how to get where I am going." Thomas said to Jesus, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how could we [possibly] know the way [to get there]?" Jesus answered him, "I am the way [to God], and the truth [to believe], and the life [to live]. No one can go to the Father, except through [believing in] me.

Jesus sensed that the disciples wanted to ask Him a question, so He said to them, "Are you discussing among yourselves my saying 'After a little while [longer] you will not see me. Then, a little while [later] you will see me again'? Truly, truly, I tell you, you will cry and mourn [i.e., over my suffering and death], but the world will be glad [about it]. You will be sad, but your sadness will turn to joy [i.e., when learning of my resurrection]. A woman has pain when giving birth because her time has come. But when the child is born, she does not remember the intense suffering because she is so happy over the child being born into the world. read more.
So, you men also will experience grief [i.e., over my suffering and death], but I will see you again and your hearts will be glad. And no one will take away your joy.


Now concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered to Him, brothers, we request that you people do not become shaken up in your mind, nor alarmed, either by a spirit [i.e., by some prophetic prediction], or by a report, or by a letter supposedly from us, that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns] has already come. Do not allow anyone to deceive you in any way, for it will not occur until the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness becomes evident. [Note: This "rebellion" refers to a significant falling away from the teaching and practice of true Christianity (See I Tim. 4:1), characterized by the rise of an authoritarian religious leader]. This man is doomed to be destroyed

So, be patient, brothers, until the Lord comes. Look, the farmer waits for his land to produce the valuable crop and is patient with it until it receives the fall and spring rains. [So], you people should be patient also; strengthen your hearts because the Lord's coming is near [Note: This may refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, or to Christ's final coming and judgment].


As it was during the days of Noah, so it will be when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. For in those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking [i.e., partaking of ordinary meals], men were getting married and women were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day Noah entered the ship. And the people [i.e., of Noah's day] did not know [when it would happen] until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be the same way when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. read more.
At that time there will be two men [working] in a field; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord. See I Thess. 4:17], while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord. See II Thess. 1:7-9]. Two women will be grinding grain at a millstone [Note: This was a hand-operated device where two persons sat across from each other and rotated a circular stone over kernels of grain]; one will be taken, while the other one will be left. Therefore be alert, for you do not know on what day the Lord will come. But you should know this: if the owner of a house had known when a thief was coming, he would have been watching so as not to allow his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will come at a time when you least expect Him. "Who then, is the trustworthy and sensible slave, to whom his master has assigned the management of his household to provide timely meals for its members? That slave will be happy when his master returns to find him doing his job [well]. Truly I tell you, he will put that slave in charge of his entire estate. But if that slave, with evil intent, should think to himself, 'My master will not be back very soon,' and then becomes physically abusive to his fellow-slaves, and eats and drinks [at parties] with drunkards, that slave's master will return on a day that he least expects, and at an unknown hour. And [that master] will whip him to shreds and will turn him over to suffer the same fate as hypocrites do. That fate will involve crying and excruciating pain."

"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of man. People were eating and drinking and [men were] marrying and [women] were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day that Noah entered the ship and the Flood came and drowned them all. "It happened in a similar way in the days of Lot [i.e., Abraham's nephew]. People were eating and drinking and buying and selling and planting and building. read more.
But on the day that Lot left Sodom, fire and sulphur rained down from the sky and consumed them all. "It will be the same way on the day the Son of man is revealed [i.e., at His second coming]. On that day, the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside], whose belongings are [still] in his house, is not to go down and [attempt to] take any of them away. And the person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work], also is not to return [to his house]. Remember [what happened to] Lot's wife! Whatever person tries to gain [everything to satisfy him in] life [here on earth] will lose it [i.e., never ending life]. But whatever person [is willing to] lose [the comforts and security of] his life [here on earth] will preserve it [for eternity]. I tell you, on that night [i.e., when Jesus returns. See verse 30], there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord] while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord]. There will be two women grinding grain together [Note: This was done with a hand-operated millstone where two persons sat across from each other and rotated a circular stone over kernels of grain]; one will be taken while the other one will be left. {{Some ancient manuscripts include verse There will be two men in a field [i.e., doing farm work]; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord], while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord]." See Matt. 24:40}} And they asked Jesus, "Where [will this happen], Lord?" And He answered them, "Wherever there is a [dead] body [you will see] vultures gathered there also."


[it is being sent] to the church of God at Corinth. [You people are] set apart in [the fellowship of] Christ Jesus and called [by God] to be saints [i.e., His holy people], along with all [others] everywhere who call on our Lord Jesus Christ [i.e., in prayer]. He is their Lord and ours [as well]. May you experience unearned favor and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you, [especially] for God's unearned favor that was given to you [in providing salvation and blessings] in Christ Jesus. read more.
For in [fellowship with] Him you people have been made [spiritually] rich in every way, through all [kinds of] speech and knowledge. [Note: This probably refers to the communication and comprehension of truth represented by the spiritual gifts of languages and revelation]. The message about Christ has become firmly established there among you [i.e., by such gifts], so that you are not lacking in any [spiritual] gift, while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed [i.e., at His second coming]. He will also make you stand firm [in the faith] to the end [of your lives], so that you will be [considered] without just blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ [returns]. God is faithful [i.e., He will continue working among you] and it is through Him that you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


Who is the liar? It is the person who denies that Jesus [truly] is the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen One]. This person is the antichrist [See verse 18]; he is the one who denies [the truth about] the Father and the Son. Every person who denies [the truth about] the Son [See 4:2-3], does not have the Father [living in his heart]; but, the person who confesses [the truth about] the Son has the Father [living in his heart] also. You people should continue [to practice] what you heard from the beginning [i.e., to love one another, See verses 7-11]. If you do, then you also will continue in [fellowship with] the Son, and with the Father. read more.
And this is the promise which Christ [or, "God"] has given to us: [It is] never ending life. [Note: This passage may mean that God promised us "the Eternal Life," that is, Christ, See John 3:16]. I have written these things to you people concerning those who are trying to lead you astray [from the truth]. And this is important to you: The "special gift," which you received from God [See verse 20], continues to live in your hearts, [so that] you do not need anyone to teach you [anything different]. But, since this same "special gift" teaches you concerning everything that is true, and [what it teaches] is not false, you should continue to live in [fellowship with] Christ. And now, little children [i.e., dear ones], continue to live in [fellowship with] Christ, so that when He appears, we may have boldness and not have [any reason] to be ashamed in front of Him at His [second] coming.


This is now, my dearly loved ones, the second letter I am writing to you; in both of them, as a reminder, I want to stir up your sincere thoughts to remember the words spoken to you in the past by the holy prophets, and what the Lord and Savior commanded you through your apostles. First of all, you should understand that, in the final days, mockers with evil desires will come [to you] saying, mockingly, read more.
"Why has the promise of a coming Messiah [not been fulfilled yet]? After all, since the time our ancestors died, everything has continued the same, even since the beginning of creation!" But, these people intentionally forget that the heavens, which existed long ago, and the earth, which was formed out of water and by water, [were created] by the word of God. [And] it was by water that the world, which existed at that time, perished in a great flood [of Noah's day]! But, by means of the same word [of God], the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, awaiting the judgment and destruction [by God], along with [its] ungodly people.


so Christ also, who was once [for all] offered [as a sacrifice] to take away the sins of many people, will come back a second time, not to take away sin, [but] to provide salvation to those who are waiting for Him.