One morning, during my time in Monterrey, the city awoke to a startling sight. The sky was blood red. It was eerie. People were afraid to go outside. Many in the neighborhood I lived in ran to the nearest church.
They thought the world might be ending.
It turns out there was a scientific explanation. Winds had lifted the reddish sand of the desert on the other side of the mountains into the atmosphere. That, combined with the heavy pollution in Monterrey, created the creepy crimson sky.
Suffice it to say, the world did not end that day.
When Jesus comes in the end of the world, you’ll know it. Trust me. You won’t be left wondering, “Could this be the end?”
In the book of Revelation, John tells us that when Jesus comes, “every eye will see him” (Revelation 1:7). Think about that for a moment. The world is round. How can everyone see him all at once? And yet they will.
My favorite verse about Jesus’ coming, however, is in First Thessalonians chapter four where the Apostle Paul talks about how Jesus will come and rapture believers up to the sky to be with him.
Yet, this rapture isn’t some unseen, unnoticed disappearance of believers from the earth.
Paul tells us, “The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
As one of my professors at the seminary used to say, “That’s the loudest verse in the Bible.”
When Jesus comes, you’ll know it. You won’t miss it. You won’t be standing there wondering, “Is this it?” It will be loud. It will be visible. It will be obvious.
The questions you need to ask yourself aren’t: “Will I know when it is happening? or “Will I somehow miss it?” The question is: “Are you ready?”
Ready or not, here he comes. In fact, he could come today. All the signs Jesus gave marking the end times are happening right now and have been happening for a long time: wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, false Messiahs and societal unrest. Jesus could come back at any moment.
And when he comes, he will judge you. He will open a book in which is written everything you have ever thought, said and done in your life. That is the evidence by which you will be judged. The standard is perfection. The punishment is hell.
Yet God promises that all those who believe in Jesus – all those who trust in the forgiveness he won for them on the cross – will be declared innocent on that awesome and awful day. All those who believe in Jesus will be taken up to be with him forever.
Those who don’t believe in him, however, will be declared guilty and condemned to hell. When Jesus comes, you won’t have time to run to church. You won’t be able to say, “No, wait, Jesus, I change my mind. I believe in you.” It will be too late.
So don’t worry and wonder whether you will know if it is happening or not. You’ll know. You won’t miss it.
Just be ready.