Jesus Returns on the Clouds
What does Jesus returns on the clouds mean? That’s a great question. Let’s look at this verse in the Bible from the book of Revelation.
We all have questions. We are so happy that you are here and are excited for you to find answers to your deep questions about life. Let’s dive in!
Life is full of questions. Who am I? Why am I here? What’s my purpose? It’s part of the human experience, and completely natural to ask questions like these. Hopefully the answers you find here will lead you down a road to discovering that it’s actually Jesus that holds the answer to every life question you might ask. Read on and see what you think about these 10 deep questions about life.
God made us in His image, which includes ruling on earth:
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish…the birds…the cattle and over all the earth (Genesis 1:26).”
God created us to multiply on the earth and subdue it:
“God blessed them (Adam and Eve); and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it (Genesis 1:28, see also Genesis 2:5, 15).”
God created us to have fellowship with each other, to complete each other as husband and wife:
“And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:23-24).”
“The Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you (Genesis 3:9)?”
God created us for His glory:
“Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made (Isaiah 43:6-7).”
God created us because He wanted to:
“You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created (Revelation 4:11).””
The purpose of an unbeliever is to believe in the One whom God has sent:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life….He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16, 18).”
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).”
The purpose of a believer is to make God known.
There is a world that doesn’t know God. The Christian’s goal is to reveal Christ to that world in their behavior and testimony, so they too may know God. Jesus ascended back into heaven, so the world can’t see Him. He left us here to testify of Him.
Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses…even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8).”
The Apostle Paul said, “Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved (1 Corinthians 10:33).”
The world best sees us in this way, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35).”
No one finds meaning in life by accumulating possessions.
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds (Matthew 16:26-27).”
Our lives on this earth are so short. And we only get one life to live before we’re in eternity.
“Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain (Job 14:1-2).”
King Solomon was famous for his wisdom. He tried to find satisfaction in riches, wisdom, and pleasure, but he found it all empty and fleeting:
“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).”
The Apostle Peter came to the same conclusion while giving a different solution:
“The end of all things is near; therefore… keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:7-8).”
When John the Baptist introduced Jesus, he testified to the truth that He will:
“The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)!”
Jesus provided the sacrifice that satisfied God’s righteous anger against sin (and sinners):
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (Romans 5:8-9).”
Jesus proclaimed that all sins can be forgiven:
“Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter (Mark 3:28).”
The good news is we can receive Jesus by believing in His Name (John 1:12).
When we receive Him, God applies Jesus’ sacrifice to us, and our sins are forgiven. In popular terms, we are saved and receive eternal life. We do nothing; we receive Him. He is our Savior.
Grace is undeserved favor.
“In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7).”
God offers us salvation by faith through Jesus’ Name. We can do nothing to add to His saving work.
“Therefore they (the Jews that listened to His teaching on the bread of life) said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent (John 6:28-29).”
Our salvation is by God’s grace, not by our works, so no one can boast that their goodness had anything to do with their salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9):
“(God) who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity (2 Timothy 2:9).”
Mercy is a related word to grace.
But more often, mercy has the idea of God sparing us from just retribution as opposed to receiving favor: “For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them (Deuteronomy 4:31).”
Jesus answered, “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ (Matthew 19:4-5)?”
In Jesus’ time on earth, the Jewish leaders taught that a man could divorce his wife for any reason. Moses allowed divorce if the man gave her a certificate of divorce:
“They (Jewish teachers) said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away (Matthew 19:7)?”
But Jesus set a high standard by explaining God’s intention and explained why Moses allowed it:
“He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning, it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery (Matthew 19:8-9).”
But Jesus’ recorded teachings didn’t cover every situation. Practicing Jews were born into Judaism. But when Christianity broke off from Judaism, people had to choose to believe in Jesus. And there was no guarantee that a marriage partner would come to faith.
“But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away (1 Corinthians 7:12-13).”
Even in an unequally yoked situation, believers must do all they can to remain married. But if the unbeliever wants to leave the marriage, Paul advises the believer to let them go. Paul’s concern is to maintain peace:
“Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife (1 Corinthians 7:15-16)?”
Should you get a divorce, according to Jesus and Paul, no. There are two exceptions: immorality and when an unbelieving spouse insists on leaving.
God loved the world (of people) and gave His Son to die for our sins. Jesus gave up His security of being God in heaven, to come to save us by suffering and dying on the cross:
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).”
God loves people. But because He is holy, He cannot tolerate sin. And because He loves us, He has provided THE solution to our sin problem, Jesus our Savior.
We don’t know. God is holy and just, and before we (through Adam and Eve) fell into sin, God pronounced this about His creation:
“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day (Genesis 1:31).”
But before humanity fell, evil already existed because the serpent tempted them to sin:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden (Genesis 3:1)?”
Sin may have originated when Satan rebelled again God and tried to be like the Most High. The passage below may give an account of Satan’s rebellion and fall:
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!
“But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds (God’s glory clouds that accompany His presence);
I will make myself like the Most High (Isaiah 14:12-14).”
God is not the source of evil.
Yet some of the evil that happens is so horrible, it leaves one wondering why a Good and Holy God would allow it.
We don’t know why sin has such terrible consequences.
But God didn’t keep Himself above its costs. He sent His only Son, who was tortured and died on the cross. We don’t know why evil exists. But we do know how horrible it must be because of what Jesus went through to satisfy God’s wrath and provide salvation for us. We aren’t told what it is, but there must be an issue so crucial that it had to be the way it is, and it’ll eventually be worth it all for believers.
We either trust God about the existence of evil and its consequences, or we don’t. When we don’t, we blame Him for a problem that He didn’t originate and that He will solve:
“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).”
It’s difficult to know how old the earth is. The Bible isn’t a science book, though it is true and without error.
The author of Genesis 1 wanted us to understand that the days of creation were literal days. After creating, He ended each day writing, “And there was evening, and there was morning, one day (Genesis 1:5).”
I believe the author of Genesis 1:1-2:4 is God Himself (see the article, Are There Two Contradicting Creation Accounts in Genesis 1 & 2? Adam wrote the account, sometimes called the second creation account.
If there isn’t a time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, God created the earth six days before He created Adam and Eve, so the earth’s existence would be virtually the same as humanity’s time on earth.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (gap?)The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters (Genesis 1:1-2).”
If there is not a time gap, the earth’s age is the time of the gap plus the years humanity has been on earth.
If there is a time gap, the world is older than if there isn’t.
Based on the genealogies in the Bible, various Bible scholars, who believe that Genesis 1 is literal and not an allegory, have dated the creation of humanity at @4,000 BC. The question is whether there are any “gaps” in the genealogies and, if so, how long were the gaps.
There are arguments for and against the theories about the gap. Jeremiah has a verse worded like Genesis 1:2:
“I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light Jeremiah 4:23).”
The author describes what the Promised Land looked like after the Babylonian Captivity of the nation of Judah in 586 BC. The earth had existed for at least a few thousand years at this point, but because of Judah’s disobedience, it once again was formless and void.
The question is whether the earth existed, and it became formless and void (for some unrevealed reason), and that was the starting point of God’s six days of creation; or if God made the earth without form and void before starting His six days of creative activity.
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