The Early Church Expected His Return

The Early Church expected the Lord’s Return. The New Testament writers often wrote about it. The Bible says much about the first coming of Messiah, but it says a lot more about His Second Coming.

The Bible contains over 300 prophecies about the first coming of Christ. Does it surprise you to know there are eight times as many prophecies about His Second Coming? The New Testament mentions it at least 318 times in 210 chapters. There can be no doubt that saints throughout the ages have always “looked for His appearing.”

The believers in the Early Church were well aware Jesus promised to return. I am sure they would have liked to know exactly when He planned to come back but that information was not shared with them.

We do not know the exact date of His Return… although some folks think they do! Some years ago, I awoke in the early hours of the morning by the insistent ringing of the telephone. An urgent voice shouted in my ear. “Why are you still asleep? Don’t you know the Lord is coming back today?”

“Huh?” I managed groggily.

“Get ready! It’s happening any minute now.”

By now I was wide awake. “Don’t YOU know the Lord said no one knows the exact date or hour of His Return?” I responded.

Jesus said no one knows the date marked out on God’s Eternal Calendar. Not even Nostradamus, the Mayans, or any other living being. We may know the season and observe the Signs of the Time. God alone knows the exact date and time.

What Did the Early Church Believe About the Return of Jesus?

They believed that…

1. The Lord is coming back for His Church.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” John 14:1-3.

2. The Lord’s Return will be sudden and unexpected.
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” 1 Thessalonians 5:1,2.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” Matthew 24:36.

3. “Born again” believers will meet Him in the Air. This will happen prior to His Return to the earth. At that time He will stand on the Mount of Olives and everyone will see Him. This time He returns to execute judgment on a wicked world.

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18.
“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, * “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him”  Jude 1:14-15.
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north. And half of it towards the south” Zechariah 14:4.

4. There will be a separation of people.
Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed… I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”  Luke 17:30-36.

5. The reign of antiChrist will take place after the end of the Church Age. This necessitates the removal of the Church and the Indwelling Holy Spirit.
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8.

6. The coming of antiChrist’s Kingdom will take place at a specific time in world history. Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. He said four World Empires would reign on earth. These would be followed by a long period we know as the Church Age. A fifth and final kingdom would be even more evil than anything ever experienced in the history of the world.

  • Babylon Empire. BC 586-538 (Daniel 2:39)
  • Persian Empire. BC 538-333 (Daniel 2:39, 8:20)
  • Greek Empire. BC 333-63 (Daniel 2:39, 8:21)
  • Roman Empire. BC 63 onwards (undefeated) followed by Church Age
  • Revived Roman Empire in Last Days (Daniel 2:41-43)

7. Specific Signs will be evident before the first phase of His Return. They would leave the world in a state of chaos in preparation for the reign of antiChrist. Matthew chapter 25 lists some of them:

  • Religious signs. False Christs and false prophets performing amazing lying signs and wonders.
  • Political signs. The world will see a global government forming. A global financial system will force people to take a microchip in their body. A global religious system will arise and encourage people to take the chip. A first for our generation.
  • Physical signs. An increase in earthquakes, famines, diseases, and disasters will shock the world.
  • Persecution of genuine Christians.
  • Moral – or rather Immoral – signs. Violence, immorality, sexual confusion, murder, and corruption will be the order of the day. The lifestyle will mirror the “Days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37) and the “Days of Lot” (Luke 17:28).
  • Gospel signs. The Bible prophesies preaching of the Gospel in all the world 24/7. It does not say every individual will hear, but every nation will have the opportunity. Modern technology has made this possible.
  • Sign of the Fig Tree. Prophecies are very specific about Israel becoming a Nation. Her people will return to their land, and ancient prophecies fulfilled to the letter.

Download a sermon from the 4th Century AD about the Rapture

The Reality of Increasing Skepticism and Scoffing in the Last Days. 

The closer the Return of Christ and the Rapture of the Church, the more scoffing we will hear. There have always been scoffers, but this will increase as the time of the Lord’s Return draws closer. Even some of God’s chosen people in the modern church today are doubting His Return.

“First, I want to remind you that in the Last Days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: Jesus promised to come back, did He? Then where is He? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.”(2 Peter 3:3,4 New Living Translation).

Scoffers are unaware they are fulfilling prophecy. Jesus will return in spite of scoffers and skeptics.

The Return of the Lord will be one of the greatest events this world has ever experienced. Click To Tweet

“I Can’t Keep My Eyes Off The Clouds” composed and sung by Ray Ludik

God Wants Us to Share the Gospel in these End Times

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

The “Last Days” were described by Jesus as being like the “Days of Noah” with all its attendant evils and moral perverseness. It is interesting to note that Noah and his family were in the Ark for seven days before the floods came and the earth was destroyed according to Genesis 7:7-10. We believe this is symbolical of the Rapture of the Church. Believers will be safe with Christ while the last seven years of world history take place on earth under the reign of antichrist.

The Early Church Looked Forward to the Return of Christ with eager expectation… and so should we. There are many differing views, but the bottom line is: whatever you believe, be ready for and excited about the Return of Jesus. The Church will be “caught up” (“snatched up”) to meet Him in the Air! Share the Gospel while there is time.

“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;” (2 Peter 3:14)



  1. This is my 3rd ATTEMPT to correct my MISTAKE !!!
    The first comment has a MISTAKE – 26th of MARCH is the START of the 1,260 days (Rev.11:2)

    26th of FEBRUARY is the SETTING UP of the U.N. World Government where it will vote in the General Assembly.
    (See Daniel 12:11)

  2. The last comment was discarded, as I omitted to tick the SUBSCRIBE square.
    The date I gave for the 1,260 Days Commencement SHOULD be 26th MARCH 2020. – NOT 26th February 2020.

    The DATE of 26th February 2020 is the VOTE for SETTING up the WORLD Government by the United Nations. – so 1,290 Days from the End of World Govt. (Daniel 12:11) is 26th February 2020 — Mark that on the Calendar!

  3. Sorry, but I mistakenly put down February 26, 2020 – that will be the DATE of U.N. Security Council Voting for World Governance.
    1,260 days will start after 42 Months has completed (From 3rd Oct.2016) {Hebrew Calendar 5777} (See Rev.11:3)
    Day ONE of the 1,260 Days is March 26 2020. (See Rev.11:2)
    26th March 2020 – After 1260 Days, we get to September 2023, but on the 8th day after (Circumcision of our flesh), we arrive at 2nd Advent/Resurrection on the LAST Trump of ROSH HASHANA – September 16 2023. (Heb.Cal 5785)

  4. Hi Val,
    What Jesus stated about NOT knowing of His Return day, was specifically aimed at the AUDIENCE around Him at the time. As He returned to the Father after telling Mary Magdalene not to touch Him till he had seen the Father!
    The Parable of the 10 Virgins, was telling us that the FOOLISH had NOT known of the Day or Hour of His return. This indicated that the WISE were admitted into the Wedding Feast which would last during Most of the last 1260 DAYS.
    Matt.25:13 – YE = Foolish Virgins after Rapture. Luke 12:36 – Return at 2nd Advent. These Wise Virgins are the BRIDE and also the WOMAN who was given wings of a GREAT Eagle – Rev.12:14. to a place Prepared (John 14:1-4).
    The 1260 days begin on 26th February 2020. The Rapture was Dan.12:12, which is Pentecost 2020 (30th May 2020.)
    The 69th “Week” of Daniel 9:24-27 commences on Hebrew Calendar 5777, and was the 3rd of October, 2016.
    If you want all the proof, you are welcome to get it from my Email, which I gave to you to post this comment.
    The SECOND Advent is on ROSH HASHANA (Last Trump) 1 Cor. 15:52.

    • This is my 4th ATTEMPT to correct my MISTAKE !!!
      The first comment has a MISTAKE – … 26th of MARCH is the START of the 1,260 days (Rev.11:2)

      26th of FEBRUARY is the SETTING UP of the U.N. World Government where it will vote in the General Assembly.
      (See Daniel 12:11)

      • Hi Olaf,

        Thanks for your opinion on the date of the Lord’s Return.

        You are not the first to set the date, and I am sure you won’t be the last.

        I prefer to accept the Word of Jesus as it stands. “But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son [in His humanity], but the Father alone” Matthew 24:34 Amplified Bible.



        • Sorry for all the comments I posted, as my first comment appeared immediately, but when I noticed a mistake, I wanted to correct it, but the correction apparently had to be approved before it appeared, hence I posted more, to no avail.
          With all due respects, Val, I think MOST people do NOT read WHAT is WRITTEN, and put their OWN idea into what they UNDERSTAND is being SAID. That is why they accused Jesus of saying that HE would DESTROY the TEMPLE.

          Does that Quote say “But of that [exact] day and hour no one WILL EVER KNOW, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son [in His humanity], but the Father alone” Matthew 24:34
          Rev.12:12. Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because HE KNOWETH that HE hath but a short time.
          Rev.3:3. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt NOT watch, I WILL come on thee AS a thief, and THOU shalt NOT KNOW what hour I will come upon THEE.
          For those who are FOOLISH Virgins, who miss out on the Wedding: –
          Matt.25:13. Watch therefore, for YE know NEITHER the DAY nor the HOUR wherein the Son of man cometh.

          1 Thess.5:1. But of the TIMES and the SEASONS, brethren, Ye have NO need that I write unto YOU.
          2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
          4. But YE, brethren, are NOT in darkness, that THAT day should overtake YOU as a thief.

          In reference to DANIEL’S prophecies we are told : – Dan.12:4. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] TO the TIME of the END: many shall run to and fro, and KNOWLEDGE shall be increased.
          ALL of the FORMER DATE SETTERS, refuse to find the facts. The FACT that there were 4 COMMANDS to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and streets, and TOTALLY disregard the LAST Command in 1533AD, and Dan.9:24-27 tells of the JEWS (Daniel’s People and City) will happen 490 years after the last command given. 1533+490=2023 – end of story.

          Rev.17:9. And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
          10. And there are seven kings: FIVE are fallen, and ONE IS, [and] the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must CONTINUE a SHORT space.

          in 1929 Lateran Treaty, the VATICAN became a SOVEREIGN STATE. In ROME (7 HILLS/Mountains), there were 5 Kings/POPES elected (after 1929), who DIED. the 6th was BENEDICT, who steps down, and FRANCIS “RULES in his stead. (For a SHORT space)

          Rev.10:11. And he said unto me, Thou MUST prophesy AGAIN before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
          That refers to those who MISINTERPRETED the LITTLE BOOK (Daniel), and DATE SETTING – which was SEALED till the END Time – (Time of the 7th POPE?)

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