What of Jesus’ Promised Return?
Jesus intended his disciples to understand that for some purpose, in some manner, and at some time, he would come again. Though at his departure he had promised to be with them always, and through his Spirit and Word has indeed guided and comforted the church, he certainly referred to a future personal coming.
Yet he had said, "The world will see me no more" (John 14:19), and logically, having sacrificed his human life – provided the ransom – he could not take back the price he had paid for man's release, and could not return as a man. Put to death in the flesh, he was raised not as a human but as a spirit being, far higher than the angels, in the exact image of God's person (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 1:3-5). Jesus' first purpose in returning was, he said, to take his disciples to be with him (John 14:3), their faithful course having earned for them an eternal inheritance in heaven along with their Lord. Raised from the sleep of death they would meet him, see him as he is and be like him (1 John 3:2). The Bible provides many evidences that we are now living in the days of Jesus' second advent, that the church are all gathered and that the times of restitution spoken of by all the holy prophets are soon to begin (Acts 3:19-21).
The scriptures teach that the unbelieving world would at first be unaware of Jesus' return. His presence would be secret (“as a thief in the night” – 2 Peter 3:10). Spirit nature is of course invisible to human eyes, and the presence of Jesus would for some time be unrecognized. But they will with mental perception "see him coming... in power and great glory" during the great time of trouble of which Jesus spoke (Matthew 24:21,30), when the kingdoms of this world, all under satanic control, will be destroyed. The kingdoms of this world will then become the Kingdom of our God, and of his Christ (Revelation 11: 15). The signs of the times as foretold in the Bible indicate that this time is at hand.