How do you picture Jesus returning on Judgment Day?
"But in those days, following that distress, "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” (Mark 13:24-27)
How do you picture Jesus returning on Judgment Day? He is not going to return secretly, walk up to you on the street, and ask you to recite a portion of Luther’s Small Catechism. Instead, he will return in the sky with his holy angels, and he will be sitting there on a throne in the clouds. You will have no doubt that it is Judgment Day.
How is it that everyone can see him on Judgment Day? You picture him coming down over your hometown, don’t you? That can’t be right. How will this work? The answer is not one of those unexplained mysteries like the Trinity. It’s not that Jesus will be so big that everyone around the earth can see a small portion of him there in the sky. It’s not that he will return in twenty-four different human bodies on twenty-four different thrones, one for each time zone.
This text explains the answer. Even though people have heard it read before, they often don’t know the answer to how everyone can see Jesus on Judgment Day. But the answer is simple. He will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth. When the angel picks you up to take you to where Jesus is returning, and when your body is transformed from a mortal body into an immortal body, you will have no doubt that it is Judgment Day.
Judgment Day is not the day when Jesus decides who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. He has already decided that going to heaven is based on faith in Jesus as Savior, and faith alone. Judgment Day is the day when Jesus announces the judgment. Don’t worry that he will get it wrong. He will send his holy angel to be with you, and you will go safely to heaven through faith in him.