It is natural and quite right that Christians should engage in debate over what the Bible says about the last days and the Return of Jesus. After all, the Bible has a lot to tell us about these issues. Regardless of one’s worldview or faith, the Bible is an ancient and vitally important book that has shaped the course of history and will continue to in the future.
But how can it be that there are so many differing opinions as to what will take place? We do, [mostly] all agree on the most essential point – that is, Jesus will physically Return to earth. It is in the timing of His Return and who exactly is the nation, the people that He Returns to, that there is disagreement.
Jesus said; Do not assume that I have come to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34-36
Luke 12:49 I am come to set fire to the earth and how I wish it were already kindled.
Jesus makes statements that contradict today’s picture of Him as a gentle pacifist and seems to differ from what the angels announced at His birth, but it isn’t; they told of the beginning of this age of enmity between God and humanity and the eventual final reconciliation. Matthew 3:12, Psalms 110:5-6
Until that happens, we are still in that age of enmity and God must impose consequences on both our good and evil choices. We have free will, mostly so that we can freely love Him, because only freely chosen love is true love. Thus, if God only rewarded the good but left the evil unpunished, He would act arbitrarily, against His just nature and our free choices would be meaningless.
From Isaiah 63:1-6…I resolved on a Day of vengeance…. we have a graphic description of the Lord carrying out His just retribution against His enemies. The reason for their destruction is foretold in Romans 9:22-23. Many other passages describe this soon to happen, terrible Day of the Lords wrath. This cannot be at the same time as the Return of Jesus, as the Day of the Lord is a worldwide event, whereas at His Return, Jesus disposes of the Beast, the False Prophet and the armies attacking Jerusalem.
The fact that the Lord’s garments become blood stained during His Day of vengeance, then – at His Return, it states that He “is robed in a garment dyed in blood”, this proves that the Day of the Lord is some time before His Return.
Isaiah 66:15-16 See; the Lord is coming in fire, His chariots like a whirlwind, bringing retribution in His furious anger. The Lord will judge with fire – by His sword He will test all mankind. Many will be slain by Him.
Many people today, combine prophecies like Isaiah 63 & 66, the wrath of the Lord, with the Return of Jesus. To do this requires that you allegorize either these verses or the accurate descriptions of His Return in Revelation 19, Zechariah 14:3-5 and Matt 24:30
Psalm 50:1-6 The Lord God has spoken and summoned the world. He shines from Zion, in His glory. He will not remain silent, a consuming fire goes before Him and storms rage around Him. The heavens and the earth look on at the judging of His people. Gather to Me, My loyal servants, those, who by sacrifice have made a covenant with Me. The heavens will proclaim His justice, for God Himself is judge. Ezekiel 34:11-16
The Lord’s loyal servants are gathered into Zion, all the Promised Land. Ezekiel 20:34-38 Then, it isn’t until later, when the Great Tribulation is over, that Jesus Returns, destroys His attackers, gathers all His people and reigns for 1000 years.
Therefore, the next event on the prophetic calendar is the Lords Day of vengeance.