“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so, amen. Revelation 1:7
My grandson and I were traveling Space Available on a small 16 passenger military jet from Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois to Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was the night of July 4th. We watched the many firework shows thousands of feet below us as we flew over Missouri and Kansas – splashes of multi-colored bouquets dotting the sky here and there, but in miniature form as seen from great altitude. But the far better fireworks were up in the skies beside us and above us.
This panorama with the magnificent towers of clouds off to our south were alive with lightning as the almost full moon lit up the otherwise dark night sky. The flashes were everywhere as bolt after bolt of electricity mimicked multiple firework bursts, but far more spectacular. The massive, turbulent cloud towers stretching from prairie to far above our 25,000 altitude were mesmerizing in their powerful beauty. We have never seen a firework show as grand as we saw that night!
Now, a clear sky with no clouds, myriads of stars, and a bright moon is a beautiful sight. But clouds are God’s wonderful decorations of the earth’s atmosphere which are necessary for unbelievable sunsets and for painting the horizon with every kind of shape – wispy, ferocious, calm, frenetic, roiling, twisting, streaming, towering, layering, capping. The clouds decorate the sky, always painting a different vista for its audience below.
God used some special clouds with a directing and protecting purpose: the pillar of cloud as a guide through Sinai for the children of Israel escaping Egypt’s army, the pillar of fire by night for the same, and to stand between His children and the army pursuing them.
The Scriptures tell us that when Jesus returns He will come “with the clouds. What does this mean? I imagine it means He will come with the majesty and great fanfare which the clouds present in the manner in which they decorate and display Earth’s atmosphere and nature’s power. They get our attention! They proclaim what the weather is going to be; they bring storms, producing rain, snow, and hail; they whirl into tornadoes, hurricanes, and wind gales; they display the tremendous power and dramatic changes of nature.
Jesus will come in a manner that will capture every eye, for “every eye will see Him, declares the Bible. The clouds will be such that they will “announce and accompany the Son of God with great majesty, honor, and glory! Whatever that is in cloud presentation, it will be magnificent! Our eyes will indeed literally see Him, and the sight will be one of great awe; joy for those eagerly awaiting Him and wailing and dread for those who are not.
This is no spiritualized coming of God’s Son! We will see Him in the same manner which we see the sun rise every morning. Those alive, those long dead, ALL will see with their own eyes Jesus coming with the clouds; just as the disciples of Jesus saw Him ascend into the clouds at His ascension. There is no greater sight! Nothing else will have our attention. Every eye will be on Jesus. No eye will turn or glance away. I do not know how that will happen with the global earth; only I believe what Scripture says. If God says it, it will be! There is no grander sight in all history as history comes to a climax. Jesus returns exactly as He promised…with the clouds! Will you be one among those who will wail, or are you one who eagerly awaits that day?
“Lo! He comes with clouds descending, once for favored sinners slain; thousand saints attending swell the triumph of His train. Alleluia! Alleluia! God appears on Earth to reign.
Every eye shall now behold Him, robed in dreadful majesty; those who set at naught and sold Him, pierced, and nailed Him to the tree, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see.
Every island, sea, and mountain, heaven, and earth shall flee away. All who hate Him must, confounded, hear the trump proclaim the day: Come to judgement! Come to judgment! Come to judgment, come away!
Now redemption, long expected, see in solemn pomp appear! All His saints by man rejected now shall meet Him in the air. Alleluia! Alleluia! See the day of God appear!
(Verses 1-4 of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending, 1758)
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