(1) The OT foreview of the coming Messiah is in two aspects – that of rejection and suffering (Isaiah 53), and that of earthly glory and power (Isaiah 11; Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 37). Often these two aspects blend in one passage (Psalm 2). The prophets themselves were perplexed by this seeming contradiction (1 Peter 1:10-11). It was solved by partial fulfilment. In due time the Messiah, born of a virgin according to Isaiah, appeared among men and began His ministry by announcing the predicted kingdom as "at hand” (Matthew 4:17, note). The rejection of King and kingdom followed.
(2) Thereupon the rejected King announced His approaching crucifixion, resurrection, departure, and return (Matthew 12:38-40; 16:1-4, 21, 27; Luke 12:35-46; 17:20-36; 18:31-34; 19:12-27).
(3) He uttered predictions concerning the course of events between His departure and return (Matthew 13:1-50; 16:18; 24:4-26).
(4) This promised return of Christ becomes a prominent theme in the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation.
Taken together, the NT teachings concerning the return of Jesus Christ may be summarized as follows:
(1) That return is an event, not a process, and is personal and corporeal (Matthew 23:39; 24:30; 25:31; Mark 14:62; Luke 17:24; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
(2) His coming has a threefold relation: to the church, to Israel, to the nations.
(a) To the church the descent of the Lord into the air to raise the sleeping and change the living saints is set forth as a constant expectation and hope (Matthew 24:36, 44; 24:48-51; 25:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:14-17; 1 Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:13; Revelation 22:20).
(b) To Israel, the return of the Lord is predicted to accomplish the yet unfulfilled prophecies of her national regathering, conversion, and establishment in peace and power under the Davidic Covenant (Acts 15:14-17 w/ Zechariah 14:1-9; Luke 1:31-33; 2 Samuel 7:8-17, note; Zechariah 13:8, note; 1 Corinthians 15:24, note).
(c) To the Gentile nations the return of Christ is predicted to bring the destruction of the present political world-system (Daniel 2:34-25; Revelation 19:11, note); the judgment of Matthew 25:31-46 followed by world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 60:3; Zechariah 8:3, 20, 23; 14:16-21).