The Second Coming Is Like Lightning and Vultures

Jesus is going to return to earth. I pray very soon. He said that before he comes—periodically throughout history—some people would think he has already come.

If they say to you, "Look, he is in the wilderness," do not go out. If they say, "Look, he is in the inner rooms," do not believe it. (Matthew 24:26)

Then he gave two reasons not to believe such rumors.

The first is that his coming will be globally unmistakable. It will be as publicly unmistakable as lightning.

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)

The second reason for not believing these rumors is that he will come like vultures come on a corpse.

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (Matthew 24:28)

When the world is as ready for judgment as road kill is for the vultures, then he will come in great wrath.

The Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8)

This will not be private, secret, or pleasant for unbelievers. He will come “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). And the judgment will be like vultures sweeping in on the corpse of human rebellion.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.