Revelation 1:7 says
Look, he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,even those who pierced him;and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.So shall it be! Amen.
” Clearly John has been instructed to write about facts and the verse does not talk about a false coming.
We can also point to Matthew 24:30 which is a parallel passage and reads as follows:
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.
Now, there are places in scripture where we are warned about false reports of Christ's return. In fact, Jesus said it many times in his Olivet Discourse (recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21). For example, Matthew 24:4-5 says, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many."
Later in Matthew 24:23-27 Jesus has these words of warning:
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
In other words, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be very visible and if someone says Jesus has come again and it was not an event witnessed by everyone, then it should not be believed. Some people, in fact, claim that prophecy was fulfilled a long time ago (in A.D. 70), yet Jesus did not return as He explained in the verses noted above; thus, they are incorrect in saying A.D. 70 fulfilled prophecy. Also, one day the Antichrist will arise on the scene and along with the False Prophet many great miracles will be performed; however, that should not be mistaken for the true return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ because it will be a much more grand event seen by everyone.
Before I conclude, I want to mention this important point: the Second Coming of Jesus is not to be confused with the Rapture. The Rapture of the Church will be an event wherein true Christians are taken into the clouds to meet Jesus in the air (which precedes when Jesus returns in the Second Coming after the tribulation has taken place). The Rapture is most clearly described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 where we read:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
This brief illustration outlines the sequence of events in the end times:
We are currently living in what is known as the Church Age (which started after Christ's death and ascension into heaven). The Rapture is an imminent event that could happen today, tomorrow, or a few years from now (many experts, including me, believe that world events are strongly indicating we are currently living in the last days). The Tribulation is often interpreted to last for seven years and it will be immediately followed by the true Second Coming of Christ.
As I conclude this article, I would like to remind everyone that we're told throughout scripture that the Rapture will take many people by surprise. Therefore, as we go about our daily lives as described in Luke 17:26-36 (eating and drinking, marrying, working, building, etc.), we should follow the words of Jesus in Luke 21:36, "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."