And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray.  Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray…” (Mark 13:5–6)
Would you recognize Jesus if He returned from heaven today?
I’m serious. For all you know in the next week you’ll meet someone claiming to be Jesus, returned from heaven. Will you know whether this man is Jesus? This question is important enough that Jesus addressed it not long before His death, resurrection and ascension.
If you’re wondering whether you’ll recognize Jesus, I strongly recommend first looking for the signs of Jesus’ return as outlined in Scripture.
- Jesus will descend from heaven in such a way that the entire world recognizes His return. (1 Thessalonians 4:16, Matthew 24:31).
- Those who have died in the faith will first be raised from the dead as Christ returns. (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
- After the faithful departed are raised, those believers who are still alive will also be brought to our Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 15:23).
Without these specific signs, anyone approaching you as Jesus the returned Messiah is a fraud and not the Savior.
(This devotion was written for the congregations of the Ohio District – LCMS.)