19:21 THE SECOND COMING
“And the rest were slain with the sword of Him who sat on the horse, which proceeded out of His mouth. And all the birds were filled with their flesh”(Revelation 19:21). Although the focus of these verses is on the destruction of the unrepentant, we should not forget that this is the Second Coming of Christ, which is the event that the church has been waiting for ever since He went to heaven and promised to return.
The angel at His ascension promised, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11), in other words, personally and visibly. Jesus Himself promised, “As the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will be coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27). He then mentioned the supper of the birds—“For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles [or vultures as a number of translations read] will be gathered together” (v. 28).
Jesus listed the physical signs which will accompany His coming: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (v. 29). In Luke He adds, “On the earth distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25). John in Revelation 6 mentions these same signs and adds, “There was a great earthquake…and every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (Revelation 6:12-14). Jesus concludes, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in Heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24: 29-31).
Paul describes the same event in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” “For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52).
Thus even though the details are not spelled out in Revelation 19, we can see from these other verses of scripture that at this point in the timeline 1) The “kings of the earth” and the rest who have rejected God will be gathered against God’s people, 2) Signs will appear in the sun, moon and stars and there will be chaotic shaking of the heavens, roaring of the sea, and a tremendous earthquake, 3) The sign of Jesus’ coming will be followed by Jesus Himself coming on the clouds with His angels, 4) The unrepentant will be destroyed “by the brightness of His coming,” 5) The “dead in Christ” will be resurrected, 6 They along with the living righteous will be given new, incorruptible bodies and will be gathered by the angels to be with Jesus.
This will be the day when Jesus fulfills His promise to His followers, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
As the time of the Second Coming approaches there will be an accelerating of events that will finally become an earth-shattering blur as the final, momentous acts of God fall one after another (see the chart that follows). Now, as the world teeters on the brink of eternity, is the time to make sure we are ready. “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Revelation 3:3).
 John described this mourning in Revelation 6:15, “The kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” This verse describes exactly the same group (kings of the earth etc.) who “were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse,” showing that these two passages are describing the same event, the coming of Christ.