Four things about the second coming of Christ should fill our souls with joy.
First, He is coming swiftly: "As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24-27). Once He steps into the sky, there will be no time to get right with God, no time to make amends. Swift as fast-paced lightning, He will come. Lightning is incredibly swift. A spark from a cloud to the earth can measure as much as eight miles and can travel at the speed of 100 million feet per second. Lightning that reaches from cloud to cloud can be twenty to one hundred miles long. The Lord Jesus is coming at the speed of a lightning flash. It will be "in a moment," it will be "in the twinkling of an eye." It will be a happy moment for His own, and a horrendous moment for His foes!
Lightning can be deadly. Sheet lightning has no particular form; it is just a bright flash in the sky, but forked lightning comes charged with millions of volts of electrical power. Jesus is coming like that, swiftly and in power.
Then, too, He is coming solemnly: "As in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until...the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:38-39). The years before the Flood were similar to the days in which we live. In Noah's day the true faith was rapidly disappearing and a pornographic society, one filled with violence took its place. People were making tremendous strides in the fields of science, commerce, and the arts. Permissiveness was the popular attitude of a lawless society that allowed the guilty to go unpunished and endorsed all kinds of deviant behavior. The majority of people were ignorant of God's Word. They "knew not," Jesus said in His commentary on these things (Matt 24:39). People were clever enough when it came to material things, but they were wholly blind to spiritual things. They ignored the signs that pointed to coming doom. They "knew not" until it was too late. So it was then. So it is today.
Then, too, He is coming secretly: "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matt 24:42). This aspect of the Lord's second coming has to do with the rapture, not with the final return of the Lord to reign. The date of the final return will be known to those who believe. It will be exactly 1,260 days from the day the Antichrist seizes the rebuilt Jewish temple and begins the great tribulation to the day of Christ's return to reign (Rev. 12:6). Before that happens, the Lord is coming like a thief, coming secretly, when least expected, to snatch away His own people. "Of that day and that hour knoweth no man," Jesus said (Mark 13:32). In Matthew's account of this secret event, the Lord goes on to actually describe the rapture of the church (Matt. 24:36, 40- 44). "Be ready!" That's the word!
Finally, like the bridegroom, He is coming surely: "Behold, the bridegroom cometh: go yet out to meet him," will be the cry (Matt. 25:6). Now we are invited to view the Second Coming from His point of view. A bridegroom---what a picture of eager anticipation! He has been gone for a long time, but he has been busy preparing a place for us, a home beyond the sky. His Spirit has been here in His stead, however, and has been busy calling out a people for His name. But one of these days, He will come. And we'll be gone! What a day of rejoicing that will be.