With mass media coverage of world events, you can well imagine television sets around the world giving out the awesome news in ghastly detail as one event after the other takes place, including the judgments of God as well as the campaign of Armageddon.
As you study the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24), you will notice Christ’s comment about the very last days of the Tribulation.
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven ...” (v. 30), inferring that some phenomenon will occur in the sky just before He returns and may remain there for several days.
We do not know what the sign will be, but the Scriptures do reveal man’s reaction to it. The fighting armies will forget their differences and will give their sole attention to the heavens, apparently trying to blast Christ out of the sky.
John declares: “And I saw the beast [Antichrist], and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him [Christ] that sat on the horse, and against his army” (Revelation 19:19; see also Zechariah 14:3).
While the armies of the earth are poised to make war against Christ, He will suddenly burst upon the scene and literally destroy those armies “with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
Evidently, our Lord will employ atomic fission at that time, the secret of which He knew a long time before Einstein ever dreamed of splitting the atom.
The Bible describes that terrible day when hordes of Christ’s enemies will actually melt away. Zechariah graphically portrays the scene: “their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (14:12).
The remnant will meet death when they are slain by Christ, and the fowls will eat their flesh (Revelation 19:20).
Christ the king will first touch the earth on the Mount of Olives, the very hill from which He ascended. At that time Olivet will divide, forming a great valley (Zechariah 14:3, 4, 8; Ezekiel 47:8-10).
Our Redeemer will return from heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), and all of His glorified believers will accompany Him (Jude 14, 15). In quick succession He will destroy the Antichrist and his lieutenant (Revelation 19:20), and He will have Satan bound and cast into Hell where he will remain for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).
Since no unsaved person can enter the millennial age (Zechariah 13:9; Matthew 25:30, 46), Christ will judge those living upon the earth when the Tribulation ends. The righteous will be admitted into the Millennium, and the wicked will suffer eternal punishment.
Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, will then rule this entire world for a thousand years. Purity of motive, holiness in worship, and universal peace will be as common then as sin, apostasy, and war are today. May God speed that day!