Every Eye Shall See Him
September 20, 2008 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

I must say that I am impressed with the knowledge on this website, but I have a question that has been bothering me for a while. How will every eye see God at the same time when he comes from the east;

on an earth that is round with different time zones. When we cannot see the moon or the sun at the same time with someone that is on the other side of the earth?

The only text in the Bible that I could find which states that every eye will see Christ when He returns is Revelation 1:7 which states:

“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.”

Whenever I study the Bible there are several questions I always ask:

  1. What does the Bible actually say? Here we have a text which explicitly states Christ will come and every eye will see him. But we must ask another question.
  2. What does it mean? And this is the most critical question of all when studying the Bible.
  3. And the final question I ask, once I am satisfied I have answered the first two questions is: How does it apply to my life.

So, step two, what does Revelation 1:7 mean? Does it mean every person will see Jesus come with their eyes simultaneously all over the planet? Does it mean that every eye of every person who has ever lived throughout all human history will see Him when He comes? Does it mean that all those who are alive on earth at the time of His return, even those who suffer with blindness are healed at the second coming so that literally “every eye” will see Christ’s return? Or is the language merely an expression that all peoples living on the entire earth will be included in Christ’s return giving assurance that no one will be left out? Are there other possible meanings? Which is most likely?

We can have some confidence that the text does not mean that all people of all time will see the second coming for 1Thes 4:16-18 states:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”

Notice at the second coming of Christ only the righteous dead are raised to life, therefore the wicked dead of all time, who are not raised until after the 1000 years (Revelation 20:5) could not see Him when He comes. But there does seem to be a small exception with a few of the wicked being raised in order to see Christ’s return. Revelation 1:7 stated that those who crucified Christ would see Him return. This would be in keeping with Christ’s promise that his persecutors would “see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:62.

The Bible does not give specifics on the physics of how Christ’s appearance is communicated to the inhabitants of earth. Does it take place simultaneously all over the planet? Does it occur over a 24 hour period as the earth rotates on its axis with Christ in a stationary orbit over the planet? Does it take less than 24 hours because Christ and His angels actual travel rapidly around the earth?

The Bible does not state explicitly, but one clue is found in Matthew 24:27:

For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

The word translated “lightning” can also be translated “light shining”. As you think about lightning, does lightning have a geographic direction? Does lightning shine from East to West? No, but what does? The sun rising and setting. Might it be more accurate to translate the text “As the sunlight shines from the East covering the earth to the West so also will the coming of the Son of Man cover the entire earth”?

What have we learned from this study?

The Bible does not teach that every person from all time will see Christ return, just those who are alive at the time of the second coming, the righteous who are raised and those who crucified Him.

The Bible does not explicitly teach that all people living on the earth when Christ returns will see Him return simultaneously. It very well could be but the Bible doesn’t state that as fact, so it doesn’t have to be. 

The Bible does not provide the physics of how His appearance will transpire and there is a logical reason why. Because it is not the purpose of the Bible to provide the scientific details, the purpose of the Bible is to confirm the reality of Christ’s return and assure all people, of all nations throughout all time that Christ will return again and the entire world will be included.

How does this apply to my life? It provides me confidence, hope and assurance that very soon the pain, suffering, death, sin and sickness of planet earth will come to an end and all will be made new again. This truth provides courage to endure, courage to press on, courage to say no to evil and yes to God’s kingdom of love! I invite you to embrace the hope of Christ’s soon coming and make His kingdom of love your number one priority in life!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.