Though many Jews in the time of Jesus expected the Messiah to overthrow the Romans and establish Israel as the most powerful nation of all, that’s not what the advents of Jesus, either the first or second, were to be about.
Instead, God had something so much bigger in store for His faithful people than just a rearrangement of the old sinful and fallen world.
Perhaps nothing else in the Old Testament reveals as clearly as does Daniel chapter 2 the truth that the new world does not grow out of the old one, but instead is a new and radically different creation.
Daniel chapter 2 shows the rise and fall of four great world empires — Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and then finally Rome, which then breaks up into the nations of modern Europe. However, the statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream (symbolizing the succession of these four major world powers) ends in a spectacular way that shows the great disconnect between this world and one that will come after the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These verses leave little ambiguity about what happens when Jesus returns. In Luke 20:17-18, Jesus identified Himself with this stone, which crushed to powder all that was left of this world. The Aramaic of Daniel 2:35 reads that after the gold, the silver, the clay, iron, and the bronze were crushed, they “became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them”. That is, nothing is left of this old world after Jesus returns.
Meanwhile, the stone that destroyed all trace of this old world “became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth”. And this kingdom, which arises as a result of the Second Coming, is one that “shall never be destroyed”, and “it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44, NRSV).
Only one of two endings awaits every human being who has ever lived on this planet. Either we will be with Jesus for eternity, or we will disappear into nothingness with the chaff of this old world. One way or another, eternity awaits us all.
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons