Summary: 2nd Coming: The Rapture (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 13-18.
When General Douglas MacArthur was at Army training college, he tells this story:
• The first section was studying the time-space relationship;
• Later formulated by Einstein as his Theory of Relativity.
• The text was complex and, being unable to comprehend it,
• I committed the pages to memory.
• When I was called upon to recite,
• I solemnly reeled off almost word for word what the book said.
• Our instructor, Colonel Fieberger, looked at me somewhat quizzically and asked,
• “Do you understand this theory?”
• It was a bad moment for me, but I did not hesitate in replying, “No, sir.”
• You could have heard a pin drop. I braced myself and waited.
• And then the slow words of the professor:
• “Neither do I, Mr. MacArthur. Section dismissed.”
• Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Reminiscences;
• Recalling a stratagem he carried out while at West Point.
Well tonight I am not out to confuse you with complicated theories:
• But we are going to look at an important New Testament teaching;
• That is ‘The Second Coming’.
• ‘The 2nd Coming’ is a term applied to the literal return of Jesus Christ to planet earth.
• If there is a second coming, it follows that there must have been a first.
• The first coming of Christ was His incarnation when He was born.
• And in a few weeks time virtually the whole world will celebrate this event.
• But what about his second coming?
• Will there be a second coming and if so how and why?
Question 1: Will he come again?
Answer 1: The answer to that first question is yes, he will come again!
• If you believe the Bible, then the second coming of Jesus is a fact in future history;
• It is not a question of ‘WILL HE’ but ‘WHEN WILL HE’ come again!
• Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent,
• So both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ.
• One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence.
• In the 260 chapters of the New Testament,
• There are 318 references to the second advent of Christ;
• An amazing 1 out of every 30 verses.
• Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event.
• For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent,
• There are 8 which look forward to His second!
If we take this book seriously:
• And I hope we do!
• Then we can be confident, certain that the Lord is coming again!
Quote: In fact even the very last words of the Bible say:
“He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”.
2nd Question: How will he come?
• In the gospels;
• Jesus tells us 4 general things regarding his second coming:
(1). A wide-ranging description
(1). He will return personally (John 14 vs 3):
"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself"
• Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that he will not send an messenger or angel;
• He himself will come in person.
Throughout the New Testament the emphasis as always on Christ coming back himself:
Quote: Acts chapter 1 verse 11:
“Men of Galilee, they said, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven”.
THREE THINGS TO NOTICE IN THIS VERSE:
• (1). They used the human name ‘Jesus’ and not one or more of his divine titles.
• (2). They emphasised that he will not have changed in the meantime.
• (3). The verse tells us how he will come back.
• “In the same way you have seen him go”.
• In other words if one of the disciples had a camcorder;
• And made a video of his departure and disappearance,
• This could be used to portray his return.,
• Just by showing it backwards!
• The one event is a simple reverse of the other,
• Though one is past and the other future.
Quote 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 16:
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven”.
By examining these verses:
• Both Jesus and the New Testament writers makes the point;
• That his return to earth will be personal!
(2). He will return unexpectedly (Matthew 24
"Therefore you also be ready,