Summary: This is part of a series on the Second Coming , the titles are based on the book by John Macarthur titled "The Second Coming"
-This is the third message in this sermon series about the second coming that we have been looking at.
-First we looked at Why Christ must return, last week we preached about the doctrine of the soon return of Christ and today we are going to look at a sermon titled Birth Pangs
I want to say right up front just to be fair to all you mothers that are here today. I know nothing about what going into labor feels like. I'm not even going to pretend to know. But the Bible does use labor pains as a metaphor to explain the situation of earth prior to the coming of Christ
Just like a woman about to give birth the contractions start and then increase and become more frequent the Bible teaches that there will be signs to watch for on the earth that will take place and in more frequency as we approach the coming of Christ
Paul says that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
In this passage in Matthew the Disciples just out right asked Jesus, “Tell us when will these things be and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”
and Jesus, standing in the mount of Olives preached a whole sermon to them about the signs of his coming
in this sermon the signs being and Jesus uses the word “tribulation” in verse 9 and then as time goes on the signs begin to intensify and he uses the wording “great tribulation” in verse 21
When you look at Jesus' sermon and the book of revelation side by side with the book of revelation chapters 7-19 they are very similar. Which can only mean that they are describing the same event, the tribulation period
-As we look at the second coming of Christ there is something that we need to understand. The second coming of Christ happens in two parts
there is what we often call the rapture of the church, where the saints of God are caught up in the clouds to be with the Lord
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1Th 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
So the next thing to happen in history is the rapture where the church is taken out of the earth and then there is going to be a seven year period of time called the great tribulation where God will pour out his wrath upon the earth.
The Bible strongly suggest that the church will not go through the tribulation period
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
1Th 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
God's character is also revealed in scripture. He is a never changing God.
Before he destroyed the world with the flood and sent his wrath, he saved Noah and his family
before he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah he sent his angels and saved Lot
God always delivers the righteous before he pours out his wrath
Therefore we can conclude from these scriptures and from history that before God's wrath is revealed, the time period that according to John will go down in history as the great day of God's wrath
Rev 6:17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
before that day he will come for the church. And then God's attention will be turned towards Israel. During the Tribulation period many of the Jews will be saved
Jer 30:7 Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it.
After the tribulation will come the second part when Christ returns again with all the saints
Now here is the amazing thing. Jesus gives the disciples some signs that describe the tribulation period is coming and we are already seeing some of these take place today which means we must be really close to the time of the rapture.
Let me illustrate. Whenever I go to the walmart or Meijer in October and see the Christmas displays set up and the stores decorated I usually think to myself “It must be about time for Thanksgiving” How did I put October, Thanksgiving and Christmas together? I saw the signs for Christmas and knew that if the signs for Christmas then it must mean that Thanksgiving is almost here because Thanksgiving comes before Christmas