Summary: The study of end times. Understanding that the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ are two seperate end times events.
Rapture of the Church/ Second coming of Jesus Christ
I want to talk to you a moment about some of the things that are happening in the world today.
I want to take a moment to look what the Bible says about the end times.
I had a conversation with several people this week and heard some perspectives of what they felt was happening today with all the changes happening.
Please believe me when I say that I am no expert on end times and the study of Eschatology. After conversation, I would like to say how I see scripture unfolding.
I remember hearing about the 88 reasons Jesus will return in 1988. When that didn’t happen, I remember the next year the same author had 89 reasons that Jesus would come back in 1989. Looking back now a little more educated, as soon as it did not happen in 1988, this man was a false prophet according to the word of God. To say it again in 1989, anyone that bought that book was just padding his bank account.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that many false prophets will rise and many have done that already. He tells us that if people claim to tell us that Christ is here, Christ is there, showing us great signs and wonders that we are not to believe them.
People have for centuries tried to figure out who the Antichrist is.
Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Moselini, all names mentioned as the antichrist.
What does the Bible say?
What does the Bible say about the rapture? About the second coming of Christ?
A lot of times there is confusion on these two events.
The rapture and second coming of Christ are two different end times events.
The rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the church and all believers.
The second coming of Christ occurs after the great tribulation and believers return with Jesus
Rapture happens in a instant and without warning, as a thief in the night- the believers will be gone, the world left wondering where the believers went.
The second coming will be visible to all.
“Behold He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, all tribes of the Earth will morn over him”
why is it so important to keep the rapture and the second coming distinct?
If the rapture and the second coming are the same event, believers will have to go through the tribulation.
If they are the same event, there are many events that must occur before he can return.
1 Thess. 4:13-18
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
The rapture is when Jesus takes the church and all believers, first the dead, and then we which are alive. In a twinkling of an eye, we will meet the Lord Jesus in the air (He will not set foot on earth yet)
“Now I say this, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory.”
The trumpet will sound, and in a instant we will be with the Lord. Believers who have died will have their bodies resurrected and believers who still living will be in His presence.
The second coming according t Rev. 19:11-16
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called faithful and true. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”