Summary: Jesus is coming for his Saints. Will you be ready when he returns?
The Disney Film “Million Dollar Arm” tells the story of a washed out Baseball scout who goes to India to find a new prospect and save his career. It’s a charming story that centers on finding a cricket pitcher in India good enough to be drafted into Major Leagues. The drama unfolds as the scout races against time to get his two prospects ready for the tryout deadline. The approaching deadline motivates the scout and the players to be ready.
Today I would like to ask the question, Will You be Ready? Our focus on prophecy continues today with a discussion of the disciple’s questions to Jesus concerning the timing of the coming judgment.
“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”” (Matthew 24:3, NIV84)
Matthew 24 and 25 provide information about CHRIST’S RETURN
Jesus gave these words on TUESDAY of the passion week, likely as the sun was setting over the Temple.
This is not a discussion about the Rapture of the Church. This sermon by Jesus is about his SECOND COMING
Christ would not instruct the Disciples about the RAPTURE until THURSDAY NIGHT at the FINAL PASSOVER (John 14), AFTER JUDAS has departed (Judas would NOT be a part of the Raptured Church!)
There are TWO PARTS to CHRIST’S SECOND COMING
His Coming in JUDGMENT
This Prophesied in the OT
““The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 59:20, NIV84)
““In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” (Daniel 2:44, NIV84)
““And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10, NIV84)
“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2, NIV84)
We normally refer to Christ’s coming in judgment as the Second Coming.
He comes WITH his Saints. “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.” (Revelation 19:11–16, NIV84)
The RAPTURE is a separate part of the Return of Christ that precedes the Second Coming. During the Rapture, Jesus comes and CATCHES AWAY his BRIDE, the CHURCH
The FIRST MENTION of this event in the chronology of Scripture is found in John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3, NIV84)
The Rapture is referred to as a “Mystery” “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—” (1 Corinthians 15:51, NIV84)
In a moment.
Twinlking of an eye
At the Last Trumpet
Dead in Christ will be raised
This is a PART of the RESURRECTION of the RIGHTEOUS
The Rapture is a comfort or encouragement to believers.
“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14–18, ESV)