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Rapture 101: When Jesus Returns (I Thessalonians 4:13-14). The climax of all human history is coming. The purposes of God long hidden in His eternal counsels are now made clear. Jesus will soon step back into history, no longer the suffering servant, He is Lord of All.
Look closely as God pulls back the veil and reveals the awesome majesty of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in all His glory. As we look at each facet of His wondrous character let your heart rest in the security that comes of trusting in Him. See the folly of the world as they deafen their ears to all the warnings God has given over all of the time since the Garden of Eden!
There are two separate moments coming in the perhaps not too distant future when life, as we know it, will forever be altered.
THE 1ST MOMENT is the unexpected sweeping away out of this earth of Christ’s church.
The Bible teaches that the Rapture or Jesus coming FOR His saints takes place first, followed seven years later by His Second Coming WITH His saints to rescue Israel. There are no signs for the Rapture, no warning that it is about to occur. All the signs listed in the Bible are for the Second Coming. Jesus Christ comes secretly to catch His saints up to heaven. At that moment the world is living in self-complacent pleasure. The world will seemingly be on its way to solving ecological problems and establishing perpetual international peace. Believers in the Rapture will be widely ridiculed. Few Christians will expectantly await this glorious event. Tonight are we eagerly watching and longing for Christ to take us to heaven?
Will the unsaved world be aware of what is happening? Will they hear the shout, the voice, and the trumpet? First Corinthians 15:52 indicates that this will happen so suddenly that it will be over in the twinkling of an eye. Since the shout, voice, and trumpet apply to God’s people, there is no reason to believe that the unsaved masses will hear them. If they do, they will hear sounds without meaning (see John 12:27–30). Millions of people will vanish instantly, and no doubt there will be chaos and great concern. Except for those who know the Bible teaching, the world will wonder what has happened.
AT THE RAPTURE: The saints meet Christ in the air.
AT THE SECOND COMING: Christ returns to earth.
AT THE RAPTURE: The Mount of Olives is untouched.
AT THE SECOND COMING: The Mount of Olives splits.
AT THE RAPTURE: Living saints are translated.
AT THE SECOND COMING: No saints are translated.
AT THE RAPTURE: The body goes to heaven.
AT THE SECOND COMING: The body comes to earth.
AT THE RAPTURE: Christ comes for His saints.
AT THE SECOND COMING: Christ comes with His saints.
AT THE RAPTURE: The world is not judged and sin gets
AT THE SECOND COMING: The world is judged and sin is dealt with.
THE RAPTURE: Is not preceded by detailed signs or warnings.
THE SECOND COMING: Is preceded by specific detailed signs.
THE RAPTURE: Concerns only the saved.
THE SECOND COMING: Concerns the saved and the lost.
Beloved, they have to be separate events. The Tribulation will come. And do you know what will happen? You say, “Men will probably repent with all that judgment.” Revelation 16:11 says, “And (they) blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” Sad, isn’t it? The Tribulation will be a terrible time for sinners … I don’t think it’s a time for Christians!
THE 2ND MOMENT is the Day of the Lord. Christ’s return in glory and powerful vengeance upon the earth. It will be a time of strange signs in the sky. The Sun will start dimming much to the dismay of the astronomers, the moon will turn red as blood. Meteors will crash to the earth even to the point of poisoning the air and water. Then the Sun will crank up so hot it actually burns the flesh of people exposed to its fierce rays. Earth dwellers will faint for fear at the sights of countless fiends who race from a deadly abyss and out a fissure in the Middle East. Like bats from a cave, these demonic monsters darkened the sky. They are impervious to all weapons and their way horribly into the securest of rooms. Upon facing any humans they inflict upon them a vilest of venom that burns with such intensity that the paralysis of agony sets in.