Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prophecy series #8: The Big Picture

In this article I want to help you distinguish between Christ’s Secret Rapture of the Church and Christ’s Second Coming in Glory. All of the following events have been discussed in previous articles in this prophetic series. Let’s review the order of prophetic events giving you key passages of Scripture to help you see how it all fits together.

A REVIEW OF PROPHETIC EVENTS
Presently we are living in the Church Age which began at Pentecost and will conclude with the Rapture of the Church to Heaven. The Church began at Pentecost and that event is described in Acts 2.

The Rapture, described in I Corinthians 15 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18, is the moment when Christ returns for all born again believers. The dead believers will be raised in glorified bodies from the graves or from the depths of the seas. Then in the same instant all those saints who are alive will be changed. We will immediately have our glorified bodies and be caught up into Heaven with the dead in Christ.

Following the Rapture of the Church, the Anti-Christ will appear and this will usher in the Seven years of Tribulation.

In Heaven we who are Christian will face the Bema Judgement seat of Christ to face Him for rewards for our faithfulness on earth or our lack of rewards for our unfaithfulness to Him. See my article in this series on this important topic.

The Tribulation will conclude with the Coming of Jesus Christ in glory with His saints. He will destroy His enemies and cast the Anti-christ and his False Prophet into the Lake of Fire. Satan himself will be bound and cast into a bottomless pit for one thousand years. During that time he will not tempt anyone to sin. See Revelation 19:1-21 and 20:1-6

For the next one thousand year, known as The Millennium, we will live in peace and righteousness on this earth under Christ’s absolute perfect rule. Isaiah 11 and 35

Following Christ’s Millennium on this earth, Satan will be released one more time. He will immediately stir up a revolt against Christ who will destroy him with the Word of His mouth. Satan will then be cast into the Lake of Fire to join the first two inhabitants, the Anti-Christ and his False Prophet. Revelations 20:7-10

Then comes the White Throne Judgment when all the lost will be condemned to the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:11-15 This is one of the most dreadful passages in all the Bible.

From the Millennium we Christians will be ushered into the eternal state described in the last two chapters of the Bible.

A LITTLE EXERCISE
If you don’t mind writing in your Bible, here is something that may help you keep events straight in your mind. First go to II Thessalonians and find a bit of white space on the page and write the following key.
R- Rapture
G- Christ’s Coming in Glory
AC- Anti-christ
T- Tribulation
H.S.- Holy Spirit

Now let’s go through part of chapter one and two and write these letters in the margin of your Bibles as follows.

Put a G before verse 7 of chapter 1. Verses 7-12 speak of Christ’s coming in glory.

Put a G before verse 1- 3a of chapter 2 These verse continue to speak of Christ’s coming in glory as we saw it in chapter 1.

Put an R before the words “falling away” in verse 3. The Greek word is apostasy. Apostasy can mean falling away or departure from the Truth or it can also mean simply departure. Since the Apostasy from Truth began in the first century before the Bible was even completed, I don’t believe this refers to spiritual apostasy primarily. Rather, I believe it is speaking of a departure from this earth. I believe it is speaking about the Rapture or the departure of Christians from this earth.

Put an AC at verse 3 before “the man of sin is revealed” This is speaking of the Anti-christ who will be revealed after the church is gone.

Put a T before verse 4. This verse describes the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Now go down to verse 7 and put an H.S. before “He who now lets”. The word let is an old English word meaning prevents. The He is the Holy Spirit who keeps all hell from breaking loose on this earth in this present age. When He disappears from this earth, the church, the Body of Christ, will be with Him. The Holy Spirit who comes to live in our lives as Christians the moment we are born again cannot leave this earth without taking all the Christians with Him. So verse 7 is also talking about the Rapture. So you could put an R in front of this verse also.

Put a T in front of the first part of verse 8 since this speaks of the Tribulation.

Then put a G in front of the last part of verse 8 which speaks of Christ’s coming in glory to destroy His enemies.

THE RAPTURE AND COMING IN GLORY DISTINGUISHED
One way you can distinguish between the rapture and the coming in glory is by the location of the event.

The rapture takes place in the air. We are caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Christ’s coming in glory take place on the Mount of Olives just outside of Jerusalem. See Zechariah 14:1,4 and Acts 1:11-12

Another way you can distinguish between the two comings is by who sees the event.

When Christ comes for His own in the Rapture, only the Christians will hear His voice and take flight. The unsaved will not see nor hear a thing. All they will know is that tens of thousands of Christians have suddenly disappeared, leaving their clothes behind and all their possessions. Unsaved friend, how are you going to feel when this event occurs? Are you going to be interested in breaking into their homes and taking all the wealth you can find or will you be hysterical wondering what has happened? Well, now you know in advance!

When Christ comes in glory, every eye will see it. All the unsaved from around the earth will see Him return. Matthew 24:29-30. Don’t ask me how the whole world will see it take place? I don’t know. That will be a simple problem for Christ to solve.

The important thing is not that you understand all the technical details of how it is going to happen, but to be ready when He comes. There are no further prophetic events that need to be fulfilled. Christ could return for His Church within the hour. For sure He is coming one day when you are not expecting Him. I urge you to get ready by trusting Christ NOW. II Corinthians 6:1-2. Once Christ has returned, you will find yourself left behind. Your heart will be so hard that you will continue to reject Christ throughout the Tribulation and you will be lost for eternity. Read II Thessalonians 2:8-12 and you will see there is no hope for you once Christians have disappeared. Will you trust Christ right now and get this settled now and forever? Go to my series on SALVATION and trust Christ as your Saviour this moment.

Then get into this web site with your Bible and start learning God’s Word and growing. God has a wonderful plan for your life and you can find it by surrendering yourself to Christ and letting Him lead you.

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June 3, 2006 - Posted by | Prophecy Series

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