This is the big week.
In our local Bible studies we have been in the Word of God together for nearly 10 years.
That is exciting!
In recent months/years we have been studying 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Daniel and currently, Revelation.
This week the lesson is the culmination of study related to the rapture.
If you live locally, drop in tonight or tomorrow (email me for location/time details) for the discussion. Visitors are always welcome.
We have been spending much time in studying Scripture related to “end-times.”
First, God has given us a tremendous amount of information. He has a reason for doing so. I think one of major reasons is that we would be prepared.
Second, much...if not most...of what is “thought, understood” etc. within the Body of Christ related to the coming of the Lord is incorrect.
For the most part “end-time” information is not taught.
Oh, pithy, deep-sounding, theological tidbits are thrown out from the pulpit and sunday school classes from time to time, but rarely are they related to the Word. They are usually “what I think” and more often what we were told somewhere along the way.
We are to know the truth.
We are to encourage/comfort one another in the truth.
1 Thess 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Here is the truth related to the rapture.
The Lord died, rose again and has gone to prepare a place for true believers.
He will return
shall descend from heaven with a shout
with the voice of the archangel
with the trump of God
the dead in Christ shall rise first
we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds
we will forever be with the Lord.
Of course, the “big debate” is when this will occur.
The Word tells us we will not know the day nor hour, but we will know the season.
Here is the bottom line...all the “usual” positions from most of our backgrounds are incorrect.
Here is the truth…
There will be a final 7 year period...often misnamed “the Tribulation”...it should be called “the 70th week of Daniel.” Daniel 9
At the beginning of this 70th week, the man of lawlessness (antichrist) will sign/affirm a covenant with Israel
At the mid-point of the 70th week (3 ½ years) he will break it, enter in the temple, stop the sacrifices and declare himself to be god.
At the mid-point of the 70th week the man of lawlessness will begin to attack Israel/Jews and the church…this is the great tribulation of which Jesus spoke...Matt. 24-25. The great tribulation is a period of time within the 70th week...not the entire 70th week.
REMEMBER THIS!!! The great tribulation is the wrath of Satan against man… specifically the Jews, the church and those who reject the mark. The wrath of God is God’s judgment upon unbelieving mankind. This is where many err. They read the Scripture and believe that the wrath of God and the great tribulation are synonymous. Wrong!
The great tribulation is cut short. By what? The coming of the Lord. During the 70th week the seals of the scroll (Revelation) are being broken. At the breaking of the 6th seal the sun, moon and stars go dark. This is the sign of the end of the age. The prophets spoke of such. Then the Lord comes in brilliance. The church is raptured after the 6th seal and prior to the 7th seal. The 7th seal brings forth the wrath of God - the 7 trumpets and 7 bowls.
So, the church will not “miss” the great tribulation. The “Left Behind” authors are wrong.
Yes, we will be spared the wrath of God, but we have been promised trials, tribulations and persecutions...the ultimate of which will be the great tribulation.
Is it really important to have a correct understanding of “end-time” Scripture?
Yes. I believe so.
I think that too many true believers will not be prepared for the days to come.
They will not be pursuing the Lord.
They will be distracted by the cares and concerns of this world.
They will not be living lives of holiness.
They will have believed that “we’ll be outta here” and will be open to deception.
Obviously, there is much more to learn. Meanwhile, may we press on, rejoicing that the Lord is coming soon!