The Truth about Jesus' Second Coming
For centuries, and probably as long as man has existed, man has desired to know the future. To know, ideally, would be to prepare. To not know leaves a tinge of fear, for man fears the unknown. Thus fortune tellers and horoscopes are having a phenomenal revival even in today's highly advanced and scientific age. There is an unexplainable feeling in the air that lets all that are sensitive to it know that circumstances cannot go on as they are. Some great happening must transpire soon. What could it be?
Those who acknowledge the Bible as the divinely inspired Word of God, and have studied it, know what the event is. Soon to take place, even though no man knows the day or the hour, is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of glory to catch up His Church to be with Him, forever.
PROMISES OF HIS SECOND COMING:
This returning will be a literal appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ to take away a glorious church out of the earth to ever be with Him. This church, those who have repented of their sins, been baptized in Jesus' precious name, filled with His Holy Spirit, and are living a holy life before Him, will be the bride of Jesus. Thus the church awaits the grand and glorious appearing of her Bridegroom. He promised He would come and a pure bride awaits His return.
Jesus, while He was on the earth, gave His word that if He went away that He would return. These were meant as words of comfort unto His disciples. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:1-3). Such a promise would excite the heart of any prospective bride. To spend eternity with Jesus, the very Lord of glory, is the Utopia every man seeks.
Paul wrote to Titus and spoke of, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works" (Titus 2:13,14). Paul, though imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, and scorned, considered it all worth while when he would think of what Jesus had done for him and that someday Jesus was coming back for him. So it is with every child of God. No affliction or tribulation is too much to bear when he thinks of the "blessed hope" that is his. Someday Jesus is coming back!
Paul briefly explained in I Corinthians (the fifteenth chapter) what would take place when Jesus did return. Some false teachers had been teaching that there would be no resurrection of the dead. This teaching, Paul said, went completely against the fact that Jesus Christ had even risen from the dead. And if Jesus Christ had not risen from the grave, after being crucified on the cross of Calvary for man's sins, then man had no hope of salvation. But Jesus did arise and He became the first fruits of them that slept. Jesus Christ prepared the way with His death, burial, and resurrection and made it possible for the Church to be resurrected. "Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (I Corinthians 15:51-54).
Whether dead or alive, those who have accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be caught up to meet Jesus at His return. Those who are dead in Christ shall actually have the advantage of rising first, "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. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (I Thess. 4:13-18).
HOPE FOR THE CHURCH DESPAIR FOR OTHERS:
The church possesses a hope. They not only enjoy the blessings of a Holy Spirit-filled life on earth but they are comforted by the hope of eternal life. Though sin and despair may abound around them they can face the world with joy and peace in their soul. Jesus Christ proposed a marriage to them, they have accepted, and have nothing to fear.
That which saddens the church, however, are the millions who have not accepted Jesus' proposal. When Jesus returns to take His church away many people will be left behind. These people are without hope. They have missed the only hope for man in this dispensation, and they are left to be judged for their sins. They will receive the wages of sin, death (Romans 6:23), and be cast into a sinner's hell to suffer eternal punishment where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). To miss the rapture is to miss it all.
JESUS GAVE WARNING TO BE READY:
The majority of those who miss the rapture will be those who don't believe it is going to take place. Many others will miss it because they feel they are all right and don't need to prepare for it. Others will acknowledge they are not ready but do not see the urgency or the necessity of getting ready, now! Jesus warned that many would be left, "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, the other left" (Luke 17:34-36). Jesus further warned, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matthew 24:42).
Jesus told the parable of the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, who waited for their bridegroom to come to emphasize the importance of being ever ready for His appearing. The five foolish virgins, being careless, let their lamps run out of oil and could not go out to meet him when the bridegroom came. Therefore, the five wise virgins went with the bridegroom; the five foolish were left behind. How foolish they were. Yet, even with this warning many foolish people will let it go unheeded and be left behind. It is so sad; but so true.
Jesus Christ will return again in the clouds of glory to catch a glorious church away. This church, called His bride, will be a pure church without spot or wrinkle. They will have obeyed His plan of salvation, heeded His warning to be ready, and will be looking for His appearing.
While many, both dead and alive, will be taken, the majority will be left. "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14). The joy of those who are taken will be great and full. The plight of those left behind will be sad and painful. The difference will be in going to a place where the Lamb (Jesus Christ) is the light, where there is no sorrow, pain, or woe. . .or going to a place where all is darkness, and where misery and weeping never ceases. Heaven and hell are two absolute opposites, and there is no in between. Every individual chooses, by their reaction to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to go to one place or the other. After the Lord returns the decision is sealed for eternity.
At the time of this writing, and hopefully at the time of this reading, men still have time to make the right choice. Choosing to come to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance, baptism in His name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost is the only reasonable choice to make. Those who do, have the "blessed hope" of His appearing and can say like John the Revelator, ". . .Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).