Over the next few weeks, we will turn our attention to the “End Time” events that God’s prophets and the greatest of all prophets, Jesus, told us would take place. By all biblical accounts, we are rapidly approaching the end of time as we know it here on planet earth. In fact, many of the signs that where a prelude to the Church being raptured and the second coming of Christ have already occurred. Some of the most telling prophecies have occurred in the last one hundred years. This mini series on end time events will be for the encouragement for the Elect (saved) and an olive branch to the unsaved. Know this: “The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (11 Peter 3:9).
We will focus our study on two different events; the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ. These are two very distinct and separate events that are separated by at least seven and a half years called the Great Tribulation. Our first study will center on the first resurrection and the Rapture of the Church. Even though the word “rapture” cannot be found in scripture, it is the word most commonly used by preachers and teachers to describe the moment in time when Jesus calls His bride (Church) into heaven. The word “harpazo,” is the Greek word that Paul uses which means, “to catch up, to pluck, or to take by force.” During our study, we will address questions such as: Will the Church remain during the Great Tribulation, or will the Church escape the “Wrath of the Lamb?” Is it possible that the Church could witness the first half of the Tribulation and see the 144,000 Israelites go into the world to witness for Christ? Could the Church see the two witnesses when then appear and boldly proclaim the Gospel to the disdain of the Anti-Christ and false prophet? What will happen to those who are left behind when the Church is taken up? Can they be saved? Can anyone be saved during the time of the Great Tribulation? When will Christians stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ? Why will they stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ?
Our second study will focus on the second coming of Christ and the second resurrection. When will He come? The day and hour no one knows but the Father, but of this we can be sure, He is coming again. Jesus said, “Unless those days (tribulation) had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the Elect those days shall be cut short” (Matt. 24:22). Back in the days of the old cowboy and Indian movies, you always knew that at the last possible moment the Calvary would come charging in and save our hero’s. Granted, that is a shabby comparison to the spectacular event that will take place when Jesus returns to earth, but there is a correlation. The first time our Savior came riding on a donkey, the next time He will appear riding a great white steed, clothed in all of His glory. Satan will be bound and the False Prophet thrown into the lake of fire. Jesus will then set up his Kingdom here on earth to rule and reign for 1000 years. Who rules with Him? Satan will then be freed from his chains. Why? What happens? Then comes the Great White Throne judgment! Is the verdict already prepared? Will there be any hope for those who rejected Jesus as Lord. Will there be any hope for those who avoided persecution by taking the mark of the Beast? What happens when the Great White Throne judgment is completed? Let’s study the scriptures together and glean from the Word of God.
Penny and I hope that you will join us next Friday as we begin this short and abbreviated series on End Time Events.