Monday, May 23, 2016

The Rapture or the Second Coming? Are They the Same or Different?



It's been a debate among believers and non-believers alike...is there a Rapture in the Bible or is the Second Coming the same thing? Are these two very different events or simply the same event with different names?

As we open our Bible study once again into the Book of Revelation in Chapter 19, are we in the Old Testament or the New Testament? The Old Testament contains what the New Testament reveals. In order to understand the Book of Revelation, you have to understand the Old Testament first.

Jesus is coming again with the church to earth, concerning the rapture and the Second Coming. We do not know the day or the hour, even when so many people want to know, when will these events take place. These are two absolute different events. One has 100s of prophecies that must be fulfilled before it happens and that is the Second Coming.

Concerning the Rapture, there are no prophetic precursors or requirements before the event happens. One is imminent and one is first given with much notification. One is for a Gentile nation or church called the Bride of Christ with an appearance of Christ in the air. The other is Jesus Christ, physically coming to the earth for the nation of Israel. One is an atmospheric appearance, the Rapture; the other is a physical touching and physical presence of Jesus on earth. One takes the church to heaven, the other brings the church from heaven down to earth. One is a period of time, where the church will be in heaven for 7 years, the other causes Christ to dwell on the earth for 1000 years or in the Greek, Millennium. Both are important but separate events.

One is noted in the Bible as the great and terrible day of the LORD, this is the Second Coming, and this is for judgment. The Rapture according to Titus 2:13, is called our blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. One is exciting and takes us to a marriage; the other is dreadful for those upon the earth, and it brings us to the horrific event we are studying today.

We will take the context of what we have been studying which is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ returning to earth and this is the revealing of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:17-21 ~ "Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great. And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse and all the birds were gorged with their flesh."

This is a worldwide, global call to the birds in the atmosphere. This will happen one day because its in the Bible. As a believer we will escape these things - if you're not, how can you escape these things?

Luke 21:36 ~ "But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man."

How can you be found worthy To believe and trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus will one day for the come for all the church age believers.

It is obvious that Jesus Christ is coming again. Even non-believers say and mock the return of Jesus Christ, do they not? They don't necessarily deny Him or His coming. They make fun of th fact, He hasn't come yet! It's because of His mercy, He hasn't come back yet!

These "birds" are not the seed eating kind like sparrows, but in the Greek the word used here refers to griffons or vultures or any other kind of bird that eats flesh. This will take place in the latter years of the Tribulation when the forces of European nations get together with the armies of the East in the valley of Megiddo, where more wars have been waged than any other place in the world. Today, this place is marked as an intersection with a stop light. It is the gateway to Europe, the gateway to Asia, the gateway north from Damascus to into Russia, and it is the gateway south into Egypt. It is the most important intersection in the world. More battles have happened there than any other place on earth.

Keep your eyes on the valley of Megiddo. It will all happen there, in the war of Armageddon, the final battle place. Notice in this chapter of Revelation, there are two suppers taking place. One is a marriage, a celebration, it tastes well because Jesus Christ is serving it. It is a blessing to the church above the earth. The second is judgment or the wrath of God and humans will be the course, God will be serving it up as judgment on a Christ rejecting earth below.

2 Peter 3:11 ~ "Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness."

What are you doing with your time?

The science of physics now tells us that "time" is a physical property of this physical universe. If its a physical, then there is a limit to it. If we honestly stop and look around, we will agree that time is running out, that there is a sense that we are racing towards a climax. Time is a precious commodity we all wish we had more of. The Second Law of Thermal Dynamics conveys that time is running out, it's all headed towards a predetermined time when it will all end.

We all believe we waste time more than anything else we possess. We need to be sure we are investing in the things of God.

John 9:4 ~ "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work." 

In light of the obvious, what are we doing with the time we have in our lives, what are we doing with our time?

Romans 13:11-14 ~ Besides this you know the time, that the house has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not is sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires."

Use your time wisely! We all need to be spiritually alert at all times.

Ephesians 5:14-16 ~ "for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, Awake O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil."

1 comment:

Walter Kahler said...

Thanks for an encouraging and truthful post. Pondering over the end of times is always a good way of thinking about God's promise of the second coming of Christ. Often Christian don't understand the difference between the rapture and the Second Coming, and you did an excellent job in highlighting their divine purpose. I loved the way you brought out the need for us to be watchful as well as being prepared for salvation. Have a great day and may Christ continue to bless you, your family and friends.