Jesus Is Coming Soon!
By Dan Cox
So reads a faded sign on the side of the highway. Giving some thought to that sign after passing it a few times during my life I have found out that the message on the sign is anything but irrelevant. It is the one great Hope of humanity and the most important Promise that God gives to those who have given their lives to Him.
“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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself; that where I am, there ye may be also:’ (John 14:1-3 KJV)
The Rapture is the term used to describe the moment when Jesus Christ will return to the atmosphere above the earth to snatch His believers off of the face of the earth and take them to heaven. Jesus’ promise was given to us (the church) as a hope to live for.
In 1 Thessalonians 4: 17 Paul uses the words “caught up’:
Revelation 1:7), and then his feet will touch the ground just as it clearly states in Zechariah 14:4, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives … ”
The “coming” of Jesus for the purpose of taking his believers (bride) to heaven will occur at an unknown day, while the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth to set up the Messianic Kingdom will occur at a known day, precisely at the end of the seventieth week of Daniel. Jesus Christ “ill come when life is going on as normal and the world is unsuspecting.
There are many passages that connect the rapture of living saints on this “unknown day” with the beginning of the Day of the Lord. Paul and Peter state that the Day of the Lord would come “like a
thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Peter 3:10). In Jesus’ discourse on the Mount of Olives, he speaks of the specific events that would occur before and during the Day of the Lord, Jesus referred to the “unknown day” of the rapture (Matthew 24).
Jesus describes in Matthew 24:36-44 how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know what day your Lord will come :’
Peter and Paul both connected the “day” in which the “Lord will come” that Jesus referred to, with the Day of the Lord, using the same “thief in the night” metaphor. Paul says not to worry about “times and
dates” when it comes to this unknown day, and Peter tells believers not to be discouraged if it seems that the Lord is slow in keeping his promise to come back for us. The time of “tribulation” began with the creation of the church in the first century; the time of “great tribulation” begins when the Day of the Lord begins after the Church is taken out of this world.
The Church is pictured in heaven as the diverse “great multitude” in the description given in Revelation 7:9-17 (this group came out of great tribulation, not The Great Tribulation), as well as in the description at the end of “The Great Tribulation” found in Revelation 19:1-9.
Rev. Dan L Cox is the Pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Warsaw, Indiana, and Editor of the Indiana Apostolic Trumpet.