Lesson 18


The Rapture

A.     The first major event to occur in the end times is called the "Rapture." Although this term is not in the Bible, it means "transport." The Rapture will take place at the end of the "Church age." This age began after the resurrection of Christ and is made up of people who have been "saved by grace through faith."
B.     The Rapture will occur so God's people will avoid the coming judgment upon Earth. This judgment will be for the nations' rejection of God and His promises to Israel.
C.     There are tow main passages to support the Rapture:
  1.   1 Corinthians 15:51-57: This was a mystery revealed to the Apostle Paul that even Jesus did not speak about. It will happen in a blink of the eye and will give Christians a new body as they go up to Heaven.
  2.   1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: The bodies of Christians who have already died will come out of their graves, be changed and reunite with their souls in the clouds with Jesus. Those Christians who are alive will follow immediately with changed bodies as well. Notice we are to be comforted with this thought, not afraid of it.
D.     The Bible gives us pictures or types of the Rapture.
  1.   Enoch was taken up to Heaven before God's judgment on Earth, the flood (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5)
  2.   John was taken up to Heaven and shown God's judgment on Earth, called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 4:1-2).
E.     The Body of Christ (saved people) will be taken up to Heaven before God's judgment on Earth, the Great Tribulation.
  1.   This is when the Judgment Seat of Christ takes place (see Lesson 14).
  2.   After the Judgment Seat will be the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This is where Christ will take His bride, the saved of the Church Age (Revelation 19:5-9).

The Great Tribulation

A.     Following the Rapture, there will be a seven year period of God's wrath upon the Earth, known as the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7), "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Daniel 9:24-27) and the "Great Tribulation" (Matthew 24:21).
B.     The details of the Great Tribulation are found in the book of Revelation Chapters 6-19 (6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19). Jesus also gives a description in Matthew 24.
C.     Among some of the events that will happen at this time are:
  1.   Wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6; Revelation 6:4)
  2.   Famines (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:5-6)
  3.   Pestilences (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 16:2)
  4.   Earthquakes (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:12)
  5.   False Prophets (Matthew 24:11; Revelation 13:11-15; 16:13-14)
  6.   Rise of Antichrist (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 13:1-8)
  7.   Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18; 14:9-11)
  8.   Martyrs (Matthew 24:9; Revelation 6:9; 13:15)

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

A.     Just as the first coming of Christ was a literal, physical event (His birth), so will be the second coming (His coronation). This is not to be confused with the Rapture where Jesus will meet us in the clouds and will not actually touch down on Earth. At the return of Christ, every eye will see Him (Zechariah 12:10; Revelation 1:7).
B.     The first time Christ came, it was in love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10). The second time will be in wrath (Isaiah 63:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). He will clean up the Earth from His enemies and make ready His kingdom. The climax of this event will be what is known as the Battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 12:8-11; Revelation 16:12-16).
C.     The following verses further describe the Second Advent of Jesus Christ:
  1.   Acts 1:9-12
  2.   Zechariah 14:1-5
  3.   Mathew 24:27-51
  4.   2 Peter 3:10
  5.   Revelation 6:12-17
  6.   Revelation 11:15-19
  7.   Revelation 14:14-20
  8.   Revelation 19:11-21
D.     As a result of Christ's return, the Beast and False Prophet (two thirds of the Satanic trinity) will be cast into the Lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). Satan (the remaining third of his trinity) will be chained up and cast into the Bottomless Pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3). This will allow Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom on Earth without interference.


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