Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:3
With the increased activity in the Middle East, many phecy preachers" are claiming that the signs of the return of Christ are coming to pass. Of course, many of these same preachers and Bible teachers fail to recognize the difference between the Rapture and the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Before the revelation, or Second Coming of Christ, there will be visible indicators of His soon return. The disciples asked our Lord, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3) Notice that they asked what the sign would be not signs. In the Lord's answer, He pointed out that there would be wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes (verses 6 & 7), but that the end was not yet. Even during the tribulation, these things are not "signs of His coming" rather only the "beginning of sorrows" (verse 8).
The true "sign" of His coming is found in verse twenty- seven, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." This takes place after the heavenly bodies are darkened (verse 29). "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven" (Matthew 24:30).
There will be no mistaking the sign of Christ's Second Coming, for God will "turn out the lights" in the universe right before Christ circles the globe like a flash of lightning. Later in the text, the Lord goes on to say, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36). How futile it is to set dates for the return of Christ, especially when based on supposed "signs" of His return!
Scripture Reading: Titus 2:13
As many Christians look for signs of the Second Coming of Christ, (See last lesson.) the apostle Paul urges us to look for Christ. "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). It is important to recognize that the Rapture is the subject of the "mystery" (I Corinthians 15:51) and, as such, is not preceded by signs. The nature of this age is that we walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). This is true during the course of this age and concerning the end of this age.
While the Second Coming of Christ will be preceded by many prophesied events of the tribulation, the "secret" coming of Christ in the Rapture is imminent, and therefore has nothing which must precede it. Paul teaches the imminence (or "any moment coming") of the Rapture in I Thessalonians 4:17: "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds .... " Paul clearly believed that he could be alive when the Rapture took place. If this is the case, how much more could the Rapture come at any moment in our generation!
The Lord wants us to be ready for Christ to return and catch us away at any moment, rather than looking for signs. This way we will be motivated to ever be diligent in our own Christian life, knowing that there will be no warning before His return for us. Furthermore, if we knew even an approximate time of the Rapture, some might become lazy like the Thessalonians and refuse to work while waiting for Christ's return. God truly displayed His infinite wisdom when He told us to look for Christ, not for signs.
How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4
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Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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