There are many teachings about the Lord’s return, some are true and some are twisted to gain followers. Here is what Jesus said –
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” – Matt. 24:29-31
Jesus said immediately after the tribulation of those days, we would see His sign in the heavens. He earlier described this tribulation as being the greatest the world had ever seen –
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.“- Matt. 24:21, 22
Now some, who preach a “pre-tribulation” rapture would have us believe that believers will not be here to see this tribulation but, Jesus said “but for the elects sake those days will be shortened” which seems to contradict this teaching. They say the term ‘elect’ refers to Jews who turn back to the Lord at the end. But, again Scripture denies this. Paul write to the Colossians –
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;” – Col. 3:12
Colossians was a Gentile Church and it was called the ‘elect of God’. The Apostle Peter write to the dispersion in Galatia –
“elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace be multiplied.” – 1 Pet. 1:2
These were Jews who had come to believe in Jesus so, when we look at all the scriptures in which the word ‘elect’ is used, we must conclude that the ‘elect’ were any and all who were saved through the blood of Jesus.
Those who teach pre-tribulation rapture say it will be a secret coming but, again Jesus denies this –
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – Matt. 24:27
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” – Matt. 24:30, 31
His coming will be seen and it will be heard. Now some say we will not be here then because Scripture says we will not suffer the wrath of God.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” – 1 Thes. 5:9
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” – Rom. 5:9
This is true, but God does not have to take us out to save us. He saved the Hebrew children in Egypt from His wrath poured out and He saved Noah from His wrath poured out. King David prophesied –
“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, ” – Ps. 91:4-9
In Revelation, the torments and sores were given only to those who were not sealed by God and had the mark of the beast. So, I conclude that God is able to keep those who are His from His wrath. Now His wrath is not the same as the tribulation. The tribulation is caused by Satan and his Antichrist. Scriptures promise that we will see tribulation.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” – Matt. 24:9
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.” – 1 Thes. 3:4
“strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” – Acts 14:22
Friends, when we develop our doctrines about the coming of Jesus, we must use all Scripture and not just a few verses. Jesus has described what will happen at His coming but He has not told us when He will come. He said only the Father knows this so, we are to be ready. He has however given us some signs so we can tell when it is close:
- He told us when the Fig tree began blossoming you know it is near. (Matt. 24:32)
- He told us it would be like the days of Noah. (Matt. 24:37)
- And He told us it would be like the days of Lot in Sodom. (Luke 17:28)
- He told us there would be signs in the heavens. (Matt. 24:29)
It appears that these signs are here. The Fig Tree (Israel) is blooming as they prepare to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The days of Noah are here as wickedness abounds and people go on as if nothing is wrong. Genetic engineering is happening as it did in the days of the Nephalim. The days of Lot are here as well, as homosexuality is the new norm being enacted by law and taught in schools. And we have certainly seen signs in the heavens beginning with strange lights and sounds and Blood Red Moon Tetrads on Jewish Feast days of Passover and Tabernacles. And many more.
Jesus said when you see these things “look up for your redemption draws near”. It is time to repent and return to God, as individuals and as a nation.