GET ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS
1. What is the Rapture?
2. Who will go up in the Rapture?
3. To whom is the Lord likened at the Rapture? To whom is the Church likened?
4. What will happen to the saints of God during the tribulation?
5. Who will be with Jesus when He comes to reign on earth?
6. Will you be glad to see Jesus?
THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST TO THE WORLD
One day soon our Lord will come in the azure above to call His Bride to the Marriage Supper, which will take place somewhere in the heavens. The Bride will be those of the Church of the First born who have made themselves ready for that event. The Bible explains very clearly what a person must do in order to be numbered with that triumphant group who will lose gravitation and will ascend to meet the Bridegroom. It is possible for everyone to be included.
No one will hear that call to the Marriage Supper except those who are ready, those who have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” The sinners will be surprised when suddenly all the true Christians disappear. Jesus may come for His Bride at any moment — right now — but too few people are getting ready. In today’s lesson Jesus told His disciples that if the goodman of the house had known when the thief would have come, he would have been prepared and would not have had his house broken into. Jesus has given us the warning that He will come as a thief in the night (I Thessalonians 5:2 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.), so we must be ready all the time.
Walking with God
In order to be ready for the coming of Jesus one must not only be saved, his sins forgiven; sanctified, purified through the second work of grace, and have the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the wedding garment; but he must be walking close to God every moment, as Enoch did. Enoch was translated and went to Heaven without dying, just as the Bride of Christ will do who are alive when He comes again.
We must walk so close to God that our work, our activities, our very life itself will be leading up to the coming of the Lord. If we should become lax for one hour and Jesus would come during that time, we should lose all. Jesus wants His people to be watching moment by moment for His return. Just think what a terrible feeling it would be to have the Christian members of your family disappear and you be left to go through the tribulation. Compare that awful condition with the glory of being caught up into the air and avoiding all the trouble and suffering on earth.
Shut Away with Jesus
Jesus will make two appearances when He comes again: first He will come in the air above us, and as a great magnet He will draw unto Himself the overcoming Church. A terrible tribulation is coming upon the earth, a time of trouble such as has never been, and the Lord does not want His children to suffer. That is why He is coming to rapture His saints. He will say: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpass” (Isaiah 26:20). The Bride of Christ will enter into the pavilion above, there to sit down at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (which is Jesus), and Jesus Himself will come and serve them. Then the rewards for faithful service on earth will be given out. Will it not be wonderful to be at that glorious feast with Jesus?
“Be Glad and Rejoice”
It will be a happy time for the children of God when the Bridegroom of their soul comes to claim them. When John the Beloved was on the Isle of Patmos he saw a vision of what was to be hereafter, and he wrote:
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saint.
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7 9).
Those who have died as overcomers will also have part in this great event. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
After the Bride of Christ is taken out of the world, the tribulation will break out in its fury. The Bride will be enjoying the wedding feast while those who refused to prepare for the coming of the Lord will be suffering under the rule of the Antichrist.
The end of the Marriage Supper will also mark the end of the tribulation. Then Jesus will come again, this time with His saints, and “every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him” (Revelation 1:7). They will wail because they are afraid to meet Jesus in judgement.
This is the time of which Enoch prophesied, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all” (Jude 14, 15). They will be riding on white horses, for we read in Revelation 19:14, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him [Jesus] upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Can you imagine such a sight? Jesus Himself will come upon a white horse, going forth to rule the earth with a rod of iron, and on His thigh a name written, KING Of Kings, And LORD OF Lords; and behind Him will come all the saints who were at the Marriage Supper, also upon white horses. They will have part in ruling the earth. Jesus said some would rule one city, some two, some five, or even ten cities.
Christ will set up a literal kingdom upon earth, and life will go on as usual except that everything will be subject to Christ. The curse will be lifted, and all vegetation will take on new beauty. It will be a wonderful world to live in. The resurrected saints will have glorified bodies like Jesus had after He arose from the dead, because He was the “firstfruits”; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming (I Corinthians 15:23). He could eat and drink while in the glorified body, and yet He could pass through space without being noticed, and could go through closed doors, and appear in the midst of His people. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43).
So we see that the coming of the Lord will be in two appearances: the first time in the air above to take away His Bride in the Rapture, and the second time He will come with His Bride and descend to the earth and His feet shall stand upon the same Mt. Olivet from which He ascended (Zechariah 14:4, 5 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.). At the Rapture only the saints will hear His call, but at the Revelation “every eye shall see him.” The Rapture will occur before the tribulation, and the Revelation will be at the close of the tribulation. The Rapture could occur at any moment. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44.