Friday, September 28, 2012

Jesus Christ Will Come Again

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen

      The Bible gives us Jesus Christ's own promises to come again.  One Biblical reference to this is found in John 14:3, in which he told his disciples "I will come again and receive you unto myself."
      In this statement, the Lord referred to what has become known as "the rapture." "Rapture" is a Latin word which means "to be caught up." In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18, the apostle Paul spoke of the coming again of Jesus to take his people to be with himself.  He said all Christians shall be "caught up," that is, we shall be "raptured" at that time, and shall then be forever with the Lord. How important it is, then, to make sure you have been saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. Only the saved will go up to heaven with Jesus at the rapture.
      Consider some other points about this coming again of Jesus Christ.
  • His coming to rapture his disciples is to be distinguished from his coming again to the earth. It is easy to see that John 14:3 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18 refer to something different from what we read about in some other Biblical passages such as 2 Thessalonians 1:7 - 10,  Matthew 24:23 - 27, and statements in Matthew 25. and Revelation 19:11 - 16. These passages refer to his coming to earth in judgment, but John 14:3 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18 refer to his coming to take his people away from the earth to heaven.
  • His coming to rapture his disciples could happen at any time. It may be imminent, and it may not be imminent. When we say something is imminent, we mean it is about to happen. For example, we might say, "The plane is about to land," or "The man is about to die." But we do not know that the rapture is about to happen. The most we can say is that it could happen at any time. It may be soon, even today, or it may be far in the future. But we should live in expectation of it.
  • It will be visible and physical. In fact, it will be visible because it will be physical. We learn this from Acts 1:11.
  • From 1 Thessalonians 4:16 we learn that this event will be hearable. The verse refers to a shout, a voice, and a trumpet, all of which are hearable.
  • This return of Jesus Christ will be remarkable. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18 tells us why: dead Christians will be raised to life and adapted to heavenly existence, and living Christians will have their bodies changed and adapted to heavenly existence. Philippians 3:20 , 21 refers to this physical change we Christians will experience at that time. But the most important change living Christians will undergo at that time is our complete moral change into the moral likeness of Jesus, something that Christians who have died  before the rapture will already have experienced when their souls went to heaven at death.
  • This event will be wonderful, for 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18 says all Christians will then be together, and, most important, we will be forever with the Lord.
  • Are you ready for the Lord to come and take his people to himself? Do you belong to him? The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." (Acts 16:30, 31.)