This message deals with Jesus Christ's Second Coming and how he will return.
|THE SECRET RAPTURE AND THE SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION|
How many of you have heard of the “Secret Rapture” and the “Seven years of Tribulation” theories? This is the belief that when Jesus comes back he will rapture the righteous people of the earth and then those who are left have another seven years to make things right and become worthy of obtaining eternal life. In other words, these people that are “left behind” will have a second chance at heaven. Many of you have heard of the books titled “Left Behind.” With over 35 million copies sold, I’d say it is a popular book. These authors portray Jesus’ second coming as a secret and people start to suddenly disappear and life goes on like normal for another seven years. The people left here on earth have seven years to get their life together and follow God’s word. My question to you is this…..Are these beliefs biblical? If these things are going to take place, where must they be found? The Bible! In this message we will cover Jesus’ second coming. Is it a secret? Are the righteous really taken and others are left behind here on earth for another seven years? Does life go on like normal after Jesus returns? Much of the Christian world is embracing these teachings as biblical fact, so let’s see if these teachings are laced with God’s truth. This is a doctrine that was basically unheard of for the first 1500 years of the Christian church. It has absolutely no biblical or historical foundation. This is a doctrine of man. What does Jesus say about doctrines of men?
(Mark 7:7 and Matthew 15:9) And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
So if this is a doctrine of men, where do we find the truth? The Bible! We have to understand how Jesus will come this second time. Why? Because the church did not understand the prophecies about his first coming, they were completely lost and ended up crucifying their Messiah! He came to them and they did not receive him.
(John 1:11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Since the church was not ready for Jesus the first time, don’t you think it is possible that we are going to make the same mistakes for the second time? Could it be that the church of our day is misunderstanding the prophecies of his second coming and we will not be ready for him when he returns? The church back in Jesus’ day applied the prophecies of his second coming to his first coming and now the church of our day is applying the prophecies of his first coming to his second coming. They were looking for their Messiah to come with a roar and a shout and with great power and glory. The church of our day is looking for Jesus to come silent like a thief in the night. We are going to clear up a lot of confusion in this study and hopefully it will be a blessing for you. We need to understand how Jesus is coming so that we are not deceived by something else. We know for a fact how Jesus will return because the Bible tells us his exact actions during his return. If you want to understand how he is coming back, just look at how he left…
(Acts 1:9-11) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Notice that it says “this same Jesus” would come in like manner. They saw him when he left, we will see him when he comes. Did you catch that? We will see him! He left in the clouds; he will come in the clouds. We do not have to guess because the Bible is crystal clear about this subject. We are going to go over some of the evidence that the Bible has to offer to prove that Jesus’ second coming will most certainly be no secret. One of the biggest things is that Christ will not be alone when he returns….
(Matthew 25:31) When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
Who is with him? A couple of angels, a few? ALL of his angels are with him. If the whole idea of a guardian angel is true and there is one for every person. I think we will know when Jesus returns if over 6 billion angels filled the sky!
The word “rapture” isn’t even in the Bible. It is a coined phrase. Rapture means to be “taken away with power” or “caught up.” Technically, with those definitions, I believe in the Rapture, however, I do not believe it will be a secret. Elijah and Enoch were raptured because they were caught up to heaven with great power. The idea of life going on as normal after the rapture for another seven years is not biblical. First of all, there is an amazing amount of evidence in the Bible referring to it as a very loud event. It will be very audible. We will hear when Jesus comes…
(Matthew 24:31) 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.
(1 Corinthians 15:52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16) or the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
(Psalm 50:3) Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent;
A fire shall devour before Him,
And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
(Jeremiah 25:30) “Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:
‘ The LORD will roar from on high,
And utter His voice from His holy habitation;
He will roar mightily against His fold.
He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes,
Against all the inhabitants of the earth.
(Revelation 16:18) And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
Does this sound like a secret? A lions roar and thunder were about the loudest things that they had back then. They didn’t have all the technology we have today to make loud noises. I don’t know about you, but I think I would be able to tell if I was in the middle of the greatest earthquake of all time. If you watch the Left Behind movies, you will see that people just start to disappear and their clothes are left there in a pile. Does that sound like it lines up with the Bible? So far we have only dealt with hearing him and you can clearly see that this doctrine is unbiblical. The sad thing is that a lot of Christian churches are teaching this very doctrine as biblical fact to their congregation.
There is also evidence that we will see him coming back. The Bible is very clear on this visible second coming.
(Revelation 1:7) Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
This is the verse that everyone always questions. They say, “How will every eye see him if the world is round?” Does this verse say that every eye will see him simultaneously? No! It means that every eye will see him. When will we see him? WHEN HE GETS TO YOU! We will see him as he come to us. He may make his appearance visible in the middle of Africa and I won’t see him then, but you can bet that once he comes to America, I will see him!
(Matthew 24:30) 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.
Notice that it isn’t only talking about the righteous people of the earth, those who are mourning will also see him. The lost people of the earth are mourning because they are not ready and now they know Jesus is the real deal and they should have led a better life, but now he is here and they know what their reward is. In the “Left Behind” books, the lost do not see him coming, but the Bible teaches us that is not so. They will see! Everybody sees! It is not a secret!
(Matthew 26:64) Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
(Matthew 24:27) For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Just to emphasize how visible it will be, Jesus tells us that he will come like lightning flashes. I know that I don’t even have to be looking for lightning and I still see it sometimes when it flashes. You don’t necessarily have to see the lightning because the flash is everywhere! There is also physical evidence of Jesus’ second coming.
(Isaiah 24:19-20) The earth is violently broken,
The earth is split open,
The earth is shaken exceedingly.
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,
And shall totter like a hut;
Its transgression shall be heavy upon it,
And it will fall, and not rise again.
The Bible is telling us that his second coming will appeal to all of our senses. Do these verses in Isaiah seem like someone is going to have to let you know or tap your shoulder and say, “Did you feel that?”
(Revelation 16:18) And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
Think of all the massive earthquakes we have had. You can bet that those were just baby earthquakes compared to Jesus’ second coming. There is going to be a “big one.” Those weren’t “the big one.” This is the big one….
(Revelation 6:14) Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
Think about that for a minute. Every mountain moved! Every island moved out of its place. That’s the big one! We will also have some supernatural evidence when Jesus comes….
(John 6:40) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Obviously, there is a resurrection at the last day, Judgment Day!
(1 Corinthians 15:22-23) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
The Bible tells us that the resurrection of the righteous is at Christ’s coming! If there are a bunch of graves opening up and people come crawling out and their real physical bodies ascend up to Jesus in the sky, will that be a secret?
(1 Thessalonians 4:16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Everyone is going to see people meeting the Lord in the air! If you have read my series on death and what happens after, you will see that what I am about to say will make a lot of sense to you. People get their reward at Jesus’ second coming. Nobody that has ever lived is in heaven or hell right now. Everyone gets their reward when Jesus comes back the second time.
(Revelation 22:12) “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
(Matthew 16:27) For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Now according to the “Left Behind” series, these people are not getting their rewards at Jesus’ second coming because life goes on for another seven years and people have the chance to repent. So how can it be that when the Lord returns everyone is getting their reward? Well it’s very simple, THE BIBLE SAYS SO!!! The second coming is it! There is no second chance! Now is your one and only chance to be saved. It is a very dangerous teaching that people can have a second chance at heaven and they can make their “real” decision for the Lord during those seven years. I am telling you right now that there is no seven years after Jesus comes! Life does not continue like normal and people do not have the chance to repent. If you are going to repent, repent now! Be ready now, even if you may think you are wrong or right! There is also astronomical evidence in Jesus second coming….
(Isaiah 24:23) Then the moon will be disgraced
And the sun ashamed;
For the LORD of hosts will reign
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
And before His elders, gloriously.
(Joel 2:10) The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.
(Amos 8:9) “ And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord GOD,
“ That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
(Matthew 24:29) 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.
(Revelation 6:12-14) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
I think it is safe to say that you will not be reading about these events the next day in the newspaper. When these things happen, this is it! Its over! There will also be emotional evidence when Jesus comes…
(Luke 21:26-27) men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
(Isaiah 25:9) And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the LORD;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
You can clearly see that there will be mixed emotions when Jesus comes back. Heart attacks, fear, gladness and rejoicing are just a few of the words to describe the amazing amount of emotion that will be occurring on the day Jesus returns to save his people. For about 1500 years, the proper teaching of this loud, visible, and climactic second coming of Jesus Christ was taught. Now, many Christian denominations are embracing this false teaching of a secret rapture. Why? How many of you have heard people use these verses as there defense for this absurd theory?...
(Luke 17:34-36) I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
They will say that one will be saved when he is taken and the other will be left behind here on earth to endure the seven year tribulation. Let’s dive a little further into this and see if this is actually what Jesus is meaning. Two women will be grinding together. What does a woman represent? A church! (See Jeremiah 6:2) What is the grinding a symbol of? Bread, these women are making bread. What does bread symbolize? The Word of God. So we have two churches dealing with the Word of God. They are both doing the same thing outwardly, but one is true and one is false. One is going to be punished and one will be accepted…..Two men are sleeping in one bed, what is sleep a biblical symbol of? Death! (John 11:11-14) How many different kinds of people are asleep or dead right now? Two! The wicked and the righteous. How many resurrections are there? Two!...
(John 5:28-29) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
(Revelation 20:5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Wherever there is a first, there has to be a second! Two men are working in the field. They are doing the same thing, but one is wicked and the other shall be saved. Everyone is doing the same thing! Everyone is confessing that they know the Lord and that he will save them. What Jesus is trying to say in this parable is that even though these people are doing the same thing, there are clearly to categories: One is true, One is false; One is righteous, One is wicked; One is following God’s commandments, One is not….by the time of the end, we are all doing the same thing! Everyone will say that they know the Lord, but Jesus says this…
(Matthew 7:22-23) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Many will say that they have worked for the Lord, but it was to be seen by men instead of God and then Jesus will tell them that he never knew them! That is a strong statement! I don’t know about you, but I will be confessing and saying “Lord, Lord” in that day, but I want to be doing it for the right reasons. This parable actually has nothing to do with people just suddenly disappearing. It has to do with the remnant church of God and its ability to do the will of God by living according to his Word! After looking at this parable in depth, being taken away is a bad thing, not a good thing! Being taken away is a symbol Judgment! Read here…
(Matthew 24:36-41) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them (the wicked) all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
Being taken away is to be judged, the left behind are here to flourish! Those who are taken will burn in the lake of fire along with Satan. Those who are left behind are going to inherit the new earth as their new heaven…
(Revelation 21:1-2) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
You can clearly see that those who are left behind are the ones who inherit everlasting life and those who are taken are sent to the lake of fire and brimstone to be turned to ashes. The “Left Behind” authors have it backwards and have taken the Bible completely out of context! Their interpretation of these parables and what Jesus is saying doesn’t match up with the truth of the Bible. What about all those passages in the Bible that speak of Jesus coming as a thief!? Doesn’t this mean it will most certainly be a secret? Absolutely not! Let’s look at this verse and see if this idea is true…
(2 Peter 3:10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…
There it is! When pastors that embrace this secret rapture theory teach this subject of Jesus’ second coming, they read this verse and stop right there and their audiences are just amazed because the have just been given proof! Then they go on to talk about life going on for another seven years. Is that what this verse says? NO! They only quote what makes their teaching sound good! Read the rest of this verse and you tell me if life goes on for another seven years!
(2 Peter 3:10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
These people are going to have a tough time repenting to try to gain God’s gift of salvation during those supposed seven years because the entire world is going to be on fire and melting with fervent heat! Do you see now that the pastors that embrace this teaching seem to leave out half of this verse in order to make their false doctrines sound acceptable? The sadder thing is that the people listening to these deceitful pastors and priests have the Bible in their hands and open to the very page that they tell them to and they have absolutely no objection to their teaching when it is totally unbiblical! Too many people are trying to prove what is biblical as false teaching and what is unbiblical as fact! Open your eyes and never take a pastor’s word for it! EVER! Always check them out! Just because they teach about God doesn’t mean that they are right. The same goes for me, check me out and see if I am telling you truth! Put these messages to the test and then make your decision to embrace a teaching! Read even further and it becomes clearer!...
(2 Peter 3:10) Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
I can’t make this any clearer, so we will move to the next point. As a thief doesn’t refer to a silent or secret coming, it means that it will be a surprise. If you were to be robbed by a thief, it would be surprising! Since no man knows the hour, he is coming like a thief! Christians that follow the Bible and the Bible only just like you and I will not be surprised because we will be ready! That is exactly what Jesus tells us to do!
(Luke 12:40 and Matthew 24:44) Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
Since we are not in darkness and we know the details of Jesus’ second coming, we should not be overtaken as a thief in that day. We will be ready! The whole concept of a thief is that it is a surprise in timing. Thieves do not send out warnings to there victims saying that they will be dropping by in a few days to steal some of their stuff so they would like to know when would be a good time for them. It doesn’t happen that way. If a robber came to your home and tied you up you will not be sitting there wondering what is happening to you. You are going to know very well that you are being robbed! When Jesus comes back, no one will be standing around saying things like, “Where did everyone go?” “I think something happened?” EVERYONE IS GOING TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!
(Luke 12:39-40) But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Thieves look into the “element of surprise” very thoroughly so they know when to come. They may be on a lookout of your home for a couple of weeks to know your routine of when you are home and when you are not home. They also do not try to rob a poor mans home. They look for valuable things. So when Jesus comes back it will be a surprise in timing because no man knows the hour, but its not like we are going to be wondering who it is that came from the scroll like sky with an earthquake and lightnings and thunderings. He is coming to get us, we are the valuable things in which this glorious thief is coming for. We indeed know that Christ is not a thief because we are what rightfully belongs to him. You cannot steal something that you already own. So let’s get back into the theory of life going on for another seven years after Christ returns. If life goes on like normal, there is always somebody here right? In this theory, they believe that when Christ comes back after the seven years of tribulation, the 1000 years of peace takes place here on earth. They basically say that the earth is always being occupied by man and it is never vacated. The people that follow this teaching have a lot more teaching to do when it comes down to challenging these following scriptures….
(Jeremiah 4:23-27) I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;
And the heavens, they had no light.
I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled,
And all the hills moved back and forth.
I beheld, and indeed there was no man,
And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were broken down
At the presence of the LORD,
By His fierce anger.
For thus says the LORD:
“ The whole land shall be desolate;
Yet I will not make a full end.
Many that follow the “Left Behind” teaching say that this passage is from before creation. Is that so? It does sound a lot like Genesis, but it says that the birds had fled. Did God put birds here before he made light and the land? NO! The fruitful land had to be fruitful before it became a wilderness! Cities? Were there cities before creation? I don’t think so! Someone had to be here in order to have cities! This passage is speaking of a time of desolation after he comes the second time!...
(Jeremiah 25:33) And at that day the slain of the LORD shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.
All of the dead will be from one end of the earth to the other. It says that they shall not be lamented. Why? BECAUSE THERE IS NOBODY HERE TO DO THE LAMENTING! No one will be here to gather the dead and bury them. That is why they become refuse on the ground!...
(Isaiah 24:1;3) Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste, Distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants…. The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, for the LORD has spoken this word.
None of this fits with the “Left Behind” scenario. Why? Because of the one test that you can put to all teachings and teachers…..
(Isaiah 8:20) To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
So where did this teaching come from? In the 16th century during the Reformation, Martin Luther began to tell the church that they needed to get back into teaching what the Bible actually says. He was a Catholic priest and began protesting the Catholic Church’s teachings and so he nailed his 95 thesis to the doors of the Wittenberg Church. This launched the Protestant movement. That’s where the word Protestant comes from, to protest or object. They were “protesting” the Catholic Church. Millions of people began to leave the Church and join the Protestant movement. Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Huldrych Zwingli, and Jan Hus just to name a few were studying the prophecies of Revelation and all of them came to the conclusion that The Roman Catholic Church was the whore of Revelation 17 and the first beast in Revelation 13 and the little horn in Daniel 7. Since it was so obvious to them and all the congregations, everyone began to leave the Catholic Church. So the Catholic Church basically said that they had to do something about these prophecies because it was exposing them. So they hired two Jesuits named Francisco Ribera and Luis de Alcazar. These two Spanish scholars were employed by the church to come up with some countering views of interpreting Bible prophecy so it would take the heat off of The Roman Catholic Church as the Antichrist kingdom spoken of in Bible. They were basically hired to cause mass confusion in prophetic teaching. Ribera became known as the father of “Futurism.” He taught that everything from Revelation 4 to 22 was still way in the future. You can see that is a lie because Revelation talks all about the history of the Christian church. Luis de Alcazar came up with the teaching that everything is in past and has already happened in the 1st century, but it has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, it was something else. That is the teaching known as “Preterism.” I would like to see what kingdom or power fits all of the characteristics of Antichrist more perfectly than The Roman Catholic Church. When the Catholic Church hired them they said, “You can point that way forward into the future or you can point that way backward into the past, just don’t point at us!” I believe in the “Historicist” view of Bible prophecy interpretation by the way in which Revelation traces the history of God’s people from the first coming to the second coming as we can see the very clear evidence of these prophecies being fulfilled through time. Then a man named John Nelson Darby from the Plymouth Brethren studied the Futurist view that Ribera came up with and he liked it, but he then cleaned it up a bit and began to build on it. These people became known as Darbyites or Darbyists and Darby became known as the father of Dispensationalism. Then a man named Cyrus Scofield embraced Darby’s teachings and incorporated his notes in the Scofield Reference Bible which contained all the teachings of a seven year tribulation, and the Antichrist is a literal man that comes up during those seven years, 144,000 literal Jews in Revelation and many others. Then a man named Hal Lindsey got a Scofield Reference Bible and introduced these teachings to the Christians churches with his simplified books like “The Late Great Planet Earth.” Now we have the majority of Protestant churches embracing the Jesuit interpretations of Bible prophecy. THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES ARE EMBRACING THE VERY TEACHINGS THAT THEIR FOUNDING FATHERS WERE PROTESTING! Now if you write a book or make a movie, you are the one with all the truth. Since there is so much confusion, you can sell anybody anything! Can you see why the call from God is so important now when he says “Come out of her my people!” in Revelation 18:4? So why is it so important that we know the truth about Jesus’ second coming? There is a massive amount of people right now that are questioning the validity of the Bible and they think that one day if Jesus returns and takes everyone and they are left behind, they have a second chance. They say, “Its OK, I’ve got a second chance to prove myself to God!” They think that they will have to endure the plagues, but just as long as they repent and give glory to God, they can still be saved. If everyone disappears they think that they will at least have enough faith to make it through the tribulation. I am here to say NO! That is not the way the Bible tells us that it will happen as you and I have just read all the evidence. I am telling you right now, that there is absolutely no reference in the Bible to a seven year Tribulation! When Jesus comes back, THAT’S IT! There is no second chance! Be ready now! Even if I am wrong, what’s wrong with being ready now, just in case! Was there a second chance in the days of Noah once the ark door was shut? Was there a second chance for the people in Sodom and Gomorrah? The main point that I am trying to make is that we are making the same exact mistakes that the people did at Christ’s first coming. We are messing it up and now nobody knows what to believe! BELIEVE THE BIBLE! Since sin is so attractive, we have created an escape plan that if we live in sin our whole lives we will be able to prove ourselves worthy during those seven years, but for now we can do whatever we want. This is the most dangerous way of thinking because we are gambling with eternity. It is necessary for us to be ready now and not later because if you wait until later, you will be among the lost and ultimately receive of the plagues and end up in the lake of fire with Satan to be burned and become ashes under the soles of the righteous’ feet! (Malachi 4:3) That is why it is so significant to understand how he is coming this time. If the church back then would have understood how he was coming the first time as a Lamb and silently, they would have accepted him and claimed him as their Messiah, but he came to his own and his own did not receive him. They were looking for him to come with a shout and a trumpet. Now we are going to be looking for him to come as a Lamb and silently when the Bible clearly tells us that he is coming like a Lion and it will be the most amazing event to ever happen! People are looking for a secret when it will be a visible, audible, dramatic and climactic event. Being ready now is not dangerous, but waiting is very dangerous. Satan is saying, “Go ahead, live in sin, you have another seven years. Put your Bibles away for now and live for today!”
In 1997, a tragedy happened with a group of 39 people in the Heaven’s Gate Cult. They took a lethal cocktail and killed themselves. They believed that this Hale-Bopp comet was being trailed by or was hiding a spaceship that was going to “catch them up to” or “rapture” them. The amazing thing is that they used the Bible prophecies to support their teachings. Their leader, Marshall Applewhite, was a 65-year-old man that claimed the only way to evacuate this earth was to leave with him on this spaceship. They had planned their deaths for months, even years. They were really ready to be taken by this spaceship because as they drank these deadly drinks they had neatly packed a lot of their belongings and placed them beside their bodies and tucked a little note in their pocket that had their identities written on it. The theories of this cult were really just a merging of the Bible and Star Trek. They believed in this so much that they made a video tape of themselves saying, “Don’t worry about us, we’re going up to the spaceship!” Then they drank these poisons and killed themselves in a big mansion in Santa Fe, California. Reports say that these drinks were made up of of Vodka and Phenobarbital (A anti-seizure and tranquilizing drug). Among the dead were 21 women and their ages ranged from 26 to 72. 15 of them died on the first day, 15 on the second and 9 on the third. The comet came and went and did not take anyone anywhere. There was no spaceship. Marshall Applewhite claimed that he was one of the predecessors of Christ and these people followed him to their death even though in 1975 they predicted the same thing and nothing happened. If a spaceship is going to come and take you away, don’t you think that it would be wise to have a lot of evidence handy?
Those that embrace the “Left Behind” scenario have published time and date time and time again of Christ’s second coming. Hal Lindsey has done the same thing in his books by saying that 1981 was the rapture and 1988 will be the end of the plagues and had the whole thing mapped out and sold million of books and nothing happened! None of it happened, but even still to this day, people are still embracing this interpretation of prophecy. How about this, let’s read our Bibles and let it be our guide and not some Hollywood movie or a book loaded with lies. This theory of being left behind is our deadly, lethal drink today in Christianity. The “Left Behind” books are not biblical so if you read this message please pass it on to your loved ones and your family to expose this lie that is so common and widespread in our churches today. Jesus has told us that many will come in his name and will try to deceive us and if we are going to be able to combat this deception, we must know our Bible and what is has to say.
(Matthew 24:4-5;23-27) And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many……. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
(2 Corinthians 11:14) And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
You can see that with all of the wild theories in the world today, it would be easy for Satan to deceive many by impersonating Christ. These teachings are setting the stage for a massive deception and since Satan can transform himself into an angel of light, he could pull it off with no trouble at all. What trouble could he have? Us! We that know the truth could derail these wild theories and get people on the right track so that they may not be deceived by anything or anyone whether it be Satan himself or not! The Bible is our weapon.
(2 Thessalonians 4:16-17) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
I think that it is safe to say that if we see somebody walking around here on earth saying he is Jesus, we can ignore him because the Bible tells us that when he comes back we meet him in the air. He came down to us once, this time we go up to him! Amen! We have got to be on our toes and help each other understand the truth of Jesus’ second coming. In the next message I will cover the origin of the seven year tribulation. God Bless Everyone and keep studying!
Resources: Pastors Doug Batchelor, Leo Schreven, and Rich Cavaness.