For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NASB)
Our choir at Hebron Church sang the most awesome song this Christmas, called The End of the Beginning. It occurred to me though that the Resurrection was also the beginning of the end. I’m sure that the disciples and Paul were absolutely convinced that Christ would be returning in their lifetime. This has probably also been true of Christians in every generations since. That’s not a bad thing. The Bible teaches that we’re to live with a sense of the immediacy of His imminent return even if it still doesn’t happen for another thousand years. That’s the lesson of the ten virgins found in Matthew 25.
But I do believe we are the terminal generation, and I believe that the Bible supports that belief. Someone posted on Facebook recently that “false prophets” were teaching the Rapture would occur before the Great Tribulation, but that he believed the Bible clearly taught Christians would have to suffer through it. I don’t know about him, but “I’m outta here!” Yes, those who accept Christ during the Tribulation will have to suffer and die for their faith, but I think the Bible is clear that the Second Coming will be in two parts: the coming of Christ in the clouds to meet the saints in the air (found in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15) that we term the Rapture, and the touching down of His foot onto the Mount of Olives when He returns with that army of saints He took up to end the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Great Tribulation. This was prophesied in Zechariah 14:4 and depicted in Revelation 19.
Just as God allowed Noah and Lot to escape coming destruction, He is a loving and just God who does not wish to harm His people. He wants us safe from the evil about to be unleashed. I’m looking up. I’m ready to go. Are you?
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: What would you like to be doing when Jesus comes?