There are five primary views concerning the timing of the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the "catching away" of living believers:
- Pre-tribulation rapture.
- Mid-tribulation rapture.
- Pre-wrath rapture.
- Post-tribulation rapture.
- No rapture at all.
Second Timothy 4:8 says a "crown of righteousness" will be given to all who "love His appearing." So, sincere believers can differ on this doctrine yet still receive God's promise.
7 Primary Points About Christ's Second Coming
1. The issue of the church: The word "church" does not appear in the book of the Revelation after Chapter3, so some assume the church is no longer in the world from that point. True or false?
2. The issue of the elect: The word "elect" means "God's chosen" and is used for born-again believers throughout the New Testament. Jesus described the "elect" being in the world during the tribulation (see Matt. 24:22, 24, 31; Mark 13:20, 22, 27).
3. The issue of the wrath of God: First Thessalonians 5:9 says, "For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." Consequently, some assume the church cannot be present when God's wrath is poured out. Is that correct?
4. The Antichrist must first be revealed: Paul emphasized "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and ... our gathering together unto Him" can only take place after the "man of sin [the Antichrist] is revealed" (see 2 Thess. 2:1-12).
5. The key word "last": Jesus prophesied He will raise His people up on "the last day" (John 6:39-40, 44, 54). Paul taught the resurrection and catching away will happen at "the last trumpet" (1 Cor. 15:52).
6. The key word "first": Those martyred during the reign of the "beast" (the Antichrist) will be in "the first resurrection" (Rev. 20:4-5). There is no resurrection before the first resurrection.
7. Focus on the harvest: See the analogy of Noah in Matthew 24:36-42: "As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Matt. 24:37).
Listen to this entire episode of Revealing the True Light on the Charisma Podcast Network for a deeper explanation of the rapture controversy.
Mike Shreve has been involved in evangelism (outreach to the world and ministry to the church) since 1971. His passion is to offer a faith-filled, grace-founded, Jesus-focused, power-imparting presentation of the Gospel. The motto of the ministry concisely communicates his mission statement: "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15). Subscribe to his other CPN podcast on comparative religion called Discover Your Spiritual Identity.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.