The Two Phases of the Second Coming

There is so much in the news these days that show us that many are confused about truth.  The so called Obama Care law is fully supportive of the killing of pre-born children.  The radical Islamic enemies of the United States and of Israel certainly must love such a law that helps to destroy thousands and even potentially millions of future Jews and Christians.  Satan would love such a law as well.  I praise God for any congressman/woman or Senators who seek to take a legal stand to oppose or hinder any law that advances abortion.  The family is under attack as well.  Islam does not support same-sex marriage, nor abortion!  Yet they would not have a problem and might even encourage America to re-define marriage so as to weaken us and to weaken Israel.  Islam would be very supportive of America’s radical leftist fringe, while denying it for their own followers, and would oppose Christians from affirming Biblical marriage.  Why the attack against Christianity today?  Strong biblical Christians are the last bastion of sanity against the rising tide of latter day rebellion.

The Bible predicts growing darkness over the world in the latter days.  Even in the church, Revelation 2-3 shows us that there will be a growing apostasy, that is, a systematic departure from the truth of the Bible.  People have clamored in America for a new kind of leader, but this effort to call up a new kind of leader is not typical only of America, it is a growing desire globally.  The world, more and more desires a new world leader who will, in fact, be worshiped as god.  Revelation 13 describes the appearance of this world leader, commonly called, the Antichrist.  Revelation 13 calls Him the beast!  In reference to the church, Revelation 3:14-22 describes the latter day church of Laodicea (church of the laity, or, of the people, not of the Bible).  In 3:20 we see that things will get so bad in this latter day church that Jesus Christ, that is, the biblical Christ, will be shut out.

This verse pictures Jesus standing outside and knocking for anyone who hears His voice to open the door and admit Him into their personal lives.  In other words, the church of the end times will be so self-focused that there will only be room for a false view of the messiah.  The focus will not be on truth, but on self.  The attention will not be on the study of and obedience to the Bible, rather the focus will be upon, as we are seeing today in many ministries and churches, submission to personalities of popular leaders who will affirm the carnal desires of people in order to draw them into their deceptive teachings. (See 1 Timothy 4:1-4 and 2 Timothy 3:1-9 in context!).  I want to refer you to my previous blog entries to learn more about the nature of the latter day church apostasy that is apart of this global preparation for the coming of the false Christ, the Antichrist.

For the believer in Jesus Christ in these latter days, we need to continue to stand true to the Lord and to abide in His wonderful grace and power as we watch for His return.  He will be faithful and will enable you and me to know the truth of His Word as it is related to the events of our days.  He will show us how to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” ((1 Peter 3:15)  This is why we should be clear in our minds, in the midst of all the confusion of these days we are living in, about the two phases of the Lord’s coming!

People most often speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ, but are not clear as to how this will occur.  The best way that I have found to understand the Lord’s second coming in view of the Scriptural teaching is to view His return as being in two phases.  This is not two second comings, which is sometimes put out there by those who deny the doctrine of premillennial, pre-tribulational rapture of the church.  But the two phases of the second coming of the Lord consist of, first, the Lord’s coming to meet His church in the air at the rapture. (see 1 Thessalonians 4:3-18) then His return to the earth to establish His 1,000 kingdom on the earth. (see Revelation 19: 11-16)

In Titus 2:13 we find these two phases compacted into a single verse.  There Paul speaks of how we are looking for the “blessed hope,” which refers to the rapture, and then he speaks of the “glorious appearing,”  when the Lord will return to the earth seven years later.  The rapture, or, the “blessed hope” will be a sudden event only for the church, before the seven year Tribulation Period, and the “glorious appearing” will be at the close of the Tribulation Period.

The coming of the Lord for believer can occur at any moment.  He will come in the air to call away all who are born again by faith in Him.  It is vitally important that you trust in the Jesus Christ as your personal Savior today.  He will forgive you or your sins and save you for ever.  Believe that He is the Son of God and that He died for your sins upon the cross, and that He rose from the dead, and you will be saved.  Tell Him right now that you believe in Him and then by prayer, receive Jesus Christ into your heart and life as your personal Savior. (see John 1:1-14, esp. 12; 2 Corinthians 5:17) Then read His Word, join with a Bible preaching church fellowship (there are still some), and walk as a dynamic witness for Jesus Christ as you watch for His coming.

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