Could Jesus come today?
Not according to the Bible.
For 37 years I taught and believed , along with all my friends, that Jesus could come at any moment.
Then I ran across this plain teaching:
2 Thessalonians 2:1 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
(This is clearly the Rapture, when we are gathered together ( greek = episunagoge) to meet Christ, here it is called the “Day of Christ“)
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
(We are warned not to believe, and be deceived if someone says the day of Christ is at hand. “Jesus could come today”! Oh I wish He would, but we are told that is NOT the case.)
3 ¶ Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
(Very clearly we are told that The Rapture of the Saints, The Day of Christ, The Blessed Hope, shall NOT come until the antichrist , the man of sin, the son of perdition is revealed, and the apostacy , the falling away from Bible truth, occurs.)
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
I do not believe this is the second coming of Christ at Armageddon, described in Revelation 19:11 ” And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
The book of second Thessalonians in part was written to the Thessalonian Saints expressly to correct the error some might have been teaching that “the Day of Christ” “The Rapture”, “The Blessed hope” had already happened. He did not want them deceived.
2 Thess. 2:1 ” Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”
At Armageddon Christ comes in flaming fire, WITH the Saints. Then he has the “sheep and goat judgments”, setting the saved, the sheep on His right hand, and setting the lost, the goats on His left hand. These are those who survived with mortal bodies the horrible last 3 1 /2 years of the “Great Tribulation”.
Matt. 25:32 “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”
Matt. 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
Our first text verse used the term “gathering together” to describe this rapture, when the Angels gather His elect the, born again believers together. One shall be taken and one left.
Mt 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mt 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Lu 17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Lu 17:35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Lu 17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
A reference to being “gathered together ” is also made in connection to this in Matt. 24: 28 “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
What does this strange verse mean. It could be referring to “Where Jesus is, there the Saints will be gathered also” . He comes with a trumpet, like a flash of lightening, and gathers His elect from the four corners of Heaven and Earth.
The sun moon and stars go dark and there is a great earthquake!
This shows the Day of Christ written about in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 is the Rapture of the Saints, NOT Armageddon.
That happens later.
(“The Sign of the Son of Man” on my web site for further reading)
In ALL these verses, the Sun Moon and stars go dark. It is talking about the SAME event!
Matt. 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Revelation 6: 12 “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
This is The Rapture! It is describing the same event as Matt. 24: 29. Sun Moon and Stars go dark, a great earthquake, the Rapture, then the same day, the Day of the Lord, the time of God’s wrath starts. After the 5th seal is broken, after the Abomination of Desolation in the rebuilt Jewish Temple by the Antichrist.
Joel 2:10 is describing the same great future event. The sun moon and stars go dark. There is a great earthquake. The rapture occurs, THEN.. the Day of the LORd starts, and there is many more judgments, trumpets, bowls, etc. of the wrath of God poured out.
Then comes Armageddon in Chapter 19 when Jesus comes back on a White horse.
Two different events!
We as Christians are promised NOT to have to go through God’s wrath, and we won’t, but we are NOT promised deliverance from Tribulation and persecution. (1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath,…)
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Ye SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION !
Joel 2:10 “The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: 11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”
After the sun moon in stars go dark in Rev. 6, the 144,000 Jews are sealed , then we see a “Great multitude” of people, “Come out of great Tribulation” (vs. 14) .
Wouldn’t this be what you see after millions are raptured to Heaven. ?
Revelation 7:9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 ¶ And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“These are they which came out of great tribulation..”Rev. 7 14b
So.. it appears we go through the judgments up to the 5th seal. No secret rapture will save us from hard times, tribulation or persecution. Those who believe in a pre-trib rapture (like I did) will get discouraged and quit on God possible. It will be very hard.
Since this is true, think of all the songs, like “It could happen in a moment”, etc, that are not true. I love these songs, but it could NOT happen any moment.
Think of all the sermons that say the coming of Christ is imminent, that are not true. ( That I preached also.) Israel had to be a nation restored. The Temple has to be rebuilt still. The falling away has to happen, and man of sin had to be revealed first.
What The Early Church Fathers believed:
I have read and researched the writings of the earl Church fathers. Iranaeus was one of the earliest.
Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD)
Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp. Polycarp learned his Christian faith from the apostle John, “…the disciple whom Jesus loved…” (John 21:7) As well as writing the gospel that bears his name and a number of early letters, John wrote the Book of Revelation. There could be no better tutor other than the Lord Jesus himself. Both Polycarp and Irenaeus knew John personally.
Irenaeus later became bishop of the church in Lyons, France and is famous for his five volume treatise, Against Heresies, which described and challenged all false teaching from the emerging cults of his day.
Irenaeus believed in the three and a half year reign of the Antichrist as ruler of the world before the Second Coming of Christ. He also believed in a literal millennial reign of Christ on earth following the Second Coming and in the resurrection of the just. Irenaeus also believed in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
In Against Heresies 5:29 he wrote:
“And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.” For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.”
He obviously believed in a Rapture, and a period of Tribulation, but it is not clear when he thought this would happen , he just writes “at the last”. He does mention that there will be a last “contest” of the righteous. The early believers did not have terms like “pre-trib”, “Pre-wrath” etc.
I read the the conclusion of a theologian who studied all the early church writers, sorry don’t have his name, and he concluded that they ALL believed in a Rapture “Before” ‘The Day of the Lord”. Same conclusion I came to from studying the sacred scriptures. the Rapture happens and then the Day of The Lord, the time period of God’s wrath is poured out in those “left behind”, THE SAME DAY. They scream “hide us from the wrath of the Lamb!”
I hope I am wrong ! I do not want to suffer. Even if the pre-trib rapture were true, which I no longer think is, we are never promised that we will not have to suffer of be persecuted. Many thousands are under severe persecution as I write this, now! Many have already been beheaded for their stand for Christ.
Let know man deceive you.
The Coming of Christ is much closer, Israel is back in the land, there is a movement towards a ONE World government, and economy as the Bible says will happen.. there are increases in earthquakes wars, and plagues as Jesus warns. We are in the last days. We may be the generation that is Raptured off the earth.
Christ is Coming Soon!
The Bible is true. It is the final authority.
The teachings and traditions of men are not infallible, they are not the final authority.
Evangelist Steve Morris