Last week we began the very exciting section of End Time Prophecy Revealed; the return of Jesus Christ. The Bible talks about the return of Christ as a thief in the night. Think of what that would be like for unbelievers. Traumatic and scary. But, we will be ready. Let’s learn more. There are many, may scriptures in this blog post folks, so we recommend having your Bible to hand so you can really study this out.
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 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.
The metaphor of a thief in the night is repeated over and over in the Bible. But it’s not referring to Christians here, it’s talking about the world, those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. As we’ve discussed before, the world will enter into a time of perceived safety and peace as the antichrist sets himself up to rule the earth. It will seem to be a time of arrival, world peace, relaxation. Then halfway through that 7 year period, the tribulation will begin and at the end of that, Jesus will return. And there will be a time of great mourning - for those who aren’t watching. But, the church, the people of Jesus Christ, can see the signs and we know that Jesus is coming.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
That’s good news. You are not of the darkness! Praise God.
So, God is telling us to be prepared, to watch and be ready. For those who are not watching, it will be sudden and unexpected. Matthew 24:37-39 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 all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
It’s going to be unexpected for those who don’t know the Lord. It’s also going to be obvious for the entire planet! Jesus isn’t going to sneak back. He’s not coming like He did last time, quietly in the night, in an obscure little town and lying in a manger. Oh no! The bible also says very clearly that all will see Him. He won’t be coming only in our hearts, or just in a spiritual sense. 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.
Everybody will know! All the tribes of the earth.
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.
Again, we see there will be great mourning for those who haven’t accepted Jesus. They will have that sudden realisation that the Bible was true, that God is real and His Name is Jesus Christ. Then every knee will bow!
Luke 21:26 says men’s hearts will fail them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
When Jesus comes back and goes into Jerusalem, the Jews will recognise that He actually was the Messiah and they crucified Him! What a shock that will be. There will be great mourning. It will be an incredible shock for the Jewish people to realise that Jesus actually is the Son of God. Can you imagine!? But this will not be for the saints in Christ.
So what will happen to the saints? The last trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will be raised, then the living saints will be transformed. Amazing!
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. The four winds means those who are alive on the earth. Both the saints in heaven and the saints on the earth will be caught up with Jesus.
We can read more about this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
And it Colossians 3:4 it talks about us appearing with Him: When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Praise God! So what is this last trumpet? 1 Corinthians 15 is kind of the ‘resurrection chapter’ and in v51-52 it says: Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
The last trumpet is the signal of our victory and our entrance into our kingdom. Revelation 8:1-2 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
Revelation 11:15-19 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
Wow! It’s all preceded by this blast of the trumpet. Joshua 6 talks about the conquest of the city of Jericho. Jericho was the entry into the promised land. Joshua 6:5 …when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”
Just like the Israelites entering into the promised land, so shall we enter in with a great shout and a blast of the trumpet into our promised land for all eternity! Hallelujah! Remember in the story of Jericho how the people had to shout and then the walls came down? Compare that with 1 Corinthians 15 and we can start to see the picture here.
The resurrection of the dead will come first. Jesus will speak to those who have already died. Maybe a bit like Lazarus. John 5:25 says Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
He’s going to speak to the dead and they are going to rise up!
1 Corinthians 15: 53-57 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We will become just like Jesus’ body. Wait, what? When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, Jesus’ body was transformed. They found His grave clothes empty in the tomb! Jesus didn’t just come back to life in his earthly body and then get changed into…what?! They didn’t lay some clothes out for Him in faith so He could put on fresh clothes when He rose again! The stone was rolled away, but not so that Jesus could get out, you know?! He was already alive and risen. The stone was rolled away so the disciples could look inside and see that Jesus had risen! By this point, Jesus could walk through walls anyway!
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Like HIS body! Wow!
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
We will shine brighter than the sun! Matthew 17:1-2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
…and in the midst of the seven lamp stands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
So when the rapture comes, we will be transformed into power and life. It’s going to be quite incredible. Next week we are going to dive into more details on the rapture and our glorious victory in Christ!
Have a blessed week!
Don't forget to watch Pastor Richard's extended teaching clip by clicking on the image below....