The return of Jesus to gather His people from this earth is the grand theme of the Bible. One verse out of every eleven in the New Testament speaks of this momentous event. Evangelist Dwight Moody declared that the event is mentioned two thousand five hundred times in Scripture, although the term does not appear in the Bible.
This earthshaking event is the ultimate goal of all Bible prophecy. This goal is more conspicuous in Revelation than any other book of the Bible. In Revelation Jesus’ return is “the most outstanding event of the book, the keynote of its messages, the hub around which its… visions revolve. Each scene in this prophetic drama climaxes with the coming Christ”. To study Revelation is to become acutely aware of Jesus’ second coming. No wonder the devil keeps announcing that the book is sealed.
It is shocking to recall that at Jesus’ first coming, as a babe in Bethlehem, the people were surprised and unprepared. This was true in spite of the fact that hundreds of Old Testament prophecies clearly described His first coming with detailed accuracy. But the people were applying the prophecies of His second coming to His first coming and ignoring those that applied to the first advent. Thus, they were prepared to reject His appearance as the infant son of a poor family.
History has a way of repeating itself. It is shocking to consider, but could it be possible that Christian people today may be misconstruing the 2500 Bible prophecies of Jesus’ second return? Could they be setting themselves up for one gigantic mindboggling surprise? Could even some serious Bible students be fatally confused regarding His return? Jesus solemnly warned to this sad possibility when He spoke of His return in Matthew 24 (1438). He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you”. Matthew 24,4 (1439). He further stated that erroneous concepts regarding His return would be so powerful and convincing that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”, Matthew 24,24 (1439). Then He capped it with, “Behold, I have told you before”. We would say, today, “You have been warned!”
In light of this solemn warning by Jesus, let us now prayerfully see what the prophecies reveal regarding the blessed rapture.
JESUS WILL RETURN
1. Two men in white clothing suddenly joined the disciples as they were watching Jesus disappear in a cloud at His ascension. What did they say about the manner of Jesus’ return to the earth? Acts 1:9-11 (1590)
Ans: That he would return in the __________ manner as he departed.
HE WILL BE VISIBLE. They saw Him depart. Verses 9,10.
HE WILL RETURN IN A CLOUD. He left in a cloud. Vs. 9
HE WILL BE FLESH AND BONES. He was flesh and bones when he left. See Luke 24:36-43, 50-51 (1544). The angels said, ”This same Jesus” Acts 1:11 (1590) will return.
HIS ASCENSION WAS LITERAL, PERSONAL, BODILY AND VISIBLE. His rapture will be the same.
2. How did John tell us Jesus would return? Revelation 1:7 (1800); 14:14 (1816)
NOTE: As the angels promised, Jesus, who went away in the clouds, will return in the same manner. The Bible reports this fact too often for any to question it. The New Testament alone mentions the fact at least nine times.
3. What are these clouds? Psalm 104:3 (933) ct Psalm 68:17 (905)
4. Who will see Jesus when He comes? Revelation 1:7 (1800)
NOTE: This, also, is too plain to misunderstand. Every human being on earth will see Jesus at the rapture. This includes both saved and unsaved. Matthew 24:30 (1440) says that all the tribes of the earth shall mourn at His appearing.
5. Who will come with Jesus at the rapture? Matthew 25:31 (1442)
6. How will these angels assist Jesus in the rapture? Matthew 24:31 (1440)
Ans: They will gather the _____________ together from all over the earth.
INVASION FROM SPACE
7. How long will it be from the time Jesus and the angels leave Heaven for this earth
until they are back in Heaven with God’s raptured saints? Revelation 8,1 (1808).
NOTE: We will study the seven seals of Revelation later. But briefly, the sixth seal ends as the wicked realize that “The Day of the Lord” is upon them, Rev. 6:12-17 (1807). During the seventh seal there is complete silence in heaven for one half hour prophetic time. Revelation 8:1 (1808). It is silent in heaven during this time period because all the angels are with Jesus for the rapture, Matthew 25:31 (1442), and Heaven will be empty. Since a day in prophecy equals a literal year, Ezekiel 4:6 (1213), some believe a “half hour” would be approximately 7½ days. Thus, heaven would be silent for about a week, the length of time that would be spent on the round trip for the rapture.
8. Many beautiful Christians feel that the rapture will be secret. What do the following Scriptures teach regarding this point?
a. Matthew 24:27 (1440): Jesus compares His rapture to _____________
NOTE: There is nothing secret about lightning.
b. Psalm 50:3-6 (893) says God will not keep ________ and it shall be _______ round about Him.
NOTE: The passage definitely says He won’t be silent.
c. Jeremiah 25:30-33 (1147) says, “The Lord shall ________ from on high…. He shall
give a ____________ . A __________ shall come even to the ends of the earth“.
NOTE: A mighty roar, a shout and a noise heard to the ends of the earth
accompany the rapture: nothing secret about it.
d. Thessalonians 4:16,17 (1736) and 1 Corinthians15:52 (1688) indicate that the rapture
will be accompanied by a trumpet _____________and a ______________ .
NOTE: There is nothing quiet or secret about this event.
9. What will happen to the righteous DEAD at His coming? 1 Corinthians 15:52-53 (1688), 1 Thessalonians 4,16-17 (1736).
Ans: They will be _____________________ incorruptible and immortal and caught up
into the ___________ to meet the _____________ in the air.
10. What will happen in the righteous LIVING when Jesus comes? 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (1736), 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 (1688).
Ans: They will be _______________ from corruptible to _______________ and from mortal to ____________ and caught up to meet the __________ in the ____________ .
11. What kind of bodies will the saints be given?
Ans: a. Philippians 3:20-21 (1725) Bodies like ____________________
Ans: b. Luke 24:36-43, 50-51 (1544), Acts 1:11 (1590)
(verse 39) _______________________ and ______________________
In Matthew 24:24, Jesus predicted that Satan would try to deceive “even the very elect”
FALSE CHRISTS APPEAR
12. Does Jesus come to earth, or remain in the air, at the second coming? 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (1730)
NOTE: Jesus promised to return to take His people to heaven to be with Him, John 14:1-3 (1575). He did not promise that at His Second Coming. He would immediately reign over the earth in its sinful condition. John sees the redeemed at the heavenly throne.
Revelation 7:9-10 (1808)
13. Suppose that a glorious being suddenly appeared in Jerusalem who claimed to be Christ and who fitted the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:13-17 (1801). Suppose that he preached warm, beautiful Bible truths with power, called fire down from Heaven, healed the sick, helped stop wars, read minds, blessed children, etc.
What would be your reaction?
Ans: We should know at once that he was an ________________________.
NOTE: We should know at once that the glorious being was an imposter, because Jesus at His coming makes a SKY APPEARANCE and not an EARTH APPEARANCE. He remains in the AIR while imposters appear on EARTH. Further, we need to remember that the devil:
a. APPEARS AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (1702).
b. WORKS MIRACLES. Revelation 16:14 (1817).
c. CAN CALL FIRE DOWN FROM HEAVEN. Revelation 13:13 (1814).
d. WILL USE SCRIPTURE, EVEN QUOTED IT TO JESUS. Matthew 4:6 (1400).
e. IS FULL OF WISDOM AND PERFECT IN BEAUTY. Ezekiel 28:12, last part (1254).
14. Would it be safe to go see a false Christ, even though you know he was not Jesus? Matthew 24:23-26 (1430).
Ans: No! Jesus said, “Go not ________________________ “.
A SOLEMN WARNING
Jesus clearly commanded, regarding such cases, that we are not to believe it is Christ, and further, that we are not to go look. “Go not forth” the Bible says. When I disobey that injunction and place myself in jeopardy, the devil has unusual advantage over me. He deceived one third of heaven’s angels. Revelation 12:3-4 (1813). I would be most foolish to think that he cannot deceive a mere human being who takes himself out of Jesus’ hands by disobeying Jesus’ word, “Go not forth”. Those who look will be deceived. The odds are about 100%.
Satan’s strategy will be to make people think that Jesus has already come, so they will be off guard and unprepared for His real rapture. We must not underestimate the devil’s power to deceive. If I depend on what I see and upon human reason and logic, Satan will deceive me. If I remember that Jesus will come in the clouds and that every eye will see Him when it happens, and if I obey Jesus and refuse to go see imposters, I will not be deceived.
THE KING IS COMING
15. What will the wicked do at the time of the rapture? Revelation 8:14-16 (1807)
Ans: Cry for the ___________ and ____________ to fall on them.
16. What will the Lord do to the wicked at the rapture? 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 (1739) Isaiah 11:4 (1037); 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 (1738).
Ans: Destroy them with His ______________ and with the ____________ of His mouth.
17. Why doesn’t God give the wicked another opportunity to repent after the rapture?
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (1730)
Ans: They are lost because they “_______ not the ______ but had _______ in ______”.
NOTE: Another opportunity would also be spurned by the lost. Jesus will not appear for the rapture of His people until every person on earth has heard the message of salvation, Matthew 24:14 (1439); Mark 16:15 (1486) and has made a decision for or against it, after fully understanding and fully weighing this all-important issue of life and death, Revelation 22:11-12 (1825). Those who are lost have simply decided they prefer a sinner’s lifestyle. They have chosen to disobey God even after they fully understand His loving call to salvation. They would be miserable in Heaven. It would be cruel to include them. If I choose to be lost God will not force me to be saved, though He will be terribly broken-hearted, and deeply hurt over my decision, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (1739).
18. What threefold glory will be manifested at the coming of Jesus? Luke 9:26 (1509).
Ans: The glory of the _______, ________ and the _________.
NOTE: The glory of one lone angel caused the entire Roman guard to fall as dead men when he appeared at Jesus’ tomb, Matthew 28:2-4 (1450). Try to comprehend the glory of millions of angels plus that of the Father and the Son. This fantastic brilliance will far outshine the noonday sun, and the unsaved will be slain by its brightness, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 (1739. Indeed, He is coming “with power and great glory”, Luke 21:27 (1536).
19. What will Christ, the rider on the white horse, and His armies do to the nations at the rapture? Revelation 19:11-16 (1821).
Ans: _________________________________ the nations.
NOTE: The passage clearly points to the destruction of the nations.
OH, GLORIOUS DAY!
20. What is the crowning purpose of Jesus’ return? John 14:2-3 (1575)
Ans: To take His ____________________ home.
NOTE: We long for Heaven and home. Even more important, Jesus and his Father long for all of us to come home. Oh, the joys of that incomparable reunion!
Here are some exciting things to look forward to:
a. Reunion of loved ones. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (1736).
b. The blind will see, the dumb speak and sing, the lame walk again. Isaiah 35:4-6 (1064).
c. No more sorrow, pain or tears. Revelation 21:4 (1823).
21. What does Paul call the Second Coming in Titus 2:13 (1753) and how does he say we should feel toward it? 2 Timothy 4:8 (1750)
Ans: a. Titus 2:13 (1753) The Blessed _______________________.
Ans: b. 2 Timothy 4:8 (1750) ________________________ it.
NOTE: Jesus’ return is, indeed, the “Blessed Hope” of God’s people, and the love that God’s people have for this wonderful day is beyond description.
22. Can any person know the exact time of Jesus’ return? Matthew 24:36 (1440).
Ans: No! Only the ______________________ knows that.
23. What can we know for certain about Jesus’ appearing? Matthew 24:32-33 (1440)
Ans: Know that it is _______________, even at the ____________.
NOTE: When we see Jesus’ last day prophecies fulfilled, then we know the coming of Jesus is very near.
24. How will people be rewarded at Jesus’ second coming? Revelation 22:12 (1825)
Ans: “To give _______________ man _______________ as his __________ shall be”.
NOTE: The Bible is clear. People will be rewarded according to their works.
25. Will His coming be a surprise to everyone? Matthew 24:44 (1440)
Ans: Yes! “For in such an _________ as ye think ________ the Son of man ________”.
26. Since His coming will be a surprise, what should we do to be certain that we are ready when He does come? Matthew 24:44 (1440)
Ans: Stay ___________________________________.
27. If He should come tonight, would you be ready?