|Why should we study prophecy? Because we are commanded to study---Is. 34:16 and John 5:39; Is. 34:16, "Seek ye out the Book of the Lord, and read---." John 5:39, "Search the Scriptures--------" . "Rev.1:3, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."
We should study prophecy, because God considers it important or He would not have had it written. Much of the Bible is prophecy fulfilled, and much is yet to be fulfilled.
God wants us to know something about the future or He would not have told us to study, II Tim. 2:15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." God did not say, study all but prophecy and just skip over it. No, my friend we displease God if we ignore any part of His Word. Many do not study prophecy, therefore know little, if anything about the Coming of the Lord.
God's Word declares in II Tim. 3:16, "All Scripture 'is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" Vs. 17 says, "That the man of God may be perfect (complete) thoroughly (completely) furnished unto all good works."
The study of prophecy gives light in these dark days, God's Word gives light. II Peter 1:19 tells us, "The more sure Word of prophecy" is called "a light that shineth in a dark place--." The prophetic Word is the only ray of light by which we can know the future as the Holy Spirit blesses us with an understanding heart as we prayerfully study God's precious Word.
If it were not for the Truth that Jesus Christ is "Coming Again" for the Church (true born-again believers), there would be no hope and nothing to comfort our hearts. I Thess.4:13-18,
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not , even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the Coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ (the bodies) shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
It has been said that in Thessalonica many tombstones had engraved on them "No Hope." The pagan greeks had no assurance, no hope of being reunited with their loved ones in the after-life, for they were unbelievers, they did not acknowledge the God of the Bible. To the Christian greeks Paul gives assurance to them through the "Word of God", the hope of reuniting with their loved ones, the saved who had gone on to be with the Lord.
Paul, I believe in essence was saying to the people then and is speaking to Christians today; Sorrow not, for there is coming a Resurrection of the saints---Sorrow not, there is coming the Rapture of the saints---Sorrow not, there is coming a reunion of the saints.
The Coming of Christ in the Rapture will be a signified event (the most important ever) for the saved. It will be a sudden event, no one knows the day nor the hour He will return. We just know that He will return, but according to the signs of the times, it could be soon. We do know His Coming imminent (it could happen at any moment). Matt. 24:44, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
The Order Of Christ's Coming For The Church:
- 1. The Lord descends from Heaven.
- 2. He shouts from the air.
- 3. The archangel utters his voice.
- 4 The trumpet is sounded.
- 5. The dead in Christ are raised first, (speaking of the bodies).
- 6. The living saints (true believers in Christ) are changed.
- 7. Together all these rise to meet the Lord in the air.
Jesus said in Rev. 3:10 & 4:1, "Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. After this I looked, and, behold , a door was opened in Heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter."
Jesus is coming for the Church (true believers in Christ), before the Tribulation period of seven years, then He returns to end the tribulation, judge the nations, and set up His Millennium Kingdom, and rule the world on the Throne of David for one thousand years.
Rev. 20:1-6, "And I saw an angel come down from Heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years be should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their fore-
heads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."
Luke 1:32,33, "He (Jesus) shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
Isaiah said in Chapter 9 verse 7, "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (zeal-burning desire)
Before we get too far along is this study, let us look at some words and their meaning.
Rapture; According to Websters New World Dict., 3rd College Edition means the state of being carried away with joy, love, etc., also great delight; a carrying away or being carried away in body or spirit, etc.
Rapture also means to be "caught up"; to carry off by force; Rapture comes from the Latin verb (rapto), to seize and carry off; the Latin word (translatio) means transporting, transferring from one place to another. This is what happens when the Lord returns for the church. This is called the Rapture of the Church. This word is used to describe what happens
when the Lord returns. Some will argue that this word isn't in the Bible. It isn't, but it is a proper word to use. Grand-father isn't in the K.J. Bible, neither is the word Trinity. But there were and are grand-fathers. And we know the Bible teaches there is a Trinity, Father , Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, to say the word rapture isn't in the Bible is a very poor argument against the Rapture. Unbelief does not nullify the dotrine in the Scriptures relating to the Rapture. There are those who do not believe in the Trinity, but the Bible teaches that there is a Trinity. Therefore we can trust the Bible, all the doctrines, and every word God saysMillennium (Latin for "thousand years"). Christ will rule for one thousand years upon this earth. During this time period the world will experience universal peace. This will happen after Christ returns to this earth in the Revelation. Seven years earlier He returns in the Rapture. The seven year period is spoken of in Daniel, chapter nine. It is called The Tribulation Period. The last half (three and one half years) is called the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will be the most awful time this world has ever seen and it will never be repeated. There has never, no never been such a terrible time since the beginning of time. Thank God He has promised to take His Church (true born-again believers)out before He pours His wrath out upon this present evil world.
To teach that the Church will go through the Tribulation that is to come, is to nullify the Biblical teaching of the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Church.
In conclusion, God has a plan for every person;
- Step number one is for you to come to Christ and receive Him as Savior and Lord.
- Step number two is for us to be submissive to His will, serve Him faithfully.
- Step number three is for us to be faithful witnesses for Him, anticipating His Return.