PROPHECY HEADLINES: Saudi Arabia reports over 100 more MERS infections, 92 more deaths | G7 leaders express concern, resolution over conflict in Southeast Asia | Gallup poll: Divorce, gay sex, fornication see higher levels of ‘moral acceptability’ in U.S. | 5.7-magnitude earthquake shakes Alaska | South Sudan on the brink of brutal famine; 3.5 million suffer from food shortages
PROPHECY BOOTCAMP: “Not Really So Obscure (Part 4)” from Dr. Tim LaHaye
The Pre-tribulation Rapture in One Chapter
Second Thessalonians 2:1-12 mentions the rapture, Tribulation, and glorious appearing in one chapter. In verse 1, the words “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” speak of Christ’s return to earth. They are followed by a conjunction that is usually translated “and,” but which can also be translated “even.” In either case, Paul refers to “our gathering together to Him.” The term “second coming” is a reference to the entire coming of Christ, which includes the two phases separated by seven years. The phrase “our gathering together to Him” cannot mean the glorious appearing, since that is when all living creatures are gathered to Christ for the judgment of the nations and the establishment of His kingdom. So in verse 1 we have both the glorious appearing and the “gathering together to Him” (the rapture).
The people described in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 are unsaved people who go into the Tribulation because they heard the gospel but refused to believe because they “had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Doubtless you know individuals who have rejected Christ because they love sin and refuse to give it up to follow Him. If they have heard the Word, they probably know about the rapture. When it occurs, millions of people will be missing on the same day. This obvious miracle will confirm to unbelievers that Scripture is accurate. In addition, during the Tribulation (especially the first 42 months), unbelievers will see the supernatural signs and wonders done by the two witnesses described in Revelation 11 and hear the testimony of the 144,000 converted Jews.
Unbelievers will realize that things are happening just as the Bible said they would. Salvation will not be an act of great faith for them; rather, their response will be based on sight. The signing of the covenant between ISrael and the Antichrist will be the signal that they delayed their last chance to accept Christ by faith, and at that point God will send them strong delusion so that they will permanently reject what they know to be true. It is a sad picture, and should motivate us to double our effort to reach the lost with the gospel while there is still time.
OCCUPY TILL I COME: Gaining Hope from Bible Prophecy (Part 8) by Dr. David Reagan.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “The King is Coming” by Newsboys