As we become painfully aware that the last of the last days are upon us, more and more folks are getting interested in biblical prophecy, especially regarding the Rapture and Christ’s Second Coming. In this three-part series, I will attempt to remove some of the confusion regarding the Second Coming and the events surrounding it. My primary text will be Revelation 1:7:
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so, Amen.
The Rapture vs His Second Coming
This verse does not refer to the Rapture when Christ comes for His saints (believers) (1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52). It describes the time at the end of the Great Tribulation when He will return to earth with His saints (believers) (Rev. 19:11-16). This is the time when He is “revealed” for all the world to see. At the Rapture, no one on earth will see Him. All those who are “left behind” will only know that millions of people have suddenly disappeared. Revelation 1:7 is the fulfillment of the promise given to Jesus’ disciples in Acts 1:11:
…and they (angels) also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
God Keeps His Promise
In the days before Jesus leaves heaven for earth, the sun and the moon will be darkened, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Matt. 24:29). Long ago, God warned His people (Israel) that such a time of judgment would come (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 2:31, 3:15), but when it happens, none will have heeded the warning.
To keep His promised to Israel, He will see to it that a remnant will be saved. Once again, He does for them what they were unable to do for themselves. He pours out on the House of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication so that they will look upon Him whom they had pierced; and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a first-born (Zech. 12:10).
“All Israel” will be Saved
As I understand it, those Jews who see His nail-scarred hands and repent will represent the 1/3 of the Jewish population alive on earth at His return described in Zechariah 13:9—the saved remnant that is the “true Israel” of Romans 9:6 and the “all Israel” of Romans 11:26. Their unprecedented grief will be the result of two thousand years of rejecting their Messiah to the point of crucifying Him. It will be the greatest mourning the earth has ever seen. I believe that Jesus’ manifestation of Himself, especially to Israel, is the “sign of His coming” the disciples asked about in Matthew 24:3.
Why Must I Know This?
You may be wondering why you need to know all this stuff since you are going to be raptured to heaven before God’s wrath is poured out on earth. First, what if you’re not really saved? Many will rely on all the wonderful things they did for Christ, but He will say, “I never knew you. Depart from Me” (Matt. 7:21-23). Wouldn’t you want to know what to expect? Second, if you are saved and you really care about those around you, don’t you want to warn them of what will happen to them if they are left behind? Finally, don’t you want to know about some of the ways the Church will share in the glory of our Master? Aren’t we supposed to be focused on the hope of His coming (1 Thess. 2:19; 1 Pet. 1:13)?
Next week we’ll look at the mourning that accompanies Christ’s Second Coming.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Joe Biden’s version of old sayings:
Don’t put all your eggs before the horse.