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The concept that the message of this article may have different meanings in different contexts, may be closely related to one's knowledge, understanding, and perception, of the scriptures as given in (2 Timothy 3:16).
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:30-36).
Along about the first of November each year, we start seeing signs that Christmas must be near, as the decorations and tree trimming start showing up. We know by these displays, that Christmas is near but we also know that we must get over Thanksgiving before Christmas can happen. A similar allegory to this scenario is the prophet signs of the time. By this, I am referring to the rapture (catching away) of the church and the second coming of Jesus
Yes, there are no prophecies yet to be fulfilled before the rapture of Christ's Church. Is this a fair statement ? That is not to say prophecies yet future will NOT be fulfilled before the rapture, just that none are given that MUST BE fulfilled before that stunning event.
However, one need only read the local newspaper, dial up the nightly news, surf the internet, or tune into any local conversation, and you will plainly see this old world is in a mess, more so than at any other time in history. Signals that we are in the end times are so ubiquitous, and at the same time proliferating at such a profound pace, that it is sometimes very difficult for our human mind to comprehend ( 1 Timothy 4:1-5) ( 2 Timothy 3:1-6, 7, 13). Yes the storm clouds of apocalypse are now gathering, and next after the rapture, comes the storm clouds of the tribulation. And sadly to say, within the world's culture and society it will be "business as usual", in every phases of living.
The next event on God's calendar is the rapture, or the gathering of the saints in the air. There are many prophet signs, concerning the "first and second coming of Jesus" but there are no signs need be fulfilled before the rapture can occur. We know, however, when certain signs give specific prophecies, concerning the second coming of Christ, that the rapture is probably not far away, as the rapture occurs seven years before the second return of Christ. And believe me, one need only watch the world's current events to see what I am talking about.
The book of Revelation, a prophecy book of chronicle nature, gives the rapture as happening before the events of the seven year tribulation period (Revelation 4:1). In ( 1Thess 4:13-18), we see that the question, "Does the death of a believer before the Lord returns cause the believer to miss the rapture ?" However, Paul reassures that the dead in Christ will be raised first in the rapture. And in (1 Cor 15:51-54), we see that both the dead and living believers will suddenly be called up to meet Christ, when the last trumpet sounds. So, all pre-rapture prophecy must be fulfilled, for the word "sudden" to be realized or effective.
I am at mystery, as to why the Bible only refers to the rapture as sudden and without warning (Daniel 12:4), and basically only gives prophecy on the first and second coming of Christ. Could it be that the Bible doesn't promise anyone tomorrow (James 4:14) , so we must call on God to be saved today ( 2 Cor 6:2) ? Yes, we must be ready for His appearance, as Jesus tells us to watch and be on the alert ( Mark 13:35-37). .
Please check out these prophecies, concerning the second coming of Christ, against today's news media. You see, if the rapture comes before the return of Christ, we are certainly close to meeting Jesus in the air.
.............Many false religion will confuse by populism- (Mark 13:6)
.............We will see wars and even talk about wars- (Mark 13:7)
.............Nations will arise against nations- (Mark 13:8)
.............There will be earthquakes and famines in unusual places. (Mark 13:8)
.............Dishonest judges and courts will rule against Christianity -(Mark 13:9)
.............The gospel must be preached world wide- (Mark 13:10)
.............Family members will turn against each other- (Mark 13:12)
.............Christians will be hated because of their faith- (Mark 13:13)
.............False Christ and false prophets will arise- (Mark 13:22)
It is therefore incumbent upon us "all Christians" to discern the signs of the times. We will look at them, trying to put them in the order given us by Jesus and the prophets as they foretold these end-time things. Those who consider such things calculate that about 27 percent of God's Word is given to prophecy. Roughly half, those who figure these things believe it has been fulfilled. Therefore about 14 percent of Bible prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. Careful study of the historical record validates Bible prophets as 100 percent accurate, in considering prophecies already fulfilled. We can, through application of human rationale, therefore, think the rest of prophecy will likely be fulfilled. Christians should trust, without reservation, that their Lord, the "Word" (John 1:1-2), will accomplish fulfillment of the remaining prophecies - those yet future.
Author's Post Script
The rapture is the teaching that at or before the return of Christ (Matthew 24:30) ( Acts 1:11) the dead in Christ and the living Christians, who are alive on the earth will be transformed into the resurrected bodies and literally be caught up into the clouds to meet Jesus.
There is debate as to the timing of the rapture. The pre-tribulation rapture doctrine says that the rapture will occur at the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period, which immediately precedes the return of Jesus. The mid-tribulation rapture doctrine says that the rapture will occur 3 1/2 years before Christ returns or halfway through the great tribulation period of seven years. The post-tribulation doctrine says that the rapture will occur at the same time as the return of Christ or at the end of the seven-year tribulation. All of these positions fall within the realm of Christian orthodoxy. The verses used to support the doctrine of the rapture are as follows:( 1 Thess 4:16-18) ( 1 Cor 15:2-23) ( 1 Cor 15:51-52).
Please remember, the most important thing. Whether you believe the body of believers will be "snatched away" before the great and awesome Day of the Lord, or in the middle of it, or at the end of it, or if you just don’t know, doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is that you don’t get left behind. The door will be shut.
We must stand ready(Matthew 25:13) and not miss this final event (Revelation 22:17,20).
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