(Prophesy - Things to come)
MARANATHA - 1Cor. 16:22 - Is of Aramaic origin, meaning, “Our Lord has come or will come.” - When two Hebrew meet they greet each other with, “Shalom” meaning peace. They are not so much thinking of peace with God as, peace with their Arab neighbors. When Christians in the early Church met they greeted each other with MARANATHA, that is, “the Lord cometh” - Their hearts were thrilled with the fact that He came and with the promise and prospect that He will surely come again. It would be good if we today would revive the use of MARANATHA, in our greetings, letters or accompanied with an autograph. This would bring an awakening and blessing to us and to others.
The use of the word
MARANATHA is an expression of
FAITH: - Faith in the promises of our Lord regarding His return. He looks for faith and rejoices when He finds it in our hearts. The promises of His first advent came true, so His second advent will surely come true as well. Sincere believing, and acting on these promises, will influence others to believe also.
Again it expresses
HOPE: It is “Looking for that blessed hope... “ Titus 2:13 - Believers don’t look for death, but the ‘Blessed Hope” - Death is a defeated foe, but a foe just the same. - Believers may die but they are looking for the Lord, not death. Enoch is a type of the translated believers at the
RAPTURE. Genesis. 5:24 Heb. 11:5 - When believing loved ones are taken by death, we sorrow but not as those who have no hope. 1Thes. 4:13
It also expresses
LOVE: - The Lord looks for faith but He also desires our love. One day The Lord asked Peter three times, “lovest thou Me?” John. 21:15-17 - If we love Him surely we will look for Him to return. (Like a bride longs for the coming of the Bridegroom) - A “crown of righteousness” is laid up for those who, “love His appearing” - 2Tim. 4:8 (It’s not the crown so much as Himself that we look for)
JOY: - We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord. Phil. 4:4 - If we rejoice in the Lord we will rejoice in His return, and in the joy of seeing Him as He is and to be like Him. “What a day of rejoicing it will be when in rapture we behold Him”
There will be no more failures or disappointments. - A new body of flesh and bones like unto His glorious body. To Never suffer pain again. - There will be the joy of receiving a reward and hearing His, “well done thou good and faithful servant”
Finally it expresses
CONCERN: for others. By using the word, MARANATHA! We remind others of His imminent return. To the unsaved, it is a message of warning. “Prepare to meet thy God” Amos.4 :12 - To the Christian, it means watch, pray and witness because the time is short. - Lets revive the use of the word, MARANATHA, for the Glory of God and the salvation of souls.
The Second Coming 1 Thessalonians.4: 13-18
The second coming of our Lord appears about 318 times in the New Testament indicating its importance. There are two advents in the Word, the first extending from the Incarnation of our Lord to His ascension back into glory. This covered a period of approximately 33 years. The Second Advent extends from the rapture of the Church till Christ’s appearing to set up His Kingdom. This covers a period of approximately 7 years. These truths are not determined by a single verse or passage of Scripture, but by an overview of the Old and New Testaments. An essential rule to follow is a literal interpretation of Scripture unless it is obviously symbolic. The word RAPTURE, is, a Latin word, literally, “caught up” – A snatching away. Acts. 8: 39 - 2Cor. 12: 2,4
RAPTURE of the Church and Christ’s
RAPTURE - is the removal of all believers from the Church age to be with the Lord in glory. (For believers only)
APPEARING - is the Son of God appearing to judge and set up His rule during the Mil. (Effects all men)
The RAPTURE - is when the saints are caught up into the air.
The APPEARING - Christ will return to the earth to reign.
The RAPTURE - is when Christ comes to claim His bride.
The APPEARING - is when Christ returns with His bride to reign.
The RAPTURE - is the removal of the Church and the inception of the tribulation.
The APPEARING - is the establishment of the Kingdom.
The RAPTURE - is imminent. (No unfulfilled signs to look for)
The APPEARING - (Preceded by many signs, some fulfilled, some to be fulfilled)
The RAPTURE - brings a message of comfort to believers. 1Thes. 4:18
The APPEARING - brings a warning of judgment for unbeliever’s to heed.
The RAPTURE - is a program for the Church.
The APPEARING - is a program for Israel and the world.
The RAPTURE - is a “MYSTERY” revealed to Paul. 1Corinthians 15:51
The APPEARING - is predicted in both Testaments.
The RAPTURE - the believer’s works judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The APPEARING - Gentiles and Israel will be judged.
The RAPTURE - the elements of creation are unchanged.
The APPEARING - brings frightful changes in creation.
The RAPTURE - Gentiles, unaffected.
The APPEARING - Gentile are judged in the tribulation.
The RAPTURE - Israel’s covenants are unfulfilled.
The APPEARING - Israel’s covenants will be fulfilled.
The RAPTURE - comes before the “day of wrath:” (The tribulation) Rom. 2:5
The APPEARING - follows the day of wrath. (Tribulation)
The RAPTURE - the, “Lord is at hand” - Php. 4:5
The APPEARING - “the kingdom is at hand” Mt. 24:14
The RAPTURE - the Church taken into the Lord’s presence.
The APPEARING - Israel is, “taken into the kingdom”
Seed Thoughts & Sermon Starters
1. Some views on the second coming, which the writer doesn’t indorse.
(1) The Partial rapture theory refuted: “we shall
ALL be changed” (There will be no amputation’s of the body) 1Cor. 15: 51
(2) Mid-tribulation rapture theory refuted: “God hath not appointed us to wrath” - “no condemnation” 1Thes. 5:9; Ro. 8:1
(3) Post-tribulationism theory refuted: 1Thes. 5: 9 - “I will keep thee from the hour of temptation” Rev. 3:10
2. The second coming has always been the
HOPE of the Church.
(1) Blessed: “...comfort one another...” 1Thes. 4: 18
(2) Purifying: “...purifieth himself, even as he is pure...” 1John. 3: 3
(3) Sure: Prophesies and Promises. John. 14:3
(4) Imminent: “surely I come quickly” Rev. 22:20
3. The imminent return demands the pre-tribulation rapture.
(1) Imminent: so, watch, wait, pray and be not overtaken as a thief. 1Thes. 5:2,4
4. THREE GREEK WORDS: for His coming. (Determined by context)
(1) PAROUSIA: = coming – presence.
(2) HARPAZO: = “caught up” - Philip and Paul were raptured into heaven.
1Thes. 4:17 - Acts. 8:39 - 2Cor. 12:4
(3) EPIPHANEIA: = appearing – brightness. (Kingdom)
5. Note three days, ages or periods, not a 24hour day. Cf. - Day of salvation, Day of
Grace and the Day of Judgment.
DAY OF CHRIST: Php. 1:10
1. Duration: From the rapture to the appearing. (Fulfilled in heaven)
2. Main events: The Rapture, the Bema, the Marriage supper, and His appearing.
3. Participants; “Ye are all the children of light...” 1Thes. 5:5
(1) He comes, “for” His saints. 1Thes. 4: 15-17
(2) Some Bible scholars include Old Testament saints. “In Christ”
(3) Only the redeemed hear the “shout, the voice and the trump” 1 Thes. 4:16
4. Meeting place “in the air” - in enemy territory. Eph. 2:2 - 1Thes. 4:17
5. A “mystery” - An Old Testament secret, now revealed to the Church through
Paul. 1Cor. 15:51
6. Christ is the, “Bright and Morning Star” He is the first glimpse of the
Eternal day. Rev. 22:16
THE DAY OF THE LORD: 1Thes .5:2 - Zec. 14:1
1. The Old Testament “day of the Lord” is a time of judgment. Joel 2:1,2,31,32
2. The duration: Tribulation through the Millennium.
(On earth; judgment and blessing)
3. Two “last day” signs precede this day.
(1) A world wide falling away from the faith. 2Thes. 2: 3
(2) The stage is set for the “man of sin” (anti-Christ) 2Thes. 2: 3
4. Participants: Children of “night...darkness...” 1Thes. 5: 5
(1) Zechariah.14 - read select verses.
(2) He will come “with” His saints. Zec. 14: 5 - 1Thes. 3: 13
(3) It will be ushered in by “signs in heaven” see, Mat.24: 29,30
(4) This is not a “mystery” - it was predicted in the Old Testament.
(5) He will judge unbelief; Armageddon; as a “thief in the night” 2Peter.3: 10
(6) He will reign as King in righteous judgment, (Millennium) 2Thes.1: 5
(a) He shall rule, with a rod of iron. Rev. 2:27 - Rev. 19:15
(b) He bless as the, “Sun of righteousness...with healing” Mal. 4:2
THE DAY OF GOD: 2Pe. 3:12
1. Duration: time ends and the eternal state begin.
(1) The Devil and the false prophet. - They are cast into the, “lake of fire”
(2) Unbelievers of all ages, not found written in the book of life are judged. (
Great White Throne) Rev. 20:11-15
3. Signs and accompanying events:
(1) Celestial bodies will, “melt with fervent heat” 2Peter.3: 10
(2) All rule, authority and power are put down. 1Cor.15: 24
(3) Christ delivers the kingdom to His Father. 1Cor.15: 24
(4) New heavens and new earth will appear. Rev.21: 1
(5) The “G.W.T.J.” - Culminates time and ushers in eternity.
IMMINENT: Why a 2,000-year delay?
(1) “The Lord is longsuffering...not willing that any should perish” 2Peter.3: 9
(2) God cannot be tied to time. (In His time)
(3) The Church has to be completed. (Until the last stone is in the building)
2. THE RAPTURE AND THE UNBELIEVER, facing the tribulation.
(1) The day of grace ends and the day of wrath begin. (The tribulation)
(2) The “Spirit” (Restrainer) will be removed; see, 2Thes. 2: 6-8 (DBY)
(a) The “salt” and “light” will also be removed. Mat. 5: 13
3. Revelation 5-19 is the Tribulation on earth, but no hint of the Church.
(1) “Come up hither” – Rev.4: 1 – (John’s call to “come up” pictures the Rapture of the Church)
(2) The marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in heaven; Rev.19: 7-10
4. The believer who dies falls asleep and is with the Lord, awaiting the rapture.
5. The “first advent” was to redeem but the second will be to rescue.
6. Different attitudes toward the second coming,
(1) The scoffer, “where is the promise of His coming?” 2Pet.3: 4
(2) The backslider, “My Lord delayed His coming” Luke.12: 45
(3) The Lord, “behold I come quickly” (3x”s) Rev.22: 7,12,20
(4) The believer, “Even so come Lord Jesus” Rev.22: 20
7. A SUPPOSE SCENARIO; confusion reigns for those left behind after the rapture.
(1) A plane in the air, Pilot, co-pilot and some of the passengers disappear.
(2) A funeral procession and the honored guest vanishes.
(3) A liberal preacher says, “Maybe God has judged those reactionaries”
(4) A husband: “I checked the underscored verses in her Bible and I’m scared”
(5) Enoch and Elijah’s disappearance caused confusion. 2Ki. 2: 11-18; Heb.11: 5
8. This truth either comforts and regulates the life, or causes concern.
(1) “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” So. 2:10
(2) His coming is, “sure, selective, secret, sudden and saving”
(3) We shall be changed; like Him; glorified.
(4) We shall see Him, as He is, face to face, the Altogether Lovely One.
9. The Divine Architects’ masterpiece will be finished on schedule; Eph. 5: 26,27
(1) Is not this the carpenter? Mark.6: 3
(2) I will build My Church, Mat.16: 18
(3) I go to prepare a place for you, “many mansions” John.14: 2
(4) Perhaps today! -”Surely I come quickly... Even so, come.” Rev. 22:20
Notes & Quotes
When the outlook isn’t good, try the up look.
The last sight the disciples had of our Lord before He returned to heaven was His outstretched arm in blessing. That is His unchanging attitude toward us today as our Great High Priest.
“Ye are my friends...” - Who can calculate the intimacy of that statement?
Cultivate the enjoyment of Christ’s love and be surrounded by the holy atmosphere that created it.
When we are near to God we lose sight of self and are able to comprehend His mind. At His feet is where He makes indelible impressions of Himself on our heart and life.
Spiritual Light is important because it leads us to cultivate our love for Christ. It is to the heart, and not the head, that Christ reveals Himself and His love.
The better we know Him the more we will love Him. His present absence makes our heart grow fonder.
“Put thou my tears into thy bottle...” Psalm. 56:8
“Jesus wept...” John. 11:35
“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes...” Rev. 7:17
Tears or it’s equivalent occurs 178 times in the Bible. This is not a sign of weakness, but of a tender heart. The Lord Jesus wept, as did many worthy saints.
God has a bottle in which He is collecting the tears of the saints. He is measuring our compassion, not our strength and accomplishments. Like the woman who washed His feet with her tears, we will likely, one day pour out those tears on His feet, in worship, and then, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes”. Rev. 7:17 - 21:4
Thus might I hide my blushing face, while His dear cross appears.
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt my eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay, the debt of love I owe,
Here, Lord, I give myself away - 'Tis all that I can do.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest:” 1Cor. 3:13
“The books were opened and the dead were judged out of those things according to their works.” Rev. 20:12
There is an organization called, “ANONYMOUS/ANONYMMOUS” which is designed for people who wish to keep their problem a secret from their fellow man. They may accomplish this for a time, but for the believer, “every man’s work shall be made manifest” at the Judgment Seat Of Christ.
For those who die without salvation, the books will be opened, at the Great White Throne Judgment, and will be judged by the One who wanted to be their Savior.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee,
Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.
“The things which are not seen are eternal” 2Corinthians.4: 18
For the Christian, the things, “not seen” are primarily spiritual, eternal and future. Hope is faith looking forward, and enjoying the sure promises. It sees our, “light affliction” is replaced by the “eternal weight of glory” 2Corinthians.4: 17 It sees the body of sin destroyed, the sting of death removed, and that the valley of the shadow of death holds no fear, because our loving Shepherd is with us. It sees that life is so brief and as someone has said, “death is but a narrow stream that will soon be forded,” and then we can enter into the reality of our Saviors promise, “where I am, there ye may be also.” John. 14:3 - We concur with John and say, “even so come Lord Jesus” Rev. 22:20
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Questions & Answers
QUESTION - I have mature Christian friends who have different views on the second coming of Christ, the rapture etc. How do I deal with this difference?
ANSWER - Love them just the same! There are areas on this subject where we can’t afford to be dogmatic but are responsible to be convinced in our own minds and that based on what we understand in the Word of God. These issues are not fundamental where our salvation depends on it so it is best not to debate, but believe everything God has shown us, nothing more or nothing less. We are looking for the Lord’s return at any moment, not for death or the Anti-Christ. This subject can’t be established by a single verse or passage, but by an overview of the whole of Scripture. The writer believes in the Pre-tribulation rapture of the Church which means the “BLESSED HOPE” Is imminent, and that He could come at any moment.