- Private, ACT 1:11.
- In the air, 1TH 4:17.
- Judgement of believers works, 2CO 5:10.
- Church goes to heaven, JOH 14:3.
- Holy Spirit is removed, 2TH 2:6.
- Change in the believer’s body, PHI 3:21.
- Christ appears as the groom, REV 19:7.
- End of the Church-Age, 1CO 15:52.
- Israel under fifth cycle of discipline, REV 3:10.
- Believers taken from the earth, 1TH 4:16-18.
- A time of comfort, 1TH 4:18.
- Public, REV 11:7.
- On Earth, ZEC 14:4.
- Baptism of Fire, MAT 25:31-46.
- Church returns with Christ, 1TH 3:13.
- Removal of Satan, REV 20:1-3.
- Earth is changed, ZEC 14:9; ROM 8:19-22.
- Christ appears as Messiah, REV 1:7.
- End of the Jewish Age, REV 21:1.
- Termination of Fifth cycle of discipline, REV 21:1.
- Unbelievers taken from earth, MAT 24:37-43.
- Time of terror, REV 6:15-17.
Last Sunday morning we did a summary of the chart of distinctions between the rapture and the second coming, or second advent.
Now we are going to cover some of the background to these distinction and their scriptures. But we are going to be taking this very slow, so for tonight we will only cover the first distinctions between both events and we will probably continue to cover them one at a time moving forward from here.
The Rapture vs. The Second Advent
Rapture 1. Private ACT 1:11
The rapture is a private event, in the sense that only those who are saved will see Jesus.
ACT 1:11 and they 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.”
Acts 1 sets the stage for the establishment of the church and the spread of the gospel.
According to John 16:7 Jesus is alive but if the Holy Spirit is to come Jesus must ascend into heaven.
“But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” – John 16:7.
This statement may seem difficult to understand, at first.
It almost certainly would have been baffling to the disciples.
In John 16:5- 7 the idea that Jesus is leaving understandably makes these men both fearful and sad.
The suggestion that Jesus leaving is somehow beneficial was probably absurd, in their minds.
However, In order to complete His atonement for sin, it would be necessary for Jesus to leave John 12:31–32.
The “advantage” of Jesus leaving is also tied to the specific role of the Holy Spirit.
In prior verses, Jesus referred to the Helper—meaning the Holy Spirit – John 14:16–17, 26; 15:26–27.
So long as Jesus is there, in person, the object of the disciples’ faith would always be a tangible, external person.
That’s not necessarily bad.
However, it means they would constantly depend on Him to direct them, or to answer their questions.
Their own thoughts and conscience would perpetually be pushed aside, in favor of asking Jesus for His judgment.
When He is not physically present, they would feel incomplete.
In short, Jesus’ physical presence in some sense limits the depth of their reliance on God.
It also limits how many people Jesus can influence at once.
The Holy Spirit, [on the other hand], completely fulfills the prediction given in Jeremiah 31:31–34.
JER 31:31–34 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD.
For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The Holy Spirit, the Helper, provides the ability for each Christian to have constant, personal, immediate, indwelling contact with God.
Instead of relying on someone “outside” of themselves, believers in Christ can focus on the voice of God “inside” their souls, as He dwells with them –John 14:17.
It does mean that We have the advantage of His influence, so far as we’re willing to submit to it –1 Corinthians 2:14–16).
Christ must leave the world, so His followers will learn to depend on the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Now back to Acts 1:11 – After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus spent forty days showing Himself to His believers to prove that resurrection and give them instructions.
Now, It is time for Jesus’ earthly ministry to end and the Holy Spirit’s ministry to come into full effect John 16:8–14.
This is the time of the beginning of the dispensation of the church age.
We see right before verse 11 in Acts 1:10
The disciples are staring off into the sky, watching the spot where clouds took Jesus away, when two men in white robes break their stupor –Acts 1:10.
Jesus’ role as a physically-visible member of the Trinity working on earth is over; it is time for the Holy Spirit –John 16:7, but He still has a role.
But Jesus will return, and the men, presumed to be angels, tell His disciples that His coming will be much like His leaving.
In the end times, before the tribulation begins, “the Lord Jesus Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17.
This is our transference into His presence.
Now we will look at our first distinction of the SA
Second Advent 1. Public, REV 1:7. NOT 11:7
At the end of the tribulation, when Jesus comes to destroy the Antichrist and his army and set up His millennial kingdom, Jesus will again come with the clouds –Revelation 1:7.
We just saw this in our study of the shekinah glory and theophonies.
In the future, when Jesus returns, “He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen” Revelation 1:7.
This is the second advent and it is very much public involving ALL!
Now in Sunday’s opening and that specific distinction chart – I had made a mistake with Rev 11:7 and that worked because we saw that testimonies are public but the correct applicable verse for this is actually REV 1:7, ok so please just cross out that 1 if you have the chart from Sunday
REV 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. So it is to be. Amen.”
In this verse John looks forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Again, it is important not to confuse the second advent with the rapture.
The rapture occurs when Jesus comes in the sky and catches up Christians from the earth to be with Him.
We showed you that The rapture is a private event, in the sense that only those who are saved will see Jesus.
Now – On the other hand, The second coming is a public event.
John declares that every eye will see Jesus at the second coming.
Also, the tribes of Israel will have undergone a national revival when Jesus comes again.
There is no mention of such a revival before the rapture.
John recalls what Zechariah had prophesied about Israel’s revival when Jesus comes to earth again.
Zechariah 12:10 prophesies, Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”
Likely, John remembers what the angel told him and the other apostles when Jesus ascended into heaven.
The angel promised that Jesus would come again in the same way as He went into heaven.
Revelation 1:4–8 identifies John’s audience as the seven churches in Asia.
John addresses these churches with a greeting from the triune God, and he ascribes praise to Jesus.
Jesus is coming in glory, John declares, and His coming will be visible to everyone.
And it is at that time, the tribes of Israel will express remorse because of His crucifixion.
John’s joyful anticipation of Jesus’ return to earth caused him to exclaim, “EVEN SO. AMEN” (Revelation 1:7).
We, too, should eagerly anticipate the second coming, because Jesus will reign over the earth, and we will reign with Him 2 Timothy 2:12.
The first difference we observed was that the Rapture is a private event in the sense that only CAB will be involved, whereas the 2nd Advent is a very public event involving ALL.
In the rapture, believers are called to meet Christ in the air.
In the case of the Second Coming, Christ returns with angels and thousands upon thousands of His holy ones.
He sets foot on the Mount of Olives and Battles the armies gathered against Him in the Valley of Armageddon.
Those who teach a post-tribulation return come up with the Yo-Yo problem.
Christians would be raptured to meet the Lord in the air and then immediately descend to earth with Him.
This is a mistake many make because they do not look at the many differences surrounding the two events.
That was the first distinction so now lets take a look at the 2nd distinctions between the Rapture and the Second Advent.
The Second Advent is designed to reveal Him as both battlefield royalty and Jewish royalty.
At the Rapture of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ does not return to the earth as in the Second Advent.
We meet Him in the air.
- The Rapture takes place in the air, 1TH 4:17.
1TH 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
First Thessalonians 4:13–18 represents an important shift in the subject matter of Paul’s letter.
Realizing the Thessalonian believers needed further teaching about Jesus’ return, the rapture, and specifically about what happens to Christians who die before Jesus returns, Paul turns to address these vital matters.
He wants his readers to know that death should not cause them to grieve like unbelievers.
There is a bright prospect of seeing departed believers again.
When Jesus returns from heaven, He will bring deceased Christians with Him.
At that time there will be a loud command, the archangel’s voice will be heard, and God’s trumpet will sound.
Christians who have died will receive their resurrected bodies, and living Christians will be caught up to join them, to be with the Lord forever.
Paul urged the Thessalonian believers to use what he wrote about the rapture to encourage one another.
Chapter 4 starts with an encouragement for the Thessalonian believers to continue their spiritual growth.
And this is a very important principle because, we should be living the same way.
As CABs we should be living each day as if the Lord is going to rapture us up, however, that doesn’t mean not to invest in the future and to live carelessly.
The Thessalonian believer’s conduct is exemplary, but they need to seek to do even more, again, as do we.
Paul especially emphasizes the importance of sexual purity, as well as the need for believers to live peaceful, polite, and productive lives.
Paul then begins to discuss the subject of Christ’s return.
This begins with a reassurance that Believers who have died prior to the return of Christ will be the first ones raised when He comes back for His people.
Next will be those still living, all of whom will meet Jesus ”in the air.”
Knowledge of our eternal destiny should be encouraging!
Let’s look at this verse again:
Verse 17 of 1st Thes chapter 4 reads:
1TH 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
This verse continues an often-quoted description of “the rapture:” the sudden, bodily taking from earth of all Christians by Jesus Christ.
That depiction, in turn, is part of Paul’s reassurance to the Christians of Thessalonica.
He is correcting certain fears and misunderstandings about the end times, including what happens to believers who die before Jesus returns.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 describes the rapture as a dramatic event, which first involves the resurrection of those believers who have already died.
Following the resurrection of departed Christians, Jesus will snatch up living Christians who are “left.”
Being left should not trouble believers, because they are left for only a fleeting moment before Jesus takes them, us, up from the earth to join Him in the clouds of earth’s atmosphere.
This rapture event will introduce Christians to an eternity in Jesus’ presence.
The word “clouds” is used metaphorically, most likely as a reference to sky but also symbolic of OT theophanies, as we have seen with our recent studies.
At any rate Jesus’ arrival in earth’s atmosphere demonstrates He Jesus offers Christians’ safe passage through the Devil’s territory., reflecting imagery used elsewhere in Scripture.
The Devil is “the prince of the power of the air” Ephesians 2:12, but he is no match for Jesus.
The apostle John offered strong encouragement by writing, 1 John 4:4 “… he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”.
Notably, Paul makes it clear that this meeting is “in the air,” and not on the literal surface of the earth.
This is why the rapture is considered to be a separate event from the second coming of Christ.
When Jesus fully returns to earth, a second time, He will do so leading the armies of heaven Revelation 19:11–16.
Now we will take a look at the 2nd distinction of the Second Advent from the Rapture.
- Second Advent takes place on earth, ZEC 14:4.
ZEC 14:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
Revelation 19:11–21 presents one of Scripture’s most spectacular moments of victory: the second coming of Jesus Christ.
In this event, Christ returns to earth at the close of the tribulation and what I am about to read to you will be seen by ALL.
At His first coming to earth, Jesus appeared as a baby and sacrificial Savior.
This time, He arrives as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Christ arrives in a blaze of glory, obliterating His enemies single-handedly, at the head of the armies of heaven.
The Antichrist and False Prophet become the first two cast into the lake of fire, ushering in the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign on earth.
REV 19:11 reports that the apostle John saw heaven open and observed a rider on a white horse.
The rider is identified using names such as Faithful and True.
The earlier rider of a white horse, seen by John in Revelation 6:2, was given no such description.
Coming in this context, Christ is faithful to avenge the death of the martyrs and to keep His promises.
He promised to come again, and true to His word He will come to earth a second time at the close of the tribulation.
REV 19:12 emphasizes Christ’s absolute majesty, power, and victory.
His second coming, however, sees Jesus arrive as the King of kings and Lord of lords, with piercing eyes.
Among the many names He can claim, Jesus has a name only He knows.
This likely refers to the fact that Jesus is indescribable.
Symbolically, then, the Son of God returns to earth with a name unknowable to any other person.
His personality and deeds extend far beyond what we can comprehend.
At His first coming Jesus filled the role of the Lamb of God and shed His blood for our sins.
At His second coming He will fill the role of the Lion of the tribe of Judah and devour His enemies because of their sins.
As He roars against His foes, another of His names is prominent: “the Word of God.”
In 2nd Corinthians 5, Paul longs to occupy his eternal body, described as a permanent house built by God Himself.
Knowing that is coming, Paul has the courage to risk even more suffering in order to continue the mission to preach the gospel. And dad I want to thank you for your faithfulness bc I see the challenges that you face constantly.
That’s how important this subject was, Paul’s one goal in this life is to please Christ.
He knows that every Christian will face judgment by Christ, not to decide one’s eternal destiny, but to receive what is due for our works while living in these temporary bodies.
Paul teaches us with courage, that all in Christ are new creations.
It is important to note that In Christ, God is reconciling people to Himself, not counting their sin against them.
Paul implores everyone to be reconciled to God in this way through “faith in Christ”.
2CO 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Knowing that day is guaranteed, someday, gives Paul courage to keep fulfilling the mission God has given to him.
One motivation to please God is Paul’s knowledge that he will be judged by Christ for his works in this life and that all believers in Jesus will appear before the judgment seat of Christ when He returns to earth.
Paul is clear in his letters that this judgment is not about salvation.
Christ will not declare in that moment whether someone will go to heaven or hell.
In no sense is this verse implying that that judgment, or the deeds it examines, are what decide someone’s eternal fate.
The judgment seat of Christ is something exclusively for believers only, whereas the baptism of fire – all will be present.
This refers to an assessment of what each saved, heaven-bound Christian has done “in the body” since coming to faith in Christ.
How has he or she used this life in Christ?
What have they done, for good or for evil?
Paul wrote in Romans 14:12 that each believer will “give an account of himself to God.”
How will Christ respond?
Every good action will be rewarded.
Ephesians 6:8 tells us christians will receive those efforts “back from the Lord”.
The works of those who have lived only for themselves, however, will be “burned up” or shown to be worthless.
1CO 3:15 If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
Even structures built from cheap, weak materials may appear good and strong to casual view.
Fire will reveal what the building is really made of.
That fire will come with the judgment of Christ on the day of the Lord.
This is a judgment of the work of Christians, not the Christians themselves (Romans 8:1).
At the 2nd advent Non-believers must face a very different judgment (Revelation 20:11–15).
We know This is not a judgment of whether a person is saved or not (Titus 3:5).
It’s not God’s judgment on sin.
Those who trust in Christ have been forgiven for their sin. Jesus already received God’s judgment for it.
Paul made it clear at the very start of this letter that The Christians in Corinth, though many were still living “of the flesh” (1 Corinthians 3:3), would stand guiltless before God in the day of the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:8).
There will be loss, however.
Those whose work is burned up, found to be worthless by Christ’s judgment, will suffer some unspecified loss.
No detail is given, but it may be the simple loss of seeing all of one’s effort in this life revealed as nothing more than selfishness and wasted potential.
We are to be motivated by the awareness of this coming judgment.
God’s grace to us in forgiving sin does not mean He’s careless about how Christians live our earthly lives.
We will stand before Him and be held to account for our choices.
That accountability does not affect our eternal destiny.
It declares our time as spent well or foolishly, courageously or cowardly, in faith or in spiritual blindness and selfishness.
Post-tribulationism is not able to explain the sheep and goats judgment after the second coming in Matthew 25:31-46.
As in the previous problem, the yoyo effect, how would there be any believers in mortal bodies, if they were raptured at the second coming?
Another words who would be available to enter into Christ’s kingdom?
Pre-tribulationism does not have such a problem.
Jesus concludes Matthew 25 illustrating how He will judge between the righteous and evil when He returns as King.
In this passage Jesus’ epic judgment, is to take place when He returns as King with His angels and takes His place on the throne.
Just as we just noted our last session that during the 2nd advent Jesus sets foot on earth, Mt. Olives, and not the clouds of the air like the rapture event.
He will divide those judged into two groups: “sheep” and “goats.”
The sheep will be welcomed and praised for serving those in need.
The goats will be condemned and sent away from Jesus to eternal fire.
This passage is notoriously difficult to interpret, making it especially important to handle with caution. & We are blessed to have a PT who does just that.
Though it is referred to as a “parable,” thanks to the use of shepherding terms, the situation it describes is very real.
After delivering several parables about how His followers should live while waiting for His return, Jesus now turns to a description of the judgment that will take place when He does return in MAT 25:31.
This judgment is why Jesus tells those who would put their hope in Him to keep watch and to do the work He has given them to do.
Jesus has used the name Son of Man for Himself throughout Matthew’s account and He uses that phrase here while describing the moment He will take His glorious throne after arriving on earth in glory with His army.
Here He will have returned as both the Judge and the King.
This marks the beginning of His kingdom on earth, a period known to many as the “millennium,” the 1,000–year reign of Christ.
While opinions differ on the nature and timing of these events, that is our best understanding and what we believe here at gbible, GBC.
Jesus’ reign as King, in this depiction, begins with a judgment dividing people into two different groups.
Here In Matthew 25:31 everyone alive on earth will answer to Him as the Judge of all, as He sits on His glorious throne with all power and authority to decide the fate of those subject to judgment.
Scholars and traditions differ on who, exactly, is subject to this judgment. Who is involved?
The term “nations” is used in the Bible most often as a reference to Gentiles, or non-Jews, in distinction to the nation of Israel.
Some suggest the judgment depicted here will only involve people outside of end-times Israel.
Others interpret this to mean all people except for Christians.
However, we believe that this judgment involves all people of the earth, believers and unbelievers, Jews and Gentiles, who have survived the tribulation previously described (Matthew 24:21).
The people here have survived the tribulation and are now being judged to see who enters the millennial kingdom of Christ (Revelation 20:1–6). So if you are listening to my voice during the trib, truly truly I say to you, make Jesus Christ Lord of your life!
CABs will not be part of this judgement, our judgement has already taken place.
This act of judgment takes place immediately, with Jesus’ explanation to follow.
This is when a vast array of people will be gathered before Him, and Jesus will separate them into two groups.
Jesus uses the imagery of shepherding because at this time, this was a profession very familiar to those hearing Him speak these words.
Sheep and goats would share the same fields during the day, but they had to be separated at night, for various mundane reasons.
The important detail here is that they are separated, as two distinct groups. This is a real judgment, and a real separation.
We just saw that In 2 Corinthians 5:10 Believers have their eternal judgment, for rewards only, at the “Bema seat” of Christ.
Christ describes this group as blessed by His Father and declares that they have inherited a place in His kingdom that has been prepared for them since the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).
These are those who have put their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
In delivering this judgment, Jesus will tell this group of Christians they have served Him well during their lives.
Their faith has been proven by obedience to Jesus’ commands (John 14:15).
They provided for Him when He was in need.
Obviously, this will raise questions, since people in the end times will not have seen Christ, in person, until this moment (Matthew 25:37–39).
A later response will explain how it is these people provided for Christ (Matthew 25:40).
In Mat 25:36 Christ is still speaking to the sheep and He will go on to explain that it was their service to other believers (1 John 3:11) which was, in effect, love shown to Him (John 14:15; Matthew 10:40–42; 25:40).
It’s important to note that the reason these people did these good works was because they were living faithfully for Jesus.
Jesus calls all who are sons and daughters of His Father, His brothers and sisters.
He is their King, yes, but He is also their spiritual brother since we are all children of God.
Jesus is loyal to His family and receives good, done for them, as good done for Him.
This praise stands in stark contrast to the judgment of the second group, as shown in the following verses.
In vs 41 of Matthew 25, the group known as the “goats,” on the King’s left hand, have listened as Jesus has welcomed the other group, the sheep, to accept their rightful places in His kingdom on earth.
Turning to the second group, Christ delivers a very different message.
He calls them cursed and banishes them to the same eternal destination as Satan and his demons.
Unlike the first group, these people were clearly not believers in Jesus—proven by the fact that they were not faithful to Him while He was away.
In the Bible, demons are angels who joined Satan in His rebellion against God.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus cast many demons out of afflicted people (Mark 1:34).
His description of them here shows Satan is ultimately responsible for the hordes of fallen angels who serve with him against God.
The goats failed to care for Him when He suffered all the various needs met by those called the sheep.
It’s important to note that the actions Jesus describes here are not what cause these people to be approved or condemned (Titus 3:5).
Those who show no love for believers are not, themselves, really believers (1 John 4:20).
This lack of faith in Christ is proven by their actions, or lack of action (John 14:15).
Christ holds responsible those who didn’t provided for His needs.
As with the righteous, the wicked ones will echo Jesus’ judgment as a question.
For those in this second category, this question also comes across as an attempted excuse.
Whether or not such claims are honest is irrelevant; failure to do what God asks of us is always a sin (James 4:17).
Claiming that we would have done for Jesus what we refused to do for “normal” people isn’t any better (James 2:1).
Christ has condemned the goats, however, banishing them to eternal fire alongside the Devil and his demons (Matthew 25:41).
That inaction proves the opposite of Christian love (John 13:31–35).
It demonstrates that these people are not part of God’s family (1 John 4:20).
On this ominous note, Jesus reaches the end of His description about the judgment that will come at the end of the age (Matthew 24:3).
This is the end of what is called the Olivet Discourse where Jesus has finished describing to the disciples the future events they originally asked about.
As Matthew’s account continues, Jesus will turn to fulfill His destiny as the sacrifice for sin (Matthew 26:1–3).