By Rev. Ron Purkey
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
There are three great biblical events on the timeline of biblical prophecy that may be ready to happen. Let’s take a quick look at these as found in the Bible.
The first biblical event will be the return of Christ in the air (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This biblical event is called the “Rapture.” Our English word “rapture” comes from a Latin term that means “to transport” or “take away.” At that time Christ will return for all true Christians to take them to heaven. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
The second biblical event will be the great tribulation. (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-26; Revelation 9:18-21) “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). This will be God’s judgment on a sinful world.
Satan will rule the earth, and a great political leader, the Bible calls him the Antichrist, will rule the world’s people, and there will be a “false prophet,” the religious leader. Many people will be saved during the tribulation, but it will be very difficult to live for Christ because of the power of evil in the world. This period of time will come to a close after seven years with the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:15-17).
The third biblical event will be the second coming of Christ. (Matthew 24:16-30; Revelation 19:11-16). “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).
Christ will come as a righteous judge to make war with those who oppose him. He will make short work of his enemies, as he destroys them by his word. “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:21).
The rapture will trigger the tribulation period. Everyone left after the rapture will go through the tribulation. The nation of Israel will be the focus, and Israel will turn to Christ as their Messiah and savior. The Jews will be the main preachers during the tribulation; it will start with 144,000 Jewish preachers. Many will be saved during the tribulation, but they will still have to go through the agony of Satan’s rule for seven years. Then Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet will be in perdition.
Yes, Jesus Christ is coming again.
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible study outlines at www.rtcol.com/purkey free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.