JESUS CHRIST’S SECOND COMING

The Lord’s second coming (parousia) will be a comprehensive-complex whole. In other words, it will not be a simple, instantaneous event as the rapture will be. Instead it will span various events that will fulfil divine purposes.

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We can illustrate this by looking at Jesus’ first coming. When we think of this event, we do not think exclusively of his birth. His birth was his arrival, but his subsequent presence included his upbringing, teaching ministry, miracles, discipleship, death, burial, and resurrection. It was a complex whole that God used to fulfil his purposes. Similarly, the second coming will begin with Jesus’ arrival in the clouds to resurrect the dead and rapture them along with believers who are alive at that time (1 Thess. 4:13–18). The biblical writers often emphasised the arrival aspect of the parousia because they wanted to induce godly living in their listeners. But it would be a mistake to think they viewed it as limited only to Jesus’ glorious appearing in the sky to resurrect the dead and rapture all believers. This is because his subsequent presence (parousia) will encompass major events such as the day of the Lord’s wrath, bringing the remnant of Israel to salvation, and reclaiming his earthly regal-rule, which will extend into the millennium. In short, Christ’s parousia will be realised in his delivery of God’s people, judgement upon the wicked, and reign over the world.

What are key passages that you believe best represent your Prewrath position for the rapture?

I think the strongest passage is 2 Thessalonians 2, where Paul reassures the trepidation of the Thessalonian believers that they are not experiencing the day of the Lord’s wrath. Paul explains that they are not experiencing the day of the Lord’s wrath because two discernible events must happen first—the revelation of Antichrist and the apostasy. Since they have not happened, Paul argues, the day of the Lord has not materialised.

I also see Jesus’ Olivet Discourse as a key passage that supports the pre-wrath position. It depicts all the key elements: the Antichrist’s great tribulation, cutting short of the great tribulation, celestial disturbances, Son of Man’s return to the clouds, rescue of God’s people, and the impending wrath of God.

I would argue, as well, from the book of Daniel and Revelation, but the former two passages, in my view, form a strong case for the pre-wrath position.

What role does Daniel 9 have in your understanding of the timing of the rapture?

I do not see Daniel 9 informing a particular eschatological sequence vis-à-vis the rapture question (but I do in Daniel 11:36–12:4). There are at least two points that Daniel 9 informs us on: (1) There will be a future seven-year period during which time key events will unfold, and (2) the fulfillment of the salvation of Israel will happen when the seven-year period is complete.

Alan Kurschner is director of Eschatos Ministries, which is dedicated to teaching biblical prophecy from a futurist, premillennial, prewrath perspective. www.AlanKurschner.com.

HOW TO BE SALT & LIGHT IN A PERVERSE GENERATION

FIRST & FOREMOST WE NEED TO HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AS THE OIL IN OUR SPIRIT.

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27

Is this the Christ preached in your church? Listen to John McArthur for the true Gospel.

“Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” Mark 9:50  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how shall it be made salty? It is from then on good for nothing but to be thrown out and to be trampled under foot by men.” Matthew 5:13

WE NEED TO BE THE SALT AND LIGHT IN THIS INCREASINGLY DARK WORLD. A WORLD THAT NO LONGER BELIEVES IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE & AN INERRANT BIBLE.

Reflecting on salt and its many uses can help us in carrying out our assignment as “hidden figures” on our spheres of influence today.

THE FIVE USES OF SALT

1. Preservative

Salt has been a food preservative since ancient times. It is extremely effective in destroying microorganisms that cause food spoilage.

Jesus Christ calls us to preserve morality and stop corruption in our culture. Pastors and God’s people cannot be passive. Standing up to opposition, we have an assignment no matter how disrespectful those we face may be.

Salt does irritate wounds. Think of hate spewing celebrities and protesters wounded by sin. At the same time, we need caution so our actions don’t necessarily grate on people because we’re obnoxious.

2. Source of Flavour

Just as salt adds flavour to food, we are called to do likewise in the midst of an insipid world. Following the ways of God enables us to “rejoice with joy unspeakable” (1 Pet.1:8b) as His ambassadors bringing zest to the world.

Scripture speaks of the “pleasures of sin for a time” (Heb. 11:25) but afterward come consequences that weigh people down in discouragement and depression. Don’t let appearances fool you as many defiant demonstrators and detractors are broken and bitter and need to witness another way. We may be the only Bible that onlookers ever read.

3. Makes One Thirsty

Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). He went on to describe the Spirit-filled life wherein obedient followers radiate His love to a darkened world.

It’s not by accident that bars have bowls of pretzels and peanuts in front of customers to create thirst. Our assignment and privilege is to be a literal pretzel for Jesus in our corner of the world.

4. Uplifts

Salt has a unique quality called buoyancy. When something has enough salt, it lifts objects and people up. Think of the Dead Sea phenomenon, where there’s so much salt no one ever sinks or drowns there. The wicked Roman commander Vespacian once tried to execute slaves by dumping them bound into this sea, yet failed because they floated.

Surrounded by people who are living with heavy burdens, what a golden opportunity we have each day to lift people up by expressing love rather than disdain. We saw this in recent demonstrations where Christians didn’t retaliate when spat upon or punched.

5. Permeates

The Bible directs salty saints to seize the opportunity to engage unbelievers wisely and not withdraw into isolation. God directs us, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, wisely using the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer everyone” (Col.4:5-6).

I’m personally committed to authenticity ever since God impressed on my heart 40 years ago, “Let it never be said of me that I presented the world a caricature of Christ.”

In our dealings with lost people, we must be calm and confident. May we be so winsome in our behaviour that even when folks disagree with us, they’re left with “the sweet fragrance of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15b).

Closing Cultural Challenge

Ten weeks past the election, millions of people are bitter and some, hateful. If ever we needed composure and be the salt of the earth, it’s now. Jesus said,  “Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another” (Mark 9:50).

Humourist Mark Twain once said, “If Christ were here, there is one thing He would not be, a Christian.” Let’s prove him wrong as we behave in the opposite spirit of the world, like the “hidden figures” in the film.

There’s never been a better time for us to be the “salt of the earth.” And remember, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

Extracts from Larry Tomczak book Bullseye”.