Lesson 6 - When the Sky Unfolds
Meteor showers and lightning storms are a spectacular light in the night sky. Nothing, however, nothing can compare with the anticipated second coming of Christ. Prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes (Matthew 24), however, God is actually holding back the full potential of the winds of strife (Revelation 7:1-3).
Prophecies also foretell worse times ahead – a time of trouble in these last days that we have never known before (Daniel 12:1). But don't lose heart. God has promised to protect and provide for His people in ways that will excite praises even during the most tumultuous times (Psalm 37:25; Luke 10:20).
Further Reading: Psalm 27:4-6 | Isaiah 43:1,2 | Psalm 91
Not only does God assure us of His presence and blessings during the worst times ahead but He does something very special in the minds and spirits of His precious followers. Things will get so bad in the last days that God seals our resolve to be faithful and to spread His gospel of love to the entire world before the end of time (Matthew 24:5-9, 14, 22; Revelation 9:4).
Further Reading: Daniel 7:13,14 | Isaiah 66:5, 15, 16 | Luke 21:25-27 | Acts 1:11
You can count on it. Jesus is coming again unannounced (Matthew 24:44; John 14:1-3).
The only question for you and me is:
Will we be among those who love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8)?
Further reading: Matthew 5:1-12 | John 3:16 | Isaiah 25:8,9 | 1 John 4:16, 17
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 | 2 Peter 3:10-13 | Psalm 50:3
There will be no secret rapture, for every eye shall see Him (Matthew 24:27; Revelation 1:7). Revelation 6:14 tells us that the sky will depart as a scroll. No one will be able to miss all the angels in heaven shouting their "Hallelujahs" to the King of glory (Matthew 25:31)!
All nature will react to the coming of our Lord (Psalm 97:4-6). The dead in Christ shall rise first at the trumpeting Voice of God. The saints who are living will join them in the air to meet our Savior face-to-face in all His glory. The saved will be changed from mortal to gloriously immortal and ascend with Christ to their heavenly home. What a glorious sign that will be (Psalm 24:7-10, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). (That means the souls of the dead are not already floating around in heaven; Job 14:12; Ecclesiastes12:7; Ezekiel 18:4; Revelation 14:13.)
Further Reading: Jeremiah 25:33 | Revelation 6:15,16 | Isaiah 11:4 | Hebrews 10:31
Psalms 6:5; 146:4 | Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 | Psalm 115:17 | Ezekiel 18:20 | James 2:26
There will be a special resurrection for the wicked. They will face the final judgment meant only for Satan and his deceived angels (2 Peter 2:4-9). Unfortunately, those who died in their sins, because they never accepted Christ as their Savior, will completely miss out on the joy of Christ's marvelous return. Their final resurrection and judgment come after the saints have already been in heaven for a thousand years. (Read carefully Revelation 20:5-10).
The second coming of Jesus should be the longing of every living person. There is no fear in love, and no need to wonder if you will be ready if you love God with all your heart and have experienced the new birth (Proverbs 29:13;John 3:5; Titus 2:11-14).