The Blessed Hope

 

The fact that Jesus Christ promised His disciples, (at the Last Supper), that He would return for them is where the church gets her hop of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

 

Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-11)

 

This hope was restated to Titus by the Apostle Paul:

 

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you." (Titus 2:11-15)

 

The return of Jesus (His parousia) is no further away in time than the hour of our death.

 

"For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him." (2 Corinthians 5:1-9)

 

Differences between The Rapture and The 2nd Coming

 The Rapture (parousia)

 The 2nd Coming (epiphaneia)

 Christ comes for His own

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

 Christ return with His own

Revelation 19:14

 Believers taken to Father's House

John 14:3

 Believers come to Earth

Matthew 24:30

 Seen only by believers

1 Corinthians 15:52, 19:11-16;

 Every eye will see Him

Revelation 1:7 Matthew 24:30

 No reference to Satan

 Satan bound

Revelation 20:1-3

 Earth not judged

 Earth judged

Revelation 20:4-5

 A Mystery

1 Corinthians 15:51

 Foretold in Old Testament

Dan. 12:1-3; Zech. 12:10; 14:4

 

 

"What determines the future is what God has done in the past and what He has promised to do in the future. So don't look horizontally at current events." (Ray Stedman)