How do we know we are living in the last days? What are the signs of Jesus’ return? Many people are unaware of what the Bible has to say. Fortunately, we can look to the Word for the answers to these questions, and take comfort in knowing God has provided a way of escape for those in relationship with Him.
Questions about the end of the world are swirling, particularly with the rise of “prophets” who claim to know the specifics of Jesus’ return. When we hear these kinds of things, we must know what the Bible says so we won’t be confused or deceived. Jesus said that no man knows the day or the hour of His return (Matthew 24:36). If anyone ever proclaims such information, it must immediately be disregarded. False prophecy will increase, so we can expect to see and hear more of this in the future (Matthew 24:24).
No one knows when Jesus will return, but what exactly is the rapture? The rapture and the second coming of the Lord are two separate events. The rapture, or “catching away” of the body of Christ, is an event that could take place at any time. It is designed to protect and preserve God’s people from the judgment that is coming on the earth (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). The Rapture will precede the second coming of Jesus. It will be an event that only those Christians who are expecting it, and are prepared for it, will experience (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
When the rapture takes place, it will not be the end of the world, but the beginning of a seven-year period called the tribulation. This time of hardship will be marked by severe judgment and the most brutal persecution of Jews and Christians the world has ever seen. During this time, there will be the institution of a one-world government by a charismatic world-leader, whom the Bible calls “the Antichrist.” He will appear to be a man of peace, at first, but will eventually unveil his true satanic nature for the world to see (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8).
The second coming of the Lord refers to the actual return of Jesus to the earth to set up His kingdom and judge His enemies (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). Everyone who is alive on earth will witness this with their own eyes, unlike the rapture, which is reserved only for Believers.
These things may seem to be hard to grasp, but everything written in the Bible will come to pass. The frequency and intensity of natural disasters and other global tragedies are increasing, which is an indication that the rapture is drawing near (Matthew 24).
The best way we can prepare ourselves for these things is to walk in absolute obedience to God’s Word, turn away from sin, and develop in holiness. We must forgive, walk in love, and be people of integrity. When we miss the mark, we should quickly repent and get back on track. In addition, we must cultivate our ability to hear from God and remain intimately connected with Him at all times. Then our spiritual ears will be tuned to hear His voice.
There is nothing about the end-times to fear if you are truly obeying God’s Word. Now is the time to commit to the things of God wholeheartedly. Doing so will position you to be “rapture-ready” at all times!
"The Second Coming of Jesus"
Price: $7 – DVD
Have you always heard that Jesus is coming back soon, but just don't believe it will happen in your lifetime? In this single message The Second Coming of the Lord, Dr. Creflo A. Dollar shows how the intensity and frequency of the signs of Jesus' second coming reveal that we truly are in the last days. Every decision you make impacts your eternity. Will you be ready?
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