(Part 3 of 3)
6) PAUL USES MILITARY LANGUAGE IN ONE OF HIS MOST IMPORTANT STATEMENTS REGARDING THE COMING OF CHRIST. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 deals with being caught up together to meet with the resurrected believers in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Notice the phrase, “We which are alive and remain” (v. 15, KJV). This implies that some survive and some do not. This can also read, “We who are the living survivors.” It describes a people who have come through severe troubles. Daniel 11:33-34 tells us that many will fall during those difficult days. Note also Revelation 13:5. Power and authority was given to the beast (antichrist systems) to attack the believers for forty-two months. From Daniel 7:21-27 we see that the saints won the battle. The phrase from 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds.” People are misled when they are taught that once we are caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds, we then are carried right into heaven and into eternity and the earth is left to the devil. Not so. The clouds do not refer to clouds as we know them. It refers to the masses of believers who resemble a cloud. Clouds are symbols of rain, yes, but they also symbolize armies and multitudes of people. (Hebrews 12:1 and Jude 1:12 speak of people as clouds). The purpose of being caught up is to meet the Lord. The word “meet” refers to going out to meet someone who is coming toward you on a mission and then accompanying that one to where he is going. At the parousia, Jesus is on His way to the earth and not to heaven. (Note as an example Matthew 25:6, where the virgins go out to meet the bridegroom and accompany him to the wedding.) When we meet Christ in the air, we will be joined to that great cloud of believers and we become part of the hosts of the Lord.
7) GOD’S PEOPLE ARE NOW UNDERGOING PREPARATION FOR THEIR PLACE IN GOD’S PURPOSES AT THE COMING OF CHRIST. 1 Thessalonians 5:23… “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming [parousia] of out Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV). Our devotion to the Lord needs some upgrading, don’t you think? There are many believers who need a refreshing bath. There is so much sin in their lives that you can’t tell them apart from non-Christians.
8) THE ANTICHRIST WILL HAVE HIS PAROUSIA AS WELL. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10… “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [parousia]: Even him, whose coming [parousia] is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (vv. 8-9, KJV). The most spectacular moment in earth’s history (after the cross and resurrection) will be the return of Christ and the defeat of the man of sin. Daniel 11:45 says that the man of sin comes to an end.
9) THERE WILL BE AN OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BEFORE THE COMING OF CHRIST. James 5:7-8… “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming [parousia] of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (KJV). There are many verses that teach about the early and latter rain, the coming of Christ (Hosea 6:3, Joel 2:23-32). If Jesus comes in our time, we will need strength and power and anointing to be able to stand in pressured times. We will be no match for those pressures if we try to stand without the power of the Spirit.
10) AT THE COMING (PAROUSIA) OF CHRIST EVERYTHING ON EARTH WILL BE JUDGED BY FIRE. 2 Peter 3:3-11… “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (vv. 10-11, KJV). The Bible declares that God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). The fire will judge man’s works. The word “works” refers to the toil and labor and acts of man. The words “pass away” mean “to go from one condition to another.” They do not mean “annihilation” or “cessation of existence.” This is a restoration process that comes with the return of the Lord. The word “melt” means “to put off, to unbind, to be set free.” Paul teaches in Romans 8:22 that the whole creation groans to be delivered.
11) GOD’S PROMISE TO HIS SON WILL BE FULFILLED AT CHRIST’S COMING. 2 Peter 1:16-19 and Psalm 2… Peter was speaking of the coming of the Lord, and he was there on the Mount of Transfiguration when he heard God say, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well please; hear ye Him” (Matthew 17:5; KJV). In Psalm 2, the Father speaks to the world that is gathered and to the Gentiles. This word that Jesus is God’s Son is hated by Satan and by most of the unsaved world. So then the whole world will know that Jesus is God’s Son.
APOSTLE JOHN GIVES THE FINAL WORD. 1 John 2:28… “And now, little children, abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him in his coming [parousia]” (KJV).
Pastor George Belobaba
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