What The Bible Tells Us
The Bible tells us very clearly, in words spoken by Christ himself in Matthew 24, that He will come again. There will be nothing secret about it; it will be the greatest event the world has ever seen. Revelation 1:7 tells us "Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him." There is no scriptural support for the current popular theory of the "secret rapture."
Jesus warns us that before His actual return, false Christs and false prophets will arise and, showing great wonders, deceive many. (Matthew 24 below). And he tells us that a false Christ will impersonate Him, pretending to be the returning Jesus. But we are told how we can know that it is a false Christ. The real return of our Lord will take place in the sky, not on the land, as you will see in the following Bible quotes. So if a prophet showing great supernatural wonders tells us that Christ is soon to appear on land, we will know that this is the false prophet that Jesus has warned us about in the Bible. And when this "Christ" appears on land, those who study the scriptures and receive the love of the truth will know this is the false Christ.
The following Bible passages describe the real and the false returns of Jesus Christ. You can read them in your own Bible. Mark 13:26 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory."
1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17: "For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." Matthew 24:4,5 : "And Jesus answered and said to them, "Take heed that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Christ", and will deceive many."
Matthew 24:23-27: (this is Jesus speaking): "then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ", or "There", do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See I have told you beforehand. Therefore, if they say to you, "Look, He is in the desert.", do not go out, or "Look, he is in the inner rooms.", do not believe it. For as the lightning flashes from the East, and flashes to the West, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
And who is the false Christ? Students of the Bible believe it will be the devil himself, who has always desired above all things to receive the worship that may be given only to God. For an example, see Matthew 4:8-10. 2 Corinthians 11: 13,14 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
Only those who have studied these Bible passages and follow the teachings of the Bible will be able to resist the powerful deceptions and delusions of the last days, which are soon coming upon us. We have waited with great anticipation the Second Coming of our Lord, and many now believe it is very near. Do not stumble at the very end of the race, and be taken in by the final deception of Satan impersonating the Second Coming of Jesus. Look to the Bible. It will show you how to detect him in spite of the wonders and miracles he will perform. Hold tight to the truths you have read in your Bible and do not fail this final test. Take comfort in the knowledge that soon after the devil tries to deceive the world, we will have the real return of our blessed Saviour, Jesus. Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour, no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."
Matthew 24: 30,31 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a great sound of trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Revelation tells us many things about the end-times, but one of the most frightening passages in the entire Bible has to be Revelation 14: 9-11 “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark, he himself shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” When God sends to us warnings so important that they are represented as proclaimed by holy angels flying from heaven, every person endowed with reason should search the Bible as if their lives depended on it. We must learn what this mark of the beast is, and how to avoid getting it.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.” Proverbs 16:25. Ignorance will be no excuse when we have every opportunity to know God’s law, by simply reading it. Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-19, “Do not think I have come to abolish the law; I have come to fulfill them. I say to you, ‘till heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter will by any means disappear from the law.” It is not enough to have good intentions when our very salvation is at stake. However confident you are, or even your minister is, you must study the Bible for yourself.
What kind of worship does Jesus call it, which is not according to the Ten Commandments? Matthew 15:9 "They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Read Daniel 7, which talks about the beast power at the end of time, and especially Verse 8 about the little horn with the eyes of a man, and Verse 25, “He shall persecute the saints of the most high, and shall intend to change times and laws.” I came across a tremendous website on this, www.666mark-of-the-beast.org/. Click on this for some thought-provoking insights, and links to other good sites. For instance, many Bible scholars now believe that proper Sabbath observance, in accordance with the Fourth Commandment, will play a prominent part in the testing of our faith at the end of time. This website refers to www.sabbath-day.net/, which has some challenging observations.
For those who might be interested in a book on the subject of the battle between the devil and our Lord, which has been going on since before the earth was made by God, and is now rapidly drawing to a conclusion, look in your library or online for “The Great Controversy” by Ellen G. White. It tells about the part that our generation will play in the final scenes of this great battle, before the return of Jesus.
I truly believe that our work on earth, if we are among those who are alive just before Jesus comes, is to prepare to stand for God in “the great and terrible day of our Lord” — “to stand for the right though the heavens fall.” This will be the hardest thing we have ever done, but we can take courage in Matthew 24:13 “But he who endures to the end will be saved”, and Hebrews 13:5, “For He Himself has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Also Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.