|Posted by donnadawson on May 26, 2009 at 12:28 PM|
Matthew 24:29-31 " 'Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
'At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.' "
We have our work cut out here because so much can be read into this verse. We need to remember what we have already learned. We know because the scriptures tell us, that it is very likely we will see the anti-christ come into power and declare himself god. We know now also that sometime shortly after that, Christ will appear. We know that it will be an obvious appearance and we are not to be deceived by charismatic speakers and false christs. So what will we learn here?
Let's look at the first two words 'immediately after'. This indicates that this next portion will follow directly on the heels of the persecution that will come to the believers who see the anti-christ's desecration of the temple. We're not looking at a large accumulation of years. We are dealing with the word 'days' in this portion and while it is plural it doesn't seem to indicate a large passing of time. The persecution and deception will be shortlived and then the judgement on the earth itself will begin. The sun will be darkened and the moon will be darkened. The stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. This is the portion of scripture that gives post-tribulation theorists their oomf. It almost seems to indicate that we will see the Great Tribulation and that Christ's return will be at the end of that tribulation. I'm not sure what to think here and will leave it to greater minds than mine. Suffice it to say, we're looking at a short clip of time and it will be dramatic.
We are about to witness the most cataclysmic universal event in earth's history. We will see a solar eclipse of some sort. That eclipsing will cover the moon as well and the universe will undergo some sort of quake. For you star watchers, you're going to see the mass movement of stars and planets such as you have never seen. And in that short time of absolute solar and stellar chaos, Christ will return.
This isn't going to be a sneaking up on mankind. Jesus is going to come on the clouds in his full royal power. He will have an army of angels with him and he will send them to gather his followers. This is the rapture. This is the time where we will instantly be with him. And the whole world will be watching. As a teen, I remember a movie called 'Thief in the Night'. It was a movie based on the rapture and it left me with the impression that the world would be left wondering where all the Christians went. According to this scripture passage that is not the case. The world will know full well what is happening and they will mourn because they didn't turn their hearts to him. Mark 21:26 says it well. "Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time THEY WILL SEE (emphasis mine) the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
For years, we have been led to believe that two separate events would take place. We would have the rapture and then the second coming but according to this scripture it is one and the same. Not having studied all the references I can only say what I have gleaned from this portion. When Christ comes, it will be once and it will be spectacular and 'every knee will bow and every tongue will confess'. There will be no sneaking in. Christ will come for us and the whole world will know. Come Lord Jesus, come!