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 The Second Coming of Christ by Zac Poonen

In 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Paul speaks about how it will be when Christ returns. "We don't want you to be uninformed about those who have slept in the Lord." That refers to those who have died in Christ. Jesus died and rose again; and those who have died in Christ will also rise again. When Jesus returns, we who are alive will not be taken up ahead of those who died in Christ before us. They will arise from the graves. That will be the first resurrection. And we will be taken up together with them to meet the Lord. Unbelievers will not rise for another one thousand years. They will rise in the second resurrection.

At His return, our Lord will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. Then all the saints will be caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds. Jesus spoke about these very same matters, when He spoke to His disciples about His return. He said, "Don't believe those who say, 'He is here' or 'He is there' or 'He has come secretly' " (Matthew 24:26). What He was saying was that He would not come secretly, as many believe today. When He comes, it will be like the lightning that flashes from the east to the west. Every eye will be able to see Him.

When will Christ's coming take place? Jesus answered that too: "Immediately after the tribulation" (Matthew 24:29,30). Many believe that Christ will rapture His saints before the tribulation. But there is not a single verse anywhere in Scripture that teaches that. That is a doctrine of men. Jesus Himself clearly stated that His coming would be after the tribulation. The events mentioned here in 1 Thess. 4:16, 17 are exactly the same as mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:30, 31: Jesus appearing in the clouds with the angels and a trumpet-sound, and the saints being taken up to meet Him.

In 1 Thess. 5:2, we read, "The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." A thief does not announce his coming, but comes unexpectedly. Thus, every unbeliever will be surprised when the Lord returns. We, the sons of light, however, are expecting our Lord to come (1 Thess. 5:4). We do not live in darkness. So, we should not be asleep spiritually, but alert (1 Thess. 5:6).

How can we know whether we are awake or asleep? When a man is asleep, the things that are real around him in the room are invisible; but the things that are unreal (in his dreams) appear to be real. In the same way, a believer is spiritually asleep when the real things of eternity appear unreal to him, and the unreal things of this world appear real to him. This whole world is like an unreal dream when compared to heaven and eternity. The truly eternal things are the things of heaven. For believers who are asleep, the Lord will certainly come as a thief in the night. Paul says we look forward to that day and we eagerly await His coming.

People around us will be imagining that everything is peaceful and safe (1 Thess. 5:3). But destruction will come upon them suddenly, it says here "like birth pangs upon a woman with child" (1 Thess. 5:3). Jesus used the same expression when speaking of the last days (in Matthew 24:8). Every woman knows that before she gives birth to a child there is a painful time of labour which can last for many hours. (Some mothers say that it was so painful that they felt like dying). It is only after that the child is born. This is a picture of the painful period of tribulation that will precede the coming of Christ. No child is born without those birth-pangs. And the coming of the Lord is not going to take place before this painful tribulation. We are not afraid of that period. It will be a great honour for us if the Lord allows us to be here as witnesses for Him and to lay down our lives for the sake of the gospel.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2020/5/22 16:03Profile
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 Re: The Second Coming of Christ by Zac Poonen

Hi SI
So I just want to point out in my opinion that anyone like Zac who preaches or teaches about the Tribulation without understanding Elijah in the end times cant possibly be a fully credible teacher or preacher of tribulation eschatology.
If you dont understand Elijah properly then you cant understand properly
1:Why and what the 3 1/2 years is about
2:The Two Witnesses and their role
3:The Antichrist
4:Elijah and the Rapture.

It is clear from scripture also that Jesus says "They did eat they did drink ,they did give in marriage ,they planted,they sowed etc etc "UNTIL THE DAY" Lot left Sodom and Noah went into the Ark ,it will be just like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed

Not unless you do incredible gymnastics with what is plain and obvious scripture could the people be eating ,planting ,harvesting ,marrying etc just after the greatest tribulation the world has ever scene because the Scripture says "immediately after the tribulation" .In using Lot and Noah as examples Jesus was describing two things 1:everything was going on as normal eating drinking marrying all was normal and no one was expecting any kind of judgement
2:Judgement would come immediately after Lot was taken out of his situation and Noah and his family were safely in the Ark.

Their is no way in the wildest of scripture intrepretation that just after the "The Great Tribulation" is the world living as normal or as nothing has happened.

We with Covid 19 a minor scratch compares to the Tribulaton will find it difficult to get back to normal ,how infinitely more difficult would it be to get back to normal living directly or immediately after the Great Tribulation,staff


Zac's Qoute:

When will Christ's coming take place? Jesus answered that too: "Immediately after the tribulation" (Matthew 24:29,30). Many believe that Christ will rapture His saints before the tribulation. But there is not a single verse anywhere in Scripture that teaches that. That is a doctrine of men. Jesus Himself clearly stated that His coming would be after the tribulation. The events mentioned here in 1 Thess. 4:16, 17 are exactly the same as mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:30, 31: Jesus appearing in the clouds with the angels and a trumpet-sound, and the saints being taken up to meet Him.

 2020/5/22 21:25Profile
JFW
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 Re: brother Staff

Ha! Well I guess I’m in the “wildest interpretation” club 🤷🏽‍♂️
I really do believe it exactly as Jesus spoke it, and feel much as you do
“ incredible gymnastics with what is plain and obvious scripture “ for how you formed your view 🤷🏽‍♂️

Jesus is not giving conflicting testimonies of the time nor is He playing tricks with His people,...
consider “as it was in the days of Lot” .... so what was it it like in the days of Lot and what was his testimony?
Well it was quite a “tribulation” for Lot, but not for the ungodly inhabitants of Sodom, they loved their sin and didn’t want to be delivered from it- so here we have two completely different experiences of the same culture, with one being vexed by it and another reveling in it ... so when Jesus says
“ 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot's wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

It makes perfect synchronistic sense to me -
The tribulation (in my understanding) will be experienced differently depending on your spiritual alignment just as we see in 2 Peter 2:
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Here we find the testimony of Lot was in fact “vexed” just as it will be [ is ] with the righteous in that day because of the “new normal” or the normalization of sin within the culture.
So was it a “tribulation” for those whom were being captivated by the sin of their day? Or was the “tribulation” primarily (if not exclusively) for Lot ...?

[for me] it’s quite simple and without contradiction as there are two different experiences of the same event just as His return will be a time of rejoicing for the saints and a terror for the ungodly... A joyful “saving” from the situation for the righteous and a shocking end of the “party” for the wicked.

The testimony of Noah in his day was much the same in that, until destruction came, they didn’t want or seek deliverance but sought to further indulge themselves in their fleshly endeavors but all the while Noah preached righteousness and did the works prescribed to him by the Lord :)

What I (personally) found compelling was the intercession that was made,... we would do well to do the same 🙏🏻


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Fletcher

 2020/5/26 6:43Profile
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 Re:

Hi JFW,
Then according to your view we have not one thing to worry about as if you are from God you will be saved out of the tribulation!

I am agreeing what you said about Sin but my point is the condition of the Earth!
The Earth is fine ,its producing plants ,it has clean water,its prosperous with marrying and giving in marriage,it has abundance then immediately Jesus comes as soon as Noah gets in the Ark and Lot is taken out of Sodom.

So the Tribulation according to your view is a time of Earthly abundance an abundance of life and an abundance like in Noah and Lots time of Sin.The abundance enjoyed is by the Godly and the Ungody(except for the sin)
The gymnastics comes when you try and say that the tribulation is a the worst time in Human history worse than world wars 1 and 2 for example.

So my questions are to you
Will we be eating and drinking and making merry in the Tribulation?
Will the world be a prosperous place similar to today during the tribulation?
Altough Christians will be living in a "Sinful world " similar to Lot and Noah is that the height of the Tribulation for Christians?(afterall Noah and Lot had plenty to eat and drink)
Will God be be Judging throughout the Tribulation such as bowl,vials etc ?
yours staff


 2020/5/26 7:22Profile
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 Re:

What about people that get saved during the tribulation? If to become saved means you are no longer subject to wrath shouldn't they then be immediately raptured out of the tribulation if they are saved during the tribulation?


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David Winter

 2020/5/26 10:03Profile
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 Re:

brother,

in Church history the predominate view is all believers are going to live through the tribulation and the "rapture" is actually the second coming of the Lord, there are not 2 comings.

Many believers will suffer martyrdom in the end times. The very wrath of God is poured out at the end of the 7 year period, believers are shielded from the "judgements" by a mark of God. Just like the Israelites in Egypt, all of Egypt was under wrath but in goshen it was free or immune from its effects. Noah is another symbol of this where the entire world was flooded or judged around him but they were safe in the ark. Noah was not raptured but endured through the judgment being protected by God.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2020/5/26 10:51Profile
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 Re:

AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days, they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Straight from the words of Jesus, AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days tells us all we need to know. The trumpet of I Thess 4:16 is the resurrection trumpet of I Cor 15:52 at which we shall ALL be changed, not all those will be changed who were left over from a secret unseen coming 7 or so years before. The same trumpet as Matt 24:31.


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David Winter

 2020/5/26 11:01Profile
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 Re:

Brother Greg, A few of the plagues affected Goshen. Second, it’s hard to imagine an economic collapse that won’t affect all people, especially in those who refuse the mark of the beast. Additionally, the persecution of Christians will be intense. Wrath or not, they will indeed suffer and they must endure in faith to be saved.


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Robert

 2020/5/26 11:25Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

Second, it’s hard to imagine an economic collapse that won’t affect all people, especially in those who refuse the mark of the beast. Additionally, the persecution of Christians will be intense. Wrath or not, they will indeed suffer and they must endure in faith to be saved.



I do not believe going through an economic collapse is persecution or even a tribulation for a Christian. It is tribulation from a worldly perspective, but not to a Christian. If there is an economic collapse, a Christian might lose his bank account, so what? He might lose his stable job, so what? A Christian will not be affected by an economic collapse, because he is not living for the Economy!

But during those times, people's hearts will be hardened and they will persecute Christians. A Christian will be prevented from gathering with a fellow believer, prevented from following his faith openly. These are real persecution. Church will go through it.


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Sreeram

 2020/5/26 14:10Profile
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 Re: brother Staff

Thanks for the questions:)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Though each/all happens synchronistically or chronologically there is also a layering of the experience by individuals. So caveats abound...
We have the scriptures detailing an objective (decreed by God) series of events while at the same time a variety of subjective experiences by the individuals each with a personal nuance which, in my understanding, is primarily based on an individual’s disposition relating to that specific occurrence.


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Fletcher

 2020/5/26 14:46Profile





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