The Word This Week

Matt 24:32…

Having come to the Mount of Olives, Jesus’ disciples came to Him and asked Him, “…what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Since they asked, Jesus responded with a comprehensive prophecy spanning from their time to the end of the age of the rule of man upon the earth – a time when Jesus Himself would return and rule and reign over the affairs of man.

The prophecy speaks of a future time when God would deal with the Jewish people, His ‘elect,’ and reveals the events of a tribulation come upon the earth that the Jewish people may finally see Jesus as the Christ. Concurrently, God would also be pouring out His wrath upon a Christ-rejecting earth which persecuted and murdered both Jews and Christians down through history prior to the Tribulation.

The Jewish people who have up to this time refused to believe Jesus is the Christ and Christians who have believed will face a distinctly different future concerning God’s Tribulation.

The believing Church will be spared, while the unbelieving Jews will have their eyes opened through the travail they will face. God has not given up on the Jewish people! He will do a marvelous work through the Tribulation which will draw millions of Jews and Gentiles to salvation in Christ.

The Jews will experience at least some of God’s wrath for their unbelief.

The Church will be spared from God’s wrath – as the Bride of Christ.

The Bible teaches us the Church will be caught up to meet The Lord Jesus in the clouds prior to the revealing of the Antichrist. This is known of as ‘The Rapture of the Church.’ (The word ‘rapture’ is taken from the Latin word ‘raptuse,’ meaning ‘caught up,’ (from 1 Thess 4,) which has been transliterated in English into the word ‘rapture.’

Every Christian should want to know when the Rapture will take place. But Jesus tells us no one can know because only the Father knows. (This follows exactly the Galilean wedding format which Jesus’ followers would be very familiar with. In a Galilean wedding, the groom’s father was the sole determinant of the time in which he would send his son to take his bride. It was the bride’s responsibility to be watching and waiting for her groom – as he would appear suddenly as a ‘thief in the night.’)

Though we cannot know the day or the hour of the Rapture, we can know the season, and this is what Jesus explains here. Everything Jesus describes lines up exactly with the age in which we live – and so it is our responsibility to be watching and waiting for Jesus to come for His Bride.

Pastor Bill