|By: Dr. David Breese; ©1996|
|Bible Prophecy Questions Answered by Leading Christian Scholars.|
Dr. David Breese: As it relates to the coming of Christ, perhaps we need to establish the fact that when we think of the return of Christ, we need to think of His Return in two senses: first of all, Christ comes at the end of the Church Age for His Church and then the body of Christ is taken out of the world to heaven. That period is succeeded by the Tribulation which is the first part of the Day of the Lord, and at the end of that seven-year period of Tribulation Christ comes with His saints.
When He comes for His saints, Paul describes that as saying, "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trump of God. The dead in Christ shall rise first and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:16,17).
There is a generation of Christians that will not die. "Behold I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Now, in that we look forward to the Rapture of the Church, which is the time when the Body of Christ is taken from the world, we need to remember that the signs that are given to us in Scripture basically apply to the return of Christ in power and great glory. But like some prophetic scholars have said, "If Christmas is coming, Thanksgiving is coming sooner"—that is, the signs that point to those days of the Tribulation certainly imply that the Rapture, coming sooner, should be the object of our expectation.