Left Behind - Fact or Fiction | 2/6
Our Lord has given us a wonderful promise – of His second coming. Let’s review the last presentation:
- According to Matthew 24, false prophets and Christs will try to deceive everyone.
- The devil will try to impersonate an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:14)
- The Bible teaches that the second coming of Christ will not be secret (see Mathew 24, 25).
- Every eye will see Jesus coming (see Revelation 1:7).
- His coming will be an audible event (see Psalm 50:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
- The righteous will be given immortality.
- The ungodly will mourn when they see Jesus (see Matthew 24) and be slain. So there will be two classes when Jesus comes: the righteous and the unrighteous.
There are however some passages in the Bible that confuse people. Such as the passages that says Christ is coming as a thief, there will be two in the field: one taken, one left. Do these passages seem to imply that Jesus comes and takes His saints to heaven and some are left behind.
When you study the Bible there are at least three principles: 1) approach the Bible with and open mind, 2) approach the Bible prayerfully, 3) approach the Bible willing to do what the Bible says.
We should not take one verse from the Bible, or what man teaches, to prove a doctrine. Rather, we should let the Bible speak.
In Matthew 24 Jesus talks about the events that will take place before His coming. In Matthew 24:6 and onwards He says that only the Father knows the exact time when Jesus will come the second time. Than He says that as it was in the time of Noah, so it will be when Jesus will return. Just as in the time of Noah people were living normal lives, and were taken by surprise by the flood, so it will be when Jesus will return, people will be living normal lives and be taken by surprise. They were so involved in temporal things (accumulating wealth, etc) that their eternal interests were lost. Than Jesus uses the illustration of a thief to illustrate not the manner of His coming (we have learned already that His coming will be visible and audible, etc), but rather to describe the timing of His coming. He is coming quickly and unexpectedly as a thief.
He comes unexpectedly for unbelievers, but the believers are not taken by surprise (they are looking at the signs) (see 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).
Matthew 24:44: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Someone said the only way to be ready is to get ready and stay ready. Is there anything in your life right now that keeps you from being ready?
What about the idea that one will be taken, and one will be left? Let’s look at Matthew 24. In the days of Noah there were only two classes: the saved and the lost. There were no undecided people. So in the last days there will be two groups, since the gospel will be preached to all people (see Matthew 24:14, 6, 7). No one will be left in darkness. People will not be lost because they had no opportunity to be saved, but because they had the opportunity, but turned their back on it.
In Matthew 24:39 Jesus says that those taken away were the lost (see also Luke 17:27). The popular theory of the rapture says that the people that are left behind are the lost. But the Bible says that those taken away were the lost. See also Luke 17:24-37.
The issue is a serious one. When Jesus comes: we are saved, or we are lost. I invite you now to open your heart to Jesus.