Title Page
Lesson Twelve
I Thessalonians 4:13-15
I Thessalonians 4:13-15
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant,
brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that
ye sorrow not, even as others which have no
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose
again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the
Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto
the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them
which are asleep.
I Thessalonians 4:16-18
I Thessalonians 4:16-18
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trump of God: and the
dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which 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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these
II Thessalonians 1:7-9
II Thessalonians 1:7-9
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when
the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven
with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and
from the glory of his power;
II Thessalonians 1:10
II Thessalonians 1:10
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his
saints, and to be admired in all them that believe
(because our testimony among you was
believed) in that day.
Focus Verse
Acts 1:11
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand
ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus,
which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so
come in like manner as ye have seen him go
into heaven.
Focus Thought
The second coming of our Lord is near.
We should make sure we are ready.
The second coming of Jesus Christ is the blessed
hope of every born-again believer. Although Jesus
ascended into heaven after His resurrection, the
angel of the Lord assured His disciples that He
would come again in like manner as they had seen
Him go away. The nature of His second coming
will be two-fold: (1) to gather the elect from the
earth at the first resurrection and (2) to bring wrath
and judgment upon the earth for its great
wickedness. The second coming of Jesus Christ
also introduces the Day of the Lord judgments that
follow the rapture of the church.
The Second Coming will come upon the world like
a thief in the night, and all who have not made
themselves ready will suffer the terrible judgments
unleashed upon the earth when God reveals the
terror of His power. Moreover, the Day of the Lord
will establish the throne of Jesus Christ in the earth
so that He may rule all nations following the Battle
of Armageddon. Thus, all of the events from the
Rapture until the Battle of Armageddon make up
the Second Coming.
While it is certain that Jesus is coming again, no
one knows the day or the hour of His return.
However, Jesus gave us certain conditions that
would appear in the earth and signs that would
warn us that His return is near. The apostle Paul
provided much insight into Jesus’ second coming.
“But of the times and the seasons,
I Thessalonians 5:1-4
brethren, ye have no need that I write
unto you. For yourselves know perfectly
that the day of the Lord so cometh as a
thief in the night. For when they shall
say, Peace and safety; then sudden
destruction cometh upon them, as travail
upon a woman with child; and they shall
not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in
darkness, that that day should overtake
you as a thief” (I Thessalonians 5:1-4).
“Ye are all the children of light, and the
children of the day: we are not of the
I Thessalonians 5:5-9
night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us
not sleep, as do others; but let us watch
and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in
the night; and they that be drunken are
drunken in the night. But let us, who are
of the day, be sober, putting on the
breastplate of faith and love; and for an
helmet, the hope of salvation. For God
hath not appointed us to wrath, but to
obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus
Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:5-9).
Coming for His Bride
A. The Catching
I. Coming
The event commonly called the Rapture refers to
the catching away of God’s elect at the first
resurrection. The Old Testament referred to the
resurrection of the dead, and the Spirit of God also
moved upon the apostle Paul to write, “Behold, I
shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we
shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).
The phrase “at the last trump” is a clear allusion to
the Day of the Lord and the second coming of
The twin enemies of death and the grave will be
defeated when Jesus returns for His church. (See I
Corinthians 15:53-57.) By revealing this “mystery,”
Paul unveiled a truth that there will arise a
generation who will receive glorified, immortal
bodies without passing through the valley of death.
All who have their part in the first resurrection shall
receive eternal life, but the rest of the dead will
receive their judgment—the lake of fire—at the
white throne judgment with those whose names are
not in the Book of Life.
I. Coming for His Bride (A)
“Verily, verily,JohnI5:24-25
say unto you, He that
heareth my word, and believeth on him
that sent me, hath everlasting life, and
shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life. Verily,
verily, I say unto you, The hour is
coming, and now is, when the dead shall
hear the voice of the Son of God: and
they that hear shall live” (John 5:24-25).
“For as the Father hath life in himself;
John 5:26-29
so hath he given
to the Son to have life
in himself; and hath given him authority
to execute judgment also, because he is
the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for
the hour is coming, in the which all that
are in the graves shall hear his voice,
and shall come forth; they that have
done good, unto the resurrection of life;
and they that have done evil, unto the
resurrection of damnation”
(John 5:26-29).
Since the Book
of Revelation
was not in
I. Coming
His Bride
when Paul wrote his Corinthian letters, the
Corinthian church must have understood the
significance of the phrase “at the last trump” in
light of the Old Testament. Isaiah, Joel, and
Zephaniah repeatedly referred to the final judgment
as the Day of the Lord.
In addition, they
that the(A)
Day of the
I. Coming
Lord would commence with the blowing of a
trumpet. (See Isaiah 27:12-13; Joel 2:1-3, 9-11, 15;
Zephaniah 1:14-16.) Although it will be a day of
destruction and judgment, God promised to redeem
His elect out of the earth before His judgment falls.
Furthermore, Isaiah prophesied of the resurrection
of the dead at the Day of the LORD when “the great
trumpet shall be blown” (Isaiah 27:13).
“Thy dead men shall live, together with my
dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing,
ye that dwell inIsaiah
for thy dew is as the
dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out
the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into
thy chambers, and shut thy doors about
thee: hide thyself as it were for a little
moment, until the indignation be overpast.
For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his
place to punish the inhabitants of the earth
for their iniquity: the earth also shall
disclose her blood, and shall no more cover
her slain” (Isaiah 26:19-21).
God deliveredfor
and hisBride
family by (A)
I. Coming
them into the ark on the very day that the flood
came, and He delivered Lot and his family out of
Sodom on the same day that fire and brimstone fell
from heaven. So also will God deliver His church at
the sounding of the trumpet (Luke 17:24-37).
As Christians,for
we should
be ready
lest He
I. Coming
should come and find us unprepared. By continuing
to live for Jesus Christ with fasting, prayer, holy
living, church attendance, and the study of God’s
Word, we can keep our lamps filled and burning
brightly as we await the return of our blessed
B. The Judgment Seat
Coming for His Bride
All mankind will one day stand before the
judgment seat of Christ, but blessed are those who
are counted worthy of the kingdom of heaven. God
will judge these individuals first at the rapture of
the church, and then He will reward them
according to their works. (See Romans 14:10; II
Corinthians 5:10; I Peter 4:17-18.)
I. Coming for His Bride (B)
All those who have been redeemed by the blood of
Jesus must give an account to God according to
their faithfulness. Those who have been faithful
over that which God entrusted to them will receive
rewards according to the integrity of their works.
To whom much is given, much is required. (See
Luke 12:48; I Corinthians 3:12-15.)
I. Coming for His Bride (B)
We should not grow weary in well doing because
great is the reward to the person who remains
faithful over that which God has placed within his
trust. The servant who gained the five talents also
gained the talent that the unprofitable servant had
hidden (Matthew 25:14-30).
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, gave of himself,
even to the point of death, and trusted in God for a
just recompense of reward. He wrote, “I have
fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I
have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for
me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not
to me only, but unto all them also that love his
appearing” (II Timothy 4:7-8).
I. Coming for His Bride (B)
I. Coming
Since all mankind will one day stand before the
judgment seat of Christ, we must strive to keep
ourselves unspotted from the world. Through holy
living and continuing in the faith, we will one day
receive our eternal rewards.
C. The Marriage Supper
Coming for His Bride (C)
The church, the Lamb’s wife that God will redeem
from the earth at the first resurrection, is seen in the
Book of Revelation singing and offering praise unto
God following the destruction of “the great whore,”
Babylon, under the seventh judgment. With God’s
judgment upon the Antichrist and the rebellious
nations of the world nearing completion, the
redeemed body of believers will rejoice together at
the judgment of Babylon.
John testified, saying, “And after these things I
heard a great voice of much people in heaven,
saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour,
and power, unto the Lord our God” (Revelation
19:1). The church will lift its voice in praise to the
Lord God omnipotent, for the time of the marriage
is come when the bride is united with the groom,
Jesus Christ. With the heavenly host joining the
servants of the Lord, there will be rejoicing because
the bride, the Lamb’s wife, has made herself ready.
I. Coming for His Bride (C)
At the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the bride will
be clothed in fine linen, clean and white, as a
symbol of the righteousness of saints. All the saints
of both the Old and New Testaments will sit down
with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in heaven’s banquet
hall. (See Matthew 8:11.) Jesus told His disciples as
He dined with them at the Last Supper that He
would not drink again of the fruit of the vine until
He drank it new with them in the Father’s kingdom
(Matthew 26:29).
I. Coming for His Bride (C)
Again, Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a
marriage feast that was prepared for those who
were invited (Matthew 22:1-13). Furthermore, all
who had accepted the invitation to the wedding
feast and were clothed with a wedding garment
were blessed. Clearly, He saw a future day when
there would be a great wedding feast with His
beloved people.
I. Coming for His Bride (C)
The Bible states that “many are called, but few are
chosen” (Matthew 22:14). We should consider the
call to the marriage supper to be a great honor.
Instead of making excuses and putting off the
decision to accept the Lord’s invitation, we should
gladly accept His offer of mercy and grace by
repenting of our sins, being baptized in Jesus’ name
for the remission of sins, and receiving the Holy
I. Coming for His Bride (C)
Coming in Judgment
II. Coming
(AA. Armageddon
Following theB)
Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the
armies of heaven will descend upon the earth with
Jesus Christ leading them in triumph. His
appearance with the hosts of heaven will culminate
His second coming when He is revealed from
heaven at the Battle of Armageddon. All the armies
of the Antichrist will gather against Jerusalem to
fight against the Jewish remnant and the 144,000.
Descending upon the Mount of Olives, Christ will
cause the mountain to split open from east to west,
which will form a great valley of escape for the
Jewish remnant (Zechariah 14:2-5).
With the earth In
from the great earthquake
II. Coming
(Athat divides Jerusalem, the armies of the Antichrist
B) the holy city only to be
will march toward
destroyed by the brightness of the appearing of the
Lord Jesus Christ and the armies of heaven. Those
men who will fight against the Lord will be smitten
by a plague that will cause their skin to melt away
as they stand on their feet, and their eyes will
consume away in their sockets, and their tongues
will consume away in their mouths (Zechariah
II. Coming In Judgment (AThis utter destruction from the Lord will be God’s
B)those who chose not to know God
judgment upon
and refused to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Further, they will suffer the eternal damnation of
II. Coming In Judgment (AIn John’s vision of the Battle of Armageddon, he
B) and Jesus Christ riding upon a
saw heaven opened
white horse, and His name was called Faithful and
True. He also had a new name that no one knew but
He Himself. With the armies of heaven following
Him upon white horses, He will smite the nations
with a sharp sword that will proceed out of His
mouth as He treads the winepress of the wrath of
God until the blood reaches the horses’ bridles.
II. Coming In Judgment (AAmidst the carnage and the smell of death, an angel
standing in the
sun will summon the vultures to
come and feed upon the carcasses of the individuals
and the horses that will be slain. Then the Beast and
the False Prophet will be cast alive into the lake of
B. Millennial Reign
II. Coming
In Judgment
(AThe first resurrection
will be completed
by the
gathering of all God’s elect from the beginning of
creation until the time of the great tribulation.
Then the redeemed of the ages will rule and reign
with Christ for one thousand years alongside the
martyrs that held the testimony of Jesus Christ and
refused the mark of the Beast. With Jesus Christ
established upon the throne in Jerusalem, His
chosen ones will serve as kings and priests among
the nations. As heirs and joint-heirs with Christ,
we will share in the glory and majesty of the
kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ will rule over all
the nations as King of kings and Lord of lords.
“And I will set up one shepherd over
them, and he shall feed them, even
my servant David; he shall feed them,
and he shall be their shepherd. And I
the LORD will be their God, and my
servant David a prince among them; I
the LORD have spoken it”
(Ezekiel 34:23-24).
Ezekiel 34:23-24
II. Coming
that the “servant(ADavid”
mentioned in Ezekiel 34:23-24 refers prophetically
to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (See also
Jeremiah 30:9.) In both Old and New Testaments,
Jesus Christ is known as the Son of David and the
Prince of Peace. The terms distinguish the quality
of his rule over the people of God and, indeed,
over all the earth.
We must strive to overcome the world and the
bondage of sin so that we might be partakers of
the tree of life in the paradise of God. He who
overcomes will not be hurt by the second death but
will receive a new name upon a victory stone and
eat of the hidden manna. If we will hold fast to the
doctrine of Christ and do the works of God, He
has promised that we will rule and reign with Him
over all nations and crush all who resist the power
and authority of the Son of God. All whose names
are in the Book of Life will receive a crown and
will be pillars in the Temple of God, receiving
their inheritance in the New Jerusalem (Revelation
2:1-29; 3:1-22).
II. Coming In Judgment (AB)
II. Coming
Finally, JesusIn
“As many(Aas I love, I
rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and
repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if
any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will
come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with
me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with
me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am
set down with my Father in his throne”
(Revelation 3:19-21).
II. Coming
In that
In the same sense
Jesus Christ is (Asitting with
the heavenly Father in His throne, we will sit with
Christ on His throne. In other words, we will rule
together with Him. Obviously, it would be
impossible for all of the redeemed to sit literally
with Christ upon His throne in a physical sense,
even as there could be only one who sits upon the
throne of God and of the Lamb, Jesus Christ alone
(Revelation 4:2; 22:3). However, in a metaphorical
sense, all believers will share in His power and
dominion through the unity of the Spirit.
II. Coming
In Judgment
(AIn this same sense,
Daniel saw one like
the Son of
Man coming in the clouds of heaven unto the
Ancient of Days to receive from Him that sat upon
the throne dominion, glory, a kingdom, all
peoples, nations, and languages. The one like the
Son of Man represented Christ’s kingdom in His
saints, who received judgment from the Ancient of
Days. (See Daniel 7:18, 22.)
II. Coming
In Judgment
When Jesus returns
in His glory with (AHis saints,
He will put down all rebellion and wickedness.
Under His rule, the fatherless and widows will
receive equality and justice, for injustice and
partiality will cease. His judges will not take
bribes or judge by the sight of their eyes, but
everything will be open before the Lord. (See
Isaiah 32:1.)
III. WaitingWaiting
for His Coming
His Coming
A. Watching
The hope and joy of the church is the soon return of
the Lord Jesus Christ for His bride. As born-again
Christians, we should earnestly watch for His
appearing lest we be found negligent and
unprepared to meet the Lord.
III. InWaiting
the parable of the ten virgins, five were wise and
five were foolish.
Not only did the wise virgins
have oil in their lamps, but they had made adequate
preparations to renew the oil supply in case the
bridegroom should delay his coming. Since we do
not know the day or the hour of Christ’s appearing,
we must remain ever vigilant against the wiles of
Satan so that the temptations of the world and the
flesh do not overtake us.
III. The
foolish virgins had oil in their lamps, but they
failed to renew
it; and when the bridegroom came,
they were out of oil. By eagerly anticipating and
desiring the return of our Lord, we strive to keep
our garments unspotted from the uncleanness of this
sinful world. We should continue to allow the
power of the Holy Ghost to renew us so that we live
a holy, overcoming life before God and mankind.
III. When
the people asked Jesus about the sign of His
coming and (A)
the end of the world, He foretold many
things that would come upon the earth: false christs,
wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences,
death by the sword, hunger, disease, wild beasts,
and earthquakes. He declared, “For all these things
must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew
spoke of a time of affliction happening after all
of these things,
when those who held to the
testimony of Jesus Christ would be delivered up to
be afflicted, killed, hated, despised for His name,
and betrayed by false brethren. Then there would
arise many false prophets who would say that
Christ had already come and would lead away
many by great signs and wonders. Because of the
great wickedness of the earth, many unrighteous
people would believe the lie and be condemned.
Matthew 24:13-14
“But he that shall endure unto the
end, the same shall be saved. And this
gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then
shall the end come” (Matthew 24:1314).
B. Preparing
III. Waiting for His Coming
As we await our redemption at the coming of the
(B) from glory, we should make
Lord Jesus Christ
ourselves ready to receive Him. Israel failed to
recognize Him at His first coming because of their
preconceived misconceptions of how and when He
would come. However, we should not allow the
philosophies of mankind that contradict the Word
of God to deceive us.
III. Waiting for His Coming
We will be tried and tested in the crucible of
suffering so(B)
that we might come forth as pure gold.
In the face of suffering, we must not give in to
those who would compromise the integrity of the
gospel in exchange for the acceptance of the world.
We live in perilous times when many have
departed from the faith and given heed to the
seduction of popularity and worldly pleasure.
III. Waiting for His Coming
We should not grow weary in well doing, but we
should remain
steadfast in love, hope, and faith.
The Scriptures admonish us to assemble to
fellowship, break bread, and pray so that
temptation does not overcome us. As we faithfully
attend the house of God, our faith and knowledge
in the Word of God become stronger, and we
receive strength to quench the fiery darts of the
By walking in the commandments of Jesus Christ,
we have the assurance that He will find us faithful
when He appears to receive His bride in the clouds
of glory. He has commanded us to take the gospel
of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, and
tongue. Christ has charged us with the
responsibility to make sure that all people have the
opportunity to obey the gospel and be saved
through repentance of sins, baptism in Jesus’ name
for the remission of sins, and receiving the Holy
Ghost. “And this is the promise that he hath
promised us, even eternal life” (I John 2:25).
III. Waiting for His Coming
The second coming of Jesus Christ is nearer than
when we first believed. We should endeavor to
keep the faith by remaining vigilant in prayer and
fasting as we look for His appearing. As children
of light and children of the day, we should not be
unprepared for His coming. Rather, we should live
every day as if Jesus could come, knowing that He
will come in a day and an hour that we think not.
Although the signs of the times point to the soon
return of our Lord, it is easy to fall asleep
spiritually because of the great wickedness of this
present age. We should remember Lot whose soul
was continually vexed by the wickedness of
Sodom, yet he was scarcely saved by the grace and
mercy of God in the day of judgment. Judgment is
coming upon the earth as it did in the day that God
judged Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and
brimstone. The good news is that we have
opportunity to prepare for His coming through the
new-birth experience and to allow His Spirit to
lead us into all truth.
“But the day of the Lord will come as
a thief in the night; in the which the
heavens shall pass away with a great
noise, and the elements shall melt
with fervent heat, the earth also and
the works that are therein shall be
burned up. Seeing then that all these
things shall be dissolved, what
manner of persons ought ye to be in
all holy conversation and godliness”
(II Peter 3:10-11).
II Peter 3:10-11