Second Coming of Jesus Christ, Pt. 3

Scripture: Matthew 24:40, Luke 17:26, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10
What does the Bible mean when it says that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night? This talk continues a discussion of the manner of Christ's coming and deals with the Bible verses about 'one taken, the other left.' Will we really have a second chance?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts, Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the amazing fax ministry, as they now open the bible, discuss themes that affect your life today, stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will dip in your understanding of Gods word.

John Bradshaw: Hi friends and welcome again to Bible Talk. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Gary Gibbs and we're discussing the second coming of Jesus Christ. Gary, we found out here on Bible Talk that if Jesus returned to this Earth, it's going to be soon and it's going to be anything but a secret.

Gary Gibbs: John that's right. The Bible makes it very clear that when Jesus comes, every eye will see him. Revelation 1:7 says, "Behold he comes with clouds and every eye shall see him."

So how can he come and every eye see him and it still be a secret?

John: It's also going to be an event that people will hear.

Gary: 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says, "That he comes with the shalt, with the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God and dead in Christ should rise first." It's so loud, that even those who are in their graves hear it and come forth.

John: Now a lot of people have been taught and are teaching that Jesus comes back secretly. He may even come back twice. The first time, secretly, the next time, maybe that's not going to be a secret. In fact, verses are appealed to that are used to say that Jesus is coming to come back like a "thief in the night." Is that what the Bible says?

Gary: You know, the Bible does say he's going to come back as a "thief in the night." Listen to one of the verses, two Peter 3:10. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night."

John: Now stop right there. It doesn't say Jesus will come as a thief, it says the day of the Lord.

Gary: Because it's talking about the timing. If you cross-reference this to Matthew 24 around verse 42, when it talks about the "thief in the night," it says, "The day of the Lord, no man knows the day or the hour that Jesus will come."

John: So that day, that the timing of Christ's coming might strike people as a "thief in the night", catch them unaware but I think there's more in second Peter three, that you might do well to read to us.

Gary: Well there is, because a lot of times when we read two Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night," we tend to put a period there where the Bible doesn't have a period because it goes on to describe what the day of the Lord will be like.

It says, "In the which, the heavens will pass away with a great noise." Doesn't sound like a thief in the night does it?

John: No, not at all. No good thief anyway.

Gary: Now, there's a great noise. All the heavens pass away with it and, "Then the elements shall melt with fervent heat and the earth also and the works that are there in, shall be burned up." When it's referring to the thief in the night, we don't know the day or the hour, but when he comes every eye is going to see him, we're going to hear it, the heavens will pass away, the elements of the Earth will melt down. Everybody will know Jesus is coming.

John: Now so far so good, but I know that there are people who are listening to Bible Talk today, and saying, "Alright, fine but I read in the Bible that the Bible says, "When Jesus comes back, one will be taken and one will be left."

Now, I know when you study the Bible, you've got to take the weight of evidence. And so far, the weight of evidence comes firmly down on the side of Jesus' return not being a secret. It's like my Irish great-grandfather. Build himself a fence, put 300 fence posts in the ground, got to the end of those 300 fence posts and turned around and looked back, and noticed that one of them was out of line by 18 inches. So he dug up the other 299 and moved them all over 18 inches.

Gary: I don't think your Irish grandfather did that John.

John: Well a lot of people are doing just that when it comes to the word of God.

Gary: That's why you have to look at all the text as you were saying. Let's look at the one that talks about two being in the field and one taken, the other left. You'll find that in a couple of places in the Gospels. The one I want to look at first here is Matthew 24:40. It says here that, "Then shall two be in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the grill, one will be taken and the other left."

John: Now what does that mean if it doesn't mean that when Jesus comes back he takes one and leaves the other behind?

Gary: Then you have to read the context. A friend of mine told me once that, "Text taken out of it's context is a pre-text." So let's look at what it says here. You go back to verse 36, "But of that day and hour knows no man, no nothing, angels of heaven, but my father only."

John, that's the thing we always have to remember, we don't know when Jesus is going to come. We've been given signs and if you study the signs of his coming, you know that it's soon, and therefore we need to be ready for it. Then verse 37 says, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be."

John: The days of?

Gary: Noah. Tell me John, who is Noah. Well my little boy loves the story of Noah. He'll tell you that Noah's the one that built the Arch. God sent the flood and cleansed the Earth. Only a few got on the boat and the other people, well we know what happened to the others, you didn't get on board.

Gary: And how long did Noah preach that the flood was coming?

John: He preached for 120 years.

Gary: And yet, only eight people were saved on the Arch?

John: Only eight.

Gary: That tells us that not everybody was listening to the message that Jesus was soon to come, in this destruction of the flood.

John: And the Bible says, as it was in Noah's day, that's how it's going to be in our day. The flood and what happened there serves as an example for what would take place surrounding the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Gary: Right, and he goes on here in verse 38 and says, "For as in were the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the Arch, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the son of Man be."

Jesus says the flood, when Noah went into the Arch, is an example of what's going to happen when Jesus comes. You're going to have some people saved inside the Arch of God's safety, and you'll have other people who will be lost and outside of the Arch. Then, it's in that context that he says, "Two will be in the field, one will be taken, the other left."

The question is what does it mean to be taken and what does it mean to be left?

John: And a lot of people are going to be wondering that right now. So you better tell us what exactly that is, one taken, one left. Many people have read that and said, "Many people have heard and many people have been told by their preacher why that means that one is going to be taken to heaven and the other is going to be left here on Earth for three and a half years or seven years." What does it really mean?

Gary: Well, you look over at the parallel text in Luke 17, Jesus is saying the same thing. This is Luke's take on it here. And in Luke 17:26 it says 'as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noe entered into the ark.' That is exactly what we just read back in Matthew isn't it?

John: Sure.

Gary: But then he goes on. He says 'and the flood came' and did what John?

John: Destroyed them all.

Gary: Correct. So one was taken into the ark in safety. They survived. But those who were left outside of the ark, the flood came and destroyed them all. And that's what Jesus point here as in Luke and Matthew, is that the laws are taken by surprise and are left dead. They are destroyed when Jesus comes.

John: So it is not a case at all of one person being left on the earth to get another chance, another shot at it, another three and half years or another seven years. This is saying that you either are ready when Jesus comes or you are wiped out, you are destroyed, you are lost.

Gary: And in fact if you keep reading right here in Luke 17 you come to that same text that we just read back in Matthew. Verse 34 here in Luke 17, "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed, one will be taken, the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together, one shall be taken, the other left. Two men shall be in the field, the one will be taken, the other left."

But watch verse 37. "And they answered and said to him, Where, Lord?' So they said where are they going to be left? You know, the ones going to be taken we understand that where are they going to be left, and he says, "Wherever the body is, there will the eagles or the vultures be gathered together." Well, what type of bodies John, do vultures and eagles gather around?

John: They feed on carrion, don't they? They hang around dead bodies, people who are bodies of things that have been destroyed or dead.

Gary: So then, those who are left or destroyed like we just read that happened at the end of the flood.

John: Now where does the Bible make that clear? Because a lot of people want to believe that when Jesus comes back some go and they are saved, others are left here and they get another shot at it. You are saying that those who didn't make it when Jesus comes back are wiped out. Where is that in scripture?

Gary: Oh, it is all throughout scripture. Let's look at a couple of texts. II Thessalonians 1:7, "To you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels." And we read in a previous Bible talk in Matthew 25, I believe it was 31 says all the holy angels come with Jesus at his second coming.

John: Yeah, that's right.

Gary: So here he is coming with all his angels. And in verse eight of II Thessalonians one he comes in "flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." So when he comes with his angels, he is actually taking vengeance upon the disobedient.

John: Verse nine even says they will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power. The Bible is clear. If you are not ready when Christ comes back, then it is too late.

Gary: And if there is any doubt still in our minds as to the time of when the wicked are destroyed, verse 10 clears that out. It says that as the wicked are being destroyed, the saints are being glorified, "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints." Then you go right across the page II Thessalonians 2:8, "Then shall that Wicked be revealed, who the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.' So when Jesus comes back again, when the saints are being glorified, taken up into Heaven, the wicked are actually being destroyed by the same brightness.

John: Now I know there are going to be a lot of people who understand this, who even get the theory right. But Jesus said, be ye also ready. In order to be ready, I do believe you've got to understand this correctly. But there is more involved in that. How can somebody who wants to be ready to meet Jesus be ready, Gary?

Gary: Now John that is the crucial question because to be ready is the emphasis here, and to be ready means that we have to be in a right relationship with God. You know, it says here he is coming back to take vengeance on those who obey not the gospel, who know not the Lord and who obey not the gospel. To be ready means that we have surrendered our lives to Jesus, we've given our hearts to him. You know, when I think about giving my heart to the Lord, I think of it in two phases.

One is I accept him as my savior. He died for me on Calvary, he paid the penalty for my sins and my guilt. And I accept that, in my behalf there is nothing I can do to save myself. He did it all and I accept him as my savior. But the second part is, I also accept him as the Lord and the master of my life. Now that he is my savior I say, Lord, you saved me I am giving my life to you, what do you want me to do? And then I obey him. And if I am constantly accepting him as my savior, constantly following him as my Lord, then I am in a state of preparedness and readiness.

John: So a person then who has chosen Jesus and invited Jesus Christ to take possession of her or his heart can have assurance that when Jesus comes back why they can know that's good news for them. They'll be ready to go home with Christ.

Gary: They can walk right into the kingdom with Him.

John: Friend, it is good news. Jesus is coming back soon and he wants you to be ready. And he has done everything necessary so that every single one of us can be ready to go home with him and walk on streets of gold. If you have not made that decision to have Jesus as your savior, why don't you do it now? Join us again. We will look at this and other subjects again more and soon here on Bible Talk.

Announcer: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative Bible study guide, simply call, write or email and ask for BT 108, "It Hit It Straight Towards You."

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