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Rapture, Second Coming, or Both?

God 1st / Brian C Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2023 9:00 am

Rapture, Second Coming, or Both?

God 1st / Brian C Thomas

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December 17, 2023 9:00 am

Jesus stated, "Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left." Was He referring to the Rapture, Second Coming, or both? We take a look at how things are not always as the seem. 


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Discerning The Times
Brian Thomas

Welcome to God First with Brian C. Thomas, a program committed to encouraging you to put God first while viewing life through the window of the Bible. Now, in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, let's join Brian C. Thomas for today's message. What do we gather for fellowship, for worship, for the studying of God's Word?

Why can't we just say that, well, we've already accepted Christ as Savior and therefore we're good, nothing else is needed? Well, would a man marry a woman and then do nothing else? Never talk to her, never hug her, never kiss her. She writes letters, never read it.

We can all say that that would not be much of a marriage, not be much of a relationship. And that is why we come together to learn about God, to have fellowship with Him. And we come here today to deliver God's Word, not to hoop, not to holler, not to hem and haul, to put on a performance, but we're here to learn God's Word. And I want us to be excited to hear from God.

I was watching football games yesterday and I saw people how excited they were in anticipating the game. They were chomping at the bit and we should be all the more excited to hear from God when we come together to study His Word. And I'm just the messenger.

I hear people talk about going to hear certain people speak and they prefer one over the other, but I'm just the messenger of God's Word. It's like a mailman delivering a letter. And when you get a letter from the mailman, you're not excited about the mailman to hear what he has to say, but you're excited about the one who wrote the letter, what that person is saying. Or today, not a lot of people write letters anymore, but we get emails. And so you're excited about the person who sent the email, not Gmail, not what Gmail has to say, but what the person who sent the email has to say.

And so again, that is what I am here to do to deliver God's Holy Word. Things are not always as they seem. I heard an account of a man who had been married to a lovely wife for about five years. They had a great marriage. They were Christians and a very solid relationship, but they were from time to time, check in with one another and have these conversations to ask, is there something that I'm doing or not doing that you would like the other to change for the better of the relationship to improve the marriage? And so on one of those occasions, the wife was telling him, you know, you're a great man.

I love you dearly. You're a wonderful husband. We have a great marriage. She said, I could stand a bit more romance. Well, the husband was not defensive. He admitted that he was not the most romantic in the world and that's something that he could improve on. So he took her words to heart and he began to think on ways in which he could become more romantic with his wife. So a couple of days later, she told him she was going out to the hair salon to get her hair done. And so he thought to himself, well, this will be a good opportunity to pick up a bouquet of flowers and drop by the beauty salon while she's there with her girlfriends and surprise her with these flowers. He said, that'll make her excited.

And that will get me a lot of brownie points doing that in front of her friends. And so he decided to do just that. So that afternoon came and he showed up at the beauty salon with the flowers and the receptionist personally knew him and his wife. And when she saw the flowers and saw him, she immediately knew what was going on. So she spoke to him and smiled and said, you can go around.

She's, she's in the back. So he walks around and he sees a long row of women who were lying back in these chairs with their heads over the sink with their eyes closed. And so he hesitated for a moment and looked down the row and he saw the one who he identified to be his wife.

He said, I remember what she was wearing. And so he walks up to her and again, she's lying there with her eyes closed or her head back in the sink, getting her hair wash. And he plants a big kiss on her. And then he raises his head and he's standing there smiling with the flowers behind his back and waiting to see her reaction. So she lifts her head and she immediately screams.

And upon doing so, then he screams. And at this point, the other women in the beauty salon are trying to figure out what was going on. So they all sit up and they're looking around and then a second woman screams and the man looks over and sees the second woman and finds that that is his wife. He kissed the wrong woman because this woman that he kissed was wearing an outfit that was almost identical to the one that his wife was wearing. And 20 years later into that marriage, he still can't live that event down because whenever something comes up with a disagreement, she reminds him that he kissed another woman. And he said, well, honey, I thought it was you.

I was trying to do what was right. But it's important for us not to become overconfident because again, things are not always as they seem. I was looking just the other night in a book that was talking about mirages in the desert. And we've seen the depictions in movies where a person is out in the desert and they're, they're hot and they're thirsting and they think they're going to die from thirst.

And so they look into the distance and they see water and they begin running to the water. And we know how it goes when they get closer and closer than the water disappears because it was a mirage. What they thought was there was really not there.

Things are not always as they seem. I was watching a documentary that was talking about how the earth's atmosphere can create optical illusions. It can make things appear to be that are not as they really are. And so it was showing how, because of the way that light can be refracted over the earth's atmosphere when certain temperatures and moisture content and sunlight, when all these ingredients come together, it can cause things to actually appear in the sky when they're really not there. And so it was showing a city that actually looked like it was hovering in the sky.

You could see the downtown, the skyscrapers up in the sky, and it literally looked like the city was up in the sky. But again, it was an optical illusion because things are not always as they seem. So I want you to keep that in mind as we look at what we're going to talk about today and what we're actually going to talk about is not what I originally had planned, but I saw a post online that a lady submitted that I wanted to address because it was a very good question. And I think one that a lot of people could learn something from. She wrote, quote, I heard something today from a speaker I know to be pre-trip, but he said something confusing that I've never heard before.

Been studying in times for eight years now. He said that in Matthew 24, when Jesus talks about what it will be like in the time that he returns, he gives the reference to, it will be like the times of Noah. Then he talks about two men working in the field. One will be taken the other left. There will be two women grinding at the meal.

One will be taken the other left. This speaker said that what Jesus was talking about was not the rapture. And she goes on to say, where else in the Bible does it speak of this? So she's asking the question, what is this really talking about? Because again, this speaker says, well, that is not the rapture. So I'm titling today's message, the rapture second coming or both. But before we get to that, I want to play a quick video.

Let's play video one. Danny's got to be careful getting too far out there and letting a big run come. And now as long as they're side by side, he's good. But here comes Newman, big run. Danny put the block on him.

Great job. Not causing a wreck on that block. White flag under green.

Next flag will end the race. And Newman is there. Newman's got locked onto his rear bumper, just like he did. Oh, wrecking behind Chase Elliott around, spinning around still green.

Still green. And here they come. And here comes Blaney. Ryan Blaney up behind Ryan Newman trying to get him to Hamlin. Newman backed up to Blaney. Big run coming here inside. No one to the front.

Nothing. Denny Hamlin could do. What can Ryan Blaney now do? Here comes a push from Denny Hamlin. Well, this thing's not over yet.

Not at all. Ryan Newman off Turn four for the final time. Blaney to the outside, to the inside. Here comes Hamlin up the outside crash into the wall into the air, goes Newman upside down in a shower of sparks on his roof. Ryan Newman comes across the line fourth and comes to rest. Scoring on official between Hamlin and Blaney. As far as who crossed the finish line first, Newman got turned, went up in the air as he came down, was hit by another car and launched skyward coming down on his roof.

The AMR safety team is there quickly to attend to Ryan Newman. That scene was February of 2020. So if you didn't see it and don't know how it came out, we're going to revisit this at the end. So hang around. So we're going to look at Matthew chapter 24. So please turn your Bibles there with me. Our main text is coming from Matthew chapter 24 verses 36 through 44, Matthew chapter 24 verses 36 through 44. And as we come to this text, we are reminded that earlier in this chapter, in the beginning that the apostles had been speaking with Jesus and they were looking at the temple and they were talking about how beautiful it was. And Jesus said, not one stone will be left here upon another.

He said, it's going to be destroyed. And then they asked Jesus a series of questions. They said, tell us when will these things be? What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age? And so they asked Jesus a series of questions.

And so Jesus gives a series of answers in Matthew 24, what is known as the Olivet Discourse. So as we come to verse 36, here's what our Lord says, but of that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the son of man be.

For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark and did not know until the flood came and took them all away. So also will the coming of the son of man be. Then two men will be in the field. One will be taken and the other left.

Two women will be grinding at the meal. One will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming, but know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready for the son of man is coming and an hour you do not expect. Heavenly Father, we thank you, Lord, for your word on today. What a great message, Lord, that you presented to us about the future, things that are to come. And it is my prayer, Lord, that all things that are spoken, that would be nothing but sound doctrine. May you be honored and glorified in all things in your name.

Jesus, amen. Things are not always as they seem. As we look at this main text, notice that Jesus said it will be like it was in the days of Noah, where they were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage. Well, nothing is wrong with eating as long as you're not being a glutton. Nothing is wrong with drinking as long as you're not drinking alcohol to the point of drunkenness. Nothing is wrong with marrying. Of course, we know God ordained marriage and he ordained it between a man and a woman, one man and one woman, regardless of what society says. Two men cannot marry one another. Two women cannot marry one another. But marriage is between a man and a woman. God ordained it. So there's nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves. But our Lord is saying that they are just simply going about business as usual. So we have to keep that in mind.

He says here that two will be in the field. One will be taken, the other left two women working at the meal, one will be taken, the other left. In the ancient days, they worked at these meals. So this is referring to a meal grinder. And that was the way in which they created products like flour.

And we have machines today to do it. But in those times, a meal grinder would be turned. It had these large stones and two people had to turn it in order to grind out the material, grind out the wheat, for example, in order to create flour.

So it was performed in pairs and it was considered a menial task that oftentimes women were assigned to do. And so they would sit on opposite sides of each other, sit in opposite sides of the grinder, and they would move it halfway around the circle in order to again make material like flour. And so Jesus said there will be two there working together.

One will be taken and the other left. So imagine today, again, a lot of machinery are doing these type of jobs for us, but we've seen crosscut saws. You're all familiar with crosscut saws where you have these large trees and there's a saw with a handle on each end. And you'll see two men where one is on one end and one is on the other. And they're pushing and pulling, pushing and pulling, pushing and pulling in sync with one another in order to cut this tree down because the tree is too large for one person.

So imagine that as this is happening, two men are there cutting the tree with this crosscut saw and one is taken the other left. That is what our Lord is saying is going to be at the end of this time period. So turn your Bibles now with me over to First Thessalonians, chapter four. And we're going to look at another text, another very familiar text that we talk about a lot here and those of us who are students of Bible prophecy or are very familiar with First Thessalonians chapter four. And we want to go to verse 13.

We're going to look at verses 13 through 18. But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with the shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord, therefore comfort one another with these words. The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote this text to address those at the church at Thessalonica. It was during this time in which an apostle had written to the church, signed a letter by Paul's name, and he said that they had missed the rapture of the church. But notice as we read this text, does it sound like the same event that we read in Matthew 24? Again, remember, remember in Matthew 24, it says one will be taken the other left. And as we look at first Thessalonians chapter four, we see that it says, well, the dead will rise first.

Then those of us who are alive and remain shall be caught up. So it sounds very similar. It sounds like it's talking about the same thing, doesn't it? But again, Paul is writing to address those at Thessalonica and he's saying, I don't want you to be ignorant. He said, remember, I've already taught you these things. I've told you how this is going to transpire.

So you need not be worried that you missed this event. Now, let me take a moment to address something that I've spoken on so many times before, because I hear it all the time and I'm convinced that it's not going to the end until the Lord comes back. But whenever we talk about the rapture of the church, someone always says, well, the word rapture is not even in the Bible.

And they use that as an argument to dismiss the rapture. But as I always say, there are many words that are not in the Bible, but we know they are real things. For example, the word demon is not in the Bible. It's not in the King James version of the Bible. The word Trinity is not in the Bible, but we know the Trinity exists.

God, the Father, God, the Son, God, the Holy Spirit. The word Bible is not in the Bible, but we know the Bible exists. We're all sitting here holding Bibles. Hold up your Bibles now so that anyone in case anyone has any doubt, we see that Bibles are real, but the word is not in the Bible. So we need to dismiss that argument. That is a weak argument that so many will throw out there that, well, the rapture, the word is not in the Bible. But if you want to just call it the catching away, the concept is there. And it says here in the scriptures, it says, notice that it makes a reference to falling asleep.

Why do you think that Paul uses that terminology? He says concerning those who have fallen asleep. Well, how many of us like sleep? A lot of people love sleep. That's why I see you smiling because people love sleep. A lot of us don't want to get up in the morning because you're enjoying the sleep so much. And so we don't dread sleep.

We enjoy it. And that is how it is for the believer in Jesus Christ. When we die, that is how we should view death is simply going to sleep.

It's not something that we should be fearful of. So it's a reference to physical death for the believer. But I want to caution that we're not talking about soul sleep because there are some out there that teach that. They teach that there's nobody in heaven now. There's no one in what's actually Hades, but they say, hell, they say there's no one there because they believe in soul sleep.

We don't believe in soul sleep because the scripture says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And so the way that things are going to transpire with the rapture is that there is going to be a trumpet and a shout. Jesus descends into the air and a dead will rise first.

Then those of us who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet them in the air. But notice the differences that I want to point out between what we see here in first Thessalonians chapter four and what we see in Matthew chapter twenty four, because Jesus was speaking to Jews about the tribulation in Matthew twenty four. The rapture, the church is spoken of here in first Thessalonians chapter four. Remember that the church had not been yet birthed or had not been yet revealed in Matthew chapter number twenty four.

So we have to to keep that in mind. Let's go back to Matthew chapter twenty four. And I know we're looking at a lot of scripture references, but we need to do so because, again, we are here to learn. This is a teaching ministry and we are here to learn the word of God. Matthew chapter twenty four.

Let's let's go to verse fifteen. Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house and let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days and pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. Now, let me pause here for a moment, because we see here clearly that Jesus is speaking to a Jewish audience, because we see here he speaks of the abomination of desolation. That's referring to what's going to happen with the temple. And where is the temple located? The temple is in Jerusalem, in the nation of Israel. He goes on to say Judea. Those of you who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Where's Judea?

That is in Israel. OK, he's talking to the Jews. He's not talking to the church. He goes on to say, I pray that your flight not be on the Sabbath. When is the Sabbath?

So on Saturday. And we know that the church does not gather on the Sabbath. We gather on Sunday. And that came about because Jesus was resurrected on Sunday.

And so that's the day we come together to worship. But because Jesus came and fulfilled the law, we are no longer required to observe the Sabbath. But Jesus being God, he knows everything. And he knew that in that time period, the majority of the Jews would not be accepting of him as Messiah. So they would still be practicing the things that were under the law, such as the Sabbath. And so therefore, he knew they would be going by Sabbath rules, which had restrictions on what they could and could not do.

And so that's what he's referencing there. And also, let me state that when it comes to the church, any Jew that has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a part of the church. And we have to be careful to make that designation, because sometimes when we talk about the church and we talk about Jews or Israel, we say we tend to look at it as well. They're totally separate in that. Well, no one from from Israel or a Jew can be a part of the church, but it's not Gentile versus Jew is simply the church versus Jew or Israel.

And in saying versus, I'm just saying as a comparison, not meaning we're we're one against the other. But Jews are a part of the church if they receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We call them Messianic Jews. So let's go back to Matthew 24. Let's pick back up at verse number 20.

Or actually 21. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time. No, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh will be saved.

But for the elect's sake, those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, look, he is here is the Christ or there do not believe it. For false Christ and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, in the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore, if they say to you, look, he is in the desert or or do not go out or look, he is in the inner rooms.

Do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be for wherever the carcass is, then the eagles will be gathered together. Now let's go down one more verse. Verse 29. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. The stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heaven will be shaken. So Jesus here is speaking of what's going to happen at the end of the tribulation.

And we must make the distinction between the two. Now let's go over to Matthew Chapter number 13. And again, I know we're looking at a lot of a lot of verses, but, you know, for those who are familiar with us again, you know that that we are teachers of the word, we are students of the word.

And and we like to go through the text verse by verse to see what it is that our Lord is saying to us. And when we come to Matthew Chapter number 13, what we're going to see is that there is a parable of the wheat and the tares, because the lady who submitted online this concern that she had, she said, where else in the Bible is this spoken of? So go to Matthew Chapter number 13. And let's go down to verse number 24.

Matthew Chapter 13, verse number 24. Another parable he put forth to them, saying the kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and so tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, sir, did you not sow good seed in your field?

How then does it have tares? He said to them, an enemy has done this. The servant said to him, do you want us then to go up and gather them up? But he said, no less while you gather up the tares, you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. And at the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers first gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn. So what are the tares? Yeah, tares are weeds. Weeds are not good.

They choke out the good crop. And we're going to see that these tares are representing someone. Go down to verse 36. Then Jesus said, sent the multitude away and went into the house and his disciples came to him saying, that's plain to us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said to them, he who sows the good seed is the son of man. Who is the son of man? That's Jesus Christ.

The field is the world. The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. Who is the wicked one? We know that to be Satan. The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age. And the reapers are the angels. Therefore, as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age, the son of man will send out his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom, all things that offend and those who practice lawlessness and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father.

He who has ears to hear let him hear. So what a great parable that is that our Lord is sharing. The gathering of the tares, the weeds to be burned in the fire is the same event as those taken in Matthew 24. Remember in Matthew 24, Jesus said there will be two in the field. One will be taken the other left.

Two will be grinding at the meal. One will be taken the other left. This is not what we see in First Thessalonians chapter four, which is the rapture of the church. This is a separate event. The rapture is before the tribulation. What we're speaking of here is seven years later at the end of the tribulation.

And note that the tares and the weeds grow up together. One thing we have to be cognizant of is that there are tears even within the church. And what I mean by that is the church we know is those who have received Christ as Lord and Savior. But among the church within the devil's souls, those who are truly not saved, but they are there for the purpose of creating discord to create division. And we have to be cautious and recognize when we come across those people.

And no, it's not that we are paranoid and we want to be looking at everyone with skepticism to say, are you really saved? There are going to be disagreements among believers in Christ. But you can start to see patterns that can tell us that someone is really a tear that Satan has sown within. And so our Lord says, don't don't pull them up together.

He says, no, wait and let them grow. And then you will see. And the interesting thing between tares and wheat is that when they're young, they look the same. You really can't tell one from the other. But as they grow more and more, you can distinguish one from the other more and more.

The weed is clearly not a wheat. And so the wicked are burned. But there is a way of escape, because do we have to receive this judgment that is going to come? Do we have to get burned in the furnace? We our family Friday night for us is pizza night. We have pizza every night of the every Friday of the week, other than maybe once or twice a year.

Ninety eight percent of the time, Friday night is pizza night. And well, when I'm done with the pizza, we collect the boxes and I take them out to burn them. We live in a rural area, so it's OK to burn. And I know someone is going to say, well, no, you should be recycling.

But again, we're out in the country. So I collect them to burn them. And so this past weekend, I gathered the boxes and I sat them outside in order to burn them on the next day, on Saturday, yesterday. And well, I went out Saturday morning to to run the errands that I typically do. And I saw the boxes and there was a a daddy long legs that was sitting on the pizza box and it wasn't moving. And I thought it was dead.

But I went on and ran my errands and I came back and I began gathering the pizza boxes along with some other items to to burn. And I took them out to the burn pile and I noticed the daddy long legs was still there. And I thought to myself again, I thought it was dead, but I did notice it began to move.

So so it was alive. And I thought to myself, I don't want to burn a daddy long legs because daddy long legs, they don't bother anybody. It would be different if it was a black widow or a brown recluse.

They can they can bring a lot of sickness or even death. But the daddy long leg doesn't doesn't bother anybody. So I went and I collected some other things and I came back and I lit the fire. But I forgot the daddy long legs was on the box. So as I'm standing there waiting for the fire to get going good, I look and I see the daddy long legs are still on the box.

So I lifted the lead where it was at the very edge of the lead and thinking that it would it would move, but it was still there. Now we know daddy long legs have those little thin, skinny, weak legs. So so thin and weak that they have to be careful not to get caught in the rain because of their legs get wet.

They'll just crumble and collapse and they can just wash, wash right away. I've actually been watering plants out in the yard and accidentally sprayed a daddy long leg and his legs would just fold right up and he just go go washing down the down the yard. So they have these weak, brittle, thin legs. And so I noticed as I look closer, I figured out why the daddy long legs were not moving because on the front of the pizza box, they have these stickers, these labels where they put the name of the customer and what your order is on the box. And this daddy long legs had gotten his leg stuck to the back of that sticker, the adhesive, and because his legs are so thin and weak, it couldn't pull itself away. So as the fire is encroaching, I'm trying to free this daddy long legs and I'm trying to think, how do I do it without ripping his leg off?

Because again, that's how, how thin and brittle their legs are. But I eventually was able to, to get it apart. I didn't get all the sticker off of it, but I at least got it away from the fire. And I was thinking to myself, that is what Jesus Christ does for us because we are stuck in seeing and seeing is all around us. And as we see seeing and Satan encroaching upon us, Satan is out to destroy, but Jesus comes in and rescues us. And he does that because of the fact that he died on the cross at Calvary. So he's already paid the penalty for sin. And all you have to do in order to receive that escape is receive his sacrifice, confess that you are a sinner and receive him as Lord and savior, repent of your sins.

That is all we have to do. So there is a way of escape for all of us who put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. We don't have to be one who gets burned in the furnace at the end of the age, but I want to share some more scriptures with you. Let's go down a little further in Matthew chapter 13, verse number 47.

I want to read 47 through 52. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which when it was full, they drew to shore and they sat down and gathered the good into the vessels, but through the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age, the angels will come forth, separate the wicked from the just and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus said to them, have you understood all these things? They said to him, yes, Lord.

Then he said to them, therefore, every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and things old. So this is the parable of the dragnet. And what is a dragnet? The dragnet is those large nets that we see fishers and they'll throw them out into a body of water, like a pond or, or the ocean. And in the older days they did it by hand, but today they have these ships with machinery that they can cast these large nets and, and they drag them onto the ship. And when they pull these, these, uh, dragnets in is full of fish. And, and so you, you're talking about thousands of pounds of fish in many cases. And so what you find is that sometimes though, something will get caught up in the net that they're really not trying to catch. For example, if you're catching fish, there may be a crab or two that gets caught in there that you don't want.

And so our Lord is saying here in this dragnet, there's going to be some good in there and there's going to be some bad. I was watching a fishing documentary a few weeks ago, and they were showing that very thing where they pulled up the net onto a ship. And you know, when they released the net on the deck and all the fish just spill out onto the deck and as the fish was spilling out, out came this huge sea lion. The sea lion had got caught up in the net and was, was surrounded within the net by all these fish. Now sea lion is a very large animal weighs hundreds of pounds, and they couldn't literally literally lift it by hand to cast it overboard.

So what they did, they got a water hose and they sprayed the sea lion to, to shoe him to where he would, would jump off on his own. But that is what it's going to be like in the last days. There are going to be some things that Jesus is comparing here. It says, there's going to be a gathering and there's going to be some good and, but there's going to be some bad that needs to be cast out. And again, this is the same event as Matthew chapter number 24, where one will be taken the other left two in the field, two grinding at the meal.

One will be taken the other left the same as the parable of the wheat and the tears. There's another passage that I want to share with you again. I know we're looking at a lot of scriptures, but that's what we do here. We are students of the word. We love God's word. We love to navigate the text because the Bible interprets itself. God did not put things out there for us so that we can't understand it.

And that is why it's so important not to, to look at scripture as a standalone text. We need to look at it in the entire context of the Bible revelation, chapter 14, verses 17 through 20, revelation 14, 17 through 20. Then another angel came out of the temple, which is in heaven. He also having a sharp sickle and another angel came out from the altar who had power over fire. And he cried with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle saying thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth for her grapes are fully ripe. So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trampled outside of the city and blood came out of the wine press up to the horses, bridles for 1,600 furlongs. What do we see here is the same event as Matthew 24, make a note of revelation, 1911 through 15 speaks of the same thing. The wine press, I won't read through it all for the sake of time, but both of these passages speak of the wine press.

And again, they also are pointing to the same event as Matthew chapter 24. Now what is a wine press? Wine presses, this large machine, which today is done in modern times, you know, is done by automation, by machine. But in the ancient days, it was a wine press was a large machine in which people had to get inside of it and you would pour the grapes in and you would literally stomp on these grapes.

It was very hard work. And as they stomped on the grapes, it would squeeze out the juice. And so that is what people would do in ancient times. Well, Jesus is comparing his return the same way for those who are wicked. This is going to be for those who accepted the mark of the beast, the 666 during the tribulation and live all the way to the end. Those people will have to be dealt with.

They cannot enter into the millennial kingdom. And that is exactly what our Lord is speaking of the wine press that is going to happen at the end of the age. Now some argue, why can't the rapture of the church and this gathering of the wicked happen at the same moment? Because we saw clearly where the text tells us that there are going to be some good and then there are going to be some that are bad.

And people ask, well, can't these be the same event that happened at the same time? Because remember Matthew 13 verse 48 states, and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. Let me share with you how we know the rapture of the church cannot be at the end of the tribulation. Turn to John chapter 14 verses one through three. Let not your heart be troubled.

You believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions if it were not so I would have told you I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am there you may be also.

These are the words of Jesus that he was speaking to the apostles prior to going to the cross prior to his death. He was telling them I am going to put to a place to prepare a place for you. And where did he say he was going?

He said the father's house where there are many mansions. Well going to the father's house doesn't happen with a post-tribulation rapture of the church. Because if the rapture were at the end of the tribulation, that would mean we would be caught up to meet the Lord in the air as he's descending to the earth and we would just come back down to the earth with him. Because when Jesus comes back at his second coming at the end of the tribulation, he comes to the earth to stay. He comes to establish his millennial kingdom and he comes to spend eternity on the earth.

He's not going back to heaven. And so when we look at this text, Jesus said clearly I am going away to prepare a place for you. The only way in which that can work is if the rapture is before the tribulation, meaning when he catches us up before the tribulation, we go to heaven, to the father's house where Jesus has been preparing after he was resurrected from the dead, he ascended to heaven, he went away and he has been preparing this place for us since that time.

And that is where we're going for a period of seven years. And then we'll come back with our Lord to the earth to establish his millennial kingdom. And another thing to think about is if the rapture of the church was at the end of the tribulation, remember at the rapture, all saved, get glorified bodies. We know that the scripture says, when we receive a glorified body, we are then as the angels, we don't reproduce, we don't get married.

We don't have children, but in the millennial kingdom, the Bible clearly tells us there will be people there in natural bodies, giving birth to children that are going to replenish the earth. The wicked we've seen through multiple passages they're going to be judged. They're going to be burned in the fire.

They're going to be trampled in the wine press. So they're going to be killed. So, so if, if the wicked are killed and then all of the saved are glorified, who is going to be the ones having children? Well, again, that's why the rapture at the end of the tribulation does not work because, and I've asked numerous people this who hold to the post tribulation rapture view and no one has yet been able to give me a sound answer on it.

It doesn't work because there has to be people in natural bodies. And who will those people be? They will be the ones who receive Christ as Lord and savior after the rapture at the beginning of the tribulation.

During that seven year period, they will receive Christ as Lord and savior, and they will survive some of them in natural bodies all the way to the end. Many are going to be martyred. Many are going to be killed during the tribulation. Those who refuse the mark of the beast, but there will be some who will survive to the end.

They are the ones that will enter the millennial kingdom and they will give birth to children. The good will be gathered at the end of the tribulation. Those are the ones who are not saved prior to the rapture of the church, but get saved during the tribulation and survive to the end. So the tribulation is about Israel.

It is not about the church. The church by definition is already saved because we recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. So there's no need for the church to be on earth during the tribulation because the primary purpose of the tribulation is to bring Israel to repentance, to recognize Jesus Christ as Messiah receive him. And that will be the case even for Gentiles who did not receive Jesus as Lord and savior. They too will be judged during this time.

But Israel, the Bible tells us that a remnant, he is going to be saved, is going to recognize him as Lord and savior. And we also have a text and I won't read it, but the judgment of the sheep and the goats is going to take place at the end of the tribulation. All of these things are pointing to what Jesus is saying.

There's going to be a gathering at the end that is going to be for the wicked. So I wanted to share that because Matthew 24, I often made that mistake in the beginning of ministry. When I would speak on the rapture, I would quote those verses.

And I know many sound preachers who do it, but through studying over the years, I've come to find that, no, those are not rapture versus that, that those are verses speaking of the judgment of the wicked at the end of the age. Now I want to revisit what we listened to in the beginning. We saw a video speaking of Ryan Newman. So I want to go back to that event, February 16th, 2020, as a follow-up on Ryan Newman.

Let's play video two was trying to get help from the other blue dots. Now he's got, he had just the steel eyes, the concentration and devotion. And he had the desire to win a Boilermaker. You win the Daytona five hundred's a championship. They'll never take away from you.

Ryan Newman was in the number six car in the final lap of the 2020 Daytona 500 with a chance to win it again. He'd leave without any memory of what would happen next. I've got stories. I've got conversations, but in my mind it still doesn't exist.

And I don't know how to answer that other than God deletes that chapter for a reason. I always wear a radio so I can talk to Ryan. If anything bad happens in his previous accidents, you can hear him and he'll say, yeah, I'm okay.

There was no voice this year. So it was, it got pretty frightening at that point. It took more than 15 minutes for Newman to be cut from the car and rushed to the hospital. He was in a medically induced coma when his parents saw him. We got to his bedside and I just stood there thinking, please, God, please help him.

You can't take my son. Ryan would awaken essentially with a bruise to his brain and with his two daughters by his side. He left the hospital holding their hands just two days after the crash. I know they were extremely happy that he was okay and got to walk out of the hospital with him. But I think it meant more to Ryan that he had a hand on both girls and was still there. Yeah, that was big.

My oldest, she made the comment of daddy, you got to keep living so that we can spend time together. And that was pretty, that was pretty special. That was, um, that was an amazing feeling because it pieced everything together. Right. And that's, uh, that's all the answer I needed. As Ryan Newman returns to this Daytona 500, he carries many things, excitement, appreciation, gratitude.

What he won't carry is the weight of memory or the burden of fear. People have asked me, you know, why do you get back in a race car? Or did you talk to your daughters? Do your kids want you to not race again?

And like, no, like they, they want me to do what I love and have fun. And I get it. Like, how can you not see the danger?

I do. But that fear isn't there. It's just not. Whatever happens to Ryan happens, whether he survives a crash like that or doesn't survive a crash like that, I wouldn't be bitter. He was doing what he wanted to do. If you look at the car in my helmet, you wouldn't believe I'm sitting here. He'd be like, no, there's just no way.

But I believe it was thanks to somebody from above. He's lucky to be alive. And it's a miracle that God saved him. It's just unbelievable.

He's my miracle boy. As we were watching that race live back on February 16th, 2020, I was sitting there thinking to myself, Lord, please don't make this so that I've just witnessed this man die because that's how horrific that crash was. And as we saw him crash on that final lap, you saw the fire, the car was burning.

You saw the fuel that was leaking out. And who was it that saved Ryan Newman? Yeah, it was the emergency personnel, the medical team. They came and they cut him out of the car. They put out the fire and cut him out. What if they had not been there? What if they not came on the scene? Then he would have been burned in the fire.

He would not have escaped. And I praise God that Ryan Newman did live. And you heard him say that he doesn't have a fear of what happens.

You heard his father say it. And for us as believers in Jesus Christ, we need not fear death because we know we have the assurance that we have eternal life through Jesus Christ. And so when we look at this, just like Ryan Newman was trapped in the fire, there was no way of escape until the medical personnel came. Well, for us in this life, there is no way of escape other than Jesus Christ. If you do not receive Jesus Christ, you're going to be consumed in the fire. And Jesus does for us what the emergency personnel did for Ryan Newman. Jesus does for us what I did for the daddy long legs. He rescues us from the fire that is coming in the end.

But to be rescued, you must accept his offer. So if you've never received him as Lord and Savior, will you do so on today? Lord Jesus, we thank you, Lord, for an amazing time together. We thank you, Lord, for your word. We thank you, Jesus, that you died on the cross, that you stood in our place and took on the punishment that we deserve. And you made a way of escape for us that we can inherit eternal life by accepting your shed blood. And Lord, it is my prayer today that for any who do not know you as Lord and Savior, for any who have not received you, that their hearts will be pricked, Lord, and they will come to know you and accept you and receive you as their eternal king.

For that is the only way by which we can escape the fire. So, Lord, we just thank you for these things. And as we close, we remember today to pray for Israel.

Lord, pray for those who are in hostage, who are still in captivity as hostages even still today. Lord, be with him. Bring about deliverance, Lord, in accordance to your will. And so we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, blessings over the great nation of Israel. And unto you, the only wise God, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, bless God's great nation of Israel, and seek first the kingdom of God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-17 10:18:25 / 2023-12-17 10:38:48 / 20

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