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Are We Living in the End Times?

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2022 5:00 am

Are We Living in the End Times?

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

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April 19, 2022 5:00 am

Dr. Chris Hughes talks about the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus.

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Hey, this is Jim Graham from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we explore relationship instead of religion every week. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

Jim Graham is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes. Hello, and welcome to Christian Perspective. I'm so excited to have you on our show today. A couple of weeks ago, we started talking a little bit about end-time prophecy because of all the crazy things that are going on in the world today.

We're going to continue today to talk a little bit more about the signs of the end of the age, and we're also going to talk about, is there a difference between the rapture and the second coming? Before we do that, I want to welcome you to the show. It's such an honor to be broadcasting live from the studios of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee. If you've never been here, I want to encourage you to visit this campus. Maybe you've got a child or grandchild who's thinking about going to college. The College at Mid-America is a great biblical institution where you can come get all kinds of degrees, but your student will not be indoctrinated with transgenderism and homosexuality, critical race theory, and all the other things that schools are teaching people across the country.

So take a look at them. Also, if you have reached a point in your life where you want to get maybe a master's degree and you don't have to be a preacher to have a seminary or a master's degree, I encourage you to take a look at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. You can learn more at M-A-B-T-S, that's M-A-B-T-S dot E-D-U. It's a great Christian institution where you will get a strong biblical foundation to take in any part of your life. Of course, we want to thank the Citizens for America Foundation for being our sponsor of this show, The Christian Perspective. At Citizens for America, we work each and every day to help people develop a biblical worldview and then take that biblical worldview specifically into the arena of public policy and politics. And speaking of biblical worldview and public policy and politics, I want to invite you to go today at CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com, that's CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com, and click on the button up top that says Culture Engagement Summit, because on Saturday, April 30th, Christians from across the country are going to be gathering in Memphis, Tennessee, for the 2022 Culture Engagement Summit. I want to tell you, you do not want to miss this event.

You hear me? You do not want to miss this event. It is going to be a groundbreaking event where some of the leaders in the world of Christianity and in politics are going to come. Some of our speakers, our former chiefs of staff, the president of the United States, Mark Meadows, United States Senator Jim DeMitt, United States Senator Rick Scott, United States Senator Marsha Blackburn, Congressman Barry Lowdermilk, former Congressman Steve Stockman, state representatives and senators from across the United States. And then some great, great preachers, including Dr. Robert Jeffers, nationally syndicated radio host Todd Starnes will be there.

It is going to be an incredible day. You can learn more at CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com. You click on the summit button and I'm going to give you so this is for my listeners today. So this has not been something I've offered before, but if you go today and you register, there's an area to put in a promo code. If you put in promo code AFA, that's A F A, you can receive a free registration.

I'm only offering that today. Go to CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com, click on the button to the Culture Engagement Summit and then go and put in the code AFA and you'll receive a free general registration ticket, which includes free lunch and attendance. Here are all the speakers. It is going to be a jam packed day of incredible speakers. So I hope that you will join us at the Culture Engagement Summit on Saturday, April 30th in Memphis, Tennessee, on the campus of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. I wanted to talk about today more about what's happening in the world because I keep hearing people every day talking about what are we living in the end times?

Could this be the end of times? A couple of weeks ago, I did a special show. I encourage you to go back. You can go wherever you receive podcasts. I encourage you to go to Truth Network and look at their podcast network, but on Apple or Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And you can find our show each day.

Our radio show becomes a podcast. It's called The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. A couple of weeks ago, I talked about signs that we were living in the end of the age. You know, I think we need to realize that Jesus Christ could return at any time. The Bible tells us that one out of every 30 Bible verses in the Bible references Jesus' return or end times. There are over 300 references to the return of Jesus in the 216 chapters of the New Testament. 23 of the 27 books of the New Testament mention Jesus' return.

Job, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and most of the minor prophets all talked about Jesus' return. And most importantly, Jesus promised that he would return one day. So why don't we believe that Jesus is coming? We need to believe that he's coming again.

You know, and Satan is okay if you believe that Jesus is coming again. Satan just doesn't want you to think that he's coming again soon. There needs to be an urgency. We need to live our lives with urgency. This has been over 2,000 years since Jesus left this earth, and he's going to return one day.

And we need to realize that he could return at any time. Part of the reason Satan doesn't want us to live our lives with urgency is he knows that we have an urgency. If we believe that Jesus could return at any time, we're going to live our lives differently. We're going to do things like pray every single day. We're going to be a bold witness for Jesus Christ. You know, I believe that one of the primary responsibilities of every Christian is to tell other people about Jesus. And if you have an urgency to understand that Jesus could return at any time, you're going to want to tell your friends and family and really everybody you know that Jesus is coming again and they need to get their life right with him. If we live our lives with an urgency, we will live a holy life. And as I said, if we live our lives with urgency, we're going to tell everybody that we know that Jesus is coming again. Are the rapture and the second coming the same thing? Are they two different things or are they two different phases of one thing?

And so I want to dig into that a little bit today. But first, I want to remind you of the signs that we talked about a couple of weeks ago that we could be living and then to the age. The first time that we're coming to the end of the age is that terrorism is occurring all over the world today.

Remember, if you get if you studied your Bible, Luke chapter one, verse 26 says men's hearts shall fail them for fear of things that are coming on this earth. And we've we have seen this all over the world. You know, from from 9-11 to bombings all over, just just about a week ago, there was a terrorist attack on a subway station in New York. Evidently, an armed gunman released smoke bombs on the subway on Brooklyn right outside of New York and shot 10 people.

That's an act of terrorism. And people are scared to go out in public. People are scared of what's going on or what could happen.

Certainly, as Russia has invaded Ukraine, there's fear of terrorism and war all over the world. The second sign where the end of the age is the increase of knowledge on the earth. And we got that from Daniel, chapter 12, verse four, where the Bible says, But thou, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book even until the end of time, when many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall greatly be increased. And we live in a time really where there's been a knowledge explosion on our earth. I mean, if you look at the great advances made since two or three thousand years ago where people were just riding horses or walking. And now we have supersonic airplanes and rocket ships that can go to the moon and to outer space.

I mean, Elon Musk, SpaceX is sending things in outer space all the time. And look how transportation has changed. Look how light has changed where men used to use torches and fire for light. And then we have lasers and light bulbs.

So much more. Look at communication where in some places around the world, they use drums or Native Americans in the United States would use smoke signals today. Kids get on Snapchat, you can messenger, you can Facebook all kinds of ways to communicate. And we never had those ways to communicate before. And then think about just just knowledge in general, the things that kids are taught, calculus and algebra and history and so many things in school that are taught now. Even when I was a kid, only way we could get information was really through something called the World Book Encyclopedia.

But now you can get on Google and the knowledge explosion staggers the mind as you can get on your laptop or even your cell phone right now and get on the Internet and you can drown in a sea of knowledge. The third time that we're near the end of the age of the birth of nuclear warfare, Zachariah 14 12 says, and this is the plague that the Lord shall send on all those who come to fight against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall melt away while they stand on their feet and their eyes shall consume away their holes and their tongue shall consume away their mouths. Zachariah is perfectly describing what happens to a human body in a nuclear blast. That's been a real fear in our society today is Russia invaded Ukraine a couple of months ago and gave the threat of possible nuclear warfare. And how could that happen where your flesh would burn away before your body hit the ground?

The only way it would happen is through nuclear war. There's a second scripture in Second Peter 3 10 says the day of the Lord shall come as a thief of the night which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise. That, by the way, could be the noise of a great explosion. And the Bible goes on to say, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat and the earth and the works that are in shall be burned up.

That's exactly what happens in a nuclear explosion. The fourth evidence that we're approaching the end of the age is a message of the parable of fig tree. Jesus said in this parable to Luke, he said, When you see the fig tree bloom, know that my coming is very soon. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away until all is fulfilled. And many Bible scholars believe that that's our generation because Israel had not been a nation since the time of Jesus. Almost 2000 years it was not a nation at all.

But in 1948, Israel once again became a nation. The fifth evidence that we've reached the end of the age and the return of Jesus could come very soon was a regathering of Jews from across the world and particularly from Russia to Israel, which happened about 20 years ago started happening. Jeremiah 23 seven says, Therefore the days are coming, saith the Lord, that they shall no longer say as the Lord lives, which brought us up out of Egypt. But they shall say is the Lord lives that brought us up out of the north country. And again, many scholars believe the Bible is referring to Russia when it says the north country, that they may dwell safely in their land.

And that's just a prediction of things that are really happened in our lifetime and in this generation. The sixth time that we're approaching the end of the age is the fact that Jerusalem is no longer under Gentile control. From 70 A.D., as I mentioned a while ago, when the Romans attacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple, the Jews were not in control of Jerusalem until the Six Day War of 1967. Remember, they became a nation again in 1948, but they took control of Jerusalem in 1967.

And really, the only part they don't control now is a portion of the Temple Mount where there are two Muslim mosques located in that area right now. But Luke 21 and 24 says, And Jerusalem shall be trodden down to the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Zechariah 3 16 says, In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not, for the Lord thy God is in the midst of thee. We are looking at the imminent return of Jesus at any time. The seventh time we're approaching the end of the age, I believe, is the invention of international television, the Internet.

Revelation chapter 11, if you go read it, verses 9 and 10, talks about two witnesses who are going to be brutally killed by the Antichrist. And the whole world is going to see it when it happens, and they rise again in three days. Well, until our generation, there was never the ability, now that we have TV and Internet, the whole world to see something happening at one time. But we have that ability now because of these new inventions. The eighth time we're approaching the end of the age is famines and pestilence and signs of the earth and the signs of the sky. And we have more famines. We don't realize the United States because we're blessed, but more famine in the world than ever before. And then you have diseases that have no cure. Think about AIDS or just think about what we've just been going through with the pandemic of COVID-19 and the Bible predicted that this would happen. We're going to take a quick commercial break. When we come back, we're going to talk more about the Second Coming and the rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ.

And when we come back around, we're going to be right back. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus and see the Bible come to life. This December, join nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes, on a life-changing trip to Israel. It's one of the world's oldest and most fascinating travel destinations. Learn the faithful from all over the world for thousands of years. Visit Jerusalem's religious quarters and explore Christianity's most treasured religious sites, like the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Via Dolorosa. Walk with Chris through the winding alleyways of Nazareth's old city and visit ancient Bethlehem, the place of our Savior's birth. Float in the Dead Sea, visit the Sea of Galilee and the Jewish fortress of Masada. See firsthand where the events of the Bible took place. Touring Israel with Dr. Chris Hughes is a travel odyssey like no other.

Visit CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com and get ready for an unforgettable trip and memories that will last a lifetime. Do you desire to build family relationships that stand the test of time? Does creating a godly family seem like a daunting challenge?

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I'd like to invite you to tune in to Equipped to Be and visit ConnieYaupers.com where I share useful tips and proven strategies to help you navigate the seasons of motherhood, faith, and life with confidence and joy. History was made on today's date. Stay tuned for an American Minute with Bill Federer. World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur retired this day, April 19, 1951. He was Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific, receding Japan's surrender. He served in France during World War I, was Superintendent of West Point, and the youngest man to be Army Chief of Staff. He commanded the UN forces during the Korean War, but was dismissed by President Truman for not fighting a limited war. Douglas MacArthur remarked, like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away. An old soldier who has tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. This has been an American Minute with Bill Federer.

For a free transcript, call American Minute at 1-888-USA-WORD. Welcome back to The Christian Perspective. This is Chris Hughes, and I'm talking today about end times. A lot of people are asking around the world today, are we living in the end times? And I believe that the Bible is very clear that we are definitely living in the end times today. Finally, the ninth sign that I'll mention today that we're approaching into the age is a sign given in Matthew 24-37 where it says, as in those days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man. And there were three biblical distinctions of the generation of Noah. One is they were eating and drinking, meaning they were given a gluttony. That's certainly a problem in our nation today and around the world.

Secondly, they were buying and selling, meaning they were mastered by materialism. Does that sound familiar? And here's one that's going to touch a nerve and it's going to make some of y'all mad. That's OK. Go ahead and email me. Go ahead and get mad at me. The third sign of that age was there was an aggressive homosexual community. Remember when they surrounded Lot's house and demanded his male guests and they threatened Lot if he didn't give them those male guests right on the spot? I want to tell you the homosexual movement is stronger around the world today than it's ever been. And I don't blame the homosexuals for demanding what they want. I blame cowardly Christians for not standing up for what they believe.

Less than 10 percent of humanity should not control the other 90 percent of us unless we remain silent. I want to tell you that we are living in the signs of in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. And it's a sign that the world is at the end of the age. You know, I just shared in the previous segment this sign that what the Bible said was going to happen and signs that we are living in that time right now.

But I want to kind of jump into something different right now. I want to talk about the rapture of the church and Second Coming. A lot of people hear the term rapture.

They might not know what it means. I remember about 20 years ago, a man named Kim LaHaye wrote a series of books called Left Behind. And it was a fictional set of books, but based on what the Bible said would happen. And I think there were like 12 or 13 of those books. But basically, it chronicled what happened to a family after the rapture of the church and what would happen to the earth on that time. So if you're interested, I mean, I recommend, you know, they're not they're fiction. OK, but the actions in the fiction book refer to things that the Bible predicted would happen. If you don't like that, I can recommend some other great books to you.

Gary Frazier, a good friend of mine, has been on this show. Gary Frazier has written many wonderful books about end time prophecy and what's going to happen in the end times. Dr. Tim LaHaye, who's no longer alive, who also wrote the fictional series Left Behind, says many great works of nonfiction that talk a lot about end time prophecy. And then, of course, you can go on Amazon, get my book, Revelation Revealed, The Who, What, When and Where of End Times. That's The Revelation Revealed, The Who, What, When and Where of End Times.

And from those books, you can learn a lot about what the Bible says is going to happen. Nothing going on in the world right now should scare us because the Bible has told us what's going to happen. And the Bible tells us how we can be prepared to be ready when these things happen. And I want to share with you, even though some of the things that I just in the previous segment described might scare you, I want to tell you that Jesus is coming again. And if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, when he comes back to earth again, he's going to take his church away from the terrible times of the tribulation that are ahead. The Bible tells us that there will be a seven year period of time when terrible things take place on this earth.

I don't want to be there when that happens. And the Bible tells us that if we will admit that we are sinners and folks, every one of us to sin, we've all done something wrong in our lives. The Bible tells us that sin separates us from God. And because of our sin, we deserve to die and spend an eternity in hell. But if we admit our sin to God and ask for his forgiveness and then we change the way that we live, it's like driving down the road and knowing we're going the wrong direction and doing a U-turn and changing the direction. We need to change from our sin and wicked and evil ways. And then if we tell Jesus that we believe that he died on the cross and rose again from the dead to save our lives, which is what we're going to be celebrating here with Easter or what we just celebrated.

I mean, with Easter is a resurrection of Jesus Christ. And if we tell him that we'll serve him all of our lives, that we're going to be in eternity with God and Jesus one day in heaven. And when he comes to rest of the church, if we've done that, we will be taken away from all the terrible things that are going to happen in this time that we're talking about today. So I started to talk about end time prophecy and we looked at the importance of studying end time prophecy.

And it is the second most talked about topic in the Bible. Did you realize that very few preachers today ever discussed end time prophecy, but it's the second most talked about thing in the Bible. And I want to remind you that I'm not making any predictions as I begin to talk about the rapture. OK, the Bible tells us that no man knows the date or the time. Matthew 24, 36 says, But of that day and hour knoweth no man.

No, not the angels of heaven, but my father only. So as I begin to discuss end time prophecy, don't get worked up, because even though I do believe that we're living in the end days, I do believe that we need to live our lives with urgency. And I do believe because of all the things that have been fulfilled that the Bible tells us would happen, that Jesus could return at any time. I do not know the day, the time or the hour when Jesus Christ will return for the believers and the Church of Jesus Christ.

I also believe that when we study the Bible and prophecy that we need to read scripture literally whenever possible. So remember, I talked about the signs of the end times. Now I want to talk about the rapture. What is the rapture?

When will it occur? Who will be raptured? What will happen to those who are not raptured? Is the rapture really the second coming of Jesus? Well, the Bible has a lot to say about end times, and nearly every book of the Bible contains prophecy regarding end times. Taking all of these prophecies and organizing them really can be difficult. But I'm going to give you kind of a brief summary of what the Bible declares will happen in the end times. Excuse me, the Bible tells us that first Jesus will remove all born again believers who are part of the church.

I know that can be controversial with some people. There are different theories. Will Jesus return before the seven year period of time where great suffering will take place that we call the tribulation? Some people believe he will return in the middle of the tribulation. Some people believe he will return at the end of the tribulation. Some people don't believe in a rapture at all.

Well, that's just not my position. I do believe, which I'm going to explain to you in a few minutes, I do believe in the rapture of the church. I do believe that Jesus is going to take us away from this earth. It will spend an eternity with him and not have to go through the tribulation if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Next, there's going to be a character that we refer to as the Antichrist who will come into power and he will sign a peace treaty with Israel for seven years. That's described in Daniel Chapter nine, verse twenty seven. And this seven year period of time is known as what we call the tribulation. So if you hear churches or pastors talk about the tribulation, it's a seven year period of time. The first three and a half years will be pretty bad.

The second thirty and three and a half years is going to be absolutely terrible. The Bible tells us there will be a world leader that comes on the scene. We refer to him as the Antichrist. And how you can know that the rapture is imminent is there's going to be some trouble around Jerusalem. That's why a lot of people right now are paying great attention. Now, I'm not saying that this is the time.

Don't twist what I'm saying. But with Russia invading the Ukraine, many people believe that Vladimir Putin will not stop there and continue to push on down towards Israel. If he does that, and I'm not saying he's going to, but if he does and there's a threat against Israel, the Bible says that there's going to be an attack from an army in the north, which could be Russia, and there will be a peace treaty signed.

And if that peace treaty is signed, you better wake up and be ready to be beamed up because Jesus is coming again. During the tribulation, there's going to be terrible wars and famines and plagues and natural disasters. And God will be pouring out his wrath against sin, evil and wickedness. The tribulation will contain what we call the four horsemen of the apocalypse. That's not the four horsemen from wrestling like Ric Flair.

He stole it from the Bible. But it will contain the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the seventh seal. So the Bible's going to have 21 series of things that's going to happen. There's seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments and seven bowl judgments.

And hopefully we can get into that in a week or two. Halfway through the seven years, the Antichrist is going to break a peace covenant with Israel and make war against them. The Antichrist is going to desecrate the temple.

That's right. There's going to be a new temple built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. And he's going to set up an image of himself to be worshipped in the temple.

That's described in Daniel Chapter nine and Second Thessalonians Chapter two. And the second half of the tribulation, remember I told you, it'd be three and a half years. It's going to be bad. And there's going to be three and a half years.

That's really, really bad. And that second three and a half years is known as the Great Tribulation. So if you hear that term in sermons or Bible study, there's a tribulation. But the second half of that seven year period is called the Great Tribulation.

It's also called the time of Jacob's trouble at the end of the seven year tribulation. The Antichrist will launch a final attack on Jerusalem and that'll culminate in what's called the Battle of Armageddon. So if you've heard about Armageddon as that last final battle, that will be at the end of this seven year tribulation be leading up to that. Jesus Christ is going to return.

He's going to destroy the Antichrist and his armies. And the Bible tells us that Jesus will cast them into the lake of fire. You can find that in Revelation Chapter 19, verses 11 through 21. The Bible tells us that Jesus will then bind Satan in an abyss for a thousand years and Jesus will rule his earthly kingdom for one thousand years. That's described in Revelation Chapter 20, verses one through six.

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released again and he will be defeated again. And then he will be cast into the lake of fire. You can read about that in Revelation Chapter 20, verses seven through 10. And then Jesus, the Bible tells us, will judge all unbelievers. People who have not been Christian will be judged by Jesus.

Jesus is the judge. You can read about that in Revelation Chapter 20, verses 10 through 15. The great white throne judgment and he will cast them in the lake of fire. Then the Bible tells us that Jesus will usher in a new heaven and a new earth. So that new heaven and new earth is after Jesus has come again. He's not only raptured the church, he's come back in the second coming.

He's ruled on earth for a thousand years. Satan is released and he puts Satan away forever. And then a new heaven and a new earth will be the eternal dwelling place of believers. The Bible tells us in Revelation Chapter 21 and 22 that there will be no more sin. There will be no more sorrow. And finally, new Jerusalem comes down from heaven.

That's what the Bible is going to say. We're going to take a quick commercial break and come back and talk about what is the rapture of the church. of discovering the hidden secrets of Washington, D.C. and rediscover much of America's forgotten Christian heritage. Your tour will include an up close and personal look at the nation's establishment and how it's evolved over the centuries. Learn about the government and the men who helped forge this new kind of republic, one that acknowledged the creator from its very inception. Know the truth about the creation of the United States of America, about the faith of the founding fathers and how Christian principles were used to establish this form of government. Visit CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington, D.C. this June.

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Order your coffee today at ShopGenerousJoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. The Conservative Baptist Network is a dynamic movement of Southern Baptist pastors, churches and Christians committed to standing for the sufficiency of God's word in the face of a culture of compromise. The passion and prayer of the Conservative Baptist Network is that God would help Southern Baptists stay bold for the gospel so that we might see revival in America and the world reached for Christ. Visit our website today at ConservativeBaptistNetwork.com to learn how you and your church can join and support this exciting movement.

Welcome back to Christian Perspective. We're doing a look at a different show today. We're talking about end time prophecy. We talked about quickly the signs of the imminent return of Jesus Christ and how we need to live our lives with urgency. By the way, if you have not registered yet, I encourage you to go to CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com today to register to attend the Culture Engagement Summit.

It will be held in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday, April 30th. You can learn a lot about the great things that are happening in the culture right now and how you can engage the culture for Jesus. Today we're talking about the rapture of the church. What is the rapture of the church and what is the second coming? Are they the same thing? Are they something different?

Are they two phases of the same thing? That's what we're going to jump into now. What is the rapture of the church? The first promise of Jesus' return is found in Acts 1, verse 11. The word rapture, by the way, a lot of people don't want to believe in the word rapture because it doesn't occur in the Bible. The United States of America doesn't occur in the Bible. The word Trinity doesn't occur in the Bible.

There are too many things that don't occur in the Bible in the English language that we have today, but that doesn't mean that they're not going to happen. The word rapture is not in the Bible, but the concept is clearly taught in Scripture. The rapture of the church, if you're not familiar with that, is the event in which God removes all believers from the earth in order to make a way for His righteous judgment to be poured out on the earth during the tribulation period.

I'm not trying to trivialize this, but basically just think kind of like Star Trek. There's going to come a day where the followers of Jesus Christ, all Christians, will be almost like beamed up, taken away from the earth before the seven-year period that I've been talking about of the tribulation. We get the word rapture from the Greek word harpazo, which means to be snatched away. When the New Testament was translated from Greek to Latin, the scribes used the term.

Scribes are people who were copying the Bible and putting it in the new languages. The scribes use the term rapture to describe the taking away of the saints. Now, some people get upset and doubt the rapture when they find out the word's not in the New Testament.

They shouldn't be discouraged because none of the English words that we use are found in the original Greek New Testament. Another word that's not found, as I mentioned, is trinity, but the Bible clearly teaches there is a trinity. So what exactly happens during the rapture? 1 Corinthians 4, verses 16 and 17 says, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. The Bible continues, Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up, okay, that caught up being snatched away, and that's the term we get for rapture, 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.

So what's the Bible saying? The Bible says that Jesus is going to descend from heaven. Remember when he died on the cross? A period later he stood on the Mount of Olives, he ascended, meaning he went up into heaven, and the Bible tells us that right now he's sitting on the right hand of God the Father, and one day that he will return from heaven. The Bible says that Jesus will descend with a shout. We will hear the voice of the archangel.

The trump of God will sound, and then the Bible says the dead in Christ will rise up, and those who are alive and remain will be caught up in the air. So if you're wondering what the rapture is, I just described it to you, that Jesus will descend from heaven, he'll descend with a shout, there'll be a voice of the archangel, a trump of God will sound, the dead in Christ, meaning Christians who are dead already, will rise first and go to heaven, and then those who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet him in the air. That is the rapture of the church. So when is the rapture going to occur in relation to the tribulation? Well, the timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation is really one of the most controversial issues in the church today, and there are three primary views.

I mentioned this briefly just a second ago. One view is called a pre-tribulational rapture. That means the rapture occurs before the tribulation, and that's the view that I take. I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. The second view is called a mid-tribulational rapture, and that means the rapture occurs at a midpoint in the tribulation, and then there's something called a post-tribulational rapture. That means the rapture begins at the end of the tribulation. There are other theories too.

These are the three most prominent theories. Now I want to be clear with you. You're not going to go to hell if you believe in a mid or a post or a pre-trib rapture. The important thing for you to know is that we are all sinners who need forgiveness of our sins, and we need to ask God to forgive us of our sins. We need to believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as God in the form of a man, that he lived a sinless life, that he died on a cross where your sins and mine is a penalty for our sins.

He was dead three days, and he rose again from a grave, and we need to promise to make him the Lord and Savior of our lives and serve him the rest of our lives. If we do that, we are Christians, and we're going to heaven, and what our belief about when he's going to return is not near as important as the belief that he will return. Okay, so I'm telling you my theory and why I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture.

That's not something for you to get mad or worked up about. You just need to live your life with an urgency and know that Jesus could return at any time. It's important to recognize the purpose of the tribulation. According to Daniel 27, that's a time period in which God will focus his attention, especially on Israel. Will we be in the tribulation?

I don't think we are. The primary scripture passage on the rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4, 13-18. It states that all living believers, along with all believers who have died, will meet Jesus in the air and will be with him forever. The rapture is God's removing of his people from the earth.

A few verses later, in chapter 5, verse 9, Paul says, and here's the scripture, For God did not anoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. That's why I believe that we will be raptured as Christians and not here during the tribulation, because all throughout the Bible, any time major suffering and pain was coming, not every little thing, but major wrath was coming upon the earth, God took away his people, his remnant of people, before he let that happen. The book of Revelation, which deals, a lot of books deal with end-time prophecy.

Daniel is another prime example. Just about every book in the Bible talks about it. But the book of Revelation, which deals primarily with the time period of the tribulation, is a prophetic message in the Bible about how God's going to pour out his wrath on the earth during the tribulation. And maybe next week or so, we can talk more about what's going to happen in the tribulation. To me, it would seem inconsistent for God to promise believers that they'll not suffer wrath in the verse that I just read to you, and then leave them on the earth during the tribulation. The fact that God promises to deliver Christians from wrath shortly after promising to remove his people from the earth really seems to link these two together to me. Another crucial passage on the timing of the rapture is Revelation 3.10. There, Jesus promises to deliver believers from what he calls the hour of trial.

And that's going to come upon the earth. So I share the three main views on when Jesus will return again. There is another view, well, there's several, but probably the fourth most prominent is called the Preterist view of end times. Preterist view regards Revelation as a symbolic picture of the early church conflicts which have already been fulfilled.

This view denies the future predictive quality of most of the book of Revelation. In other words, the Preterist movement essentially teaches that all end time prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled around 70 AD, so about 40 years after, or 70 years after Jesus' death, when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem and Israel. When you read Revelation chapters 6 through 18, you read of the most terrible time that there will ever be on earth, the time when the beast or the Antichrist will rule for seven years in what's called the Great Tribulation, and when the false prophet promotes a beast for the whole world to worship him as God. Then in chapter 19, everything comes to a climax, which literally comes to the return of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that Jesus defeats the beast and the false prophet at the battle of Armageddon, and then he casts him to the lake of fire. In chapter 20 of Revelation, Jesus has Satan bound up in the abyss, and then Jesus sets up his earthly kingdom for a thousand years. The Bible tells us that at the end of the thousand years, Satan has set loose and causes a brief rebellion, and then Jesus quickly puts down that rebellion and casts Satan out of the lake of fire, and then there's going to be a final judgment, and the resurrection and judgment of all believers. Chapter 21 and 22 of Revelation describe the internal state, the way that all believers will enjoy the presence and fellowship of our Lord for all of eternity.

So basically, that's what we call heaven today. I mentioned Preterism a while ago. Preterism, in my opinion, is entirely inconsistent with the interpretation of the book of Revelation, because according to the Preterist view of end times, chapters 6 through 18 of Revelation are symbolic and allegorical and do not describe literal events.

I think that's a problem. When I read the Bible, I like to read it literally as much as possible, and I think that's a dangerous precedent that the Preterists have. Chapter 19, according to Preterism of Revelation, is to be totally understood, even though they ignored chapters 6 through 18. Jesus Christ is going to literally and physically return to earth, folks, and we need to be ready for it. Then in chapter 20, the Preterists again believe that that's allegorical.

Then chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation are understood at least partially literally, and then there will truly be a new heaven and a new earth. Look, that's just dangerous when you decide. It's like cafeteria Christianity.

I'll pick some of this, but I won't pick out of that. It's either all true or none of it's true. I think the failure of Preterism is that it puts the interpretation of Revelation at the opinions of the interpreter, and it's not our opinion that matters. It's the facts that God presents that matter. Listen, we are to read the Bible. We are to believe it and obey it literally and exactly. So why do I believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture?

Here we go. In John chapter 14, verses 1 through 3, Jesus said that he would come again and take his followers to his Father's house. I believe that if Jesus said something, he meant it.

So let me say that again. I believe in the Bible and every word of it, and particularly if Jesus said something, I believe that he meant it. In 1 Thessalonians 1, 10, Jesus said that he would deliver us from the wrath to come. In 1 Thessalonians 4, 13 through 18 and in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus promised that the church would not pass through the Tribulation. So we've covered a lot here about what is the Rapture, a little bit about what the Tribulation is, and what are some of the theories of the Rapture. When we come back, we're going to talk about what is the second coming of Jesus.

Is it the same thing of the Rapture? I don't know. We'll see what you think. Stick around.

We'll be right back. I believe the message of this financial problem. Only one voice matters. God's. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective.

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And even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. Do you desire to build family relationships that stand the test of time? Does creating a Godly family seem like a daunting challenge?

You're not alone. I'm Connie Albers, author of Parenting Beyond the Rules and host of Equipped to Be. As a mother of five, I understand your struggles. For 35 years, I have been helping families just like yours build lasting relationships.

I'd like to invite you to tune in to Equipped to Be and visit conniealbers.com where I share useful tips and proven strategies to help you navigate the seasons of motherhood, faith, and life with confidence and joy. The United States of America has a strong Christian heritage, but most Americans don't know the truly important role that God in the Bible played in the founding of this great nation. This June, join nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes, for four amazing days in our nation's capital. With Chris, you'll embark on a journey of discovering the hidden secrets of Washington, D.C. and rediscover much of America's forgotten Christian heritage. Your tour will include an up-close and personal look at the nation's establishment and how it's evolved over the centuries. Learn about the government and the men who helped forge this new kind of republic, one that acknowledged the Creator from its very inception. Know the truth about the creation of the United States of America, about the faith of the founding fathers, and how Christian principles were used to establish this form of government. Visit CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington, D.C. this June. Welcome back to the Christian Perceptive.

This is Chris Hughes. I am talking about a controversy. Can you imagine? Can you believe that I am talking about a controversial subject today?

No, not always. But today is a little bit different. We're not talking about politics or what's happened in social media or in that part of the culture. We're talking about the second coming of Jesus. We're talking about the rapture. The rapture and the second coming are the same thing. Is it important to understand what's going to happen when Jesus comes again?

Yes, it is important. And it's important for us to live our lives with an urgency and understand that Jesus can return at any time. If we live our lives with urgency, we're going to be in a time of constant prayer and Bible reading. We're going to believe that everyone's going to hell that hasn't accepted Jesus and we're going to have an urgency to tell other people about Jesus.

And we'll be more inclined to live our lives with holiness. It is important to have an urgency to understand that Jesus is coming again. Before the commercial break, I was talking about the rapture of the church. Now I want to talk about the second coming of Jesus.

Is it the same thing? Well, let's see. The second coming of Jesus Christ is the hope of believers that God is in control of all things and that he is faithful to the promises and prophecies of his word, which we call the Bible. The second coming will be the most significant event in more than 2000 years, and it will give purpose and meaning to all that God has done. So since the resurrection of Jesus, the second coming is going to be the most significant thing to happen in the Bible. The second coming is also referred, if you hear these terms, as the glorious appearing, the revelation, the coming of the Son of Man. All these are referring to the second coming of Jesus and his first coming.

In his first coming, Jesus came to earth as a baby and a manger in Bethlehem, just as prophesied. Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies of the Messiah during his birth, his life, ministry, his death, and his resurrection. However, there are many prophecies regarding the Messiah that Jesus has not yet fulfilled. The second coming of Jesus will be the return of Jesus to fulfill the remaining prophecies.

And prophecy is basically a prediction of things that are to come. In his first coming, Jesus was a suffering servant. In the second coming, Jesus will be the conquering king. In the first coming, Jesus arrived in the most humble of circumstances.

Remember, he was a baby and a manger. In his second coming, Jesus will arrive with the harmings of heaven at his side. Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant when he came the first time, described in Isaiah chapter 53. And Jesus will fulfill the role of Israel's deliverer and king in his second coming. So how would Jesus return? After Jesus ascended into heaven, the angels declared to the apostles in Acts 111 and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking in the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in just the same way as you've watched him go into heaven. In other words, they're telling us, just as he's gone up into heaven, when Jesus comes again, he will come down from heaven. Where will he return when he comes again?

Well, let's look in the Bible. Zechariah 14 4, that Zechariah 14 4 identifies the location of the second coming is the Mount of Olives. Matthew 24 30 declares, the Bible says, At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of sky with power and great glory. Titus 2 13 describes the second coming as the glorious appearing. Now, see, don't confuse the rapture with the second coming. The rapture of Jesus comes in the air and calls his church and those that follow him into heaven, not just people that go to church.

They're not going. It's the people who actually made Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of their lives, sought the forgiveness of our sins. Simply going to church is not enough, and good works are not enough if you read the Bible.

Again, don't listen to what Chris Hughes says. Follow what the Bible, what the word of the Lord God Almighty says. And the Bible tells us, as I read in Zachariah and Matthew, that Jesus will return in the second coming, which is a different phase than the rapture itself. He will return to the Mount of Olives.

The second coming is spoken of in the greatest detail in Revelation chapter 19 verses 11 through 16. And it says, And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. And in righteousness he judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and his head shall be like diadems, and he shall have a name written on him which no one knows except himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name shall be called the Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it he may strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.

And he treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty, and on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When we talk about the rapture and the second coming, we're really talking about two phases of Jesus' return. Now that might confuse some of you, so let's talk about it a little bit more. What is the difference between the rapture and the second coming? The rapture and the second coming are often confused. The rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the church, and again I don't mean the building and I don't mean people who just go there.

I'm talking about believers in Jesus Christ from the earth. The rapture is described in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and 1 Corinthians chapter 15. That's the rapture. The second coming is described in Revelation chapter 19 verses 11 through 16, and it's when Jesus literally returns. In the first phase, the rapture of Jesus meets the church in the air.

Christians rapture Christians in the air. In the second coming, Jesus literally returns to earth and steps his foot on the earth. The important differences between the rapture and the second coming are in the rapture, Jesus comes for Christians in the air. In the second coming, Jesus comes with Christians already raptured to earth. In the rapture, Christians are taken to heaven. In the second coming, Jesus sets up his kingdom on earth.

See the difference? The rapture occurs before the tribulation. The second coming occurs after the tribulation. The rapture is the removal of believers from the earth. The second coming includes the removal of unbelievers as an act of judgment. The rapture will be secret and instant, meaning we don't know when it's going to happen, but we need to live our lives with urgency. The second coming will be visible to all. The rapture is imminent and can happen at any time. The second coming cannot occur for at least seven years because we know there will be a seven-year tribulation.

Even we started today. There are no more signs that are needed for the rapture to occur. There are many signs that need to occur before Jesus' second coming. The rapture is for believers only. The second coming will affect everyone and some in not a very good way.

If people have not followed Jesus. The rapture is before the tribulation. And remember, the second coming is after the tribulation. In the rapture, only Christians will see Jesus.

In the second coming, everyone will see Jesus. The rapture brings in the tribulation. The second coming brings in the thousand-year reign of the kingdom of Jesus on earth. So why is it important to keep the rapture and the second coming distinct? First, if the rapture and the second coming are the same event, believers will have to go through the tribulation.

And I already showed you in 1 Thessalonians 5 and Revelation 3. I believe the Bible is clear that we will not go through that tribulation. Second, if the rapture and the second coming are the same event, the return of Jesus is not imminent.

And there are many things that must be done before He can return. I believe Matthew 24 verses 4 through 30 let us know that His return is imminent. The rapture and the second coming are similar, but they are separate events. They're similar in that both involve Jesus returning. Both are end times event.

However, it's crucially important to recognize the differences. So in summary, the rapture is the return of Jesus Christ to the clouds to remove all believers in Jesus Christ from the earth before the time of God's wrath. And remember, we refer to that time of God's wrath as the tribulation, which is broken into three and a half bad years.

And then the second half, three and a half years, are really, really bad. And that's the term of the great tribulation of the last three and a half years. The second coming is the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to bring the tribulation to an end and to defeat the antichrist and his evil world empire. Will there be a second chance for salvation after the rapture? Well look, I just want to tell you, if you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I ask you to email me at chrisuse at chrisuse.com today and let me share with you for sure how you can know that you'll go to heaven when Jesus returns for the rapture. Or when you die, whichever is first.

You don't want to delay that, okay? I'm telling you, things are going to get really, really bad on this earth and we'll cover that maybe at some point in a week or so. I'm telling you, you do not want to be here during the time of the tribulation. Some Bible interpreters believe that there's not going to be a second chance for salvation after the rapture.

But I want to tell you, that's not me. Because there's no place in the Bible which says or even hints to that. There are many people who believe who will come to Jesus during the tribulation.

The Bible teaches, as we will see at some point in the future in Revelation chapter 7, that there will be 144,000 Jewish witnesses which are like evangelists, preachers who will tell the whole world about Jesus during the time of the tribulation. Another question to ask is if no one can come to Christ during the tribulation, then why are people being beheaded for their faith? Because Revelation chapter 20 verse 4 tells us that people are going to be beheaded for being Christians.

Well if the church has already been raptured, how did Christians get their heads cut off? It's because people get saved during that time. I see no passage of scripture which indicates that people will not have a second chance after the rapture. I do see passages which indicate the opposite. And I'm going to tell you, you don't procrastinate, don't put it off and say, oh well I got a second chance so I'll wait.

You do not want to be here. Some people believe that those who have heard the gospel and rejected it before the rapture cannot be saved. But that those who heard the gospel before the rapture can be saved.

I don't find biblical justification for this. Granted, most who were hard-hearted and hard-headed to the gospel before the rapture are probably going to be even more hardened towards the Bible after the rapture. The Bible tells us in Matthew 24 that the antichrist is going to deceive a lot of people.

And 2 Thessalonians 2 tells us a lot of people are going to believe his lies. I find no scriptural evidence that those who rejected the gospel before the rapture will have no opportunity of salvation after the rapture. So how can I be ready to be caught up in the rapture? Folks, I want to tell you it's much simpler than you think. The short answer is that you must receive Jesus Christ as your Savior to save you from being punished for your sins. The only way that you will be left behind is if you've not repented your sins, received Jesus Christ as your Savior, and made Him the Lord of your life. If you've never done that, I just want to beg you right now, just wherever you are driving, don't close your eyes if you drive, you don't have to close your eyes to pray.

But it's as simple as ABC. You admit to God that you're a sinner. Every one of us has done things wrong. Ask Him to forgive you of those sins. Believe that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you.

We just celebrated Easter. The Friday was the time Jesus died and Sunday He rose again. Jesus did rise again.

He's sitting in the right hand of God the Father right now. And He's coming again for you one day, either to take you into heaven or to judge you to spend an eternity in damnation and hell. And then commit to serve Him as the Lord and Savior of your life for the rest of your life. I pray that you'll make that decision today.

Email me at chrisuse at chrisuse.com and tell me about your decision. If you've got questions, I'd love to tell you more about Jesus on a personal basis. I hope tomorrow you join us again each and every day on Monday through Friday on your favorite radio station.

If you're listening to us, of course the shows are released as a podcast later in the day. And with the name of the show is The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes and it's on all your favorite podcast outlets. Let's go and type the culture for Jesus. Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus. Visit citizensforamericafoundation.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-29 22:28:01 / 2023-04-29 22:51:54 / 24

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