Second Coming of Christ
By Chris Schang
Perhaps the most glorious and most anticipated event in human history is the Second Coming of Christ. This event should not be confused with the rapture of the church. While both events are central to the end times that we live in, the Christian who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ will be raptured before the Tribulation period that marks the last seven years of the church age. The rapture of the church is an imminent event that can literally happen at anytime. In fact, the rapture could have happened at anytime since the First Coming of Jesus. The fact is that the timing of the rapture is an event whose timing is only known by the Father in Heaven. Any attempts to date-set or predict the rapture in advance is an exercise in futility.
Unlike the rapture, the timing of the Second Coming of Christ will be known once the seven year covenant is confirmed by the Antichrist and the many as detailed in the Bible by the prophet Daniel. The Second Coming of Christ will end the horrible seven year Tribulation period that has been poured out on unbelieving Israel and unrepentant sinners on the earth. The Tribulation period will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon and end with the Second Coming of Christ. The Bible declares that the Lord will defeat the Antichrist and False Prophet who have terrorized the earth for seven years. As a result of Jesus' triumphant return the earth is set to be "renovated" so that the Millennium Kingdom of God can be ushered on to Earth.
While the Millennium Kingdom is being established the church will reside in the New Jerusalem that is oftentimes described as a low lying satellite due to the physical dimensions of the city. This is where the church will reside and rule with Christ. The end of the Armageddon battle will temporarily end the reign of the Antichrist as he and the False Prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire. This will allow as the Bible indicates for Jesus to rule from the throne of David in Jerusalem for one thousand years in what is known as the Millennium Kingdom. Jesus will rule with an iron rod and at the end of the one thousand years the Antichrist will be released for a "little season" which is a few months in order for Satan to gather up enough sinners to challenge God one last time. And was the result of Armageddon, the Lord will make quick work of the devil and his little helpers at the end of the Millennium Kingdom.
Another difference to help distinguish the difference between the rapture of the church and the Second Coming of Christ is that at the rapture the Lord will not actually touch the ground on Earth but instead descend down into the sky and call up believers to Him. Whereas with the Second Coming of Christ the Lord's feet will set down on the Mount of Olives effectively splitting the Mount into two sections. The result will be that the Dead Sea will be restored and sea life will once again be abundant. This split will cause an east to west river that runs east from the Dead Sea to the west and the Mediterranean Sea. This will be an astonishing event that will also upset the landscape of Jerusalem as well.
With each passing day we get closer and closer to the return of the Lord for the church in what is known as the rapture or the blessed hope. The only remaining obstacle for the rapture of the church is for the last person to come to faith in Jesus Christ. I believe that the rapture is a number specific event and when that last person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, God will give the signal for the Son to gather his bride. The Second Coming of Christ however will only happen after certain prophetic events on earth occur. Let us continue to watch for the blessed hope of the rapture and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The truth is that things are going to get much worse before they get better. We are literally in the calm before the storm.