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 heavens will be shaken. Luke adds in Luke 22:25-26, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars: and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity: the sea and the waves roaring; Mens hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken This is a plain prophecy, which needs no interpretation. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other "(Vs.30-31).
We may now turn to I Thes.4: 13-17. When the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, the dead in Christ will rise first. Then who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. There will be a meeting the people of God in the air. They are those who will rise from the dead and those who will be alive. The second category of people will put on immorality in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (I Cor.15: 50-54). After putting on immortality, we will meet the Lord and His saints and angels. So shall we ever be with the Lord. Then the Lord and His people will rule this earth.
Those who preach the theory of Rapture (i.e. Secret Coming) always quote the epistle of Paul to Thessalonians. If we read all the gospels in conjunction with the epistles of Paul, we will know the plain truth. According to the theory of Rapture, Christ will appear in the air and then disappear with His Church; then there will be great tribulation. After the great tribulation, Christ will come again but openly in the sight of all people on earth.
Let us now turn to Acts 1:10-11. The two men in white apparel told the disciples of Jesus immediately after His ascension into heaven, Ye men of Galilee. this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven. It is very clear that the Lord would come in like manner as He had gone into heaven. In other words, He had left earth and ascended into heaven, and now He will descend from heaven, and land on earth. He will never disappear from the air. Hallelujah! The people of God will meet the King of Kings in the air joyfully. They will not only meet the Lord but also their loved ones who were dead in Christ Jesus. They will then bring the Lord and their beloved ones, now resurrected, to earth. Oh, there will be a happy reunion with the departed souls!
When our loved ones arrive in our town at the airport or at the railway station, we go to the airport, or the station and receive them. We then bring them home. Will we ask them to go back and will also go with them?
Jesus said in Matt.25: 32-44 about His second advent. The parable of the fig tree is cited by Jesus to tell us that we should watch the above things, and know that His coming would be imminent. When the branch of the fig tree has already become tender and puts forth leaves, we know that the summer is near.
According to Jesus, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. The words this generation hold good for all generations, present and future. This is like a game of musical chair. Many chairs are placed in the middle and all the players have to walk around the row of chairs. When the music has stopped, those who could not occupy the chairs would go out. As the number of chairs go on decreasing in every round, and more players are to occupy less number of chairs, some people have to go out. In the last round, the player who runs fast and occupies the single chair is declared the winner. Many a this generation have come and gone. Starting from the first century till this century, the people of God have been awaiting the second advent of Jesus. This generation may be ours, or the next generation. The last chair of the musical chair game will be occupied only during the final round. One last generation will witness all these terrible evenings. Are we in the last round, the chair in the middle pointing to us, this generation?
Jesus said that the day and hour of His coming is not known even to the angels, but to the Father only. In Mark 13:32, it is mentioned that even the Son does not know it. Why are the day and hour not known to the Son? Why does the Father Who created all the things through His Son and Who does everything through His Son, choose not to inform the Son about this thing? When the triune God functions together and the Father and the Son are one, how is that the Son does not know this? Dearly beloved in Christ, this shows how much the Son loves you and me. Let Him not know the day and hour of His coming. But He has told us everything that would happen just before His coming.
I explain this in a parable. A loving father goes out of his town on business, leaving his wife and children. Due to his unpredictable business schedule, he informs that he would return home just a few days before Christmas. A few days could be four days, five days or six days. So when the Christmas draws near, the family starts expecting the father, though they do not know the exact time and date of his arrival. Now the father after landing in the airport chooses to inform his family by his mobile phone, I am reaching home very shortly. Now also, he cannot inform the exact time of his reaching home because the cab, which carries him, may be delayed. It is quite certain that the father will return before Christmas as promised. Similarly, the Lord has given us all the clues about His coming. It is not necessary for us to know the hour and day of His coming. Whatever has been revealed to us is enough. Let us be watchful by looking at the things, which unfold before our very eyes.
Jesus earlier spoke about the national and international events that would happen before His coming. He now speaks about the salvation of individuals and families. As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 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.
Jesus is not against eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. He is very much concerned about their salvation. There are millions of people in the globe who have not entered the body of Christ, he ark of Noah. Until the flood came, those people had not realized their folly. Today, the great multitudes do not want Christ. Once the door of the ark is shut, nobody can enter it. Nobody in the countries can enter Judea once the way to Judea is closed forever. The people outside the ark can be your sons, daughters or your blood relatives.
Jesus further said that out of the two men in the field, one would be taken and the other left, and that out of the two women who will be grinding at the mill, one would be taken and the other left. There are two groups of people in the same environment. But one group is taken and the other left. There is a clear line of demarcation between the saved and the unsaved in this world.