LESSON 11 9/2/2014
BETWEEN THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 217, 263
Devotional Reading: 2 COR. 5:1-11
Topic For Adults
YOUR LABOUR IS NOT IN VAIN
Topic For Youths
STRIVE TO BE RAPTURABLE
1 COR. 3:11-15; REV. 19:1-9; 2 THESS. 2:4; MATT. 24:21; REV. 13:16-18
Memory Verse: Then he said to me, write, “blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb”. And he said to me, “these are the true sayings of God” (Rev. 19:9) NKJV
DAILY BIBLE READING
The Great Tribulation
Jesus, during His earthly ministry, hinted on the great tribulation and gave the greatest observable sign within that period, which is the abomination that causes desolation spoken about by Daniel (Dan. 9:27). This referred to the establishment of the worship of the world dictator. When the event occurs, people should not be concerned about taking anything with them or returning from the field. The great tribulation will be a time of great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world and never to be equalled again. If not that the Lord decided to cut short those days, there would not be any hope that some of the elects who miss the rapture would even be saved. Brethren, the best thing is that we should not be around during this period.
Point of Emphasis: Great Tribulation is marked by great distress, trouble and suffering.
Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to partake in the great tribulation. Let me reign with You in heaven.
In the last week’s lesson, it was shown that there would be an interval of
seven years between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. However, some events will be going on both in the air and on earth during that seven-year period. This week’s lesson centres on those events.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
(A) JUDGMENT OF BELIEVER’S WORK – 1 COR. 3:11-15
Immediately after the rapture, is the judgment of the raptured saints before Jesus. This is what apostle Paul called the judgment seat of Christ in 2 Cor. 5:10. The “we” in the scripture passage rules out the possibility of this judgment being for sinners because Paul, by the grace of God, was already converted to a saint at the time of writing his epistle. The purpose of this judgment will be to examine believers’ work done on earth and to reward them.
In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, Paul describes believers as builders who are building, through the various works and activities they render in God’s kingdom, on Jesus who is the foundation of the church. He, therefore, sounded a note of warning that each believer should be careful to know the type of super-structure he or she is putting on the foundation. The reason for this is that a time is coming, at the judgment seat of Christ, when every man’s work shall become clear, assessed, judged, rewarded or burnt. What every man has built on this foundation shall be seen. Whether he has held truth or error, whether he has had correct views of piety or not; whether what he has done is what he should have done or not (verse 13). The Bible says “for the day” shall reveal it. This is the day of judgment. The great day which shall reveal the secrets of all hearts, and the truth in regard to what every man has done.
The event will show what edifies on the true foundation and firmly and what are weakly built. All works done by believers will be tested by fire to know their quality. Know that it is the property of fire to test the qualities of objects. Thus, gold and silver, instead of being destroyed by fire, are purified. Wood, hay, stubble, on the other hand, are consumed. If any man’s work abide, that is it is done with right practices and attitude, he or she shall receive a reward, which shall be in proportion of the good work done (verse 14). But if any man’s work shall be burnt, he or she will not be rewarded, but he or she shall be saved, yet as by fire (verse 15), that is with great difficulty. Note that they will only lose their reward but they will not be denied heaven. What is the quality is your work in Christ?
(B) THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB – REV. 19:1-9
As mentioned in the background, there will be seven years interval between the rapture and the second coming, which is further divided into three and half years each. The first three and a half years will see to the judgment of believers’ work and the marriage supper of the Lamb will also last for three and half years. While the two events are going on in the air, people on earth will be experiencing the great tribulation for 7 years. So, after the judgment of believers’ works, there is going to take place a big banquet or a wedding feast called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the first ever since the world began.
About this remarkable event, apostle John penned the following words as he heard them from the throne in heaven saying, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “write, blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the lamb…” (Rev. 19:7-9). The invitation to this feast had long been given to all people through the gospel proclamation, but the responses had been either of consent (for those who are saved) or of dissent (for those who rejected and declined the gospel).
The Lord Jesus is the Bridegroom while the church invisible is the Bride and God is the King throwing the wedding party. The best thing to ever happen to a man is to be counted worthy to eat at this feast. It is a turning point of joy for believers who had spent their years on earth in so much sorrow and pain, yet it is just the beginning of their eternal joy.
(C) THE GREAT TRIBULATION – 2 THESS. 2:4; MATT. 24:21; REV. 13:16-18
While the judgment of believers’ work and merriment of the marriage supper of the lamb are going on in heaven, there will be horrible and tragic event going on in the earth. This event is called “The Great Tribulation”, such that has never happened before in the history of man (Matt. 24:21; Jer. 30:3,7). This will equally span seven years on earth. First is the public appearance of the antichrist. He will exalt and parade himself as God (2 Thess. 2:4). He will deceive the entire world to forget God through diplomacy. He will establish a pseudo-peace and will enjoy world-wide popularity (1 Thess. 5:1-3).
Shortly after this, the second event will take place. He will break his treaty with Israel and the time of Jacob’s trouble will start. Daniel spoke of this in his prophecy in Daniel 9:27 and Jesus referred to this in Matt. 24:15-22. The level of the terror and tyranny will be horrible and unimaginable. The antichrist will control the world economy and compel people to take his mark “666” (Rev. 13:16-18). Without this mark, no one will be able to buy or sell. He will also compel people to worship his image.
During this period, the unfortunate Christians who missed the rapture will realise the deceit of the antichrist and consequently refuse his mark and his worship. Their refusal will cause them great affliction. People will love to die but death will not come, they will ask mountains to fall on them, but it will not happen. They will have to pay for their salvation with their own blood. If they eventually survive the entire period without the mark of the antichrist, they will be post-tribulation saved saints. Beloved, pray and work hard never to be on earth during the great tribulation.
In between the rapture and the second coming of Christ, three basic events will take place for seven years consecutively. Two events will happen in the air immediately after the rapture for three and half years apiece (judgment of believers’ work and marriage supper of the Lamb), and the third will be going on in the earth, which is the great tribulation, orchestrated and controlled by the antichrist. The best place a believer should be is in the air with Christ so as to avoid experiencing the horror of the great tribulation.
(1) When will believers’ works be judged and how?
(2) What type of work will attract award and reward?
(3) What do you understand by the marriage supper of the lamb?
(4) For how many years will people on earth experience great tribulation?
(5) Who is antichrist and what are his activities?
LA GRANDE TRIBULATION
MATT. 24 :15-22
Pendant son ministère ici-bas, Jésus fit allusion à la grande tribulation et donna le plus grand signe observable au cours de cette période, qui est l’abomination qui cause la désolation dont a parlé le prophète Daniel. (Da. 9 :27). Celle-ci se réfère à l’établissement de l’adoration du dictateur du monde. Quand cet événement aura lieu, que les gens ne s’intéressent pas à prendre quoi que ce soit avec eux ou qu’ils ne retournent pas des champs. La grande tribulation sera un temps de grande détresse telle qu’il n’y a en a point eu de pareille depuis le commencement du monde et qu’il n’y en aura jamais. Et si le Seigneur ne décide pas d’abréger ces jours, il n’y aurait pas d’espoir que quelques-uns des élus qui avaient raté le ravissement soient même sauvés. Frères, la meilleure des choses est que tu ne sois pas disponible (en vie) durant cette période.
Point essentiel : La grande tribulation est marquée de grande détresse, de trouble et de souffrance.
Axe de prière : Seigneur, aide-moi à ne pas prendre part à la grande tribulation. Que je règne avec toi dans les cieux.