Good evening, everyone!
For the last few years, I’ve tried to decide what to do with my writing. I posted individual articles on thoughts and topics as well as my study notes of different Bible books. I was attempting to find my niche in the writing world, discover what I wanted to write about, but more importantly, I was looking for exactly how God wanted to use my writing.
I’ve decided to take the two areas of ministry I feel the strongest about, teaching and speaking, and use them as writing templates. My plan is to post a couple of times a week, one providing a study on a Biblical passage or topic, and the other a message regarding whatever God gives me. I’m sure there will be some overlap, but this should provide me with some structure.
Self-valuation has never been my strong suit, perhaps because I sought validation from faulty sources, so I anticipate some bumps along the way. But I’m determined to be faithful with what God gives me at the moment. Any and all prayers for this expedition are greatly appreciated.
For my first study, I’d like to look at something that’s interested me from the time I was small. The return of Jesus. And I’ll break it down into a series.
There are actually two returns recorded in the Bible. The first one is when Jesus descends into the air and calls all believers, alive and dead, to Him, commonly called the Rapture.
The second takes place at the end of the Seven Year Tribulation and is known as the Second Coming due to the fact that Jesus actually touches down on earth. He descends to the Mount of Olives just east of Jerusalem and confronts His enemies, destroying all of them. After He settles everything, He sets up His kingdom on earth which will last for a thousand years, called the Millennial Reign.
Now, I know what little I just shared probably raised all kinds of questions. That’s totally understandable since the return of Jesus is one of the most complex and most debated areas of biblical prophecy there is. And at some point, I’ll probably look at the different aspects of it. But for this first study I want to look specifically at the Rapture and why most people have a hard time understanding it.
Some people don’t believe there will be a Rapture of the church or that the Bible teaches it. Others that accept the Rapture are unsure when it takes place in the end times timeline. Some believe it occurs before the Tribulation, known as the Pre-Tribulation or Pre-Trib view, some think it’s halfway through the Tribulation, known as the Mid-Tribulation or Mid-Trib or Pre-Wrath view, while still others believe it happens after the Tribulation, known as the Post-Tribulation or Post-Trib view. Still others hold different beliefs which are original in their ideas or are a combination of others.
Personally, I believe in the Pre-Trib view for two important reasons. First, I believe the Bible directly teaches this, and in coming posts I’ll share scripture that supports that view. And second, and most importantly, the Pre-Trib view acknowledges the larger picture of end time prophecy, God’s plan of redemption from beginning to end.
That is what most people miss. After the fall, what was God going to do to bring the world back to Himself? Without recognizing that the history of the world for 6000 years is God’s plan to redeem mankind and how He chose to do that, no interpretation of end times events is viable.
If you give someone a list of directions to a location, but you fail to give them the starting point, they can follow the directions to the letter, but never reach the correct destination. Also, you can’t build a house unless you start at the foundation which gives you something to build on. The same goes for making sense of what the Bible says. You have to start in the right place and stay on the right path. You can’t take bits and pieces on their own.
So, to get started right, let’s go back to the beginning, Genesis 3:15, 21. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” “Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”
God created a perfect world including man and woman. But the first couple corrupted God’s perfect creation by sinning. God would have been totally justified in destroying them and starting over. Yet instead, He decided to provide a way to redeem them and all their fallen descendants.
He told the enemy that He would provide a savior through mankind. The savior would be injured by the enemy, but He would also destroy the enemy in the process. He showed how this would take place by shedding innocent blood to clothe the fallen humans.
Now, what does all of this have to do with Jesus’s return? It’s the beginning of the story of mankind’s redemption with Jesus’s return being the ending. God’s perfect world was off-track because of sin, but He had already initiated a plan to correct it by providing a redeemer. Exactly when and how He’ll do it I’ll show in future posts, but the wheels are already turning.
That’s enough for the moment. We’ve established that God loved mankind enough to create them perfect and to initiate a plan of redemption after man sinned. Next time we’ll look at Enoch, Noah, the flood, and the hints they give.
Until next time!
Do you know Jesus? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? According to scripture, all anyone must do is recognize their sin condition, realize that Christ died to pay for that sin, and ask Him to save them from it. Salvation is a gift of grace we receive by faith. Meet Him today! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!
4 thoughts on “The Return–Part I: Seeing the Larger Picture”
I will look forward to your writings.
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Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Following are my random thoughts as I read Part I. I hope they are useful or at least not to0 far off the mark.
Validation. Been there, done that. I mean, I REALLY wanted to be validated for things I’ve done. Especially when I was acting. I had a college prof who called me aside once and, after some verbal wrangling, got me to admit that I don’t like everyone. She then asked the simple question with a smile, “Then why the hell do you expect everyone to like you?”
I’ve since turned that into “Everybody is somebody’s asshole. Including me. Even wrote a post about that some time back, I think. Just offer up whatever you have. Write for yourself, what pleases you. People with like minds will read and benefit. Everyone else will move on to find there’s.
Pray God to use you in his Kingdom whatever form that takes. Sit back and know it’ll happen. I once got a couple comments from a pastor in India. He’d been printing out my stuff and giving them to his field teams that went into the bush to preach the Gospel…using my material in part. Who woulda thunk?
You just never know.
I LOVE your take on shedding innocent blood to cover sins shadowed by God killing some animals for their skins. I never saw that and appreciate your take there.
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Thanks for commenting!
Yes, validation had a little to do with it, but it was about doing it at all, not the content. I’ve always wanted to be a part of whatever, to be able to participate, and that evolved into thinking that if no one else thought what I was doing had value, then it didn’t. I couldn’t seem to get to the point of doing something because I wanted to. So I’m trying to change that.
As far as the actual writing, my thinking was if I was writing what God wanted me to, then He would give some kind of affirmation, usually in the form of readers or commenters. But I’ve learned that’s not the point. What we do for God should be all about obedience, not results. You realize that when you see that it’s actually God who’s doing whatever through you, not you doing it, so He is responsible for any and all results, and you are simply responsible for being obedient to what He says. So, if I attribute my desires to share messages and Bible studies with others, and the only door open at the moment is a blog that no one reads, then I had best be busy writing what He gives me and leave everything else to Him.
Would love to take credit for that point of God shedding blood for the first sins, but I heard it from someone or somewhere else. And you can see it clearly when you think about it. God was willing to shed the blood of something innocent to cover the “sins” of what He considered the most important. The just for the unjust. The perfect picture of what Christ did for us. And God showed it immediately in the Garden of Eden. That should not only give us an idea of His plan of redemption, but also how much He loves mankind.
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