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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Day of Christ, #8
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [go before] them which are asleep. (I Thessalonians 4:15)
"By the Word of the Lord." Paul was declaring the revelation that had been given to him by the Lord Jesus.
"That we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord." The expression "the coming of the Lord" identifies the passage we are studying. It is not the setting forth of a "secret rapture." Rather, Paul was speaking of "the coming of the Lord," the parousia.
The coming of the Lord, the Day of the Lord, the Day of Christ, the Day of Redemption, is taught in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is the time when the Kingdom of God comes to the earth, when the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
Paul taught that rebellion against all authority will take place on the earth and that Antichrist (the man of lawlessness) will be revealed before the Lord returns to redeem our mortal bodies.
To teach that Christ will return before the period of tribulation, before the hour of temptation, before the rebellion against authority, before the man of lawlessness is revealed, and to divide the Body of Christ into Gentile and Jew after it has been made one in Christ, is to disregard the written Word of God concerning these concepts.
There will be saints, a remnant of believers who, by the grace of God and through their own life of prayer, holiness, and obedience, will escape the spiritual dangers and deceptions of the last days. They will stand before Christ, filled with His Spirit and blessing, in that hour.
The perils of the tribulation period will be so great there is a danger of the total destruction of mankind. But God's elect, His saints, will be crying out to Him from the earth. Therefore God will shorten the days of the great tribulation:
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:22)
We understand that there will be a remnant of believers who will survive the great tribulation period including the worldwide reign of Antichrist. They will worship God and testify of Him through all the days of trouble (although their sphere of influence will be cut back greatly during the last three and one-half years) and will be alive on the earth when the Lord returns.
Notice in Matthew 24:29,30 that Christ Himself declares His return to earth will take place "after the tribulation of those days."
Those who "are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord" will be Christians of faith and perseverance, filled with the eternal life of Christ.
They will be able to be changed from mortality into immortality while standing on their feet.
It is true also that there will be a great multitude of "Laodicean Christians" when the Lord returns. They will not "go forth to Him to the wedding." They will be vomited from His mouth in that Day.
If we hope to stand in the midst of the satanic darkness that even today is deceiving God's people we must give ourselves to prayer. We must shun the cares and drunkenness of the materialistic culture in which we are attempting to survive spiritually.
To be continued.