In review of the rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ, we need to understand why it is important for us to know the rapture will not be an event where the bride of Christ is taken away from the earth, but rather is an even the world will experience when God through his son promote the bride of Christ in his kingdom.
The message of Paul to the early Church as it is to be understood, is a message of hope concerning Christ’s return and the event that will take place when Christ shall raise the dead to life in his name so that we who are alive and remain will forever be with those who had passed on before us which would become the fulfilment of the scripture and the fullness of our joy.
This message of Paul to the Church was confirmed by John as he also was able to address the concerns of those who were facing persecution and death as a result of the gospel. John wrote concerning the end of suffering for the saints. Revelation 21:3-5 “I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. ” And as we continue to look into these things, we can see the bride of Christ the Church coming out of the tribulation with great honor because of her endurance.
In the book of Revelation, the Church is described as both, the holy city, the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, and God’s tabernacle. Revelation 21:2-3, “I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Because what we see in this vision, is the Church, the bride of Christ coming out of the tribulation spotless and pure, an elevated Church now a city on a hill that is in plain view of the world.
Now, regarding the Church and its current position, and the position it will have with Christ upon his return, this is what Jesus said concerning his bride while addressing Peter’s acknowledgment of his person and kingship. Because after declaring Jesus was the son of God, Jesus in response spoke these words to Peter. Matthew 16:18-19 “I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” And that is to say in the kingdom to come and in this present world, God has granted the Church power over the nations and the kingdom of the Antichrist.
This is the power of the Church and the reward awaiting those of us currently enduring the persecutions of this world. We are not sheep, but lions awaiting the command to roar and devour our enemies. However, we are at this moment by the instruction of God are waiting patiently for his return when he will give the command for us to take the kingdom out of the hands of the world, and at which time the dead in Christ will be raised up, and we who are alive and remain will be promoted to a place of honor and power in the kingdom of Christ enacting vengeance on those who had rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Because what the scripture has revealed, it is that on that day, Christ will stand in the midst of his people to judge the world, Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” Therefore, as we live our lives and are coming together as a people awaiting the return of Christ, and the reward he will bring with him, we are to live holy lives keeping ourselves spotless unto the day of glory.
2 Thessalonians 1 “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And as we can see, Jesus will be revealed from heaven in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon his return, Jesus will enact vengeance on the world for how they had treated his bride his church, and his people. 2 Thessalonians 1:9-12, “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
And reading this chapter of 2 Thessalonians 1, we can see the church in Thessalonica was under great pressure, but despite those pressures the church was facing, the church was standing in faith, and in the hope of the return of Jesus Christ, which is why it was important Paul wrote to encourage and remind the church we will indeed see those who had passed on into glory once again when they shall return with Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”