Tough Text Tuesday: Acts 1:9-11 and Jesus' return

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." —Acts 1:9-11

I must admit, my weakest area of theology is the topic of eschatology (end times). Today, in New Testament Survey, I’m teaching on the Revelation and trying to give a fair review of all the differing eschatological views.

Regardless of your particular view, Jesus is coming back.

1.              The coming of Christ will be instantaneous and worldwide. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." —Matthew 24:27
2.              The coming of Christ will be visible to all. "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." —Matthew 24:30
3.              The coming of Christ will be audible. "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." —Matthew 24:31
4.              The resurrection of the righteous will occur. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first." —1 Thessalonians 4:16
5.               In one single event, the saved who are alive at Christ's coming will be caught up together with     the resurrected to meet the Lord in the air. "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." —1 Thessalonians 4:17

When it comes to the Biblical timeline we know of certain events that are to happen. 

What we don’t know is when the “Rapture” will happen. This rapture is the primary point of difference within all the eschatological views.

The “rapture” in Revelation
Pre-tribulation rapture: 4:1
Mid-tribulation rapture: 11:11-12
Pre-wrath rapture: 14:14-16
Post-tribulation rapture: 19:6-10.

The second difference between eschatological views is the 1,000 year reign of Christ.

1 // Pre-Millennialism: Jesus will come first, then reign a literal 1,000 years with resurrected believers over normal people left over after the Battle of Armageddon.
(Note: Pre-millennialists can differ on pre/mid/post tribulation.)

(“typical belief” of the Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Left Behind Series, etc)


2 // Post-Millennialism: The 1,000 year reign of Christ in Revelation 20 is symbolic time period for a literal earthly time of either (a) the current Christian age or (b) a climax in the Christian age which brings a "golden age" or state of bliss before Jesus comes back.

(Many of the reformed preachers of past and present believe this.)


3 // A-Millennialism: The 1,000 year reign of Christ is not a literal earthly reign but simply a symbol of Jesus reigning in heaven with the believers until His second coming.

(Roman Catholic and some reformed believers hold to this view.)

There is no way that I could solve this argument today, but I can give some points to remember.

1.     Jesus is coming again! (John 14:3)
2.     Only those in Christ will be saved / granted access into Glory. ( 1Thes. 4:16, Rev. 21:8, 27)
3.     We are to be alert and ready! ( Matthew 24:42-51Mark 13:34-37, and Luke 12:35-48)
3.     We are to be faithful to the task left to us. (Matthew 28:19-20)

QUIT trying to solve when Christ will return, and begin preparing for when He does! 

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