More Eschatological Considerations….
The Olivet discourse of Matthew 24-25, where Jesus spoke of His Second Coming and warned extensively about the days of the Tribulation that would accompany it, was not spoken to or about the NT Church. Rather, it was addressed to and about national Israel [Matt. 24:16 “them which be in Judaea”]. The event known as the “Rapture” of the NT Church is not mentioned or referenced in these sayings of Jesus.
Much of Jesus’ ministry specifically targeted His own people according to the flesh–the people of the nation of Israel.
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
On the other hand, when Paul spoke to the NT Church concerning the return of Jesus Christ for the NT Church he clearly indicated that there was absolutely no need for them to be concerned that the “Day of the Lord” or the Tribulation was present!
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 But relative to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and our gathering together to [meet] Him, we beg you, brethren,
2 Not to allow your minds to be quickly unsettled or disturbed or kept excited or alarmed, whether it be by some [pretended] revelation of [the] Spirit or by word or by letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] arrived and is here.
3 Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition),
1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Summary of Scriptural teaching on the Coming of the Lord
The scriptures teach a pre-millennial, pre-trib catching away of the NT Church.
There will also be a mid-trib catching away of 144,000 Israelite men who are saved according to the Acts 2:38 message just prior to the middle of the Tribulation.
There will also be a post-trib catching away of the Tribulation Saints, who will be comprised of Israelites as well as people from all over the world who were saved according to the Acts 2:38 message during the Tribulation.
NOTE: There are several ranks or classes of “saved” people.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order [or, rank]: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming [parousia].
The first “coming” of Christ [to the earth] was to a stable in Bethlehem.
There will be a SECRET “coming” of Christ for His NT Church [i.e., like a thief in the night]. At this time, Christ does not return to the earth; instead, we will be caught up to meet him in the air [1 Thess. 4:17].
The second “coming” of Christ [to the earth] will be at the end of the Tribulation period. This is what is described in Matt. 24 and Rev. 19.
Pastor Tim Cormier