In the study of the Bible, many have been misled by not looking at Scripture carefully. As an example, many confuse the Lord Jesus coming to gather His Church with the return of the Lord Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. In one event, the Church will meet Him in the air, and in the other event He is returning to Earth.
Here is another Scripture that must be carefully studied:
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” – Matthew 24:29-31This passage describes the Lord Jesus gathering His elect, but it clearly occurs after the Tribulation. Because the Church will not endure the Tribulation, this passage could be confusing. But, the Bible gives us the explanation.
“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” – Ezekiel 37:12-14It seems clear that in this passage the Lord is promising the people of Israel that He will resurrect them, and bring them back to the land He promised to them. When the Lord Jesus spoke of gathering His elect in Matthew chapter twenty-four above, He was speaking of Israel. These people could not be resurrected earlier to chance the possibility of dying during the Tribulation. They have already died once. (Hebrews 9:27) They must be resurrected after the Tribulation, and then dwell on Earth during the Millennial Kingdom. This is what the prophets were looking forward to!
Here is another Scriptural passage that must be rightly divided:
“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – II Thessalonians 1:6-8The Lord Jesus described the Day of Christ in Luke 17:22-36. In this passage, Jesus noted that in that day He would be revealed. (verse 30). But this is not the same day that the Apostle Paul is describing above.
In the Day of Christ, which will be before the Tribulation, the Church will be gathered up to Him. The day described above is at the end of the Tribulation and is the same as that described in the Revelation 19:11-16, when the Lord Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Because the Lord wants us to study His Word, He did not lay events out in a point by point sequence. We must carefully study and rightly divide the Word. I, personally, have made some of the mistakes that are described above. I have confused events. May we all grow in our understanding of the Bible, the Word of God.
Thank the Lord for His Word! What a blessing!