by Paul Benson
As I have stated many times my mission statement as one called to be a teacher to the Body of Christ is centered around getting believers to adopt a policy of founding their beliefs only upon what is plainly and clearly stated in the Bible, and to exercise great caution over embracing ‘truths’ which have little or no foundation in Scripture. But although I see this practice as a prerequisite to abiding in the truth of God’s Word, and most would attest to the good sense of such advice, I actually meet very few who hold true to such a practice.
Although most everyone would claim their beliefs come right from the Scriptures very few can actually show where the various elements of their doctrinal beliefs are firmly stated in the Bible. The average Christian just believes what they are told to believe. And thus the Body of Christ is awash with false doctrines and fantastical extra-biblical tales that are being promoted (and merchandised) as truth revealed from Heaven.
In PART 1 of this series we looked at the mistaken belief of many that the Coming of Christ for the Church will supposedly be an extremely brief and invisible visitation. But we saw that the Bible actually teaches no such thing. It clearly teaches every eye shall see him!
In PART 2 we examined the mistaken claim that the Church departs Earth at the resurrection/catching away and goes to dwell in Heaven. But we saw that the Scriptures teach no such thing. They clearly teach the Church will join Jesus at his Return to Earth and dwell with him right here on this planet ruling and reigning with him!
Let’s look at what the Bible REALLY says about another of the most popular concepts being pawned off as ‘Bible Truth’ in this day: The claim that there will be TWO comings of Christ in the end-time scenario.
Does The Bible Teach TWO Comings Of Christ In The End-Times?
Many portray the conflict between what is referred to as either a pre-trib, a mid-trib, a pre-wrath, or a post-trib Coming of Christ as merely a difference of opinion concerning the timing of Christ’s Coming in the last-days. But that is not an accurate assessment of that conflict in teaching!
This shortsighted ‘it’s only a matter of timing’ mindset completely ignores a major conflict with the Word of God presented by either the pre-trib, mid-trib or pre-wrath position. A conflict that deserves a closer look!
It is clear to any who study the Bible that the Scriptures absolutely do teach a Return of Jesus to this planet AFTER the tribulation to begin his rule and reign, and also a resurrection/catching away taking place at that time! We have much Scripture on that event.
It is an undeniable fact!
Therefor any teaching that details an earlier coming to ‘rapture away’ the Church is ADDING another coming of Christ and also an additional resurrection/catching away into the narrative. They are in reality teaching TWO comings of Christ and TWO ‘raptures’ whether they bother to inform you of that fact or not! So we are left with the question:
‘Does the Bible actually teach two Comings of Christ in the last-days or just the one?’
When we approach the issue with this question in mind it then shines great light on the deceptive nature of the pre-trib claim. For there is not so much as one place the Bible details multiple comings of Christ in the end-time scenario! Not one! The Return of Jesus is always portrayed as a singular event.
And if there is truly only one coming of Christ then it has to be the only one clearly detailed in the Scriptures: the Return of Christ to this world AFTER the tribulation! We have clear descriptions of this event vividly delineated in multiple passages.
We await the Coming of Christ, NOT his Comings!
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2Timothy 3:16
God gave us the Scriptures so we could have a standard upon which to base our beliefs. We must always take that fact into consideration when pondering doctrine. Any teaching that clearly contradicts Scripture must be rejected. And any teaching that lacks firm foundation in the Word should be highly suspect!
If there were truly multiple comings of Christ in the last days this would be of extremely significant doctrinal importance. It would affect a great deal of what we believe as far as eschatological doctrine goes. There would be much sorting out to be done concerning what events are tied to which coming; and also what this all means in regard to our role in these last-days events.
Would the Scriptures (which were given as a foundation upon which we are to base our beliefs) be completely without description of an additional previous resurrection/rapture event that would have such an impact upon the Church and also upon her belief system? Think about it. Have you ever come across a description (or even a suggestion) of multiple comings of Christ in the last-days in your studies of the Bible? I sure haven’t!
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Matthew 24:3
When the disciples asked Jesus about his future coming at the end of the world he gave them a wealth of info on that event. How did he describe his coming?
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:27
Notice Jesus did NOT say: ‘Well now, you have to understand there is this invisible coming where I rapture away the Church before the time of tribulation; and then another Second (oops! Sorry, I mean my Third) Coming seven years later, where I rapture away the rest of those who have come to faith in me, after the tribulation.’ No, we don’t see him speaking like that at all. He referred to his coming as ‘THE coming of the Son of man’ – a clear reference to a singular event.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1Peter 1:13
So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1Corinthians 1:7
But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1Corinthians 15:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Thessalonians 5:23
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him… …Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2Thessalonians 2:1+3
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. James 5:7
That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Titus 6:14
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1Peter1:7
There is no place anywhere in the teachings of Christ, or of his Apostles, where the description of his Return to this planet indicates anything other than one singular event. Always a singular reference; never a plural reference! It is always THE Coming. Or THE Revelation. Or THE Appearance. Or THAT day. (If I am wrong on this would someone please correct me; and show me where multiple comings of Christ in the last-days are clearly described in the text of any passage of Scripture. I will publicly admit my error; and gladly alter my teachings accordingly!)
FOOD4THOUGHT: Throughout Jesus’ description of the events surrounding his Coming he used phrases like: ‘ye shall see’ or ‘when ye see’. He was telling us what to L
OOK for! If the event the Church is awaiting is an invisible coming of Christ before the tribulation, and if Jesus’ reply to the query of his disciples concerning what to be looking for concerning his Coming detailed a highly visible event in which he has physically returned to this planet, wouldn’t that make his answer to their question untrue? Wouldn’t that be deceptive on his part? Why would he have told them we should be looking for an event the Church will not even be on Earth to see? Wouldn’t he have told the Church to be awaiting the day he supposedly removes them before the tribulation if that was true? And would he truly have spoken only of his coming as a singular event when it is supposedly multiple appearances? Was Jesus trying to give us a proper understanding of end-time matters; or was he trying to confuse us?
The bottom line here is that the Scriptures absolutely do NOT present the notion of multiple comings of Christ in the last-days. The notion of a secret invisible coming of Christ years before his actual Return would turn Jesus’ teachings on the last-days into words of falsehood on many levels; and likewise many other passages of Scripture would ring untrue. Here is a passage I have quoted many times that demonstrates that very point.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end… 1Corinthians 15:20-24
At the end of this age (not seven years before!) all who are Christ’s followers shall be transformed in one event on one day. And since this is a singular event it has to be the only coming described in the Bible: the day of his Second Coming after the tribulation! This is the only picture we can attribute to the text of the Bible without adding things into the narrative or twisting Scripture to fit our beliefs.
Many try to deceptively teach that there is a difference between what is described as his Coming and his Revelation in the Bible; and make them out as two events. But this is easily proven to be an unworkable claim. As I show in THIS ARTICLE the various titles associated with his Return (coming, appearance, revelation, etc.) are all used interchangeably in the Bible to refer to the one same event. An examination of the biblical usages of those words proves this.
I perfectly understand that many of us believe in a pre-trib rapture because that is what someone whom we trust and admire taught us. But someone telling you something is true does not make it true. And likewise, believing wholeheartedly something is true does not make it true either.
Having different beliefs about what lies ahead for the Body of Christ is a lot more serious that just a matter of timing or of a difference of opinion. Either there is only one coming of Christ in the last-days or there are multiple comings. Both cannot be true! One is true and the other is a lie. That means one concept came from God, and the other from the enemy of our souls! If we cannot grasp the serious nature of that then: God help us!
We must base our doctrine upon what is clearly and plainly detailed in the Scriptures! If your eschatological beliefs are resting upon the concept of multiple comings of Christ then those beliefs are but a house without a foundation.
The Scriptures teach only one coming of Christ in the end-time scenario!
Are you teaching or believing there are multiple comings of Christ in the last-days? If you are, I hope this has given you cause to question the basis for doing so, and to seek out a biblical foundation for ALL your beliefs.
AFTERTHOUGHTS: False doctrine is not only a defilement to those who embrace it, but it is also an offense to God! It is dangerous to believe teachings that are not true; and the pre-trib teaching is a provable lie! It is therefor a defilement to those who accept it. And it is part of the prophesied end-time deception. Whether folks realize it or not it is doing great damage to those who have been hoodwinked by it. With the help of some other believers I put together an article that highlights various aspects of that damage. You can find it here:
This article was Part 3 of this series. You can find Part 4 here.
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