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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us today as we begin a brand-new series, entitled, “The King Is Coming,” because the good news is the king is coming.
You know, when it comes to the matters of prophecy, oftentimes there’s so much controversy that many people don’t want to study prophecy. This is so unfortunate. There are those, of course, who have made predictions. I remember being in Saint Petersburg, Russia when the date arrived when someone in America had said that the Lord was returning, and the people there in Russia asked me about it. And I had to remind them that it’s always dangerous to try to predict exactly when these events are going to occur.
Here’s the challenge that we have when we talk about prophecy. Prophecy is given throughout the Bible. It’s like a puzzle. You say, “Well, the Book of Revelation is prophecy,” yes, but so is the book of Daniel and, of course, interspersed in many of the prophets, there is prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled. But let me explain to you what I plan to do in the next sessions together. We are not going to enter into long controversies regarding the details. I want to share with you ten events that all Christians should agree on, that are going to happen in the future. I encourage you to subscribe to this series. I also want to encourage you to call others; get on the phone; use your text messages, tell them about this series, “The King Is Coming” because our intention is, number one, that in the end of this study we might love Christ more, that’s really the goal of prophecy, but also that we might live pure lives in light of His return. The Bible says in 1 John—”Now are we the sons of God, and it has not yet appeared what we shall be; but when He appears, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope purifies himself even as He (Christ) is pure.”
Now, what I want you to do is to open your Bibles. I hope you have an opportunity to do that. If you can’t do it now do it later. The passage that we’re going to spend some sessions on is 1 Thessalonians 4 beginning at verse 17. For today all that I’m going to do is to read a few verses and leave you with a thought for the day and then what we’re going to do next time is to unpack what this scripture really is teaching. The Bible says that the Lord is going to descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then it says we who will remain, if we’re alive at the coming of Jesus Christ, we are going to be caught up.
Now, I haven’t read the entire context, we’re going to be doing that next time, but sometimes I have people say to me, “Do you believe in the rapture?” I smile—”All Christians believe in the rapture. The issue is not whether there’s going to be a rapture, the issue is when does it occur, before the tribulation or after the tribulation? We’re not going to be solving that in detail but next time I will be giving you some reasons to believe that the return of Jesus, that is to say “the rapture,” happens before the tribulation and so the return of Jesus Christ comes at two separate events. More of that later.
For today I have only one word for you to take with you. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is going to return. He’s to bring those who have died with Him and we’ll talk about that next time—what that means, what people are doing in heaven today, and how they communicate. And together then, it says, “We will meet the Lord in the clouds, and so shall we ever be with the Lord” and then it says, “Comfort one another with these words.” You know, no one who has ever died in Christ has regretted it. If you have relatives and friends who died and their faith was in Jesus Christ, they are doing very well and someday they will return with Christ. And if we die, we’re going to be returning with Him and at that time, our souls and our bodies will be reunited.
Well, more of that later. Be sure to subscribe, tell your friends about it—”The King Is Coming” because as I like to emphasize, He is coming! And as for today you just go with God.