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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes With Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we continue our study, “The King Is Coming.”
Sometimes prophecy can become very discouraging because we are told that the coming of the Lord is just around the corner, but so far the Lord has not returned. I remember as a boy listening to a speaker who said that on God’s clock it is now 11:55. He preached in such a way that I expected the Lord to come before I got home. Well in one respect he was right. I think that the Lord could have come before I got home. But the Lord did not come. So we’re not setting any dates. We’re not looking into the future and trying to figure out who the antichrist is. What this series is doing is emphasizing truths about the return of Jesus Christ that we believe all Christians should accept without trying to get into the nuances of all of the differences.
Look at it this way: In the Old Testament they looked forward to the coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Hundreds of years went by. They began to get weary, thinking, “Where is the promise of His coming?” But He came. Just like today we might say, “Well, where is the promise of His coming? We’ve been told Jesus is going to come!” Well yes. And someday He will.
Now the first event that we have been emphasizing, if you’ve been with this previously, has to do with the rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4, we are going to be “caught up” together. Another passage that emphasizes this is 1 Corinthians 15:51,
“Behold I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep…” In other words, everybody isn’t going to die. There’s going to be a generation alive when Jesus returns. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then will be fulfilled the saying, ‘O death, you are swallowed up in victory. Where is your sting?’”
Again, we’re talking about the rapture of the church and the resurrection of the body. I want us to think about that for a moment. If you have a seed—and the Apostle Paul uses this example, actually in 1 Corinthians 15—if you have a seed, are you able to predict just looking at it what kind of a flower it’s going to be? Well, you can if you buy it in a pack and it has a picture of the flower on the package, but if you’re uninitiated regarding these matters, you have no idea what it’s going to look like. As a matter of fact, there’d be no way for you to analyze an acorn and conclude simply on that basis that it was going to turn out to be such a large tree. Paul’s point is this: When we talk about the rapture and we speak about the resurrection of the body, it is impossible for us to really imagine what that’s going to be like. But I can tell you this—it’s going to be wonderful. It says that “our body shall be like unto His glorious body.” He could travel from Galilee to Jerusalem simply by the thought. He was able to disappear into the clouds. His body was both physical but it was also metaphysical. So that He was able eat and that’s the kind of body we are going to have.
Bottom line today: there’s no way for us to even imagine how wonderful it is going to be when Jesus Christ is going to return. Now, if you’ve been with us, you know that I’m emphasizing various events that will take place that all of us, I think, should agree upon. We’ve been stressing the rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15. Now next time—and I sure hope that you call your friends, I hope that you subscribe so that you don’t miss any of these sessions—next time I’m going to speak about the judgment seat of Christ. And you might be surprised to learn I think that could be scary. Join us next time, but as for today know that if you’re a believer it’s going to get very good. And as for today you just go with God.