“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”
HERE JESUS is telling us that the world’s darkest period of tribulation and horror will abruptly end with the dawning of the brightest day—the day Jesus Christ returns to gather His people to be with Him!
The book of Revelation tells us that prior to Jesus’ return, the Antichrist will be doing his damnedest to wipe out all who refuse to worship him and refuse to take his Mark. At the same time it makes clear that God will in turn be unleashing terrible plagues and judgments upon the Antichrist and his forces. So although it will be a time of great trouble for believers, it will also be a time of even greater trouble for their persecutors.
The Bible spells out exactly how long this period of “great tribulation” will last: 3½ years, or 42 months, or 1,260 days (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 13:5; 12:6). So on the day that the coming world leader breaks that covenant and sets up his image and demands the world’s worship, we will know exactly how long it will be till Jesus returns.
Bye-Bye Beast, and Hello Heaven!
The world will be shocked by the awesome sights and sounds that will herald Jesus’ Second Coming. When the greatest sign of all is revealed, Jesus Himself coming in the clouds, supernaturally beaming God’s power and might around the world, those who have rejected Him and worshiped the Beast will be thunderstruck. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him” (Revelation 1:7).
But for those of us who know and love the Lord, His return will bring us greater joy and deliverance and freedom than we have ever known! God’s people who have died since Jesus’ days on Earth will be miraculously resurrected in new supernatural bodies, bursting out of their graves and ascending to meet Him in the air. Those of us still alive on Earth will be instantly transformed with new bodies as well, and we’ll soar into the clouds to meet the Lord! Jesus will snatch His people out of the reach of their anti-Christ persecutors and whisk them away to the grandest, most thrilling victory celebration that’s ever been held—an event known as the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” in Heaven! (Revelation 14:14–16; 19:6–9). Meanwhile, the horrific plagues of the wrath of God will be poured out upon the Beast’s forces. Jesus will then lead the superhuman host of Heaven as it returns to Earth to defeat and destroy the Beast and his wicked empire in the climactic battle known as “Armageddon.” The name is derived from a hill in the valley of Jezreel, near Haifa, Israel, under which the ancient city of Megiddo is buried (the Hebrew word Armageddon means “the height or mount of Megiddo”). Although the armies of the Antichrist gather at Armageddon, it seems that the focal point of this decisive and horrendous battle will be Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1–5; Revelation 14:20). It will mark the end of man’s cruel rule on Earth, as God Himself, through Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and His heavenly forces, take over the world to rule and reign and run it the way it should have been run all along, if man had not disobeyed God and gone his own selfish way! And so begins a period known as the “Millennium,” a thousand years of peace and the building of paradise on Earth (Revelation 19:11–21; 20:1–4).
(For more on this exciting period to come, don’t miss From the End to Eternity, from Aurora Production.)
- The Future Foretold
- A World at War
- “Mommy, I’m Hungry!”
- A Plagued Planet
- The Big Shake-up
- Our Violent World
- The “Me” Generation
- The Good News Goes Global
- Globetrotters and Jetsetters
- Information Overload
- The Pagan Revival
- The Beast That Is to Come
- The “Mark of the Beast”
- The Second Coming
- Faith to Face the Future