The Signs of Our Time
For years I have been teaching about the Second Coming and the "Time of the End." Scripture presents a very serious message regarding the Second Coming. However, today’s most popular doctrines regarding the Second Coming are dangerously deceptive.
By far the most popular Second Coming theory in the organized church is the belief that Jesus will secretly return, remove the Church from earth and take the believers to heaven before the Great Tribulation. This is the Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine.
Another theory is the belief that virtually all End Time Bible Prophecies were fulfilled by the time Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 70 AD. This is the Preterist doctrine.
There is, however, another doctrine which was taught almost exclusively in the Church until about 1830. This Second Coming doctrine states that the Church will face the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation. It states that Christ will return after the Great Tribulation, gather and resurrect His Church and establish His Kingdom on earth. This is the Post-Tribulation doctrine. This is the doctrine which I believe the Bible clearly and consistently states.
I have studied the Word of God for over 25 years. However, since about 2003 the Holy Spirit has led me to warn Church Pastors and the Church about the "Time of the End."
Warn the Church because most do not know what Bible Prophecy says. Today, the two most popular doctrines on the Second Coming mislead many into thinking that - there is no need to study biblical prophecy about the future.
Pre-Tribulationists – believe the Church will be raptured from the earth before the Tribulation. Therefore, the prophecies about the Tribulation are irrelevant to them, since they mistakenly think they will not face the Great Tribulation.
Preterists – believe that the Tribulation has already taken place. Therefore, the Bible prophecies about the Tribulation are irrelevant to them - "What's behind me is not important!"
I warned personally over 145 Church Pastors (between 2003 and 2005) about the importance of a correct "Second Coming Doctrine" and explained the urgent need for the Church to study Biblical Prophecy. I received various responses:
Some politely thanked me and said they would pray about it.
Some said, “I don’t think it's important which doctrine we believe, what’s really important is that we know Jesus and that we are always ready.”
Others told me about their favorite prophecy teachers.
Some told me about popular Pre-Tribulation churches, where God's blessings were experienced. They believed that God would not bless a church which held to false doctrine.
One pastor listened and asked a few questions. After several weeks he came back and said, “You know, I had never really studied about the Second Coming but after testing what you said, it seems to be true.
Some said that they were so busy counseling their congregation that they didn’t have time to discuss doctrine or theology.
Most, felt that the doctrine relating to the Second Coming was not that important.
Surprised by their reactions I sought the Lord about the importance of this doctrine. My appeals persisted for several months, then in October 2001 at 2:00 am, I awoke from a sound sleep and was lead to pray. As I prayed, the Lord gave me two verses.
They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you (Luke 19:44)
As I prayed the word “because” burned in my mind. Then I received a second verse.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; ... (Luke 12:48).
As soon as heard the second verse, I understood.
The first verse took place at the First Coming, after Christ entered Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. He told the religious leaders that "because" they had not recognized the time of His Coming, Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed. This prophesied destruction occurred in 70 AD and 1,100,000 men, women and children were killed.
The Jews where told in Scripture to know and understand about the Messiah's Coming.
The 9/11/2001 attack on the USA - over 2,900 people killed - was a warning. If the Church didn't wake up and understand that the "Time of the End" had started, the consequences for the Church would be catastrophic.
This was reinforced for me by the second verse, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; ...” (Luke 12:48).
Regarding His return, Christ commanded His Church to "keep watch" in order to recognize the signs of the time. Two thousand years ago, the Jewish church did not recognize His Coming and Israel was conquered, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed with over a million people killed.
Today, if the Church does not wake up soon, what will the catastrophic consequences be?
Below are the two verses mentioned above in their context which provides a deeper perspective and understanding to the message.
Jesus on His First Coming:
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you (Luke 19:41-44).
Jesus on His Second Coming:
You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?" The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division (Luke 12:40-51).
We are now rapidly running out of time to study and teach sound doctrine regarding the Second Coming.
Remember, Christ said, "But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you" (Revelation 3:3).
I pray that the Church will soon wake up study Scripture and Keep Watch!
Richard H Perry