In case of the rapture - this car will be without a driver
Written by Jay Yeager
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 11:33


In case of the rapture – this car will be without

a driver

(Jay Yeager)


A car without a driver? That would create a stir to be sure. What would run through your mind if you saw a car with no driver? After running for cover, my first reaction would be, “What in the world is this?” Followed by, “O.K. who has the remote?”


Religion? Well, to be frank that would not even cross my mind or for that matter, the mind of anyone else, unless… they have been conditioned to think that way. And sadly, many have! They live in anticipation of a sudden exit from the earth.


Beloved, this belief is far from harmless. If the rapture stood all by itself, you could perhaps mark it down as just a poor deluded people. However, the rapture is a small part of a larger doctrine, a doctrine that has: 1) Deity failing. 2) The Kingdom yet to be established. 3) Christ, a King in waiting.


Is that true? Did God fail? Is the kingdom yet to be established? Is Jesus a King in waiting? In this lesson we will study the doctrine behind the rapture, a teaching that is often overlooked even by those who are zealously waiting for the rapture followed by a thousand year reign on earth. And finally, what will happen at the second coming of Christ?


Did God fail? Did he miscalculate the attitude of the Jews?

Folks, can you imagine a doctrine that has that for a foundation? A failure on the part of God? Little wonder this part of their teaching is rarely discussed, even among the most devoted believers of the rapture. Who would want to admit that? “O’ yea, God made a tiny miscalculation. Turns out the Jews were not as receptive as he thought, but you just wait until Jesus comes the next time!”


Is God omniscient or not? To deny that God is all knowing is to deny the scriptures inspired of God (II Timothy 3:16). There is an abundance of places that show God is omniscient, for instance Job 24:23; 34:21-25; Psalms 33:13-15; 44:21; Jeremiah 23:24; Acts 2:23; Hebrews 4:12 et al. For this lesson I quote two:


“He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity” (Psalms 94:9-11).


“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).


Make no mistake! To claim that God has failed, miscalculated the attitude of the Jews, is a denial that God is omniscience.

 Was the kingdom established?

Listen folks, God foretold in great detail not only that the kingdom would be established, but when it would be established. In response to a dream that Nebuchadnezzar could not remember (and all the worldly wisdom in Babylon was unable to bring to his remembrance Daniel 2:1-12), the God of heaven revealed to the Daniel, not only what Nebuchadnezzar saw, but the meaning behind the image (Daniel 2:31-45). In a capsule form, Daniel describes four kingdoms:

  1. The head of gold represented the Babylonian empire.
  2. The breast and arms of silver represented the Medes and Persians.
  3. The belly and thighs of brass represented the Macedonian or Grecian empire.
  4. The legs and feet, part of clay and part of iron, represented the Roman empire.

In the days of those kings (the fourth kingdom, the Caesars, Herods and Agrippas), God would establish a kingdom that would never be destroyed. “Well”, one may ask, “Can we be absolutely certain that the fourth kingdom is the Roman empire?” Yes! And here is the reason why; after four hundred years of silence, John the Baptist (the forerunner, Isaiah 40:3) came crying in the wilderness’ “…Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). One chapter later Jesus repeats the message, “…Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).


Were they wrong? Did John and Jesus say the kingdom was at hand, not fully comprehending the attitude of the Jews? Folks, you had better think long and hard before making such a claim, for it is nothing short of accusing the Son of God of speaking presumptuously. “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him”(Deuteronomy 18:22).


Was the kingdom established? The writers of the New Testament penned by inspiration a resounding yes to that question! “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).


“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28).


“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:9).


Is Jesus a King in waiting? 

There is so much information concerning the King who would come. The King would come from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), specifically, the house of David as promised by God “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (II Samuel 7:12-13).


Twenty-one kings would follow David, the last being Zedekiah until the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar would make three separate sweeps through Jerusalem: 606 B.C. (II Kings 24:1), 597 B.C. (II Kings 24:10), 586 B.C. (II Kings 25:1), until finally the throne of David would lay in ruin. God foretold of that captivity (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10), and in the midst of it, the prophet Ezekiel makes a profound statement.


“Thus saith the Lord God; remove the diadem, and take off the crown…I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him” (Ezekiel 21:26-27).  Put a footnote right there. God through Ezekiel is saying this: No king until Christ! Now, serious Bible students know that the angel Gabriel would tell Mary that the child she would give birth to would be the fulfillment of the promise made to David, and in effect, the prophecy of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 21:26-27


“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).


Is Jesus reigning as King over his kingdom? Absolutely (I Peter 3:22)! He was born to be the King (John 18:37). Is Jesus going to reign on earth? Folks, not only does the Bible teach that Jesus cannot reign on earth (Zechariah 6:12-13; Hebrews 4:15; 7:24; 8:4), he never intended to reign on earth (John 18:36).


In Acts chapter one, the apostles watched their Lord ascend into heaven. “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).


They watched Jesus ascend into heaven. Some six hundred years earlier, in a vision Daniel saw him coming unto the Ancient of days. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: and his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).


Beloved, that ought to thrill the soul of every Christian. Despite the teaching of Premillennialism, Christ is not coming down from heaven to establish a kingdom; he went to the Father to receive it! Further, while it is true that the throne of David was once upon the earth, it is on the earth no more. The throne of David is in heaven. “Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven” (Psalms 89:35-37).


Jesus is at the right hand of God reigning over his kingdom (Acts 2:30-33; I Peter 3:22). What about the earth? It is only a footstool. Listen please, Jesus is not now, nor will he ever reign on a footstool (Acts 7:49).


What will happen at the second coming of Christ?

There are misconceptions to be sure, for instance, there are those who claim that Jesus has already came. Jehovah Witnesses claim that Jesus came in 1914 and only appeared unto the faithful. They are as wrong about that as they are wrong about every thing else they believe, for instance:

  1. They believe that man does not have an eternal soul. Yes he does (Matthew 16:26; Revelation 6:9-10). Do you know that God has a soul? (Leviticus 26:11; 30; Isaiah 1:14; Matthew 12:18; Hebrews 10:38).
  2. They believe that only 144,000 will be in heaven. Three simple verses show that to be completely wrong (Revelation 7:9; 15; 11:19).
  3. They believe that there is no hell. Someone forgot to tell Jesus that. He thinks there is (Matthew 10:28). How long will hell be? Just as long as heaven is (Matthew 25:46).
  4. They believe that Jesus is a god, but not Deity. In order to escape the truth, the Jehovah Witnesses came out with their own translation to avoid part of the words of John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. They would need to escape more than John 1:1 (John 8:58; John 20:28; Philippians 2:5-6; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:3 et al).
  5. They believe that Jesus returned in 1914. No sir, when Jesus comes again, no one will miss that event (Revelation 1:7).
Others believe that the end of the world will occur in 2012. Listen please! The second coming of Christ and the end of the world is not according to any calendar. There has always been those who look at the heavens and make bold predictions. Listen to Isaiah 47:13, “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee”. God is being sarcastic. The simple truth is they couldn’t save them from a common cold. 


Please understand, when viewed properly, the ordinance of heaven will once again declare the absolute order of God’s creation (Job 38:31-33; Jeremiah 31:35; 33:25). Now having said that, one could spend an entire lifetime studying the heavens and never find a hint of when Jesus is coming and the end of the world, and they are inseparably connected (II Peter 3:10-12). In unmistakable language, Jesus made it abundantly clear that no one knows. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is” (Mark 13:32-33).


What will happen when Jesus comes?

It will be an event unlike any other that man has ever seen. The Bible describes the second coming of Jesus in vivid terms:


It will be loud; “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (I Thessalonians 4:16).


It will be sudden; “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thessalonians 5:1-3).


It will be visual; “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of him, even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).


It will be the end. On the last day, time will no longer have any bearing: It will be the last day for the righteous (John 6:39-40; 44; 54), it will be the last day for the wicked (John 12:48), it will be the judgment day “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commendeth all men every where to repent. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).


All men will stand before the judgment seat of Christ; “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).


Beloved, the Bible provides scenes of the judgment, but one would be hard pressed to find a scene more thought provoking than in Revelation 20:12-15. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. 

In light of that day, facing heaven or hell, the serious question for all of us is this: Is your name in the book of life? If not, while time remains on our side, there are things we must do to be saved:

You must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17).

You must believe the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16).

You must repent of your past sins (Act 17:30).

You must confess Christ before men (Romans 10:10).

You must be baptized to have your sins remitted (Acts 2:38).

You must remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).

 Jesus will come again – are you ready for that day?