HIS DESCENT AND CATCHING AWAY HIS SAINTS (THE RAPTURE)
1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:4-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:5-7.
The first stage of the 2nd coming of Christ is His descent into the sky to catch away from the earth to Himself all living saints (true Christians) and all who had died in the Lord. The Lord Himself promised this to His disciples while he was yet with them (John 14:1-3; Luke 21:34-36).
The apostle Paul, by revelation-knowledge declared same to the Churches of his day (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:4-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:5-7; Philipians 3:11, 20-21). The apostle John also referred to it in his general epistle to the Church (1 John 3:1-3).
Following this catching away of both the dead and living saints into the heavens, will be the marriage banquet of the Lord Jesus with these saints there in the heavens. We have the Lord’s parables that teach this, as well as the revelation of the Angel of the Lord (consider Matthew 22:1-4; 25:1-13; Revelation 19:1-10).
N.B: After the rapture and while the marriage banquet of the Lamb and His bride (the saints) will be going on in the heavens, the Great Tribulation will be taking place on earth. The great tribulation is a dispensational phenomenon referred to severally as Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7); wrath (Rev. 14:7; 15:4; 16:5-7); indignation (Isa. 26:20-21; 34:1-3); punishment (Isaiah 24:20-21); hour of trial (Revelation 3:10); Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:27).
God will bring this about to try them that dwell upon the earth (Revelation 3:10), and to prepare Israel for the King of kings (Jeremiah 30:7; Malachi 4:5-6).
During this time of great tribulation, the Antichrist will take possession of this world for a reign of terror.
The Antichrist will not be a system or an organization, but a person — a supernatural diabolical being in the form of a man, who will blaspheme and claim himself to be God (Daniel 8:23-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 13:1-10).