Maranatha! means “our Lord cometh.” 1 Cor. 16: 22. This, of course, is not speaking of His First Coming into thjis world, but the Second Coming! From the earliest days of our lives, we (I know I was, even before I was saved at the age of 15) being moved greatly by the knowledge of the second coming of Christ. I remember receiving a hymn book for good attendance at Sunday School when about 10yrs. old. And being new-fangled with the new book, one day I was perusing over it I came across a hymn that shook me to the core of my being.
That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
When Heav’n and earth shall pass away!
What power shall be the sinner’s stay?
How shall he meet that dreadful day?
When shriveling like a parchèd scroll,
The flaming heavens together roll;
When louder yet, and yet more dread;
Swells the high trump that wakes the dead.
O on that day, that wrathful day
When man to judgment wakes from clay,
Be Thou the trembling sinner’s stay,
Though Heav’n and earth shall pass away.
Like me, many have always been enthralled and awed with the second coming of Christ. That is all we knew!
The events leading up to this coming and how it would come about and the events connected with it were and maybe still are, to many somewhat vague.
One thing we do know for sure is, that we will not know the day or the hour when He will come.
But this we do know that there will be signs as to the nearning of that coming!
The time we live in now is Easter Time. It began with the resurrection of Jesus Christ and will end with the resurrection of the redeemed and the Lost.
Between these two resurrections lies the spiritual "resurrection" the passing from death unto life through faith in Christ as Saviour.
So we live between these two Resurrections, as those who have been raised to life, as burning and shining lights. (Phil. 2: 15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; and this is as relevant today as it was then.
So it’s in the power of the First Resurrection that we go to meet our God whether from the grave or from life. That is if you know Christ as Saviour.
(1 Thess. 4: 16-18); The rapture and first resurrection “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: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Then comes the Judgment Seat of Christ for every believer 2 Cor. 5: 10 “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”.
I can’t see that Scriptures teach a general resurrection! That is a single all-embracing resurrection and final judgment of righteous and unrighteous.
It speaks rather of "first" resurrection, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection” Rev. 20: 6
In the Old Testament both of these—the resurrection "unto eternal life" and the resurrection "unto eternal reproach and shame"—were viewed together in one picture (Dan.12: 2, 13), And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Even as in the prophecies of the Lord Jesus when on earth (John 5: 28, 29; Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
But in the progress of prophetic revelation as Jesus spoke off in John 16: 12, 13 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
And it does seem that these two; the resurrection of life; the resurrection of damnation became separated into two different events in time and place!
The resurrection of the righteous happens at the Coming of Christ to the air, the tribulation and Messiah's kingdom 1000 yrs. reign, and then Judgement before the Great White throne, the resurrection unto damnation.
The Scriptures that promote this are Rev. 20; 4, 5: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: These lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead were not made to live until the thousand years should be ended.
With the first coming of Christ begins in the calendar of God, the "last days" (Acts 2: 17). And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:
With the birth of Christ began the "End time" Heb. 1:2; Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son 1 John 2: 18Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
So with His first appearing, it’s the beginning of the End, and with His second appearing begins the end of the End."The whole New Testament history of salvation’s goal is the history of the End developing progressively.In Christ, the beginning of the completion has appeared and ever since then, everything is already the history of the End time.“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: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”.
After the rapture what then, where does Rev. fit in? The Great Tribulation that Jesus Spoke of “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matt. 24:21
That's another subject which I will post in due course!