THE CHURCH TRIUMPHANT

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[1 Corinthians:15:19-23]; [Ephesians:5:25-27]; [1 Thessalonians:4:13-18]; [Matthew:25:3-40]; [Revelation:11:15-18]; [Revelation:12:10-11]; [Revelation:19:7-16]; [Revelation:20:4-6]; [Revelation:21:1-7].

Lesson No.: 
274
Class: 
Junior
Memory Verse: 

“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

Notes: 

Jesus’ Second Coming
The Bible tells about the second coming of Jesus, which will take place soon, without a doubt. Jesus told His disciples that He would leave them and go to His Father. He said: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” [John:14:3]). Jesus did leave them. The people watched Him as He went up and was receive out of their sight by a cloud. Two men, clothed in white garments, told the people, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” [Acts:1:11]).

The Rapture of the Church
Jesus’ coming will be in two events. The first, which the Bible refers to as the “first resurrection” [Revelation:20:5-6]), includes the Rapture of the Church. At that time the living and sleeping saints who make up the true Church will be raised and snatched away, transported by the Spirit, “caught up together... to meet the Lord in the air” [1 Thessalonians:4:17]).

Jesus told His disciples about the things which were coming to pass here upon earth. They asked, “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus told them about the wars, the famines, the pestilences, and the earthquakes that would be in various places. He told them that the people would hate, deceive, betray, offend, and kill one another. He also told them that the Gospel would be “preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” And He added, “And then shall the end come.”

All these things have come to pass. All prophecies concerning events before the second coming of Jesus, have been fulfilled. Jesus could come at any time. That is why we are warned that we should be prepared for His coming. There will not be an announcement saying that Jesus will rapture the Church at a certain time. Jesus’ coming will be sudden, “as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west” [Matthew:24:27]). None but God the Father knows the exact time of Jesus’ appearance [Matthew:24:36]).

The Christian’s Hope
To be ready for Jesus’ coming is the hope of every Christian. Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth that if we had hope in Christ in this life only, we would be “of all men most miserable.” But a Christian has a hope in Christ in this life and also in the life to come, because he believes the promises of God. That hope, is an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” [Hebrews:6:19]). It is that hope which causes the believer to purify himself, even as Christ is pure ([1 John:3:3]).

To Be with Jesus
Why does the second coming of Jesus mean so much to Christians? Why are they looking for and waiting for that event? Those who are ready for Jesus’ coming will hear the “voice of the archangel” and the “trump of God.” “The dead in Christ shall rise first”; then those who are alive will be “caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” and forever be with Jesus [1 Thessalonians:4:16-17]).

How many have longed to see the face of their Redeemer! How many have been homesick for Heaven! Those who have prepared for the First Resurrection will have more than a glimpse, more than a look, more than a meeting with their Saviour! They will be forever with Jesus. They will join the hallelujah chorus in Heaven saying, “Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God” [Revelation:19:1]). They will be “priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” In [Revelation:20:6] we read, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.”

Preparation
Heaven is a prepared place [John:14:2]) for a prepared people [Revelation:19:7]). Let us consider how a person can prepare for Heaven and be ready for the Lord’s coming. The Bible gives us the instruction, which is the same for the children as it is for adults. In order to belong to the Lord, one must have his sins washed away by the Blood of Jesus [Revelation:7:14]). When a person is saved, the Lord give him power to live without sin ([1 John:3:9]). When one sins he is no longer a child of God. “He that committeth sin is of the devil” (I [John:3:8]) and “is the servant of sin” [John:8:34]).

One must continue to do the will of God and to obey God’s Word, in order to be His disciple [John:8:31]). “He that endureth to the end shall be saved” [Matthew:10:22]). The Bible teaches that one must walk in the light that Jesus gives ([1 John:1:7]). We who have been studying these Sunday School lessons have much light. We have light because we have heard about being saved [Romans:10:9]), about making restitution (lesson 269), about the necessity of living a clean, holy, sanctified life [1 Peter:1:15];[1 Peter:1:16]; [2 Peter:3:11]; [Ephesians:5:26-27]), and about the promise of the Father, which is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus commanded His disciples to receive [Acts:1:4-5], [Acts:1:8]).

When one is walking in all the light that he has received, that person will have a knowledge in his heart that he is ready to meet the Lord. He will keep himself “unspotted from the world” [James:1:27]); He will be watching and waiting for the soon coming of Jesus [Titus:2:11-13]). Do you know that you are ready for the coming of the Lord? If not, why not pray and seek God until you know that you are ready for the Rapture?

Overcomers
In order to be ready for Jesus’ coming, one must be a full overcomer. A full overcomer has victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” ([1 John:5:4]). No wonder we are exhorted to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” [Jude:1:3])! It is through our faith in Jesus Christ that we have victory. One can be an overcomer by faith, “by the blood of the Lamb,” and by the word of his testimony [Revelation:12:11]). Read what is promised to the overcomer in [Revelation:2:7], [Revelation:2:11], [Revelation:2:17], [Revelation:2:26]; [Revelation:3:5], [Revelation:3:12], [Revelation:3:21]. All those blessings are summed up in this one promise: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” [Revelation:21:7]). How one’s heart thrills to read of the things that God has in store for His people! How one searches his heart, fearing lest he would come short of “entering into his rest” [Hebrews:4:1])!

Coming as King
Jesus’ appearance and the Rapture of the Church is one part of His second coming. The other part takes place when the Lord comes back as Conqueror, “with ten thousands of his saints” ([Jude:1:14]) to be “KING OF KINGS, And LORD OF LORDS” [Revelation:19:16]). There will be great voices in Heaven saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” [Revelation:11:15]).

That is the time when the “Son of man shall come in his glory.” The people of the nations will be gathered before Him. The Lord will make a separation as a shepherd divides “his sheep from the goats” [Matthew:25:31-32]). The godly are the sheep -– gentle, patient, useful. The ungodly are the goats -– stubborn, rebellious, unruly. They have been permitted to be together here on earth, but a separating time is coming.

The sheep will hear the King say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The godly will be given an inheritance, a valuable possession planned for God’s people. What is the reason for their reward? They were faithful and obedient. Their works proved that they were saved -– purchased by the Blood of Jesus. They showed a love for others, denied themselves; and what they did was done in Jesus’ name and for His glory.

The ungodly will hear these words: “Depart from me, ye cursed,... Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” The ungodly will receive punishment for the things they did not do. Their lives will prove that they did not have salvation, that they did not obey the Bible, and what they did do was not done for Jesus’ glory. They will be reminded of the times that they did not help others when they should have done so. “These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteousness into life eternal.”

Conqueror
The godly will have eternal life because death, “the last enemy that shall be destroyed,” will be “swallowed up in victory” [1 Corinthians:15:26], [1 Corinthians:15:54]). Christ will be the Conqueror of all His enemies [1 Corinthians:15:24-25]) -– Satan [Revelation:20:10]), Satan’s followers [Revelation:20:15]), and death and hell [Revelation:20:14]). Because Christ will be a triumphant Conqueror, His people -– the Church -– will be a triumphant. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Corinthians:15:57]).

Then the Christian’s salvation will be complete. They will be victors over death, hell, and the grave, through the power of Jesus. The Christians’ final victory will be won. They will no more be tempted to sin! They will no more have to fight against Satan! They will feel no more sickness and suffering, no more sorrow and death, no more crying and pain! “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” [Revelation:21:4]).

What rejoicing and what triumph! What victory and rewards! All this and more await those who dare to take their stand for Jesus, who prepare themselves for Heaven, and who are looking for their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Questions: 

1. How do we know that Jesus is coming soon?
2. Name the two events which will make up Jesus’ second coming.
3. What will take place when the Church is raptured?
4. What will happen to the Christians who have died?
5. How can one know that he is ready for Jesus’ coming?
6. How long will the Christians be with Jesus?
7. How can one be an overcomer?
8. What is promised to the overcomer?
9. Who will be King of kings and Lord of lords?
10. Who will stand before Jesus to be judged?