SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Sunday September 22, 1996

Everyone on Earth will Witness Jesus' Second Advent
(Rev. 1:7)

What kind of event is Jesus' second coming, secret or public?

Some influential contemporary Bible interpreters teach that believers will be taken to heaven in a "secret rapture" seven years before the glorious appearing of Christ. The only rapture of the saved mentioned in Scripture occurs at the glorious appearing of Christ and the holy angels. First Thessalonians 4:14 does not mean that God brings the righteous from heaven with Him when He comes. It means that He brings the righteous from the grave as He brought Jesus from the grave after His crucifixion. The "dead in Christ" rise from the grave when the Lord descends "from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God" (verse 16). The righteous do not come down with Christ in this great public coming. They rise to be with Him for eternity.

What will happen in the world of nature as Jesus is coming?

At Jesus' coming, the upheaval in nature will be the most devastating worldwide cataclysm in history. There will occur the most terrible universal earthquake, accompanied by the fiercest hurricane and hail-storm our world has ever seen.

"There is a mighty earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.' Verses 17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. . . . The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world's great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves are crumbling to ruin before their eyes."--The Great Controversy, p 636, 63