Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Rest of the Story
For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. (Hebrews 10:37 NKJV)
The Promise
There are many places in Scripture where the Lord has promised to come again.  Christians assume He is talking about the rapture.  Jews are still waiting for Him to come to set up His Kingdom.  
When the Lord speaks about His coming again in the Gospels, in most cases He has both aspects of His coming in mind, but only the coming to set up HIs kingdom is obvious until we come to John 14.  There is only one second coming, but there is more than one event associated with His second coming.  I would submit that the first event associated with His second coming is the catching away of the believers as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.  Seven years later He will come to set up His righteous Kingdom.  In between those two events are the terrible tribulations that will come on a Christ-rejecting world.  That seems to be in view in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 where Paul writes,  “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 NKJV).” But the rapture (or catching away of the believers), the tribulation period, and the setting up of the righteous millennial kingdom are all part of one second coming.  
The first part of His second coming is intended to comfort true believers.  The tribulation period associated with His second coming is intended as a warning to a Christ-rejecting world.
The Rest of the Story
Paul Harvey (when he was still alive and broadcasting news) would often have a short broadcast called “The Rest of the Story” where he would explain some event that was often historical but where he would wait until the end to explain the who, what or why of the story.  He would usually conclude with the statement that “now you know the rest of the story.”
If you want to know the rest of the story having to do with human history and the Lord’s second coming, read the book of the Revelation.  The first chapter will show the Lord as the righteous judge and not as a crucified Messiah.  The next two chapters will deal with congregations or churches that existed in Turkey when the book was written.  In each church there are overcomers.   I would submit that the overcomers are the true believers and not a special class of believers.  I believe that because the rewards that are described for the overcomers are rewards that belong to all believers.  That means that the churches have a lot of people in them that are not overcomers.  They are professing Christians but they are not in the church because they really believe in Him.   These churches likely represent an historical development of what we call Christendom today.  But they also mirror congregations that call themselves churches today.  That means that Christendom will still be around after the rapture, but the true believer will be gone.  How are churches going to explain that?
Chapters 4 and 5 deal with the worship of the Lord in heaven.  John has been caught up there and likely this pictures the rapture of the overcomers.  Starting with chapter 6 and on through chapter 19 we see the terrible judgments that are going to come on the earth.  The rest of the book deals with the 1000 year reign of Christ and the eternal state.  
Peter makes it clear in his second epistle that mockers are coming who will say, “Where is the promise of His coming?”  They do not believe in the catching away of the saints before the coming judgments and they do not believe that God will really do what He says He is going to do in the book of the Revelation.  They mock at His warnings.  But, “He that shall come WILL COME and will not tarry.”  That is, He won’t wait for people to get ready for deliverance from coming judgment when He comes.  He will come quickly and suddenly. 
A promise is a promise is a promise.  We may have to have patience and wait for what seems like forever for the promise to be fulfilled, but HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME.  Count on it!
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of July 3, 2022

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