Things to Come

According to scripture there are several things coming to this world. Let us begin this study by first listing the events in no particular order.
A period known as the Tribulation when the wrath of God is poured out onto the earth and its inhabitants.
The gathering out of the body of Christ.
The Satanic leader commonly called the anti-Christ.
A falling away from the truth of the Bible.
The Lord returning to rule known as the Day of the Lord or the Day of Christ.
The destruction of the anti-Christ.
An examination of First and Second Thessalonians gives us a view as to the order of the coming events.

We will work our way from last to first. It would seem evident the last event would be that of destruction of the anti-Christ as he cannot be destroyed before he comes. Neither could the Tribulation come after the destruction.

The Day of Christ-falling away-anti-Christ.
In second Thessalonians chapter two the order of things to come is addressed. The body at Thessalonians had some teach them the Day of Christ could come at any time and the gathering out had been missed by them.

2Thes.2:[1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
[2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
[5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
[6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
[7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
[8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
[9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
[11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
[12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Here we find four main things.
1) The Day of Christ is NOT at hand.

2) The Day of Christ cannot come until there is a falling away first and the man of sin (anti-Christ) be revealed.

3) The Day of Christ will be the destruction of the anti-Christ.

4) There is presently a hindering which prevents the revelation of the anti-Christ which will be removed before he may be revealed.

So then the order as given here is:
1) A falling away first. (verse 3) (1 Timothy 4:1)
2) Removal of the hindering. (verses 6-7)
3) The revelation of the anti-Christ. (verse 3)
4) The destruction of the anti-Christ at the Day of the Lord. (verse 8)
We have just placed four of the coming events in an order as given in the scriptures. Let us see if we can place the other coming events in an order as given by the Holy Word.

According to First Thessalonians chapter one The Lord is to return to get us prior to His wrath being poured out on the earth.

1Thes.1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
[10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

So then we have now placed two more events.
1) The catching out followed by the wrath to come.
2) The wrath to come.

This event is described in chapter four of First Thessalonians.
1Thes.4:13] But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
[14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
[15] For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
[16] 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.

There is no question Jesus is coming back to get His body. The dispute arises as to the timing of His gathering out of His body.
We are currently, as the Thessalonians were, waiting for the gathering out. Clearly it says here the gathering will precede the wrath of God being poured out on the world.
So we can say with authority the Rapture will precede the wrath.
Look in First Thessalonians chapter 5.

1 Thessalonians 5:[1] But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
[2] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
[3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
[4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
[5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
[6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
[7] For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
[8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
[9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
[10] Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
[11] Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

So then because God is taking us out of this world we may take comfort about the Day of the Lord. We have no need for Paul to tell us of the times to come because we will be gathered out before the wrath comes and with it comes destruction. We are now walking in the light. It is daytime. There is coming a time of darkness when the light is removed from the world and night falls on this dispensation of the grace of God. Let us see what the scripture says about this time of darkness which we know as the Tribulation.

Look again at Second Thessalonians chapter one.

2Thes.1:[1] Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
[2] Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
[3] We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
[4] So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
[5] Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
[6] Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
[7] And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
[8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
[9] Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
[10] When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

We find the church currently receiving tribulation from the lost as we indeed find it even to this day. The Bible says the reward of the lost who persecute us NOW will be Tribulation on them! (verses 5-6)
Notice our tribulation came first then theirs is a recompense or payback for what they have done to Christians.
1) The lost gives Christians tribulation NOW. (verse 5)

2) They will be REPAID Tribulation (verse 6)

3) We will be at REST during their time of Tribulation.

4) Their Tribulation ends with destruction.

5) Then Christ will be glorified in His saints and admired. (worshipped as King of Kings I.e. Millennial Reign)

So in conclusion we see:
Currently the church is walking in the light awaiting Jesus to come and takes us out while the lost give us tribulation.
There will be a falling away from the truth (called a departing from the faith in First Timothy 4:1).
The Lord will return and gather us out and the hindrance will be removed from impeding the anti-Christ.
The Tribulation will begin, the anti-Christ will ascend to power, the wrath of God will fall.
The Day of Christ will come when Christ will return to destroy the anti-Christ and all those who have received his mark be cast into Hell.
The Lord will ascend to His throne on earth where He will be admired by all those who believe.