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  • The future "gathering" of true Christians

    By J.C. Ryle

    There is a "gathering" of true Christians which is yet to come. What is it, and when will it be?

    The gathering I speak of will take place at the end of the world, in the day when Christ returns to earth the second time. He went away in the clouds of heaven, and in the clouds of heaven He will return. Visibly, in the body, He will return. And the very first thing that Christ will do will be to "gather" His people. "He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:31)

    The manner of this "gathering" is plainly revealed in Scripture. The dead saints will all be raised, and the living saints will all be changed. It is written, "The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them." "The dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." "We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." (Revelation 20:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) And then when every member of Christ is found, and not one is left behind, when soul and body, those old companions, are once more reunited, then will it be the great "gathering."

    The purpose of this "being gathered" is as clearly revealed in Scripture as its manner. It is partly for the final reward of Christ's people: that their complete justification from all guilt may be declared to all creation; that they may receive the "crown of glory that will never fade away," and the "kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world;" that they may be admitted publicly into the joy of their Lord! It is partly for the safety of Christ's people, that, like Noah in the ark and Lot in Zoar, they may be hid and covered before the storm of God's judgment comes down on the wicked; that when the last plagues are falling on the enemies of the Lord, they may be untouched, as Rahab's family in the fall of Jericho, and unscathed as the three children in the midst of the fire. The saints have no reason to fear in the day of gathering, however fearful the signs that may accompany it. Before the final crash of all things begins, they will be hidden in the secret place of the Most High. The great gathering is for their safety and their reward. "Do not be afraid," will the gathering-angels say, "for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified." "Go, my people," will their Master say: "enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until My wrath has passed by." (Matthew 28:5; Isaiah 26:20)

  • #2
    The gathering I speak of will take place at the end of the world
    Ahhh good, so a long time off. Could be thousands of years away yet.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by David161099 View Post
      Ahhh good, so a long time off. Could be thousands of years away yet.
      Or seven years from tomorrow.
      ----------------------------------------------
      When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
        Or seven years from tomorrow.

        Ahhh True that!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by immortality View Post
          By J.C. Ryle

          There is a "gathering" of true Christians which is yet to come. What is it, and when will it be?

          The gathering I speak of will take place at the end of the world, in the day when Christ returns to earth the second time. He went away in the clouds of heaven, and in the clouds of heaven He will return. Visibly, in the body, He will return. And the very first thing that Christ will do will be to "gather" His people. "He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:31)

          The manner of this "gathering" is plainly revealed in Scripture. The dead saints will all be raised, and the living saints will all be changed. It is written, "The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them." "The dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." "We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." (Revelation 20:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) And then when every member of Christ is found, and not one is left behind, when soul and body, those old companions, are once more reunited, then will it be the great "gathering."

          The purpose of this "being gathered" is as clearly revealed in Scripture as its manner. It is partly for the final reward of Christ's people: that their complete justification from all guilt may be declared to all creation; that they may receive the "crown of glory that will never fade away," and the "kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world;" that they may be admitted publicly into the joy of their Lord! It is partly for the safety of Christ's people, that, like Noah in the ark and Lot in Zoar, they may be hid and covered before the storm of God's judgment comes down on the wicked; that when the last plagues are falling on the enemies of the Lord, they may be untouched, as Rahab's family in the fall of Jericho, and unscathed as the three children in the midst of the fire. The saints have no reason to fear in the day of gathering, however fearful the signs that may accompany it. Before the final crash of all things begins, they will be hidden in the secret place of the Most High. The great gathering is for their safety and their reward. "Do not be afraid," will the gathering-angels say, "for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified." "Go, my people," will their Master say: "enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until My wrath has passed by." (Matthew 28:5; Isaiah 26:20)
          MY COMMENTS: When you say "true Christians" are you referring to the ecclesia, the body of Christ? And if so, I would beg to differ with you.
          Paul is our apostle and teacher, and no where does he mention "the end of the world." Many times in his letters he enlightens us that our future is in the heavenlies, as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Read Ephesians chapts. 1-3, especially.

          Our being caught away to the heavens is a secret thing, and will happen in the 'twinkling of an eye'. We will go up in clouds and meet the Lord in the air, and then be taken to the heavenlies (See 1 Cor.15 and 1 Thes 4). This will occur before Daniel's 70th week, the "tribulation" period (See 2 Thes. 2:1-4).

          You say the first thing Christ will do after his second coming to the earth, is to 'gather his people.' Again, I would disagree. In Rev. 19:11-21, it tells us he, with his army of angels, will defeat the army that has marched against Jerusalem, slaying them with the sword of his mouth. Then, he will take the beast and the false prophet and cast them alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

          Next, according to Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus (the Son of man) will sit upon the throne of his glory (probably overlooking the valley of Jehosophat) and the nations still alive after all the plagues and woes, will be gathered before Him. There, they will be judged according to how they treated Christ's brethren (the righteous Jewish remnant) during the tribulation.

          Then, IMO, Daniel writes in Dan. 12:12, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days," and this will be when the righteous, from Abraham on, including those martyred for their faith during the tribulation, are resurrected. This is the first (or former) resurrection spoken of in Rev. 20:4-6.
          These days begin at the breaking of the covenant the anti-christ made with Israel. It is in the middle of the 7 years of the tribulation.
          From there, the wise of Israel, and even Gentile proselytes, should count the days, for Jesus as Messiah will return in 1260 days.
          Then, the daily offerings are resumed after 1290 days (Dan. 12:11).
          Finally, the millennial temple will be dedicated after 2300 days (Dan.8:13,14).

          My friend, "the end of the world" phrase is only in the KJV and is a mistake.
          There is no "end of the world", as if everything is destroyed.
          The correct wordage is "end of the age."

          Keep studying and be sure to rightly divide the Scriptures.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
            Or seven years from tomorrow.
            Or tomorrow.

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            • #7
              with his army of angels - and the living saints will all be changed

              hmm... I see what they are changed to, awesome!!!!
              2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DaniHansen View Post
                Or tomorrow.
                Ah, a Pre-Tribber, huh? So sorry. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
                ----------------------------------------------
                When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
                  Ah, a Pre-Tribber, huh? So sorry. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
                  Nope, not at all.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DaniHansen View Post
                    Nope, not at all.
                    Oh, OK, I guess I misread you, sorry. So what are you, just to be totally nosy? I'm Post-Trib myself.
                    ----------------------------------------------
                    When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
                      Oh, OK, I guess I misread you, sorry. So what are you, just to be totally nosy? I'm Post-Trib myself.
                      What I am is someone, who, along with the early apostles, looks for the imminent return of Jesus Christ and believes that man's interpetation of some "timeline" and our understanding/interpretation of world events versus what is set forth in Scripture, is probably not entirely correct.

                      It's also entirely possible that I am someone who is completely off her rocker, but in the meantime, I labor for, and await, the return of the One my soul loves.

                      Here is my "timeline":

                      Acts 3
                      20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

                      I'm looking for God to restore "all things" (whatever that means) before my Savior returns, not for some world government/antichrist person. I'm waiting for God to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Towards that end, I labor. I really believe that His return is going to be just like in the days of Noah, when nobody saw it coming and business was as usual. Just like His birth was. According to God's timeline alone, with very few having any idea, except for those who God used to affect it directly (i.e. Anna, Simeon, Joseph, Mary, etc.).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DaniHansen View Post
                        What I am is someone, who, along with the early apostles, looks for the imminent return of Jesus Christ and believes that man's interpetation of some "timeline" and our understanding/interpretation of world events versus what is set forth in Scripture, is probably not entirely correct.

                        It's also entirely possible that I am someone who is completely off her rocker, but in the meantime, I labor for, and await, the return of the One my soul loves.

                        Here is my "timeline":

                        Acts 3
                        20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

                        I'm looking for God to restore "all things" (whatever that means) before my Savior returns, not for some world government/antichrist person. I'm waiting for God to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Towards that end, I labor. I really believe that His return is going to be just like in the days of Noah, when nobody saw it coming and business was as usual. Just like His birth was. According to God's timeline alone, with very few having any idea, except for those who God used to affect it directly (i.e. Anna, Simeon, Joseph, Mary, etc.).
                        Sounds like Postmillennialism.
                        ----------------------------------------------
                        When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
                          Sounds like Postmillennialism.
                          Whatever you say, dear. I have no clue what these terms even mean.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DaniHansen View Post
                            Whatever you say, dear. I have no clue what these terms even mean.
                            Postmillennialism basically says that it's up to us to establish Christ's kingdom here on the earth, and that after we have succeeded in accomplishing that, He'll return to rule it.
                            ----------------------------------------------
                            When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
                              Postmillennialism basically says that it's up to us to establish Christ's kingdom here on the earth, and that after we have succeeded in accomplishing that, He'll return to rule it.
                              What do you mean by establish His kingdom cause things don't seem to be going so well? I'm not trying to be a smart elect but seems to me that things are going in the wrong direction.


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