Is Jesus really the Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah? The Messianic expectation of the Jews was modeled after the book of
Judges, wherein the nation Israel repeatedly brought God's judgement upon itself in the form of invasion and oppression by departing from the worship of God into idolatry. After a time God would cause them to repent and would raise up a "Judge", an individual to lead them in overthrowing the oppressors and serve as defacto king for the rest of his/her life. During Jesus' time Rome was the current oppressor of the Jews and the Jews were yearning for Messiah; hoping for a military/political deliverer.
Even John, the Baptist, who had correctly pointed out Christ as, "...The lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world"
required reassurance when he found himself in prison with nothing much happening on the political front.
The Old Testament prophecies pointed to Jesus. The prophecies listed
on a previous page
were all fulfilled by Jesus. Those who reject Jesus and are still waiting for Messiah are awaiting another who can fulfil the same prophecies. To accept less in their Messiah would require changing their interpretation of (or confidence in) the Old Testament.
The first advent: On this trip Messiah had a greater goal than merely relieving Israel of yet another local oppressor. Christ was here to purchase redemption from sin for all of mankind, Jews and Gentiles alike.
"In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
"Thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins.
"Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."
"...The Son of man came ... to give his life a ransom for many."
"...and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day."
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life"
"And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him;"
The rapture: Christ will return in the air and call home his church, those who believe in him. This is not "The Second coming" of Christ for he will not set foot on earth. He will simply remove his believers from earth to Heaven. Note: "Believers" are not limited to any specific race or religion. The differentiation is their relationship with Christ Jesus.
"And so shall we ever be with the Lord."
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17.
(By the way, the meaning of "Prevent" in old English was preceed or go before.)
Tribulation: Much will happen during the few years between the rapture of the church (Christ's bride, his believers) and Christ's second coming. The people remaining on earth after the rapture will all be non-believers, including a large number of Jews. During this period the population of earth will experience terrible retribution for their rejection of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Rather than repent and turn to God the world will embrace a false Messiah. Big mistake. A few will come to understand and will turn to Christ but will pay for their newfound belief with their lives.
"And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues yet repented not..."
"I saw the souls of them that were behedded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God,..."
Second coming: After the tribulation period is complete God will keep his promise to Israel and will send his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to rule as King upon the throne of David. His first action will be to defeat the armies of the world (battle of Armageddon) and bring them into submission to himself.
To see Christ Jesus coming in the air will be the biggest shock of all time as people realize their mistake in rejecting him on his first trip to earth.
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.".