The Rapture of the Church
The Rapture of the Church
Text: 1 Thess.4:16
The word rapture is not found in the Bible. Its meaning is there. The word means--to catch up--seize or catch away.
Jesus is coming again for THREE reasons:
(1) To bring glory to His church as they are taken home.
(2) To bring restoration to Israel
(3) To bring judgment to the world.
- THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING:
- If He does not come the Bible is not true. Charles Smith a former president of Association for Advancement of Atheism had printed across his headquarters, "The Bible is a lie."
- The first time the word SURELY is used in the Bible is in Genesis 2. Whatever the word means there it will mean throughout the Bible.
- Thou shalt surely die (Gen. 2:17 - But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.) - man died.
- Surely I come quickly (Rev. 22:20) - He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.) - Jesus will come.
- Eve thought Cain was the promised one. (Gen. 4:1 - And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.)
- Enoch said He is coming: (Jude 14 - And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.)
- Job said He is coming: (Job 19:25 - For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.)
- David said He is coming: (Psalms 24:7 - Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.)
- Zechariah said He is coming: (Zec. 14:4 - And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and he mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.)
- Malachi said He is coming: (Mal. 4:2 - But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall.)
- The Ages--Billows of Restless Sea--Brooks across a thousand hillsides--Angles in Glory--Saints of all ages with the Church say HE IS COMING.
- Despite all the scoffing He will come: (II Peter 3:10 - But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned.)
- THE PERSON OF HIS COMING
- Many would have us believe that a scientific breakthrough or the spread of the Gospel is His second coming. Let us take notice what the apostle Paul said:
- I Thess. 4:16 - 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:
- James 5:7 - Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
- We shall see the one we longed to see. (I Peter 1:8 - Whom having not seen ye love in whom though now ye see him not yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.)
III. THE DELAY OF HIS COMING
- The early Church used the word for cemetery which we get our word "inn" from because they believed Jesus would soon come and take them to Heaven.
- His first coming at Bethlehem had been anticipated thousands of years yet He came.
- His delay comes from a heart of Love. (II Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.)
- His long-suffering is compared to Noah s day. (Matt 24:37 - But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.)
- THE PERIL OF HIS COMING
- Jesus asked the question: (Luke 18:8 - I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?)
- People are looking for better retirement, for better government, but not for Jesus.
- Multitudes will be left behind at His coming.
- Luke 12:39-40 - And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
- I Thess. 5:2 - For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
- II Peter 3:10 - But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
- Rev. 16:15 - Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
- The story of the ten virgins will become a reality at His next event. (Matt. 25:11 & 12 - Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I KNOW YOU NOT.)
- THE CHALLENGE OF HIS COMING
- We are to be faithful in our stewardship. (Luke 19:1 2& 13 - He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered the ten pounds, and said unto them, OCCUPY TILL I COME.)
- We are to be separated. (I John 2:28 - And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.)
- We are to hold fast our profession. (Rev. 2:25 - But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.)
- We are to be patient in waiting. (Heb. 10:36&37 - For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.)