Title: Heaven III: Rapture
Text: I Thes. 4:13-18
[1Th 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.
[1Th 4:14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
[1Th 4:15] For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are aliveand remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
[1Th 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:
[1Th 4:17] 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.
[1Th 4:18] Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
- Last week, we discussed the Book of Life
- That our names are written in the Book of Life with the blood of the Lamb
- Anyone whose name is not in the Book of Life will not make heaven according to the book of Revelation
- There are two avenues of going to heaven: dieing in Christ or Rapture
- To die in Christ means to not die in sin. Such person is referred to as to have fallen asleep.
- Rapture on the other hand, is for those that are living in Christ when Christ returns.
- The definition of rapture is to leave earth for heaven without going through death.
The sign of His coming – what we will witness before He comes – according to Matt. 24
This is before the Rapture
- Many will profess to be Jesus
- There will be wars and rumors of war
- Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom
- There shall be famines
- There shall be pestilences – disease/plagues
- There shall be earthquakes
- The believers shall be afflicted
- There will be killing of Christians
- Christians will be hated because of Jesus
- Betrayal and hatred of Christians by their father, mother, brother, sister
- Many false prophets shall rise
- The love of many will wax cold
- The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations
- Then the end shall come
The “end” does not imply that it is the end of the earth, nor is it the end of mankind.
It is the beginning of judgment.
- Rapture Kicks off the end time judgment.
- After Rapture will be the rise of the anti-Christ
- During the reign of the anti-Christ, there shall be a 7 year period call the tribulation
- The 7 years is divided into two parts, 3.5 years of of tribulation, 3.5 years of great tribulation
- After the great tribulation, the devil will be chained in the pit for 1000 years
- This period is called the Millennium, when Jesus will reign on earth for 1000 years
- After which the devil will be released and will still deceive man and wage war against God
- He will be defeated in The Final Battle (Armageddon) and cast into the lake of fire forever
- After that is the Final Judgment for man
- Then God will create a new heaven and a new earth
- Jesus is coming to save the saints from the tribulation that is coming
- 1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
- God will not judge the earth with the righteous in the earth – Gen 18:17, 23, 19:22; 2 Pet. 2:4-9
- [Gen 18:17] And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
- [Gen 18:23] And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
- [Gen 19:22] Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
- [2Pe 2:4] For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
- [2Pe 2:5] And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
- [2Pe 2:6] And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
- [2Pe 2:7] And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
- [2Pe 2:8] (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
- [2Pe 2:9] The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
- God will not judge the whole earth with the saints still on the earth.
- At least 4 Raptures already took place in the Bible
- [Gen 5:24] And Enoch walked with God: and hewas not; for God took him.
- [2Ki 2:11] And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
- Jesus Christ
- [Act 1:9] And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
- Matthew 27 saints
- [Mat 27:50] Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
- [Mat 27:51] And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
- [Mat 27:52] And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
- [Mat 27:53] And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
- Was Moses raptured??
- [Deu 34:5] So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
- [Deu 34:6] And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
- [Heb 9:27] And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
- [Mat 17:2] And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
- [Mat 17:3] And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
- At least 2 more raptures are coming
- The saints – 1 Thes. 4
- The 2 witnesses – Rev 11:1-12
- Most likely Moses and Elijah
- Brethren, we do not want to be here when the anti-Christ begins to reign
- The world is already on a self destructive mode – just look around you
- It is imperative that we go with the Lord when He returns
- The only way to make that happen is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you must live a holy life
- Expect to be persecuted for being holy, it’s part of the price to pay