Sermon:
ARE YOU READY FOR THE RAPTURE?

Text: I Thess.4: 13-18


Intro: Though the word “rapture” is often used in theological discussions, it is never used in the Bible. This does not mean however, that it is an unscriptural term, or that it should not be used. In verse seventeen of our text we find the words “caught up,” which mean “to snatch or catch away” (W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words, Vol. I, published by Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey; pg. 174). This is essentially the idea found in the Latin word “RAPTO,” from which we get our English word “rapture.” The Latin word meant “to seize, to carry off” (Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Ready, published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 89).
The Rapture may be a rather mysterious or vague event to many people. However, the Scriptures conclusively points out the certainty of this event and those that follow it. Though we are not told the exact time of the Rapture, we do know that it is the next great event on the eschatological agenda. As certainly as you are sitting here this morning, the events which I have just read to you in First Thessalonians 4: 13-18 will take place.
My question and concern this morning however, is not the certainty of the Rapture, but, “Are you ready for the Rapture?” Saint and sinner alike must address this question. I want to discuss some reasons why everyone needs to seriously consider this question today.
Theme: You must be ready for the Rapture because of:


I. THE SUDDENNESS OF THE RAPTURE

A. It Will Happen Without Signs.

1. It will be without warning.

I Thess.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.”

NOTE: “The Day of the Lord” begins immediately at the Rapture of the Church. This term is used to refer to that period of time beginning after the Rapture of the Church and ending with the creation of the new heavens and new earth after the Millennial Kingdom. Its occurrence cannot be specifically fixed due to the fact that it follows the Rapture, which also cannot be specifically fixed as to its time of occurrence.

2. The signs of Matthew 24 are often applied wrongly.

a. The appearance of false Christs (Matt.24: 4-5).
b. Wars and rumors of wars (Matt.24: 6).
c. Famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in divers places (Matt.24: 7).
d. The gospel of the kingdom must be preached to all the world (Matt.24: 14).
e. The budding of the fig tree (Matt.24: 32).
f. The sign of the days of Noah (Matt.24: 37-41).

NOTE: [1] If you will carefully read Matthew 24: 3-35, you will find it describes the conditions during the Tribulation period. Matthew 24: 36-51 speaks of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
[2] The gospel of Matthew was written primarily to the Jews that they might understand that Jesus Christ was their promised Messiah and coming King.
Brother Kizer, thank you so much for your comments. I''m very glad the Lord used this message to show you something new. One thing for sure: none of us know it all, and we are likely to become more aware of that the more we study God''s Word. I''m sorry it took me so long to write back, but this is the first time I''ve been made aware of your comment. I''m not sure why it has taken me so long to find it, since I''ve often checked for comments. Thanks again for your kind words.
Ken Kizer of New Grace
March 10, 2007
I have always associated the signs of Matthew 24 with the Rapture. I had never thought of these signs being associated with the tribulation. But now after reading this, I can see how it is associated with the Great Tribulation. Knowing that it is speaking to the Jews should have pointed me that way in the 1st place.