Rapture of the Church/ Second coming of Jesus Christ
I want to talk to you a moment about some of the things that are happening in the world today.
I want to take a moment to look what the Bible says about the end times.
I had a conversation with several people this week and heard some perspectives of what they felt was happening today with all the changes happening.
Please believe me when I say that I am no expert on end times and the study of Eschatology. After conversation, I would like to say how I see scripture unfolding.
I remember hearing about the 88 reasons Jesus will return in 1988. When that didn’t happen, I remember the next year the same author had 89 reasons that Jesus would come back in 1989. Looking back now a little more educated, as soon as it did not happen in 1988, this man was a false prophet according to the word of God. To say it again in 1989, anyone that bought that book was just padding his bank account.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that many false prophets will rise and many have done that already. He tells us that if people claim to tell us that Christ is here, Christ is there, showing us great signs and wonders that we are not to believe them.
People have for centuries tried to figure out who the Antichrist is.
Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Moselini, all names mentioned as the antichrist.
What does the Bible say?
What does the Bible say about the rapture? About the second coming of Christ?
A lot of times there is confusion on these two events.
The rapture and second coming of Christ are two different end times events.
The rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the church and all believers.
The second coming of Christ occurs after the great tribulation and believers return with Jesus
Rapture happens in a instant and without warning, as a thief in the night- the believers will be gone, the world left wondering where the believers went.
The second coming will be visible to all.
“Behold He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, all tribes of the Earth will morn over him”
why is it so important to keep the rapture and the second coming distinct?
If the rapture and the second coming are the same event, believers will have to go through the tribulation.
If they are the same event, there are many events that must occur before he can return.
1 Thess. 4:13-18
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
The rapture is when Jesus takes the church and all believers, first the dead, and then we which are alive. In a twinkling of an eye, we will meet the Lord Jesus in the air (He will not set foot on earth yet)
1 Corinthians 15:50-54
“Now I say this, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory.”
The trumpet will sound, and in a instant we will be with the Lord. Believers who have died will have their bodies resurrected and believers who still living will be in His presence.
The second coming according t Rev. 19:11-16
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called faithful and true. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
It is when Jesus returns with the church to defeat the antichrist , destroy evil, and establish his millennial kingdom.
If you have seen the antichrist you have been left behind. The church will be gone when the antichrist takes power. When one world government is in full swing, when the mark of the beast is debated.
The rapture is the return of Christ for the church to remove all believers from the earth before the time of God’s wrath.
The second coming is the return of Christ to the earth to bring the tribulation period to an end and defeat the antichrist and his evil empire
That was the introduction
what can we learn from the scriptures
I. Blessed promises fulfilled
II Blessed escape from the wrath of God
III Blessed hope of glory
I. Promises fulfilled
There are some promises Jesus left us with.
He will establish his church,
He will empower his church, He will protect his church
He will come back to get his church.
Those are promises from God
Peter got it -
“Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God Peter upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell ...I said shall not....overcome.”
Apostles got it-
It is not for you to know time or dates, only the Father knows.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the remote part of the Earth.”
“In my Father’s house are many dwelling places, if it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you , I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also”
Jesus tells us to be ready.
He tell us to not be deceived.
Every earthquake, every political upheaval, every attack on Israel may not be the end times, but it lets us know that God promises are being fulfilled.
May 14th, 1948 when Israel became a nation again, that was a big fulfillment of prophecy. They had not been sovereign since 70 A.D.. and God promised Abraham that Israel would be a nation again.
These are perilous times- and we see man resisting the truth more and more every day.
II. Blessed escape of wrath
Luke tells us (Luke 21:36) to watch, pray be counted worthy to escape.
1 Thess 5:9
“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through Jesus Christ.”
Therefore encourage one another, build one another up
“I am coming quickly, hold fast what you have, in order that no one takes your crown”
God has given us enough information that we can be prepared.
16 articles of faith of the church of the Nazarene
#15 Second coming of the Lord- We believe it will happen exactly as God said
#16 Resurrection, Judgement, Destiny of all mankind
some to eternal life
some to eternal damnation Based upon your acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ.
I have a habit that may seem strange. I tape the Superbowl games whene the Packers are in .I watch them now and then. Superbowl 31 The Packers beat the Patriots 35-21. It was a nail biter at points in the game. I have seen it already, I know how it turns out, so it is not a nail biter anymore, the pressure may appear bad and hard, but I know how it turns out. It is the same with the Lord. We know the end of the story. Superbowl 32, the Packers were again in the Superbowl and played the Denver Bronco’s. The Packers lost that game 31-24. No matter how many times I watch that game and cheer for the Packers, they will lose that game. This is how Satan will see the end of the story, He has been defeated and no matter what he does, what he tries, what plays he uses, He will lose the game.
III. Blessed hope of glory
we are the children of God- heaven will one day be our home
heaven because of Jesus Christ, the resurrected savior who saved us from the wrath to come
Two guys had been in a fight and one yells at the other. Apparently, you don’t know how we do things in these parts of Tennessee. We settle disagreements like this with the Tennessee three kick rule. What is the Tennessee three kick rule. Well, first I kick you three times, and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up. The man thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the guy. He agreed to the terms. His first kick planted the steel toe of his heavy work boot in the guy’s shin. The man fell to his knees. His second kick nearly put a hole in the man’s stomach. The man quickly delivered the third kick to the side of the mans head. Slowly the disoriented man managed to get to his feet. O.k., now it is my turn. The man smiled and said “Naw, I give up. You win
“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearance of Jesus Christ”
Are you ready for Jesus Christ to return?
If He were to return right now at the conclusion of this service
would you have to change your lifestyle
change your thought life
way you spend your time, money, abilities are your sins under the blood of Christ
have you asked Him to be your Lord and savior
have you made things right with Jesus, with others.
Is there commandments that you have put off obeying, such as tithing, praying, studying the Bible, being filled with the Spirit, witnessing to those around you.
If you were to stand before him this morning what would he say to you?
What do you want to say to him this morning?
I’m going to open up the altar for a moment, don’t let this moment past, don’t let it be stolen away from you
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