Summary: Discusses the Rapture, why some believe in it while others do not, and gives Scripture to support it.
As Christians and believers in Christ, we know what the overall plan is: To talk with Jesus so we can go to heaven when we die. But there is a lot more information squeezed into that plan that we might be fully aware of.
During our lifetimes in church, we have all heard many sermons, but since the cover such a wide variety of subjects, it is sometimes hard to put them together into an easy-to-understand sequence so we can fully understand them.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I preached about how Jesus is either referred to, or even directly mentioned by name, in every single book of the bible. He is referenced in the first verse of the first book of the bible, and is referenced in the last part of the last book of the bible.
The week following that sermon, I preached about how we are literally held together by Jesus, and today, I will preach about what awaits Christians as the End Times come upon us.
So many sermons about so many topics; how do we put them together into one concise story that makes sense to us? The answer to that question is actually quite simple. To understand the story, we must read the story. That means we must read our bibles, not just the occasional verse here and there, but to read it like your eternal life actually depends on your understanding that story - because it really does!
One subject many people, including many Christians, are very interested in is what will the End Times be like and what they will include. That is a very intensive study that covers many aspects, so for today's purposes I want to break that down into one basic topic; the Rapture.
A lot of people get the Rapture mixed up with the Second Coming of Jesus. These are not the same event, but two separate events. The Rapture will occur first and then seven years later, the Second Coming of Jesus occurs.
We will cover this in deeper detail in a moment, but let me quickly say that the main reason we know they are not the same is in the Rapture, Jesus comes and calls us up to the clouds to meet Him in the air.
At the Second Coming of Jesus, He will put His feet on the Mount of Olives, and cause the entire mountain range to be split in two, causing a horrific earthquake. In one, He stays in the air; in the other, He stands on the earth.
Some say there is no Rapture and they base that on the fact that the word "Rapture" is not to be found in the bible. That is a very hollow reason, because those same people who deny the Rapture because it isn't in the bible, hang on tightly to the idea of the Trinity, even though that word is not in the bible either. They do the same by hanging on to the knowledge that homosexuality is a sin - even though the words "homosexual" or "homosexuality" is not in the bible, either.
See, our mistake as humans, is that we always think everything must be understandable by us, when in reality, we can only understand a few things. Isaiah reminds us that God's ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are also higher than ours. If that is the case, then why do we reject God and His thoughts and ways because we just do not understand them?
God is the Creator while we are merely the creation. How can something that has been created know more than the One who created it?
Speaking of the Rapture, we find a snapshot of it in the book of Genesis.
GENESIS 5:24 tells us:
"Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
HEBREWS 11:5 explains this event even more clearly,
"By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away…"
Enoch did not die. He was simply taken out of this world alive. One minute he was here. The next he was in paradise. He never experienced physical death.
A day is coming when all LIVING believers will experience what Enoch experienced. And we will receive a new & incorruptible body that will be made to fit our new home in heaven!
So, even though the bible does not use the word "Rapture", it does speak about it. It even tells us in what order we shall ascend to be with Jesus. The Apostle Paul tell us that Jesus calls the dead in Christ first, and then those who are alive in Christ secondly, so we can meet Him in the clouds.