Summary: Here's a sermon about the Rapture. It includes a story that should hold the attention of your congregation as you preach it.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE RAPTURE?
1 Thessalonians 4: 9-18
9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
10and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
11that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
12that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17Then 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.
18Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Today, I want to tell you the story of Marlin Hawkins.
His wife, Josie, was missing.
She hadn't been seen by anyone for 2 weeks!
Everybody knew that Marlin and his wife argued a lot.
They also knew that Marlin had a terrible temper.
Marlin had been arrested 3 times
on Domestic Violence charges.
Each time, Josie had been hospitalized with injuries.
Josie's family just knew that something had happened to her.
And they believed Marlin had killed her!
How many have heard the word "rapture"?
Do you believe it?
The word "RAPTURE" is not in the Bible.
So...if it's not found in our Bibles...
how can we be sure that there will be a RAPTURE?
In verse 17 of our text we find the words "caught up."
If you had the Latin Vulgate Bible...
Verse 17 would include the Latin word "RAPTO".
That's where we get our English word "rapture."
The Latin word RAPTO meant "to seize, to carry off"
The Rapture may be a mysterious event to many people.
However, the Scriptures convincingly point out
the certainty of this event.
Though we are not told the exact time of the Rapture,
we do know that it is the next great event in this Church Age.
As sure as you are sitting here this morning,
the events which we read in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
will take place. AMEN?
My question this morning is "Are You Ready for the Rapture?"
Saint and sinner alike must address this question.
I want to point out some reasons
why everyone needs to seriously consider this question today.
You must be ready for the Rapture because of:
THE SUDDENNESS OF THE RAPTURE
It Will Happen Without Signs.
It will happen without warning.
Look at 1 Thess.5: 1-2
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
Do thieves give out clues as to when they're going to steal?
"The Day of the Lord" begins immediately at the Rapture.
It refers to that period of time
#1 The Rapture of the church!
#2 7 years of Tribulation
#3 Christ's Millennial Kingdom of 1,000 years
#4 The Great White Throne Judgment
#5 The creation of the new heavens and new earth.
BUT...the Bible does NOT say when the RAPTURE will happen!
It doesn't tell us any signs to look for!
The signs of Matthew Chapter 24 are often applied incorrectly.
a. The appearance of false Christs (Matt.24: 4-5).
b. Wars and rumors of wars (Matt.24: 6).
c. Famines, plagues, 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).
If you carefully read Matthew 24 Verses 3 through 35...
you will find it describes the conditions DURING the Tribulation.
Matthew 24: 36-51 speaks of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
The gospel of Matthew was written primarily to the Jews
that they might understand that Jesus Christ
was their promised Messiah and coming King.
All of the signs mentioned in Matthew 24 were given