Summary: This message seeks to show that since the Rapture could take place at any time, we need to be ready, by knowing that we have trusted Christ as Savior, and by living holy and godly lives.
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).
 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 so the Jews would know when Messiah’s kingdom was about to be set up.
 There are no signs given in scripture concerning the Rapture of the Church. We are merely told to watch and wait for Jesus.
Heb.9: 28b “…and unto them that look for him shall he (Jesus) appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
I Thess.1: 10 “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”
B. It Will Happen Speedily.
I Cor.15: 51 “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
NOTE:  Jesus could come today. He could come before I finish this message. But the question is, “Are you ready for the Rapture?”
 The Rapture will take place quickly and unexpectedly. We need to be ready.
There’s a man in yonder glory I have loved for many years,
He has cleared my guilty conscience and has banished all my fears.
He is coming in a moment in the twinkling of an eye,
And no time will be allotted for you to utter one good-bye.
No time to kiss the husband or embrace the loving wife,
If they are but united in the bonds of holy life.
Are you ready, Christian, ready, for shout and trump and voice?
Will His coming make you tremble or cause you to rejoice?