Summary: Why does the church go off the air in Rev. 4:1? Because the church goes “in the air” - and look what we see in heaven! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Behold the Throne!
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.
‘hast seen’—ch. 1—glimpse at glorified Christ, eternity past.
‘are’—chs. 2-3—church age, the present age of Grace.
‘shall be hereafter’—begins in 4:1, end of the world & eternity future.
v.1—last word= “hereafter”…the 3rd and final section of Revelation begins right here!
The church [born again believers] has had the center stage until now…as a matter of fact, the word church appears 19 times in chs. 2 & 3, but in Rev. 4:1, the church disappears! And is not seen again until ch. 19 when we find the church returning w/ Christ to earth at the battle of Armageddon!
To use radio language, we would say that in 4:1, the church goes “off the air”. Why does the church go off the air in 4:1? I’ll tell you why, because the church goes “in the air” in 4:1!! This verse is a picture of the rapture of the church! We can only imagine that glorious ride! Are you excited about making that trip? Are you watching for Him? Working? Witnessing?
The rapture is the next event on God’s prophetic time table. It won’t be long…it can’t be! All the prophecies have been fulfilled. There is nothing holding back the return of Jesus Christ, it is imminent, it could happen ANY moment…and though we do not know the day or the hour, right now, we are closer to the return of Christ than any humans have ever been in the history of the world! He’s almost at the door! He’ll open it and invite His children in!
v. 1 sounds like Paul’s description in I Thess. 4:
16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Take certain metals: silver, gold, zinc, copper, and iron and sprinkle them on the ground. Then take one of these giant electro magnets and sweep it over those particles of metal on the ground. Some of the metal would rise
to meet the magnet, but others would stay in the ground. The gold would stay in the ground, the silver would stay in the ground, the zinc would stay in the ground, the copper and the bronze would stay in the ground, but the iron would rise. Why would the iron rise? Because it has the same nature as the magnet. When Jesus comes again, those who are heaven-born will be heaven-bound. Those who have the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, the dead in Christ, will rise first, and we which remain will be caught up to meet them in the air.
The world scoffs at these things, just as they did in Noah’s day, but no one will be laughing on the day when millions, including all young children, suddenly vanish! [2 cartoons…]
6 Reasons for a Pre-tribulation Rapture:
1. Not one time is the church mentioned in a Bible text discussing the tribulation
2. In all the writings of Paul, the church is never mentioned in connection w/ the tribulation or wrath to come.
3. The church has already been judged at Calvary [purpose of trib. is judgment!]
4. The pictures of Enoch/Lot, etc. [all Bible types picture pre-trib]
5. Rev. 19 pictures church in Heaven during the tribulation.
6. The coming of Christ for His saints is always pictured as sudden and unexpected [imminent]
Right now, God is still striving w/ rebellious mankind…
…calling / convicting / convincing / saving sinners…but there’s coming a day very soon when God’s patience will give way to God’s wrath…and there will be an avalanche of God’s judgment poured down upon the world which rejects Christ. It will be a judgment so terrible, so severe, so beyond comprehension, that God will not allow His church to go thru it!
I Thess. 1:10 says we as God’s children are waiting for Christ’s return, and that we are not appointed unto wrath!
There’s a feeling in the air that the return of Christ is very soon. Why do so many feel that way? Certainly signs of the times are all around us. The nuclear threats of our day alone have many thinking that we just cannot continue on this way for long. But think of it this way:
Many people in this room, in their lifetime, have seen mankind harness the atom, and develop capabilities to destroy the entire earth in less than 30 minutes/Israel established as a nation, and the dispersed Jews return to Israel by the hundreds of thousands (just as the Bible predicted would happen just before Christ returns)/Israel has become the hub, the hotbed of all that goes on in the world/Jews recapture the city of Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years, in a war that took only 6 days/computers change the world…linked together w/ instant communication/the cashless society is nearly a done deal/heard of more earthquakes in your lifetime than the last 500 years put together/technology advance from airplanes to space shuttles!