Summary: God obviously wants us to know what will happen in the End Times because his Word contains so much about those times. The New Testament teachings about the end times are often developed from Old Testament passages, like Daniel 12:1-3.
End Times Midrash: Rapture and Tribulation
(Daniel 12:1 and many New Testament verses based on this verses)
1. A lot of people fear the world is going to end in 2012, based upon the Mayan calendar. Other people are hearing trumpet sounds in the sky, like a shofar.
2. What does the Bible say about the end times? I have provided a chart.
Let’s begin with some cautions.
3. As we continue on in this series, please do not give me books, CDs, DVDs, tapes, articles, or web links – at least not without asking my permission.
4. Also understand that our church takes a stand, so please do not expect me to get involved in arguments about basic framework of our end time beliefs.
5. Article XIV reads, “We believe that one day Jesus Christ will return to resurrect the dead in Christ and to immortalize "we who remain." We also believe that there will be a seven year period of God’s wrath on the earth, called the Tribulation or Daniel’s 70th week. We believe that a literal millennium (thousand year reign of Christ) will follow the Tribulation, during which God will once again exalt His nation, Israel (premillennialism). We recognize the diversity of opinion as regards the return of Christ to the clouds (the "rapture") and its relationship to the tribulation. Though our position has historically been that of Pretribulationalism, we can accept members with other viewpoints.
6. For some, the study of prophecy is a test of faith.
• We profess to believe that all Scripture is inspired and profitable
• Yet many believers would argue that studying the prophetic parts of Scripture is not spiritually profitable. (the 2 cannot both be true)
• must be important to our spiritual health whether we realize it or not, whether we understand it all or not.
7. A reasonable amount of prophetic study is important to a well-balanced spiritual diet. Some people overdose on it; most do not.
Main Idea: God obviously wants us to know what will happen in the End Times because his Word contains so much about those times. The New Testament teachings about the end times are often developed from Old Testament passages, like Daniel 12:1-3.
I. Michael Arises: The RAPTURE? (Daniels 12:1a)
(number 3 on chart)
A. The only angel called an ARCHANGEL in Scripture (Jude 1:9)
I Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
Jude 1:9a, “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil…”
1. We usually associate the trumpet sound of the angel with Gabriel
2. But only Michael is actually called an archangel
3. He is Israel’s special protector
4. Thus Israel must exist as a nation in the end times
B. Paul’s midrash may include the ADDITION of new material
Don’t let the Word “midrash” scare you. It’s not complex:
My friend was working at an amusement park when a couple stopped him. “Excuse me,” said the woman, pointing to a pond. “What is that water made out of?”
Bemused, my friend replied, “Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.”
“See?” she said to her boyfriend. “I told you it wasn’t real.” [Reader’s Digest]
Midrash just means that a New Testament author is taking an Old Testament text and interpreting or applying it for New Testament believers, sometimes adding to it.
1. In Corinthians 15:51-53, something about the rapture is called a mystery
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 body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
2. Two notable views: either the whole rapture is a mystery or the concept of living believers being transformed without dying is the mystery
C. The IMMINENCY of Jesus’ return is an important concept
Matthew 24:36-42, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.