Sermons

Summary: A CLOSE LOOK AT PAUL'S TREACHING CONCERNING THE RAPTURE TO THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH

GOING HOME: THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-58

RES. RD.: REVELATION 4:1-11

THE GLOBAL NEWS NETWORK (GNN) WAS OVERWEALMED BY ASTONISHING INCIDENTS THAT HAPPENED ALL OVER THE WORLD, FOR NO APPARENT REASON.

TELEPHONE OPERATORS, FIRST A FEW, THEN FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD REPORTED FRANTIC CALLS FROM PEOPLE REGARDING MISSING LOVED ONES.

ONE HUSBAND REPORTED, “I TURNED ON THE LIGHT TO ASK MY WIFE IF SHE REMEMBERED TO SET THE ALARM CLOCK, BUT SHE WAS GONE. HER BEDCLOTHES WERE THERE, HER WATCH WAS ON THE FLOOR, BUT SHE HAD VANISHED.

ANOTHER WOMAN CALLER REPORTED, “MY HUSBAND JUST RETURNED FROM THE LATE SHIFT. AS I KISSED HIM, HE JUST DISAPPEARED IN MY ARMS. ALL I WAS HOLDING WAS HIS CLOTHES.

ANOTHER INCIDENT AT A WEDDING, REPORTS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A GROOM, AS HE IS PUTTING THE RING ON THE BRIDE’S FINGER.

A FUNERAL HOME IN AUSTRALIA REPORTS THAT NEARLY ALL THE MOURNERS AT A SERVICE DISAPPEARED, AS WELL AS THE CORPSE. THE SAME FUNERAL HOME REPORTING OF ANOTHER SERVICE HELD AT THE VERY SAME TIME, HAD ONLY A FEW DISAPPEARANCES, AND THE CORPSE REMAINED.

ANOTHER FUNERAL HOME REPORTED THAT THREE OF SIX PALLBEARERS STUMBLED WITH THE CASKET, AS THREE PALLBEARERS MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED. WHEN THEY OPENED THE CASKET TO CHECK ON THE BODY, IT WAS GONE.

THOUSANDS OF REPORTS OF MASS TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS, TRAIN DERAILMENTS, PLANE CRASHES, ALL WITH ONE THING IN COMMON. THE DRIVERS OF ALL THESE THINGS HAD MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED WITH NO LOGICAL EXPLANATION, EXCEPT THE ONE I AM GOING TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY.

THE NEXT MAJOR PROPHETIC ELEMENT CONCERNING THE LAST DAYS THAT WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT, IS THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS SHOULD LOOK FORWARD TO THIS DAY, BUT FOR ALL OTHER PEOPLE, THIS WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF THEIR GREATEST NIGHTMARE AS THOSE LEFT BEHIND WILL EXPERIENCE THE SEVEN YEAR PERIOD OF TIME KNOWN AS THE TRIBULATION.

IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT ONLY PRE-MILLENNIALISTS BELIEVE IN THE LITERAL RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. WHILE THE WORD “RAPTURE” DOESN’T OCCUR IN SCRIPTURE, THE CONCEPT OF THE RAPTURE IS SPOKEN OF IN 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18, 1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-58, AND JOHN 14:1-3, TO NAME A FEW.

JESUS TAUGHT ABOUT THE RAPTURE IN MATTHEW 24

MATTHEW 24:37-42:

AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH, SO IT WILL BE AT THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN. 38 FOR IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE FLOOD, PEOPLE WERE EATING AND DRINKING, MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE, UP TO THE DAY NOAH ENTERED THE ARK; 39 AND THEY KNEW NOTHING ABOUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN UNTIL THE FLOOD CAME AND TOOK THEM ALL AWAY. THAT IS HOW IT WILL BE AT THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN. 40 TWO MEN WILL BE IN THE FIELD; ONE WILL BE TAKEN AND THE OTHER LEFT. 41 TWO WOMEN WILL BE GRINDING WITH A HAND MILL; ONE WILL BE TAKEN AND THE OTHER LEFT. 42 “THEREFORE KEEP WATCH, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW ON WHAT DAY YOUR LORD WILL COME.

THE WORD “RAPURE” COMES FROM A FOURTH CENTURY LATIN VULGATE TRANSLATION FOR THE GREEK WORD “HARPADZO” WHICH OCCURS IN 1 THESSALONIANS 4:17. SOME TRANSLATORS HAVE USED THE WORDS “CAUGHT UP” OR “SNATCHED”, TO INDICATE THAT THE TRANSFORMATION TO OUR “INCORRUPTILE HEAVENLY BODIES” WILL OCCUR INSTANTLY, AS PAUL SAYS “IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE.”

ENOCH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE RAPTURE.

GENESIS 5:24: ENOCH WALKED FAITHFULLY WITH GOD; THEN HE WAS NO MORE, BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM AWAY.

FROM PAUL’S WRITING TO THE THESSALONIAN CHURCH WE LEARN THAT THE RAPTURE IS NOT ONLY FOR THOSE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS WHO WERE ALIVE AT THE COMING OF CHRIST, BUT ALSO FOR THOSE BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS AT THE TIME OF THEIR DEATH.

PAUL WAS THE APOSTLE WHO GAVE US MOST OF THE WRITING CONCERNING THE RAPTURE. HIS LETTERS TO THE CORINTHIANS AND THE THESSALONIANS LEAD US TO THE FOLLOWING CONCLUSIONS CONCERNING IT.

1. THE LORD HIMSELF WILL DESCEND WITH A SHOUT AND THE TRUMPET CALL OF GOD. THIS SHOUT HOWEVER WILL ONLY BE HEARD BY CHRISTIANS WHO ARE READY TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. HE WILL DESCEND AND HIS CHURCH WILL BE RAISED TO MEET HIM.

2. WE WILL BE CHANGED INSTANTLY. OUR BODIES WILL BE TRANSFORMED FROM THESE MORTAL SINFUL BODIES, TO IMMORTAL INCORRUPTIBLE ONES. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO LIVE FOREVER WITH CHRIST. THIS CHANGE WILL HAPPEN IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE.

3. THIS TRANSFORMATION WILL BE PHYSICAL. THOSE WHO ARE ALIVE WILL HAVE PHYSICALLY INCORRUPTIBLE BODIES, NOT TAINTED BY SIN. THERE WILL BE A RESURRECTION OF DEAD BELIEVERS. THEIR BODIES WILL BE REFORMED AND REUNITE WITH THEIR SOULS AND FOREVER LIVE WITH THE LORD.

4. THE CHURCH WILL MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. WE WILL RISE TO BE WITH HIM. JESUS WILL NOT SET FOOT ON EARTH UNTIL THE TIME OF THE GLORIOUS APPEARING AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION.

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