Summary: Deals with the Rapture of the Church
Gone Without Warning
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:15-4:18
ILL. While on a South Pole expedition, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left a few men on Elephant Island, promising that he would return for them. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. But suddenly, as if by a miracle, an avenue opened in the ice and Shackleton was able to get through. His men, ready and waiting, quickly scrambled aboard. No sooner had the ship cleared the island than the ice crashed together behind them. Contemplating their narrow escape, the explorer said to his men, “It was fortunate you were all packed and ready to go!” They replied, “We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea was clear of ice we rolled up our sleeping bags and reminded each other, ‘The boss may come today.’”
I. What Is the Rapture?
A. What is the Rapture? “What is the rapture?”
1. It is one of the most compelling prophetic
events in the Bible yet some claim it is not
taught in the Bible because you cannot find the
actual word "rapture in the Scripture.
2. This is a very poor argument. Actually there are
several words found in the Bible that describe
Christian dictrines which no one would argue are
not taught in the Bible.
3. The word “Trinity” is never actual found in the
text of the Holy Word, but very few people
will fold Godhead of Father, Son, and Spirit is
not taught in the Bible.
4. The word homosexual is not found in the
Bible, but the Bible clearly teaches that a
man is forbidden to lie with another man as he
lies with a woman. The meaning behind that
teaching is pretty clear.
a. In fact the Bible is often made simple
enough that even fools can understand it.
b. Just because the words trinity or
homosexual don’t appear in the text,
doesn’t mean the Bible is silent about these
B. The word rapture is not found in the actual text
of the Bible. But that doesn’t mean that Scripture
is silent about this subject. It actually describes he
future event quite clearly.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, where the apostle Paul
provides us with most of the available details. Let’s
read this passage:
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For 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. For 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. Then 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. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.
C. The rapture of the church is when believers will
be taken out of the world to meet their Lord and
Savior in the air.
1. It is when Jesus comes to take His faithful
Jennifer Rast of Contender Ministries describes it this way: “The rapture refers to the sudden removal of all of God’s people on the earth. In the twinkling of an eye, born again Christian will suddenly be transformed out of our human bodies and will rise up into the air to join Jesus Christ.”
II. What Will the Rapture Look Like?
A. A Trumpet and a Shout
1. It says that there is a trumpet that is blown, and
the Lord descends with a shout.
1. So I think we can safely assume that we will
hear both the trumpet and our Savior’s voice
calling to us.
2. But, will every human being on earth hear
the call or just believers? I don’t Think so!
A-1. Personally, (and this is just my opinion so you
can take it or leave it) I think only believers will
hear and know what is going on at this moment
1.I base this opinion on the fact that the Bible
teaches in John 10:3 that the sheep [the church]
hear the voice of their shepherd [Jesus] “…he calls his
own by name and leads them out.”
B. The Dead First
1. The passage tells us that the dead in Christ will
rise first. Every believer who has ever lived will
be resurrected and will join Christ in the air
a. In any case these words assure us that we will