Summary: Deals with the Rapture of the Church

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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

in time.

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

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