Summary: Skeptics point out the Long Length of Time it’s Been since Jesus' promise, the wrong predictions of date-setters, and the lack of current supernatural interventions as excuses to write off the Rapture. But has God changed His mind?
HAS GOD CALLED OFF THE RAPTURE?
1 Thess. 4:15-18
1. A deacon had a talking female parrot that always said, “Kiss me! Kiss me!” This bothered the deacon.
2. Then he heard the pastor had a parrot who always said, “Let’s pray! Let’s pray!” That sounded more dignified, so he approached the pastor about putting his parrot with the pastor’s to change his parrot’s comments. Pastor agreed.
3. So the deacon brought over his parrot and stuck it in the cage with the pastor’s parrot. As usual, the deacon’s parrot cried, “Let’s Kiss! Let’s Kiss!”
4. The pastor’s parrot bowed his head and said, “My prayers have been answered!”
B. WHERE DID THE REFRIGERATOR CAR GO? [7700, # 4887]
1. There was a mysterious disappearance of a refrigerator car from the center of a long freight train during a non-stop trip of 25 miles in Pennsylvania on a night in 1898.
2. Until it was found by a farmer 3 weeks later, concealed in trees, no one could imagine what could have happened.
3. While rounding sharp steep curves, the car became uncoupled at both ends. After it toppled from the rails, the rear section of the train caught up with the front section of the train and the recoupled itself with the front section!
C. ANOTHER MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE
1. But the Bible tells of a greater mysterious disappearance – millions of Christians will simultaneously & instantly disappear from the Earth. This event is called the Rapture. Why will God do this?
a. Remove the Church before the Great Tribulation.
b. To bring Israel to salvation (after Rapture).
c. Also to Judge the world who’ve rejected God’s Messiah.
2. But although there are hundreds of Scriptures pointing to Christ’s Second Coming & Rapture, some Christians have written-off the idea of the Rapture, or more dangerously, quit looking for and expecting the soon coming of Jesus Christ.
3. 15 “According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thess. 4:15-18.
D. THESIS & TITLE
1. I want to expose three subtle arguments the enemy uses to get us to quit looking for Jesus’ soon coming;
a. The Long Length of Time it’s Been;
b. Previous False Alarms of His Coming;
c. Life Goes on Normally (‘we see no supernatural’)
2. So I want to address the subject: “Has God Called Off the Rapture?”
I. LONG LENGTH OF TIME
A. THE MEANING OF ‘QUICKLY’ ‘SOON’?