Summary: The sermon deals with having missed the rapture, what is waiting for people during the tribulations period.

I Just Missed It, Now What

NLF 12/15/2002 Matthew 24:3-25 Revelations 13:1-18

In our last message, we met Tyrone. He was the young man who lost his job because he was not ready when the bus came. From there we discussed the ten virgins who were to be prepared when the groom came. We saw that five of them took extra steps to have enough oil for their lamps so that they could be ready when the groom showed up. We also saw that five of them were not prepared and they missed going to the wedding party. We looked at how important it was for us to be ready and prepared when Jesus came to take away the church in the rapture.

The rapture is that instant moment in which all of a sudden, Jesus takes away those who are living for him before the rise of the anti-Christ. Now last time we all intended to be ready for Jesus when he would silently take all believers out of the world. We also pointed out that every week there are two churches here in this place. There is the church of people who are actively living for Jesus Christ, and there is the church of people who just come to church for whatever reason. The second group looks like they are ready to meet Jesus, but in reality they are not.

Now today I want us to look at those who took a chance on living for themselves just a little too long. Let’s say the rapture happened on a Monday night at around 10pm Eastern Standard Time. Those of you watching Monday night football who are left behind, will be trying to figure out what is going on.

Some of the players on the team disappeared right in the middle of the play. The receiver was wide open for a touchdown, and when the ball got to where he was, there was no receiver. They keep playing the play over and over again. They also report that a lot of the fans have suddenly left the stadium.

You then hear, we interrupt this program with a special bulletin. Several airplanes all over the country have crashed. It is believed the planes were hijacked and deliberately crashed by terrorists. You then call for your husband or your parent or your child, to come listen to this broadcast but there is no response. You go to the room where you thought the person was, but nobody is there. You then here a siren coming down the street saying, stay in your house. We are under attack by unknown terrorist.

You immediately want prayer so you call us on the phone. All you get is an answering machine stating, if you want to speak to the pastors press 1 , for Anita press 2, for Sharon press 3 and for Hope press 4. You try calling long distance but all the lines are jammed.

You look at the TV again and some official is encouraging the nation to be calm. “ Something strange has happened but the government is on top of it. Although millions of people are being reported missing around the world, the situation is under control. Please do not use your automobile because there are abandoned cars all along the highway.”

At this point you realize, that the rapture has taken place and you have been left behind. You cry God, “Oh Jesus, I’m sorry for my sins. Please take me. Please take me too.” You realize that it is too late, but you remember hearing my sermon and you decide, well since the Bible was right about the rapture, it must be right about everything else too. So you decide to give your live for Christ and to try to win as many others as possible before the tribulation period.

At first the whole world is thrown into confusion over what has happened. Some say aliens have abducted people. Some say it was the work of terrorists working with a foreign governments. Some are bold enough to say the rapture came. Some will say the idea of God taking some people without taking all is ridiculous. After all, look at how many good people who went to church including bishops, pastors, elders, deacons, ushers, choir members, and bible teachers are still here.

The world will be hungry for new leadership. The word of God teaches that an eloquent leader will arise with great political skills. At first he will bring hope and peace to the world. People from all over the world will adore him. They will be won over buy his charm and his wit. It will only be later that his true colors will begin to shore. This awesome leader will come from Satan himself. He is identified as the Anti-Christ.

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