Summary: Our blessed hope in Christ should encourage us to be a blessing and do what God has called us to do.
Our blessed Hope
For the last several weeks we have been looking at practical applications of God’s Word.
We looked at Jesus on the day of judgment separating the goats from the sheep.
What will that look like and what does that mean to each one of us.
We also looked at fasting and prayer and realizing that there are some things that only happen by fasting and praying.
Jesus told his disciples when they could not heal a particular man that it was because it would take fasting and praying.
This morning, were looking at the rapture of the universal church.
We hear a lot about it, but what does that mean and how does it impact us.
I am sorry to remind you that everyone will not make heaven.
God very clearly point out end times, clearly points out last days and it is our responsibility to search God’s word and understand what will take place during that time.
What are you looking forward too?
What have you set for goals?
What do you put all your hopes and dreams in?
We fix our eyes on desired future.
We invest our time to reach those objectives.
We invest our money on things that are important to us.
We plan for a wedding
We plan for jobs by education and gained experience.
We work toward retirement and the latter days of our lives.
Our text this morning deals with the rapture of the church, the end times.
Apostle Paul addresses the event head on and clears up some misunderstandings.
By far we cannot be experts after this sermon, but we can maybe clear up some misunderstandings that some have. What I see happen a lot of times, we assume everyone understands future events.
Some things that I hope you grasp;
Clear up some misunderstandings.
Establish God’s truth.
That our hope is not only in this life, but that we will have blessed hope with eternal life with Christ.
You have to carefully read this
At some point (we are not told when) in history, our heavenly Father is going to say to His Son Jesus Christ- Go get your bride! (the bride being the church)
Now is the time to bring to pass your suffering for mankind.
Now is the time for you to bring God’s people home.
Now has come!
It will be a climatic event!
There will be no doubt that this is a God moment.
There will be fireworks. It would not be about some guy dressed in a white sheet pretending to save the world.
Matthew records- “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of man be.”
Remember the ascension of Jesus- Jesus was taken up into heaven.
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven. “ Act 1:11
(16) “For the Lord Himself (Jesus) will descend from heaven.”
Not just Michael the angel
Not just Gabriel, BUT THE LORD HIMSELF! That should make some of you excited! Amen.
The misunderstanding was the Lord stated that He would come back, and that the church needed to be ready.
The problem was as loved ones died, they thought that their loved ones had missed His return because they died too soon.
Paul had the heart of a pastor. He wanted them to understand the rapture and to have the whole truth.
Remember this was before telephone, E-mail, texting.
It was even before snail mail.
It was by word of mouth by people who had it wrong.
Retention is only 5%. They did not get it.
Battle of waterloo- a message was sent- “Wellington defeated” The country was devastated because they thought they had lost, but it changed once they received the whole complete message. “Wellington defeated….the enemy.” Misunderstandings cause confusion and confusion can cause us trouble.
You have to understand this- Death for a Christian is different than the death of a unbeliever, because for a believer our hope is in the resurrected Christ.
The future is not a guess work of trying to figure out if we did enough good deeds to offset the bad things we have done.
Our hope is entirely on Christ.
On that day, God the Father (pre-determined day that we don’t know), He will tell Jesus to go get His church.
The Bible says those who are asleep (those who have died)
Listen, (14) “We believe that Jesus died, and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.”
Now falling asleep in Him is a key verse- those who are in Christ, who have died before His return, will meet Him in the air first.