Summary: God knew that He was going to destroy the world soon and He only sought one man – Enoch. A man who lived amidst a perverse environment, sinful world but stood head and shoulders above everyone else. We are not talking about being saved but the RAPTURE.
Opening illustration: Video clip of ’Left Behind.’
What is being ‘caught up?’
* To Seize ~ act of grasping suddenly
* Biblically it pertains to meeting the Lord in mid-air
* The Rapture is a concept in Christianity relating to the return of Jesus.
* Paul cites "the word of the Lord" about the return of Jesus to gather His saints.
Process of Rapture:
1. Christ Descends from Heaven
* Descends with a shout
* Descends with the voice of an archangel
* Descends with the trumpet of God
2. Dead in Christ will RISE first
* Meaning of RISE in Greek ~ avnasth,sontai
* Cause to Arise
* Awaken from Sleep
* To Resurrect or Be Revived
In context of v. 16 it pertains to being resurrected and walking & witnessing to the body of Christ before being raptured with other believers. The word RISE is used in the same context of Christ’s resurrection, witness and ascension.
3. Believers + the ones who were dead in Christ are RAPTURED
* Caught up together in the clouds
* Meet the Lord in the air
* Be with Christ ALWAYS
How to PREPARE yourself for the RAPTURE?
Genesis 5: 1 - 24
Introduction: There has always been discrepancy about the believers in Christ being caught up in mid-air to be with the Lord, which some called to be raptured. In fact 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 – 17 talks about it graphically. It says, “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.”
We have seen throughout the Bible that whatever God wants to do in the future, He already exemplifies it in the past in order to bear testimony to it. For example the resurrection of all and then the judgment is already exemplified through Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. Now the corporate rapture that is to occur in the future needs to bear a testimony. Apparently we see two people namely; Enoch in Genesis 5 and Elijah in 2 Kings 2 are raptured. Therefore we can concur that this event will be possible after certain sign and wonders on earth.
But in all this we as believers need to affirm as to who will really qualify to be raptured. To help us through we will go through the testimony of Enoch.
Let us read Genesis 5: 3 – 24.
Historical Background: We see here that the first 65 years, Enoch did not walk with God. During this era, the Canaanites and Sephites lived for the world. In this ancient history we also get insights into the final moments of human future history. When the Bible talks about Cain’s descendants and their great cities. They were a people of arts, commerce, sciences and the world. They had been extracted from the garden to Eden and had all the know how’s of the times. They were a people of entertainment and enjoyed the status quo of being celebrities of their times. They became so wicked that God had to literally come down Himself and say that He was going to destroy the whole setup.
Testimony of Enoch: Now in this genealogy we see Enoch follows on the heels. Just a few lines from Enoch, God had to take a stand to destroy the world.
But what did God do with the man who walked with Him?
In Genesis 5: 24 we see that Enoch didn’t face death but God took him. God did not take all the people in the lineage, only Enoch had that privilege because he walked with God.
[The Bible doesn’t say Enoch lived – it says ‘he walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.’ For it is good for man to walk with God. By rapturing Enoch, God was showing the world that if they had not sinned, they would also be caught up with the Lord in this manner.]
Now we see that God did not rapture all the people in this genealogy. They may have been good people, may have gone to church, given offering and even prayed.
God knew that He was going to destroy the world soon and He only sought one man – Enoch. A man who lived amidst a perverse environment, sinful world but stood head and shoulders above everyone else. Thus God took him.
World Scenario: The scenario in the world during that time was very much like today – it was getting ready for the flood, but the people were mocking – thinking and making others believe that nothing like that could ever happen.