Summary: Jesus is coming for his Saints. Will you be ready when he returns?

The Disney Film “Million Dollar Arm” tells the story of a washed out Baseball scout who goes to India to find a new prospect and save his career. It’s a charming story that centers on finding a cricket pitcher in India good enough to be drafted into Major Leagues. The drama unfolds as the scout races against time to get his two prospects ready for the tryout deadline. The approaching deadline motivates the scout and the players to be ready.

Today I would like to ask the question, Will You be Ready? Our focus on prophecy continues today with a discussion of the disciple’s questions to Jesus concerning the timing of the coming judgment.

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”” (Matthew 24:3, NIV84)

Matthew 24 and 25 provide information about CHRIST’S RETURN

Jesus gave these words on TUESDAY of the passion week, likely as the sun was setting over the Temple.

This is not a discussion about the Rapture of the Church. This sermon by Jesus is about his SECOND COMING

Christ would not instruct the Disciples about the RAPTURE until THURSDAY NIGHT at the FINAL PASSOVER (John 14), AFTER JUDAS has departed (Judas would NOT be a part of the Raptured Church!)


His Coming in JUDGMENT

This Prophesied in the OT

““The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 59:20, NIV84)

““In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” (Daniel 2:44, NIV84)

““And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10, NIV84)

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2, NIV84)

We normally refer to Christ’s coming in judgment as the Second Coming.

He comes WITH his Saints. “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11–16, NIV84)

The RAPTURE is a separate part of the Return of Christ that precedes the Second Coming. During the Rapture, Jesus comes and CATCHES AWAY his BRIDE, the CHURCH

The FIRST MENTION of this event in the chronology of Scripture is found in John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3, NIV84)

The Rapture is referred to as a “Mystery” “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—” (1 Corinthians 15:51, NIV84)

In a moment.

Twinlking of an eye

At the Last Trumpet

Dead in Christ will be raised


The Rapture is a comfort or encouragement to believers.

“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14–18, ESV)

Christians who have died will be raised.

The resurrection of the saints is based on the resurrection of Jesus

Some Christians will be alive when Jesus returns

They will meet Jesus AFTER the Resurrected ones

The word “Caught up” is the Greek word harpadzo. This was translated into the Latin word “Rapturo.” So, it is a false argument to say that the Bible does not refer to the Rapture. True, “rapture” is not found in the New Testament, but the Greek harpadzo is found frequently and refers to the catching away of the church to meet Christ in the air.

When will the Rapture take place?

BEFORE the Tribulation begins. 3 Reasons.

Reason #1: Christ’s coming for his saints is IMMINENT.

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”” (Acts 1:11)

“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” (1 Corinthians 1:7, NIV84)

“If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! (Maranatha)” (1 Corinthians 16:22, NIV84).

In ARAMAIC, Maranatha is a combination of three words

MAR (Lord)

ANA (Our)

THA (Come)

“Our Lord Come. This was the greeting of first Century saints!

“and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10, NIV84)

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13, NIV84)

“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28, NIV84)

“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 21, NIV84)

Reason #2: Christ has promised to keep his saints from the COMING WRATH

“for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9–10, NIV84)

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9, NIV84)

“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10, NIV84)

Reason #3: Christ’s Return is the Believer’s BLESSED HOPE

John 14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled”

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13, NIV84)

Questions about the Rapture

Is Belief in the Rapture Escapism?


This is a Straw Man argument

We live EXPECTING Christ’s Return, and PREPARING for the future

illustration: We are to work while we wait. A gardener for a large estate in northern Italy was conducting a visitor through the castle and the beautiful, well-groomed grounds. As the visitor had lunch with the gardener and his wife, he commended them for the beautiful way they were keeping the gardens. He asked, "By the way, when was the last time the owner was here? He said, "It was about ten years ago." The visitor asked, "Then why do you keep the gardens in such an immaculate, lovely manner?" He said, "Because I’m expecting him to return.""I don’t know when he is coming, but I am expecting him today." Although he didn’t come that day, he was living in the light of the owner’s imminent return. The gardener wasn’t hanging over the gate, watching down the road to see whether his master was coming. He was in the garden, trimming, cutting, mowing, weeding, planting. He was busy. That is what Paul is talking about when he says we should be established in the work of the Lord in the view of the fact that He is returning. We need to wake up,watch, work and witness for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is coming again!

Will unbelievers be able to be saved in the Tribulation? 2 Thess 2:9-12 answers this question. I believe that this passages teaches that those who have clearly and emphatically rejected Christ will be blinded by Satan to believe the lie of the AntiChrist.

Will children be raptured?

The Rapture is the Blessed Hope! It’s hard to see this event as a blessed hope if it will separate Christian parents from their young children, leaving them orphans during the most intense time of judgment on earth. I believe therefore that children who are younger than the age of accountability will be raptured. The Bible does not give a numeric age for the age of accountability. Perhaps it is 13, the age when Jewish boys were regarded as becoming men. Perhaps it is unique to each child depending on their personality and intellectual development. We don’t know, but children, don’t take a chance! If you are can understand the gospel and that Jesus died for you, then you must receive him as your savior!

Unbeliever, if you are not sure, do not wait!!!