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Summary: No one knew when the “Rapture” would come!!! However, the multitudes which were taken were ready. They had repented of their sins and placed 100% of their trust in Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Their sudden removal has caused the mysterious world crisis, confusion and panic.

INTRODUCTION:

No one knew when the “Rapture” would come!!! However, the multitudes which were taken were ready. They had repented of their sins and placed 100% of their trust in Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Their sudden removal has caused the mysterious world crisis, confusion and panic, such as:

Is this fact or fiction?

Can the events described above really happen?

Is it wishful thinking for the Christian and fearful concern of the sinner?

Does the Bible really teach that Jesus Christ will come again and take His Church away?

Are we headed for, or in, what is known as “The Last Days”?

I. ISSUES TO CONSIDER BEFORE GETTING STARTED

A. Avoidance of Bible Prophecy

1. Prophecy Scares Some People

2. Understanding Prophecy Requires Extensive Effort

3. There is much confusion surrounding Biblical prophecy.

B. The Importance Of Bible Prophecy

1. Old Testament Prophecy points to Christ’s first and second coming.

2. New Testament Prophecy points to Christ’s future return.

3. Biblical Prophecy edifies, builds faith, comforts Christians.

C. Some interesting facts concerning Bible prophecy:

1. * Estimated over 1845 references to the Second Coming of Christ in the O. T.

2. * 17 Old Testament books give the Second Coming prominence.

3. * In the New Testament’s 260 chapters, there are 318 references to

the Second Coming of Christ.

4. * This is one 1 out of every 30 verses! 23 of the 27 New Testament books

refer to this great event.

5. * For every prophecy concerning the birth of Christ there are 8 looking

forward to His return!

D. God has placed much emphasis upon prophecy in the Bible, so we as Christians

can discern the times and what God says about the future.

E. Miscellaneous

1. * There is a growing hunger in society to know the future - give examples.

2. * I read where 62% of Americans believe Jesus Christ will return someday.

3. * We "sense" something happening globally, supernaturally God is stirring

His people. The Rapture and Left Behind! by Dave Martin

F. Be Considerate Of Others

II. FOUNDATIONAL TERMS AND CONCEPTS TO BE UNDERSTOOD

A. Tribulation Period (Jacob’s Trouble)

The tribulation is a seven year period of great destruction and judgment upon the earth and the lost. During the tribulation Israel will turn to God nationally ending the great separation between God and His nation. Derickson’s Notes on Theology

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

B. Rapture --> The Rapture is a glorious event which God has promised to the Church. The promise is that someday very soon at the blowing of a trumpet and the shout of an archangel, Jesus will appear in the sky and take up His Church, the living and the dead, to Heaven.

Dr. David R. Reagan The Rapture of the Church: What is it and when will it take place?

I Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught

up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1. Post-Tribulation Rapture --> Placing the timing of the Rapture at the end of the

Tribulation Period. Some feel that the church will go through the entire

Tribulation and will be raptured out at the end.

2. Mid-Tribulation Rapture --> Placing the timing of the Rapture at the middle of the

Tribulation Period.

This teaching holds that the church will go through part of the tribulation sees the church raptured at the middle of the tribulation, just before the Great Tribulation begins. There is indication that the first half of the tribulation will be bad, but the last half will be Great. The Great tribulation will be much worse than the first half. Derickson’s Notes

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