Summary: The 7 signs of Christ's soon coming
RAPTURE: WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
1. Two sisters inherited the family farm. They desperately needed a bull to breed with their heifers and they only had $600.
2. The brunette told her sister, "I’m going to go look at a bull-calf in Jewett. If I decide to buy it, I'll contact you to bring the truck & trailer and haul it home."
3. She looked at the bull and decided to buy it, but the owner wouldn’t take less than $599, or no deal. She bought it and (being before cell phones) she went back to town to send a telegram.
4. She had one dollar and the telegram cost $1 per word. The telegraph operator was curious how she would notify her sister and tell her to bring the truck and trailer to come retrieve the bull – all in one word!
5. After a few minutes of thinking, she nodded and said, "I want you to send her the word ‘comfortable.’"
6. The operator shook his head. "How’s she going to know to do all that with just the word "comfortable?"
7. The brunette explained, "My sister's blonde. It's a big word. She'll read it very slowly.....” (come-for-da-bull)
B. WHAT IS THE RAPTURE?
1. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” 1 Thess. 4:16-17
2. Definition of “Rapture”: “Christ’s sudden, brief, and unannounced coming in the air to catch away His Church before the ‘Day’ of God’s wrath begins. Jesus returns to heaven with His saints for the Believer’s Judgment and Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”
3. The Greek word “harpadzo,” used in 1 Th. 4:17 and trans. as “caught up” was trans. in the Latin Vulgate as “raptus,” from whence we get our English word rapture.
B. JESUS SAID HE WAS COMING BACK
1. Early in His Ministry (Luke 4:18), Jesus told Jewish leaders that He had come to heal the sick. They didn’t believe He could, but He healed the people anyway.
2. Jesus told them He could drive out demons. They didn’t believe He could, but He did it anyway.
3. Jesus told them He would rise from the Dead. They didn’t believe He would.
a. His body was wrapped in grave clothes;
b. A heavy stone was rolled against the tomb’s mouth;
c. Soldiers were posted outside the tomb to guard it,
d. The door was sealed so it couldn’t be opened….
4. BUT NO HUMAN OR SUPERNATURAL FORCE COULD STOP THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS FROM THE DEAD! HE’S ALIVE!
5. This same Jesus told us, “I am coming back.” There are 52 prophecies of Jesus’ 2nd Coming, 535 verses! Many Christians have quit looking for His appearing, but HE’S COMING BACK!
6. The title of this message is: “Rapture: When You Least Expect It.”
7 SIGNS OF CHRIST’S SOON RETURN
The following signs have never occurred until our day.
I. ISRAEL REBORN AS A NATION
1. Never before in history has a nation been scattered by war over 1,000’s of miles and live for 2,000 years without a country, and ever formed again. But God said He would do it (not once, but twice) with Israel.
“In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people” Isa. 11:11. God made it happen in 1948, after 2,000 years!
2. In 1967, in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise, Jerusalem was retaken and at last became a Jewish city again. Jesus said, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down... until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24).
3. Jesus said when Israel buds forth as a nation and regains possession of the holy city, Jerusalem, it signals the end time and the return of Christ.
II. ABILITY TO EXTERMINATE THE HUMAN RACE
1. In Matthew 24:22, Jesus said that “if that time of
troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive; but for the sake of God’s chosen it will be cut short” (Revised English Bible).
2. For the last 60 years, due to the many thousands of nuclear bombs possessed by the U.S and Russia, the human race has lived with the threat of “mutually assured destruction.” The whole world could be blown up many times over.
3. Since then, many other countries have joined the nuclear club: Great Britain, China, France, Israel, N. Korea, India, Pakistan, and sometime soon, Iran.
4. The good news is that Christian believers have an assurance, that Jesus Christ will intervene to save mankind from annihilation. This prophecy could not be fulfilled until man had the potential for self-extinction through weapons of mass destruction.