Summary: Rapture of the church.

WE KNOW THAT WHEN Jesus gives a command, we want to pay very close attention to it.

• We want to make sure we’re obeying it carefully.

John 15.10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

• SO AS we keep His commandments, we are in that abiding place of joy, hope and love.

YOU KNOW That’s especially important for the Christian who is looking and hastening the coming of the Lord.

2 Peter 3.11-12 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

• The Christian who knows the times & seasons that surround him.

• Just like the storm clouds floating in point to the storm that is coming… even so the times point to the coming of the Lord.

Luke 12.54-56 Then He also said to the multitudes, "Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ’A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 "And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ’There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 "Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?

WELL UNLIKE THE PHARISEES of old, we do understand the times in which we live. We see the them, understand them, & look up.

Luke 21.28 "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

WELL Over 300 times we are told that Jesus is coming again.

• As the world gets darker and more disturbing, it sets the stage for a glorious wonderful event, the rapture of the church!

• The trumpet is sounded, the voice of an archangel is heard.

• But when will it happen?

NOTE: That’s the big question isn’t it? Debates & Deliberations.

• Will it happen before the Great-Tribulation? After? In the Middle?

• Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Post-Trib, and NO-Trib are popular ones.

• Some of you wonder what? Great Tribulation? What’s that?

• Are you really serious? U believe that God will judge this earth?

• You believe that Christians will take off in to the sky? Ha ha!

NOTE: It may sound absurd to you right now.

• But I’m sure it doesn’t sound as absurd as it did in Noah’s day when the warning of rain & the flood!

• With every day of that ark being built, God’s love & grace.

• God warned. Judgment came. And Noah was saved.

The Great Tribulation WILL come as God fulfills His promises.

• Those here then, will experience the WRATH OF GOD.

• That’s one reason I believe that the church will not be here.

#1 - Jesus gave a promise, a command in Luke 21.34-36

• Pray that you might escape… Some will escape? YES. Church.

Let’s flip over to Revelation 3:7-10

• There is a promise to the ‘faithful’ church.

• It’s a promise of being ‘kept from the trial’.

• You see, it will be a serious HOUR OF TRIAL!

#2 – Today We live in an age, a dispensation of grace.

• A time where now God is not imputing men’s sins against him.

2 Cor. 5.19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

• If you sin right now, you have a Savior. If you confess, He forgives. But soon comes the dispensation of judgment!

Matthew 24.21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

But there is coming a time when God’s wrath will come upon a Christ rejecting earth.

#3 - Important to see different tribulations taught in Bible.

FIRST – The SPECIFIC Great Tribulation. That 7 year time that is described in detail from Revelation 6-19.

• The time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30.7); Daniel’s 70th week.

SECONDLY – The GENERAL tribulation & trials that Jesus promised would come to His church while living on this earth.

John 16.33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

James 1.2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

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Scott Strohkirch

commented on Oct 23, 2008

We are living in the final days. Parousia can come at any time, but I do not see this as a dispensation of grace. We are living in the time of tribulation now. I do not believe in the Rapture and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is not a proof-text showing that one exists. If you had read any real true commentaries as to why Paul wrote this letter you would have found that there was a controversy in Thessalonica about those who died before the parousia or coming of Christ. If anything, the unbelievers will be taken away to hell and the rest of us who are faithful will be "Left Behind" This sermon was wrong theologically and doctrinally

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