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Summary: This sermon deals with the Rapture and why I believe it will happen before 7 years of Tribulation.

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Ready To Be Raptured?

Revelation 4:1

1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

Our look at the Book of Revelation continues this morning.

We have covered the messages Jesus sent to 7 churches.

Now we begin to get into what Jesus showed John.

What John sees are prophecies of things to come.

Today, we are going to concentrate on just 1 verse.

The reason is simple.

Verse 1 is about an upcoming event that is much debated.

That event is called "The Rapture".

Some people refuse to believe that there will be one.

When Verse 1 is combined with other scripture

there's plenty of evidence to believe there will be a Rapture.

So let's get started!

Verse 1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

John looked and saw a door opened in heaven.

The "first voice" he heard sounded like a trumpet.

John believes the trumpet-like voice

is calling him to come up

through the open door into heaven.

Now look closely at verse 1.

Notice again the words "After these things".

The open door, trumpet-like voice, and his entrance into heaven

occur after the events recorded in chapters 1 through 3.

John is told that he will be shown things

which will happen after the period of time

represented by the messages to the 7 churches.

From chapter 4 onward,

there is not one single reference to any churches

until we get to chapter 22 verse 16.

There will be references to saints and martyrs upon the earth

during the period of God's judgment in the Tribulation,

but nothing further is said about the church.

So, we have a door opened in heaven.

When that door is opened,

a voice like a trumpet is heard.

At the sound of that trumpet-like voice,

John is called up to heaven.

We read nothing more about the church on earth

as John begins to see things about the Tribulation.

He will see terrible things happening here on earth,

but the church of Jesus Christ is never mentioned.

Why? The answer is simple!

The church is gone from the earth!

When we reach chapter 19,

we will read about a group of people in heaven

described as a bride dressed for her wedding day.

She has been prepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.

The word "church" does not appear in chapter 19,

but it is safe to assume that this refers to the church.

In John 3:28-30 we read the words of John the Baptist:

28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

Clearly, John the Baptist describes Jesus as a bridegroom.

In Matthew 9:15, we read the words of Jesus:

"Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Jesus is talking about a time when He would leave the earth.

In Matthew 25:1-13, we read a story that Jesus told:

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' 7Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' 10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' 12But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' 13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

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