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Summary: Jesus Christ is coming again. He warns us to be ready for His coming. The countdown to the Rapture of the church has begun and we need to realize that “Ready or Not” - here He comes!

Ready or Not – Here I Come

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Introduction: When I was a child we played the game of hide and seek. One person was “IT” and they were the seeker, or person who would look for the other players who ran and hid. “IT” stood at the designated home base covering their eyes and counting to an agreed number. When the person who was “IT” finished counting, IT would say "Ready or not, here I come" and run to find everyone. I can remember playing the game and hearing “IT” say “Ready or not, here I come” and getting rattled because I hadn’t found the perfect hiding place and wasn’t ready. Jesus Christ is coming again. He warns us to be ready for His coming. The countdown to the Rapture of the church has begun and we need to realize that “Ready or Not” - here He comes!

I. Ready or Not - Christ’s Return is Certain – He is Coming Back

A. John 15:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also

B. Acts 1:11 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

C. On June 16, 2011 The New York Times ran an article entitled “Epistemology and the End of the World” by Gary Gutting. In his conclusion about Christians who believe in the Rapture, Gutting wrote, “It’s not just that “no one knows the day and hour” of the Rapture. No one knows that it is going to happen at all.”

D. 2 Peter 3:3-10 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…”

E. Canon Liddon once said: "If Christ is not coming, we might as well lock the west door of this cathedral and throw the key into the river." In other words, Christianity would be proved false and all its lights and hopes would have faded, its great music quenched.

F. Revelation 22:20 “He which testifies these things saith, ‘Surely I come quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

G. The how is not certain, the when is not certain, but the event is sure!

II. Ready or Not - Christ’s Return is Imminent – He could come today

A. Definition of "Imminent” - The quality or condition of being about to occur or happen. It is an event "likely to happen very soon" without warning, unexpectedly, catching people by surprise. So, to say that the Rapture is imminent, means that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His followers is an event that can happen at any moment, without any warning.

B. There are no prophetic events that must take place between now and the Rapture.

C. Matthew 24:42-46 "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”

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