Summary: An in depth look into the rapture or taking away of the church

The rapture of the church.

Rev. 4:1-2

After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven, and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which said, come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. 2 and immediately, I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

John said after this, which he is saying after the warnings and rebukes to the churches. You may remember that the book of revelation is broken down into 3 sections, the things which you have seen, the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.

The things which you have seen, describes the introduction and the description of the resurrected Christ.

The things which are, are the things concerning the church.

And the things which shall be herafter, include the rapture of the church, the 7 year tribulation which include the seal, trumpet, and vial judgements, the reign of the antichrist, and the destruction of Babylon. The Glorious appearing of Christ. The binding of satan, the Millenial kingdom of Christ, and the final judgement. And finally the eternal order called Heaven.

Approximately 95 percent of the book of revelation deals with prophecy, and we will be focusing on some of that tonight.

The 1st 3 chapters of the book, deal with the churches. While some people teach that these are 7 different dispensations, or ages of the church, it is clear that these are seven different characteristics of the church of today.

7 Churches/Characteristics

Ephesus-Strayed from their first love/Jesus was telling them to get back to where they first fell in love……

Smyrna- The Trying of your faith works patience/ do not quit/comes from Myrrh….

Pergamos- quit trying to be like the world/ come out from among them and……….

Thyatira- get rid of the jezebel spirit in the church/ rebellion…

Sardis- get rid of the dead religion/ whited sepulchers

Philadelphia-we have one more confirmation that we will not go through the tribulation, I will keep the from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world……

Laodicea- Do not confuse material riches with the blessings of God./ quit being lukewarm Christians. You make me sick !!!

The letters to these churches were not given in any specific geographical order, nor alphabetical, but set in order by God.

When Jesus was speaking to these churches, not only did he give rebuke, but also promises.

The order of the promises in the seven epistles corresponds to that of the unfolding of the kingdom of God its first beginnings on earth to its consummation in heaven. To the faithful at Ephesus: (1) The tree of life in the Paradise of God is promised (Rev 2:7), answering to Ge 2:9. (2) Sin entered the world and death by sin; but to the faithful at Smyrna it is promised, they shall not be hurt by the second death (Rev 2:11). (3) The promise of the hidden manna (Rev 2:17) to Pergamos brings us to the Mosaic period, the Church in the wilderness. (4) That to Thyatira, namely, triumph over the nations (Rev 2:26, 27), forms the consummation of the kingdom in prophetic type, the period of David and Solomon characterized by this power of the nations. Here there is a division, the seven falling into two groups, four and three, as often, for example, the Lord’s Prayer, three and four. The scenery of the last three passes from earth to heaven, the Church contemplated as triumphant, with its steps from glory to glory. (5) Christ promises to the believer of Sardis not to blot his name out of the book of life but to confess him before His Father and the angels at the judgment-day, and clothe him with a glorified body of dazzling whiteness (Rev 3:4, 5). (6) To the faithful at Philadelphia Christ promises they shall be citizens of the new Jerusalem, fixed as immovable pillars there, where city and temple are one (Rev 3:12); here not only individual salvation is promised to the believer, as in the case of Sardis, but also privileges in the blessed communion of the Church triumphant. (7) Lastly, to the faithful of Laodicea is given the crowning promise, not only the two former blessings, but a seat with Christ on His throne, even as He has sat with His Father on His Father’s throne (Rev 3:21).

So we can clearly see, that God was leading up to something, in his description to these churches. What a mighty God we serve.

The thing which we are being led up to, is the rapture of the church. Directly after Jesus finished describing the churches, John wrote, and Immediately I was in the spirit. Immediately after the church, he was in heaven.

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