Summary: What is the Rapture?
1. ONE TIME WORDS. There are a lot of them in the Bible.
• Words in the Hebrew or the Greek that are only used ONE TIME.
• Words like SEAM… in John 19:23. A one timer.
• OR UNSPEAKABLE in 2 Corinthians 9.15. A one timer.
• But NOT words like LOVE… it’s all over the Bible.
• OR GRACE… that’s all over too…
• NOT SIN, NOT BLOOD, NOT SALVATION, NOT GOD… they are used time and time again.
But there is a word that’s found only one time that I would like you to see… flip to 1 Corinthians 16:19ff
• Paul is signing off his first letter to the church and says…
• Did you see that word in v22? Maranatha? It’s a One TIMER!
• What does it mean? Literally, “Even So, Come Quickly” OR “The Lord cometh”.
THAT’S One WORD THAT BRINGS GOOD NEWS MY FRIENDS!
• Jesus is alive and He is coming soon! Are you ready?
• Over 300 times we’re reminded of this glorious truth!
• Maybe in Paul’s mind were the words of Jesus in John’s gospel.
John 14.1-3 1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "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. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
This coming again by Jesus is Christ is known as the RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. The RAPTURE?
• Talk about one time words, this is one of those words that isn’t even found once in the Bible. Some will say.
NOTE: As a matter of fact, there are those who dismiss the doctrine of the rapture altogether because they say, “the word isn’t even in the Bible”. WELL IT DEPENDS ON WHAT BIBLE YOU’RE USING.
• Look again at 1 Thess 4:17, “Caught Up”
• The word rapture is not in our English Bibles, but it’s right there in the Latin translations, “RAPTUS”
NOTE: The Greek Word for “CAUGHT UP” in 1 Thess. 4:17 is the word ‘HARPAZO’.
• It lit. means to be ‘taken by force’. It’s used 13 x’s in the NT.
• Catch up 4, take by force 3, catch away 2, pluck 2, catch, pull 1
• IT refers to that blessed event, Jesus returning for his church.
I. (4:16-17) What is the Rapture?
The rapture is that time when Jesus Christ will come without warning to take away His church from earth.
• We believe this will happen BEFORE the coming Great Tribulation period which we’ll get into in depth next week.
1. (16) Some will not die.
a. Let’s turn over to 1 Corinthians 15:50-53
b. We shall not all die, as Paul says here in v17, those who are alive and remain shall be ‘caught up’ or ‘snatched away’.
c. Those in the church who are alive at the rapture shall not die, but shall be changed! “Metamorphasized”
NOTE: There is a distinction made in the Bible between the RAPTURE of the church and the 2nd COMING of Jesus Christ.
• With the rapture, Jesus coming FOR His saints.
• In His 2nd Coming, Jesus is coming WITH His saints.
Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
• With the rapture, Jesus comes in the CLOUDS. (v17)
• In His 2nd Coming, Jesus comes to the EARTH.
Zech 14.4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
There is a 7 year period of time in between these 2 events.
• That 7 year time is known as the Great Tribulation Period.
• Jacob’s Trouble – Daniel’s 70th week.
• It’s a time of judgment that the earth has never seen.
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.
2. SO What are the signs of the end times?
a. Remember, this section in 1 Thessalonians starts with v13.
b. He says in v13, I don’t want you to be ignorant…
• Four times in the bible we’re told to not be ignorant about a particular doctrine.
#1 – SPIRITUAL GIFTS: 1 Cor. 12.1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: