Summary: Regarding the Rapture: 1. Don't invest too much in the debate. 2. Do be informed about the difference. 3. Do be inspired by the details.
The Second Coming of Christ
Part 5: We Go Flying in the Sky
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 15, 2015
*The great evangelist D.L. Moody often looked up when he prayed. Someone once asked him why, and Mr. Moody replied, "Because Heaven is up, where my Jesus is." (1)
*Tonight we are looking up, looking for the rapture and the second coming of Christ. And as we do, here are 3 good things to bear in mind.
1. First: We shouldn't invest too much in the debate.
*There is a pretty big debate over the Lord's return. Part of it centers on the warning the Lord gave in Matthew 24:15-18. And we have looked at this Scripture a couple of times, but I want to look at it one more time in context of the rapture.
*Starting in vs. 15, Jesus said:
15. "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place'' (whoever reads, let him understand),
16. then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house.
18. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes."
*The timing of this abomination of desolation is in debate, and we have to go back to the Old Testament Book of Daniel to understand the disagreement. In Daniel 9, the prophet was praying, confessing his sins and the sins of his people.
*In answer to his prayers, the Lord sent the angel Gabriel. Please listen again to part of the angel's message in Daniel 9:24-27. Speaking about the Jewish people, Gabriel said:
24. Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
26. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself (Thank God for the cross!); and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.''
*These words were spoken to Daniel 500 years before Jesus was born. And again, they are not talking about the church. They are talking about the Jews.
[PIC 1] Here is a chart of the 70 weeks. (2)
*Remember that the weeks here are weeks of years. The Book of Daniel is saying there will be 70 times 7, or 490 years, to the Kingdom of Messiah. Verse 25 tells us when that 490-year period began "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem."
*In 445 BC the king of Persia issued a decree allowing the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem. From that date, 7 weeks plus 62 weeks, for a total of 69 weeks or 483 years were to pass before the coming of Messiah the Prince.
*That left one week unaccounted for. We know that the first 69 weeks ended when Messiah came, but the 70th week hasn't come yet. And we know this for a fact, because in Daniel 9:24, Gabriel said: "Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. (3)
*Of course transgression hasn't been finished, sin hasn't been ended, and the Lord is not sitting on His throne in Jerusalem for His thousand-year reign. The 70th week hasn't come yet, and that's good for us, because we never would have been born!
*The last week is the 7-year period of the Antichrist. Gabriel talked about it in Daniel 9:27, and said: "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.''