Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series "The End". This sermon is about the rapture.
Sunday Evening, April 14, 2002 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: “The End” [#3]
WE’RE OUT OF HERE!
1. We have come to an exciting part of our study as Christians. Imagine with me for a moment: Airplanes falling from the sky without pilots, automobiles on the highways without drivers, homes without small children and some parents, etc… All of a sudden, people just disappear and what do these people all have in common?
2. If you think this world is evil now image this world without the Holy Spirit. Think about this. If the Holy Spirit lives within the believers and the believers are raptured out, where will the Holy Spirit be? Gone with us.
3. For Christians, this is what we look forward to: The Rapture!
4. Turn with me to our text: 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
1. Our text lists five events that will occur at the Rapture.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God.”
2. “And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
3. “After that, we who are still a live and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds.”
4. “To meet the Lord in the air.”
5. “And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
1. Some wonder if this is literal. Remember Enoch? Genesis 5:24 says, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
2. As the dead in Christ are raised up and then those loving Christians are raised up, their bodies will be transformed.
3. These bodies cannot enter Heaven.
4. We are given new glorified bodies.
5. These bodies don’t hurt.
What a day that will be! There are many views concerning the timing of the Rapture in relation to the timing of the Tribulation and Millennial Reign. Although there are many, they basically fall into three categories.
Post – Tribulation
This teaches that the Lord will return and remove His church from the earth at the end of the Tribulation, just before or as a part of His Second coming to earth.
Mid – Tribulation
This teaches that the church will be raptured in the middle of the Tribulation, before the final 31/2 years. This view believes that the Christians will not be exposed to God’s wrath and will be raptured out before the outpouring of the bowls of God’s wrath. It sees the Rapture as occurring with the “last trump”, which is the Seventh Trumpet Judgment of Revelation 11:15.
Pre – Tribulation
I want to warn you that this is the view that I believe are the most accurate, but it sure is nothing that should cause any arguments. My true theological stance is as a “Pan – Millenniest.” This theory says, “ It will all pan out in the end.” Pre – Tribulation view teaches that the Christians will be raptured before the Tribulation. Let me share with you four proofs that I used for my belief.
1. God promised to deliver us from the Tribulation.
2. The church is to be delivered from the wrath to come.
3. Christians are not appointed to wrath.
4. The church is absent in Revelation 4-18.
1. Since I believe that the church will be raptured before the Tribulation, how long before will it be?
2. No one knows this answer because the rapture is not what begins the Tribulation. Although many believe that the rapture will start the Tribulation, it is actually the signing of the covenant between the Antichrist and Israel.
1. The rapture will all of a sudden and will catch most Christians totally by surprise.
2. Although we say we expect this to happen soon, our lives do not reflect that urgency.
A Great Lie
1. Once the Christians disappear, there will be a great lie told to convince all of those left behind that there was something wrong with those that were gone.
1. How will Jesus find you on that great day?
2. I pray the Lord finds us serving Him.