Rapture Ready

Borrowing Terms

2 Some folks have borrowed the term “rapture” from us, but they did not start out with it.  Most denominations do not believe biblically anything about the rapture of the church.

Time of the Rapture

Date Setting

I am not going to set a time for the rapture, because I don’t know when it is going to take place and you don’t either and neither does anyone else.  I don’t care what they tell you, they don’t know when the rapture is going to take place.  It doesn’t matter how heavy the signs get, you will still never know until you hear the trumpet.

Don’t bother trying to set dates.  There is evidence about the rapture in the Bible.  There is a set date, but we don’t where our calendar is, so you don’t know anyway.  There is all kind of clues to the maximum time, but the problem is with our calendar.  There are a hundred and twenty jubilees. That is 6,000 years.  Anyway you look in the Book, it is 6,000 years, but when did they start?  Where are we at now and what year is this?  You don’t know and nobody else does.  Personally, I believe God engineered it that way so we wouldn’t set dates for the rapture.  You can be assured of one thing.  It has been almost 2,000 years since Jesus was here, so we are in the neighborhood.  We are in the generation.  There is not much question about that I don’t think.

What is the rapture

          Before
we get into when the rapture is and again, I am not setting dates I am going to
show you when it is in respect to other ‘end time’ events and prophecies.  Before we get into that maybe we just need to
talk about the rapture itself for a minute and see what it is.  You won’t find the word rapture in the Bible,
and some of the enemies of the Book will use that against you, but that means
absolutely nothing.  There is a lot of
terminology we Christians use that you don’t find in the Bible. That proves
nothing at all.  The word ‘rapture’ is
just a term that Christians have adopted to designate the end of the church age
– that time when the Lord is going to remove His body, the church, from this
earth. 

The Bible Says

3 1st Cor. 15:51 – 55 (Is one of the most detailed passages in the scriptures about the rapture.)  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, (Psa.103 defines the word ‘sleep’ as physical death.)  but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (Which are alive and remain) shall be changed. 53 (At that last trump, the dead Christians are going to be raised from the graves and the living Christians are going to be transformed.  They are going to be changed.) For this corruptible (That is the dead Christian.  The body that is decayed.)  must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal (The living Christian that is subject to death.) shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? {grave: or, hell}

          You may
die, but the grave will not be victorious over you, because you are saved you
are coming back out of it one day, just like your Saviour did. 

4
1st Thess. 4:13-18 (Another detailed passage on the rapture of the
church.) 13 But I would not have you to
be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,
(We have already
seen that means those Christians that are physically dead.  This passage was written 54 A.D. the
chronology given here.  It is several
years after the resurrection and ascension of Christ back to heaven.  Paul had established a church at Thessalonica
and some of the early converts had already died.  Paul preached about the Kingdom and reigning
with the Lord and all of those things. 
So, those Christians that remain began to wonder about those who
died.  Are they going to miss out on the
Kingdom?  They certainly won’t be there
when Jesus comes back.  Paul says, “I
don’t want you to be ignorant about this. 
I want to explain it to you.)  that ye sorrow not, even as others which
have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died
(Do we believe that?) and rose again, (Do we believe that?) even so them also which sleep in Jesus will
God bring with him.
(He said, “If you can believe that Jesus died.  If you believe that Jesus was resurrected
from the dead, then you can believe that when the Lord comes back, He will
bring those dead saints with Him.  They
are not going to be left in the graves.”) 15
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and
remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
{prevent: or, come before, or, anticipate, or, precede} 16 For the Lord himself
(This is no job for any minor archangel or any ‘peon’ cherubim.  This is the bridegroom coming for His
bride.  He is coming Himself.  That is why at a wedding when the bride comes
marching down the aisle, she stops and the groom goes down to receive his
bride.  That is a picture of the rapture
of the church.) shall descend from heaven
with a shout,
(I wonder what He is going to say?  He’s going to say “Hallelujah, there is my bride.”  You see, the bridegroom is thrilled when Hi
bride comes marching up the aisle.  You have
been to a wedding, how the bridegroom stands there nervous and fidgeting, and
all of a sudden the back door opens, and there she is and that is all he
sees.  Jesus is going to shout.) with the voice of the archangel, and with
the trump of God:
(There is going to be quite a fanfare going on) and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (Have
you ever heard someone say, “You are making so much noise you are going to raise
the dead?”  That is where they got
it.  There is going to be so much noise
at that rapture, it is going to raise those saints right out of the grave.)  17 Then
we which are alive
(All of the events in v.16 take place before you, if you
are still living.  You experience a
change, but it is all going to take place in
the twinkling of an eye.) and remain shall be caught up together with them
(Those
dead saints in vs.15.) in the clouds, to
meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore
comfort one another with these words. {comfort: or, exhort}

          We Have Hope!

That is why we don’t sorrow as others which have no hope.  When we go to the funeral of a Christian, we know they are coming up out of that grave one on of these days.  It is just a temporary good-bye, and really, they are not dead at all.  They are just with the Lord.  We have got nothing to cry about.  We should be shouting praises at funerals.

          The
Lord is going to descend from Heaven.  He
will have one purpose in His mind when He returns in the air.  He is coming after His bride.  This is the elopement of the church.  That is why He is coming as a thief in the night.  He is going to sneak up on this world,
get His bride and take her to the Father’s house.  He is going to snatch her away from this
place right out of the grasp of Satan. 
The devil is going to try to prevent you from ‘going up’ at the
rapture.  He is going to try to prevent
the saints from coming out of the graves, and prevent those that are living
from being changed.  Of course, he is a
defeated foe.  It won’t make any
difference at all.  When the preacher
says, “Does anyone object to this union?” 
The preacher is going to be the Father. (And it won’tbe a Catholic Father either.)  He is the one who is going to perform the
marriage. The devil is going to say, “I do” and the Lord is going to rebuke
him, shut his mouth, and take His bride out of here.  Still, the devil is going to try to prevent
the church from leaving this world.

Dead in Christ

5 The dead are going to be resurrected says 1st Cor. 15: 35 – 50.

          35  But some man will say, How are the dead
raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37  And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not
that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some
other grain: 38  But God giveth it a body
as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39  All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is
one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and
another of birds. 40  There are also
celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is
one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41  There is one glory of the sun, and another
glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from
another star in glory. 42  So also is the
resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in
incorruption: 43  It is sown in
dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in
power: 44  It is sown a natural body; it
is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual
body. 45  And so it is written, The first
man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46  Howbeit that was not first which is
spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47  The first man is of the earth,
earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are
earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy,
we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption.

Living Saints

The living saints are going to be caught up, changed, or the word which we use raptured.  If you look up the word ‘rapture’ in the dictionary, you don’t need to look it up in the Bible; you won’t find it, it means ‘to be so overjoyed’ and ‘so thrilled’ and ‘so beside yourself with joy that you are just beside yourself’.  You are so filled with joy and that is the way it is going to be when we see the Bridegroom.  We are all going to recognize Him.  I have seen some poor excuses of pictures, but none of them look like my Saviour.  We are going to recognize Him immediately and we are going to be filled with joy.  We are going to be raptured when the Lord comes back.

6 –
Viewpoints concerning the rapture.

Three Views

There are three basic viewpoints concerning the rapture.

The Bible Teaches

  1. A-millennialism:
    No Kingdom, no rapture.  There is a
    viewpoint that there will be no rapture at all and this is where we will
    continue on until God gets sick and tired of it and brings on the judgment and
    that is the end of it.  That is the
    viewpoint of the National Council of Churches and all of its denominations,
    which includes most Protestant denominations. 
    They don’t believe in a Kingdom; they don’t believe in a rapture.  They believe that this world is finally going
    to come to an end and God is going to bring everyone out of it, and then judge
    everyone.  He will put the ‘sheep’’ on
    His right hand and the ‘goats’ on His left hand.  That shows that they can’t read because the
    ‘sheep and goat parable’ of Matthew 25 is not talking about ‘people’
    anyway’.  They believe God is going to
    have a general judgment and the ‘sheep’ are going to heaven and the ‘goats’ are
    going to hell and that is where eternity begins.  You will not find that in the Bible at all.
  2. Post-millennialism:
    No rapture church makes world better for the Kingdom.  It is very similar because post millennialism
    teaches that the church is going to make the world better, and better, and
    better, until finally it is good enough that the king can come back.  Jesus will come back at the end of the
    thousand years and take over.  In other
    words, the church will bring in the Kingdom. 
    That idea is held by a lot of denominations, but it is not as popular
    today as it was fifty years ago.  It has
    fallen by the wayside for a lot of folks.

The bible teaches that there is going to be a time of seven years known as the tribulation period, and the last three and a half is known as the great tribulation.  That is when the wrath of God is going to be poured out, and somewhere in the time when the rapture is going to take place.  After those seven years, there will be the millennial kingdom for a thousand years.  You have two basic viewpoints on this idea.

  1.  Pre-tribulationists believe the rapture will
    take place before the tribulation begins.
  2. Mid-tribulationists
    believe that the rapture will take place at the mid-point in the
    tribulation. 

What in the world would cause a
preacher to preach that the rapture will happen at mid-tribulation.  It does not make any sense.  The first three and a half years are of
peace, a false peace.  What would you be
worried about?  It shows he does not know
anything about his bible.

What difference does it make then,
which one is right?  It makes a lot of
difference.

          First,
the correct viewpoint, the one that is taught in the Bible and the only one is
pre-tribulation.  God only teaches one
way about anything.  That is why we
should study to show ourselves approved. 
The correct viewpoint is very important and makes a big difference in what
we believe.  Not only on the rapture, but
everything else.  To believe a false
teaching in the face of truth is calling God a liar.  If I don’t believe the record that God gave
me, I am calling Him a liar. 

          If
I teach a false teaching, I’m a heretic.

          If
we associate with those that teach false doctrines we lose rewards. 

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