THE RAPTURE
June 21, 2009

                                                          

   I Corinthians 15:20-24; I Thessalonians 4:13-18 There are several scriptures in the bible relating the rapture of the church to Christians that will read and understand.

   I Corinthians 15:51 The mystery of the rapture is revealed by Paul.

   James 5:7-8 The bible tells us to be patient, but also to know that Jesus coming is imminent

   Luke 21:5-36 These verses are the key to begin to understand both the Tribulation and the Rapture of the church. These verses tell us of the times from when  Jesus was speaking to the end of the world.


WATCH AND WORK

 

   Titus 2:13 The bible clearly tells us that as His people, we are to be watching and looking for Him to return for us.

   Mark 13:32-37 Jesus gives us illustration after illustration in His Word to be watchful.

   Luke 21:36 One of the most revealing scriptures in the bible pertaining to the rapture.

   Luke 19:11-13 Jesus gives us a parable (earthly story with a heavenly meaning) about His returning for His people. He tells us to “occupy (serve, work) till I come”.

   Luke 12:40-43 Another parable speaking about the rapture teaches us to be busy serving.

   Isaiah 26:19-21 The most detailed description of the rapture in the Old Testament.

   Revelation 3:10 This scripture gives us the promise of His coming before the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth. He shows us this in the Old Testament in Genesis 7 and Genesis 19.

 

WHEN ARE WE RAPTURED?

 

   This is the question that everyone wants answered. As it stands right now, the top ten most notable experts on biblical prophecy all say the rapture happens before the tribulation period.

 

   Revelation 2-3:22 The whole book of Revelation is about the church and Israel throughout the ages from the time of the writing of the book until the time entering eternity. The word church or churches does not appear after Revelation 3:22 because this portion of scripture represents the church age. At the start of chapter 4 John is seen taken up to the Lord, a clear presentation of the rapture, just as Noah, Lot, Elijah, and Enoch from the O.T.

   All the shadows and pictures and types of this event throughout the bible indicate God’s people being taken up before His wrath was to be dealt out upon the earth.

   I Thessalonians 5:9; Romans 5:1, 9 Throughout Revelation, ten times God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth and its population. We are NOT appointed to wrath so we won’t be here.

   II Thessalonians 1-8 These are the most important verses in the bible regarding when we will be raptured. The sequence of events are listed for us from vs. 1-3, vs.3 the first part of this verse tells us “that day shall not come before a falling away”(apostasy), “that day” refers to “the day of Christ” in vs.2 . vs.1 the coming of Christ (in the clouds), vs.1 our gathering together ( the rapture of the church), vs.3 the man of sin  revealed (the anti-christ). Vs. 5-8, vs.5 Paul had told them something in the past. Vs.6 This church knew what was withholding the anti-christ to be revealed. Vs.7-8  “he who now letteth will be taken away to allow the anti-christ to be revealed”.

   The restraining power that is holding back the anti-christ from being revealed is a major debate.

We must all agree that the Holy Spirit will be in the world during the tribulation helping people to be saved. However, in order for the scriptures to be fulfilled, the “he who now letteth” must be “taken out of the way” for the anti-christ to be revealed. It must be concluded that it is the Holy Spirit restraining power in the believers that will be “taken out of the way” through the rapture.

   II Thessalonians 2:8-12 This is a most powerful warning to those who have heard the message of salvation by grace through faith Ephesians 2:8-9 and have constantly rejected Gods invitation.