THE EVENTS OF THE RAPTURE

I Thess 4:13-18

Did you know that less than 25% of the preachers in this country believe in the Second Coming of Christ?

The Word of God clearly reveals that the return of our Lord will be physical and literal. Jn. 14:1-3.

1. There is no reason to think that the Lord’s coming will not be literal.

2. The two heavenly messengers informed the disciples that “this same Jesus,

   which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye

   have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

3. Our Lord had a body when He left and He will have a body when He

   returns.

4. The disciples saw Him go and believers will see Him return.

5. He was recognized and known when He left, and He will be recognized

   when He returns.

I. THE EVENTS OF THE RAPTURE

A. The dead in Christ shall rise first. I Thess. 4:13-16.

1. When a believer dies, he goes to be with the Lord.

a. His body goes into the grave, but his spirit is taken into God’s  presence.

b. The Word of God says, “To be absent from the body is to be present  with the Lord” (II Cor. 5:8).

2. At Christ’s coming, the bodies of the dead believers will be raised and changed into the likeness of the perfect, immortal body of Christ.

I Cor. 15:51.

a. In the twinkling of an eye every grave occupied by a believer will become vacant.

b. Bodies that have returned to dust will be reassembled through the power of the eternal God.

c. These bodies will be incorruptible and will ascend into the heavens.

3. The apostle Paul encouraged the Thessalonians not to sorrow as those who have no hope but to believe in the promises of the Lord.

B. The living saints will be caught up. I Thess. 4:17.

1. Every believer who is alive at the time of the Lord’s coming will be taken up to meet Him in the air.

2. The bodies of the living saints will be transformed in a moment like the bodies of the dead were.

3. The life of the flesh, which is the blood, will give way to the all-consuming life of the Spirit.

                                  

- Corruptible, earthly bodies shall be transformed into resurrected, glorified bodies.

C. There shall be an eternal reunion.

“…And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (v. 17).

1. The Christian will never again have to be separated from his loved ones.

- We will never have to say goodbye again.

2. The greatest blessing of all is that we will “be with the Lord.”

a. We will be able to walk and talk with the One who bore our sins in His own body on the tree.

b. We will be able to express our love personally to the One who made Heaven a reality for us.

c. This will be an eternal experience.

D. Those who heard and rejected the Gospel before Christ’s coming will be without hope.

1. When the Christians are raptured out, the Holy Spirit will also be removed. II Thess. 2:7.

2. The Anti-Christ will deceive those who are not saved. II Thess. 2:8-10.

3. God will also send the unsaved strong delusions. II Thess. 2:11.

4. They will fall under the eternal judgment of God because they loved their sin more than they loved the Lord. II Thess. 2:12.

·         It is a very serious and grave sin to reject the grace of Almighty God.

·         It will be too late to get saved after Christ has come for His own.

·         Are you ready for His coming?

II. REALIZING THE NEARNESS OF THE RAPTURE, HOW SHOULD WE CONDUCT OURSELVES?

A. We must seek to get the Gospel to the unsaved.

- The Gospel is their only hope. II Cor. 5:11; Jude 23.

B. We are not to be looking for signs but for the SON.

C. We need to live our lives in such a way that when Christ comes, we will not be embarrassed.

- We need to be ready! Mt. 24:42-51.