The Rapture- 1 Thess. 4:13-18
by Cooper P Abrams III
INTRODUCTION:   In January 1994 talking with a pastor from Texas. He was pretty excited about the comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 hitting Jupiter on July 16, 1994. He explained that it was on the same day in history that Jerusalem was destroyed and coincided with several events in Jewish history and he said the Jews were very concerned. He said the Jesus was coming and July 16, 1994 would be the day.
Nothing out of the norm happened on that day! My friend's call did not excite me at all. I am looking for His coming every day and He said no one knows the day.
In about 1977, in January I was at a Bible conference in Mississippi and heard a nationally known evangelist state that in 1984 Christ would return because the planets would line all line up and that this cause great trouble on the earth and begin the time when God would judge the world and the Seven Year Tribulation or Daniel's 70th Week would begin. He published a track on the it and sold a lot of them.
In 1984, the planets aligned themselves, and no one noticed it but astronomers and Christ did not return.
In the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein warned that when the coalition forces enter Kuwait that they would be met with the "mother of all battles." Many associated this statement with the Battle of Armageddon, described in the Bible. This will be a series of battles centered in the Jezreel valley east of Megidoo.
Of course his armies folded and surrendered and the Rapture followed by the Tribulation did not begin.
In the world today there great disasters happening. Earthquakes, floods, and famine. Europe has joined together in a common government called European Union that appears to be like the Ten nation confederacy of Daniel 7. The world is engrossed in every sin imaginable. In America alone, 31 million babies have be murdered by abortion, a court in Massachusetts ruled same sex marriages legal, homosexuality is accepted everywhere and being promoted in our schools.
I was listening to a radio call-in program and a teenage girl made the statement that she was not ready at this time to decide if she would be a homo-sexual or not and that her school counselor had said she should think about it, but not make her mind up yet.
January 22, 2004 all the current Democratic presidential hopefuls running for the Presidency joined in a Celebration of Roe v Wade which legalized abortion and caused he death of 43 million babies.
The US is losing its power and influence in the world and the Europeans are growing.
Technology has advanced until it is possible using computers to track the moment by moment activities of everyone in all the world's developed countries. The Bible says the Antichrist will cause the world to receive the mark of the beast, which is identified by the number 666 and only those with this mark will be able to buy and sell.
With all these things and much more many believe Jesus will come then or within the next four years.
2. It was a mystery in the O.T. They were looking to the first coming of the Messiah.
3. When Christ came, they rejected Him as a Nation.
4. In Acts 1:9, the Bible records that Jesus returned to Heaven, and is there now with the Father.
5. Those who are saved today, are members of the body of Christ, referred to also as the Bride of Christ and a part of a local church. The Bible says one day we will be resurrected and Christ will come and take us to be with Him forever. That event is called by Christians the "Rapture."
6. Christians today have a special place in the Kingdom of God.
English word "Rapture" is taken from the Latin word, "rapre" which means to be caught up. Thus the coming of the Lord Jesus for Christians is called the Rapture.
B. Christ will return, and will call up all Christians who are alive or who died since Pentecost.
Paul wrote to reassure them of the position with the Lord.
B. Paul in V13, says he did not want them to be ignorant, about the dead in Christ.
C. V14, Clearly says this is for Christians. If one has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and received Him as their Savior.
D. V14 Says When Christ returns He will been with Him those that have died.
2. When Christ returns for the Church, then He will bring all the saved dead with Him.
2. Next: Christians who are alive at his coming will be "caught up", at the same time as the died are and will be instantly changed and given our glorified bodies.
In 1 Cor. 15:51, Paul said everyone will not die, but all will be changed.
It will be instantaneous. The dead will be raised first and then those believes who are alive.
B. First: They are no prophecies to be fulfilled before the Lord comes. You will hear the TV evangelists talking about fulfilled prophecies, but as one who is a student of prophecy of the Bible I can assure you their statements are false.
2. The Rapture in the New Testament is always presented in the Bible as being imminent!
The events of the of Matthew 24, concerning the regathering of Israel, the wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, sun darkening and the moon turning to blood. . . are all signs Jesus said would happen at the end of this age. The references are to the Seven Year Tribulation and Second Coming of the Lord.
The church is told to be ready always!
2. James 5:8, "You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand."
3. To Israel, God said, look for the signs, to us he said be ready...always.
1 John. 2:28 says "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."
There is no call to Christians, to get ready, the Bible says always be ready.
2. Rev. 3:10 Jesus to the church at Philadelphia "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Historically, the church at Philadelphia represents Bible believing churches of today. Jesus promised them that they would not have to endure the terrible time that is coming when He pours His judgments unto the earth.
3. 1 Thess. 5:1-11 addresses the matter also and verses 9-11 specifically states "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
4. There are some who are teaching that believers will have to go through part of the Tribulation. It is called the Pre-wrath Rapture. Let me emphatically state....they are wrong and their teaching in false. The Tribulation is the restarting of God's prophetic clock. It is stopped now at 483 years since the degree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Daniel 9:27 specifically states the second coming of the Messiah would be at the end of 490 year. The Tribulation is a Jewish event, where God is once again working with Israel. The modern church age is not in view in the Tribulation and nowhere mentioned from Revelation 4:1-19:1. There are many other reasons also to reject this false teaching.
B. Many will see that Christians are gone, they just simply disappeared.
2. Lost neighbors will wonder what happened to their Christian neighbors. That is why it is important for us to teach the rapture.
3. Lost relatives will miss their saved love ones.
4. The false churches, lost preachers, all the cults will continue on as they did before.
5. The news media will go into a frenzy trying to explain it. Probably their conclusion will be the earth has experienced an ALIEN INVASION AND ABDUCTION.
Then the Great Seven Year Tribulation will begin and will end with Christ physically returning to earth, taking all lost people off the earth as Matthew 25:41 records and then He will set up His kingdom and rule the world from Jerusalem.
B. We attend church, as Heb. 10:25, says.
C. We Study and work to win others to Christ.
D. To the Lost: It says, Believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as your savior.
If you are here without Christ, because of God's longsuffering you have time. You can receive Christ now and settle the matter for all eternity. Christ died for you and wants to forgive your sins and give you eternal life.