Clarity on the Rapture This information is to clear up all the speculation on the rapture All information is straight from the Bible with no wild interpretations, just literal meanings. The bottom line is that Jesus said more than once that it is not for us to know the dates and times of HIS coming, so we do so in disobedience to HIM. If you are left at the rapture, there is no hope for you in eternity, it is not something to party about. It does not matter if you believe this or not, that does not make it less true. I stake my claims on what God says, what are you staking your claims on?? 1
Last Things – Prophetic Events 2 The New Testament speaks clearly that Jesus Christ will return, that as sure as HE came the first time, HE will come again a second time. No one but the Father knows when Christ will return, but we can discern the times and know it is near (Matt. 24:36-39). It is foolish to predict a date for HIS coming!! (Acts 1:6-7) His return is imminent, it could happen at any time; so we are to be on “alert” and doing HIS work until HE returns (Matt. 24:42-46). It will happen as a thief in the night.
Last Things – Prophetic Events 3 Jesus never spoke of HIS return in relation to time, but to condition. When the condition of the world is right, God will send Christ back and not until then. The same principle is true throughout the Bible, the flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, the judgment of Israel. God judges when HIS conditions are met and since we don’t know HIS condition mapping, then we have to be aware of HIS return and ready at any time for it to occur. We believe that future events of prophesy cast their “shadow” in our current day and that things happening in our world are preparing it and us for the future events as noted in Scripture: one world currency, global religion, computer chips for identification, global economic meltdown, etc……
Last Things – Prophetic Events 4 As Baptist we hold a “pre-millennialist” view of the Rapture of the Church. We believe and hold that Christ will return before this 1000 yr period. The Rapture is the sudden removal of the church (all believers both alive and dead) from the earth, i.e. the Bridegroom (Christ) returns to take HIS bride (the church) home to meet the Father.
The Rapture of the church 5 John 14:1-3 Jesus prepares a place for us to take us home I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Dead in Christ arise first, then those who are alive I Corinthians 15: 50-58 Happens in the twinkling of an eye
Reasons why the Rapture will happen before the Tribulation period 6 The Lord promised to deliver HIS people from the hour of trial to come upon the earth and to deliver us from the wrath to come – Rev 3:10 & I Thess 1:10 Christians are not appointed to wrath – Romans 5:9, Romans 8:1 & I Thess 5:9 The church is not mentioned in Revelation 4-18, we are in Heaven with Christ. In keeping with the analogy of the Bride and Bridegroom, the Bridegroom must return to the home of the Bride after the betrothal period and take her to the home of HIS father for the wedding to take place. God has always delivered HIS people from the judgment and wrath in times past and HE will continue that policy when the Tribulation occurs
When will the Tribulation period begin? 7 The Rapture does NOT begin the tribulation as some believe; the Bible is clear in Daniel 9:27, that this period begins with the signing of a peace treaty with Israel. The Rapture may take place beforehand by some months or years so that the Antichrist can establish world control so that all nations will agree to the treaty….could that take place in today’s environment? No, it could not. A catastrophic event will have to occur to draw the world to one man who can pull things together for the greater good and that could happen after the Rapture occurs and chaos is reigning on the earth. The world will then be drawn to a man who seems to have all the answers and brings ALL people together, also now that the church is gone, then the “restraining” force of good is also removed and the opposition to global and one world religion will be gone as well.
While the tribulation is happening on earth during this 7 year period, what is happening in Heaven? 8 There are 2 events mentioned in the Bible that take place in Heaven while the tribulation is happening on earth. The Judgment Seat of Christ is where all believers will be judged for the work done in the body AFTER we are saved. We are not judged for our sin, Christ did that on the cross. We will each stand alone before the Lord Jesus Christ and give an account of our words and deeds since were saved. In Revelation 19:7-8 we are told that we (the bride of Christ) will be dressed in the “fine linens, which are the righteous acts we perform. We need to be mindful of that truth while here on earth lest we be accused of “indecent exposure” for not being fully clothed in Heaven.
While the tribulation is happening on earth during this 7 year period, what is happening in Heaven? 9 The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is the other event that will take place in Heaven. This event is described in Revelation 19:6-10. We have to understand the marriage process in New Testament times to appreciate the special emphasis on this event. The first act of the “marriage” was the selection process by the parents of the bride and groom The next step was a betrothal period that could last any specific period of time, then the bridegroom ( the most important member of the wedding party) would announce his intention to come to the take the bride back to his father’s house for the actual wedding ceremony and then have the wedding supper. With this sequence of events in mind, consider the following parallel spiritual analogy.
Why the Marriage Supper is so special to Jesus 10 God the Father and Christ the Son, in eternity past decided that mankind would need to be saved, so it was determined that the Son would be the one to give HIMSELF to perform this act. It was also determined that this act of love would be for “whosoever” would believe. The Son as the bridegroom was given to HIS bride, which would be selected by the Holy Spirit as HE went to and fro to woo mankind to accept the wedding proposal of the Bridegroom. The next step is a betrothal period; when we are saved we become “engaged” to the Lamb, the Bridegroom, and now we are in that betrothal, where we are promised to HIM as a bride, but HE has not come for us as yet. At the Rapture, the Lord Christ, our precious bridegroom, will come to take us back to HIS Father’s house, where HE has prepared a place for us, and at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, we will be officially wedded to our Lord and Bridegroom. That is why this Marriage supper is so important to Jesus, the Father and the hosts of Heaven…..they all await the time when the bride comes home.
The Second Coming of Christ 11 The most profound Second Coming passage is in Matthew 24-25, where Jesus details the conditions on the earth when HE does return to the earth (remember at the rapture, HE only meets us in the air). The second coming itself is described in Revelation 19 beginning at vs. 11. Every eye will see HIM and know who HE is, there will be no doubt about HIS identity or purpose. The Second Coming will usher in the 1000 year reign of Christ, as HE and King David will co-reign and we will serve and reign with HIM. All of the unfulfilled promises to Israel will come to fruition during this period of time. Everyone who enters this kingdom will be saved from all generations and dispensations, i.e. OT saints, church age saints, and tribulation saints, all of us will enter the kingdom of the Lord Christ.
Last Things 12 The final act before eternity future and the new Heaven and Earth will be the Great White Throne judgment. This event is described in Revelation 20:11-15. This court session will be held in an undisclosed location in the heavens, with God as the only official on HIS throne. The other persons in the court setting are “all the dead, great and small” standing before God. HE opens all the books and those whose names are not found in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of fire. This is the second death as mentioned in this passage. Only the lost and unsaved will take part in this second death. It has been wisely said that if a person is born once, he will die twice (physically and spiritually) but if a person is born twice, then he will die only once and maybe not even then if Jesus comes back while he is alive. What a beautiful reality!!! In Revelation 21 at the beginning of eternity, God then wipe away all tears from the eyes of man!