THE RAPTURE : Coming or Going? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 What is “rapture “?Does the Bible teach this doctrine?
The Rapture• Most denominations teach the concept of the rapture.• They mean a view that Christs Second Coming will be in 2 phases – Rapture = part 1 will be a coming near earth and taking away all the “faithful” – Coming = part 2 when Christ comes with the faithful to set up a kingdom for 1,000 years.
The Rapture• The idea is that there will be an antichrist world tyrant (the beast, 666).• Christ will “rapture” away all the saints to spare them from this horrible event.• Then Christ will come with the saints to overthrow the “antichrist” (Armageddon) and set up an earthly kingdom in Jerusalem and rule for 1,000 years.
The Text• 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
The Text• This is the only passage that is used to support the teaching of the rapture.• Esp. the phrase in verse 17 - “shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.”• They teach that all faithful saints will be caught up (raptured away) to escape the persecution of the antichrist.
Which direction?• 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus• Who will God “Bring with him”?• Those who have died – 13• Those who have hope – 13• Those who have faith - 14
What (Who) is coming down?• 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus• What does God have? – Not their body – in the ground, return to dust – Their soul – Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
What about those alive?• 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.• They will not “precede” (KJV - prevent)• Worried about those who have died before Christ comes? Nothing to worry about.• They will not miss the coming of Christ!
What will happen?• Here is the sequence of events:• Lord will descend• Lord will shout• Voice (shout) of the archangel• Trumpet of God will sound• The dead will rise
Coming or Going?• Are the saints coming down or going up?• BOTH – The spirit is coming down with Christ – The body is raised up from the dust of the earth – Resurrection = re-uniting of the spirit and the body
Caught up – v. 17• 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.• This is not a “rapture” text• This passage was to show that those who had already died would not miss the coming of Christ.
The Message Is:• Dead will rise – not be left behind – 16• Living will “catch up” to them – 17• Meet the Lord in the clouds – not Jerusalem• Meet the Lord in the air – not on earth• Always remain with the Lord
How long is “always”?• Rapture teaches that “always” is: – 7 years (Pre-tribulation) OR – 3.5 years (Mid-tribulation) OR – A few days (Post-tribulation)• Ever, Always, Eternal, Forever = – Literal – ages and ages and ages – On and on, ever and ever, going and going – Without end
Conclusion:• The Bible does not teach the rapture• This teaching started less than 150 years ago• The 1 Thessalonian passage was addressed to the church members concerned that some had died and would miss the 2nd Coming of Christ.
Conclusion:• John 5:28-29 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
Conclusion:• 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Conclusion:• There will be one resurrection• ALL will be raised – good and bad• All will be before Christ in judgment• Are you ready for those final events?