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1—RAPTURE Part 1

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE RAPTURE-1
1Cor. 16:22
1Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
1Corinthians 16:22 AMP  (22) If anyone does not love the Lord [does not have a friendly affection for Him and is not kindly disposed toward Him], he shall be accursed! Our Lord will come! (Maranatha!)
1Corinthians 16:22 WEB (22) If any man doesn't love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Come, Lord!

1Corinthians 16:22 ALT  (22) If anyone does not affectionately love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed
[Gk., anathema]! O Lord come [Gk., maranatha]!
 

WHAT IS THE RAPTURE?
1.  A very common question.
2.  What exactly is the Rapture and what does the Bible say about it?
3.  Lets start by looking at some Scripture about the Rapture:

  • 1Thes. 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
  • 1Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

WHAT IS THE RAPTURE?
1.  It is a description of an event that will occur when God removes His Church supernaturally from the earth.
2.  People will literally disappear as they are called up to the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
3.  There will be one generation that will not know physical death but will be instantly translated into the very presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4.  At the same time each Christian will also be transformed and receive their glorified body.
5.  Lets look a bit more closely at the Scriptures previously quoted.

  • 1Thes 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

6.  This verse is stating that there will be some alive when Jesus returns.
7.  He will be returning with the dead in Christ.
8.  That is good news because if you have loved ones gone on before you through death, there will be a happy reunion at the Rapture.

  • 1Thes 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

9.  The Lord Jesus will come Himself and will give a shout (possibly 'come up hither' Rev. 4:1).

  1. Notice the dead will rise first.
  2. There will be a resurrection, where the righteous dead will be given their resurrection, heavenly bodies.
  3. The dead in Christ will be the first to receive their bodies.
    1Thes 4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
  4. We who are alive will be caught up to the clouds to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air.
  5. What does 'caught up' mean. It literally means to be caught up, to snatch out, or to seize.
  6. Those living at the time of the Rapture will also be given their immortal, incorruptible bodies.
  7. In the Rapture Jesus will not set foot on earth, but will rather call us up to Himself in the clouds to meet Him there. Rev. 4:1 "Come up hither."
  8. This is contrasted with His Second Coming when He will set foot on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem at the battle of Armageddon. Zech. 14:4-7
    Zechariah 14:4-7 KJV And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.  (5) And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.  (6) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:  (7) But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
  9. At that time everyone saved and lost will see Him return.
  10. However at the Rapture only blood bought, Spirit reborn, Christians will see the Lord Jesus Christ.

WE CLEARLY HAVE TWO SEPARATE EVENTS
1.  The Rapture when Jesus meets the Church in the air and takes them to heaven and
2.  The Second Coming which occurs at the climax of the battle of Armageddon. Here The Lord Jesus comes back to earth at the mount of Olives in Jerusalem and sets up His Kingdom.

  • 1Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

3.  The Rapture is a mystery that God through the Apostle Paul has revealed.
4.  The next question is: What is a mystery?
5.  A mystery is information about something not previously known.
6.  Could the mystery be the Second Coming of Jesus? No! as the disciples and Christians already knew that Jesus would return again. Look at Acts 1:9-11 where Jesus is taken to heaven.

  • Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  (10) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;  (11) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? 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.

7.  He will return in like manner, bodily, physically. His Second Coming is nothing new.
8.  Could the mystery be the general resurrection of all believers? No! God had already revealed that: See Daniel 12:2, Heb 11:17-19 Job 19:25-27.  
9.  It was general knowledge that there would be a general resurrection of the righteous and the damned.

  1. So then what is the mystery, the new truth that God through Paul is revealing?
    1Cor. 15:51 tells what the mystery is. 'We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed'.
  2. WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP. This means there is a generation of believers that will not die physically but will go straight to heaven. That is certainly new and unrevealed information!
  3. What does sleep mean? Why did Jesus and His disciples use the term sleep as opposed to dead? The word sleep in their culture also included the fact that the dead person had a future. Death is not a final thing but there is a glorious future for the believer after physical death.
  4. WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED. This literally means we shall be transformed. All born again, blood bought Christians will be given a new body. It will be a body of flesh and bones...a heavenly body just like the Lord Jesus had after His resurrection. John 20:19,20,27; Luke 24:40-43
    John 20:19-20 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  (20) And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (27) Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
    Luke 24:40-43 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.  (41) And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them,  Have ye here any meat?  (42) And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.  (43) And he took it, and did eat before them.
  5. So to sum up verse 51....what is the mystery? The mystery is that there is one generation that will not all die, but will rather be instantly transformed into their glorified body as they meet the Lord in the clouds. This is the Rapture! What a glorious way to go to heaven! If you had a choice, which way would you prefer to go to heaven?...by death or Rapture? What a glorious new truth!
    1Cor. 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
  6. How long will the Rapture take? Just a moment, a twinkling of an eye....
  7. How long is a moment, a twinkling of an eye?
  8. It will be so quick that the time frame cannot be humanly divided. The Rapture will be instant!
  9. At that time we will be given our glorified bodies as the Church is caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord. At the exact same time every believer in the world will be transformed and removed!
  10. What a joy it will be at the Rapture! Christians will be given their immortal, glorified body.
  11. There will be no more sickness, pain, or death. We will forever be with the Lord and our loved ones!
    1Cor. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
  12. Our new bodies will be eternal, incorruptible, and glorious!...and the Rapture is going to occur soon!

WHERE WILL WE GO AFTER THE RAPTURE?
To answer this question lets look at John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.

In the above verses you can see the following points:

1) IN MY FATHERS HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS.
1. Now where is His fathers house? In heaven of course.  
2. There are many mansions, dwellings there.
3. What does that mean? Does it mean that some Christians will be very close to God and others will be 6 blocks down the street? No it doesn't.
4. Picture in your mind the temple that once existed in Jerusalem.
5. In the center was the glory of God and around that were dwellings for the Levites, the priests of the temple.
6. In heaven we will ALL dwell around the glory of God! We will be close and intimate with God as that is what He desires—communion and fellowship with His creation.
7. We will literally be in the very house of God as close to Him as we can get!
8. What a blessing awaits us over there!

2) I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU. That is what the Lord Jesus said. One of the things that He is doing since He returned to heaven was to embark on a building project for His beloved Church. 

3) I WILL COME AGAIN. If an unbeliever ever asks you the question: Did Jesus ever say He would return, you can show him this verse. Jesus said 'I WILL COME AGAIN'. Pretty clear isn't it?

4) AND RECEIVE YOU. Now we are back to the Rapture.
The purpose is for the Lord Jesus to come FOR His saints, the Church.
1.  This event is not the Second Coming of Christ WITH His saints for the battle of Armageddon which will occur at the end of the 70th week, or the Tribulation period.
2.  Here we have the PRE-TRIBULATION Rapture as the Lord Jesus receives His Church unto Himself.

5) UNTO MYSELF, THAT WHERE I AM, [THERE] YE MAY BE ALSO. Now where are we Christians going when Jesus comes again?
1.  Are we going to make a U-turn and come back to the battle of Armageddon like the mid-tribulation, post-tribulation or a-millennial people say?
2.  No, we are going to His Father's house in heaven...that is our destination and not earth.
3.  This will occur at the PRE-TRIBULATION Rapture!
4.  We clearly have a distinction between the Rapture and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
5.  First He comes for His Church, the Rapture. Christians are transformed and taken to heaven (to His Father's house). Jesus does not return to earth but rather meets His Church in the clouds.
6.  Later on during another separate event the Lord Jesus will return to earth with His saints, at the battle of Armageddon.
7. At this time every eye will see him as His coming will not be secret like it was in the Rapture.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Prayer requests: 1-918-224-3609
Mail: Pastor Ira L. Hargis
9238 Columbia St.
Sapulpa, Oklahoma USA 74066
Email:
pastoriralh@fireofrevival.com

Awesome links:
http://www.e-sword.net/, http://worldenglishbible.org/, http://www.jvim.com/, http://www.jsm.org/, http://www.netbible.com/

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