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In The Twinkling Of An Eye

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
(RA2173 ~ Program 2617, Air date 06.25.2017)

    1. When Jesus ascended after the resurrection, He promised that He would come again.
    2. The early Christians expected Jesus to return in their day.
    3. Since they expected Jesus to return in their lifetime, the Christians in Thessalonica were concerned that their loved ones, who had already died, might miss the Kingdom of God since they would not be living at the time of Christ’s return.
    4. In 1 Thessalonians 4, the Apostle Paul is writing to the Thessalonians to address this concern.
      1. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
        1. There are three great enemies in this passage:
          1. Ignorance
          2. Sorrow
          3. Hopelessness
    5. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4 about the rapture of the church. 
    (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
    1. The central figure in the resurrection and the rapture is the Lord Jesus Christ.
    2. Jesus Christ will one day step from His throne in Heaven and literally come back to the Earth with a shout.
      1. This shout will raise the dead.
        1. At Jesus’ command, Christians who have already died will rise from their graves.
      2. Then the living saints will be transformed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye
        1. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
          1. This passage tells us that the Apostle Paul expected Jesus to return in his lifetime.
    3. The phrase “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4 is what we call “the rapture.”
      1. The word “rapture” comes from the Latin word “rapto” and the Greek word “herpaso.”
        1. Both words mean “a catching away.”
        2. We will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
      2. The English word “rapture” is not found in the Bible.
        1. The English word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, nor is the English word “missions.”
        2. But the trinity, missions and the rapture are all taught in the Bible.
      3. The Greek word “herpaso” is also used in the following passages:
        1.  Acts 8:39
          1. Phillip was caught away; suddenly vanished.
          2. The usage of this word in this instance means “to catch away speedily.”
        2. John 6:15
          1. The word “to take by force” is the same word that in other places is translated “caught up.”
          2. This means that neither grave nor gravity will be able to hold us.
        3. 1 Corinthians 12:1
          1. The same word is used as “carried away.”
          2. In the rapture, we will be carried away; transported from one place to another.
        4. Acts 23:10
          1. The phrase “take him by force” is the same phrase we translate as rapture, and it means “to rescue from danger.”
          2. The rapture occurs, we will be taken by force, moved to a new place, and delivered from danger.
      4. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
        1. We get our word “atom” from the word “moment” used in this passage.
          1. This denotes the most indivisible thing our language can describe.
          2. In the twinkling of an eye, the dead in Christ will rise first; and then we which are alive will be changed and caught up to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air.
      5. How are we assured of these things?
        1. By the saving work of our Lord.
          1. 1 Thessalonians 4:14
          2. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He will raise us.
        2. By the sure word of our Lord.
          1. 1 Thessalonians 4:15
          2. Only God knows the future.
          3. One-third of the Bible is about the return of Jesus Christ.
  3.  WHO - THE SAVIOR AND THE SAINTS  (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
    1. The rapture is not a general resurrection
      1. There is a select multitude of the Savior and the saints.
      2. Only the dead in Christ will be raised at the rapture.
        1.  Revelation 20:5-6
    2. Just as this is not a general resurrection, there will also be no general rapture.
      1.  Not everyone on Earth will be caught up to meet the Lord.
      2. Only those who follow Jesus Christ will be caught away in the rapture.
        1. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
        2. Luke 17:34-37
    1.  No one knows when, but the Bible tells us the time is at hand.
      1.  Revelation 1:3
    2. Paul was expecting Jesus to return in His day, and he was right.
      1.  Matthew 24:36
      2. Matthew 24:38
        1. The daily round of life will be occurring when Jesus Christ suddenly returns.
      3.  Matthew 24:42
      4. Matthew 24:44
    3. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
      1. The word “sleep” in this passage is a metaphor for a Christian who has died.
    4.  We are not waiting for a sign to come to pass before the rapture can take place; the return of Jesus Christ is imminent.
    5.  We should always be ready for Jesus’ return.
    6.  1 Thessalonians 4:16
      1. The sounds of the rapture:
        1.  The shout
          1. The shout is the Lord’s voice himself.
          2.  When Jesus returns, He will give a shout, and the whole church will come forth.
            1. John 11:43
            2. The shout is pointed primarily to the church.
        2.  The voice of the archangel
          1.  Archangel is the chief angel in charge of Heaven’s armies.
          2.  He will martial the angels in preparation for the Great Tribulation.
        3.  The trump
          1. The trump deals primarily with Israel.
          2. After the church is raptured, God begins to assemble the nation of Israel for the last days.
            1.  Numbers 10:9-10
    1.  The rapture is a rescue.
      1. Before the Great Tribulation begins, God takes the church out.
      2. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
      3. Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come.
      4. 1 Thessalonians 5:9
    2. The rapture is a reunion.
      1.  1 Thessalonians 4:17
      2. We will be caught up together with our loved ones who have died in the Lord.
    3. The rapture is a reception.
      1.  John 14:3
      2. Jesus is coming to receive us to Himself.
  6.  WHERE - IT WILL BE IN THE AIR  (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
    1.  The rapture and the second coming are two separate events.
      1. The rapture will take place in the air and in secret.
      2. At the second coming, Jesus’ feet will touch upon the Mount of Olives, and He will reveal Himself in glory.
    1. The church is the bride of Christ.
    2.  The Lord Jesus Christ will one day return for His bride, the church.
      1. Song of Solomon 2:10
    3. Only those who follow Jesus Christ as Lord will be rescued in the rapture.
    4. Do you know Jesus personally?
    5. You can pray to Him today by asking Him to come into your life.
    6. Call upon Jesus today. Repent (turn) from your sins, and turn to Jesus.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and acknowledge Him as Lord of your life.
    7. Romans 10:9-10
    8. Romans 10:13
Posted by dave hare at 6:45 AM


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