Scripture Passage: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
“Rapture” means to be caught up or snatched away speedily; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 explores the sacred mystery of the Rapture, which is prophesied in the Book of Revelation.
“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” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
The central figure of this event is Jesus Christ, who is returning to rapture His church: “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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
When Jesus descends with a shout, the dead in Christ rise first, then the living saints will be caught up to meet them in the air.
Adrian Rogers says, “If you have the same nature as Jesus Christ when He comes again, you’re the one going up, whether you’re beneath the ground or on top of the ground. If you’ve been Heaven-born, you will be Heaven-bound.”
This passage should be of comfort to us, knowing that we will meet Him in the air. We are assured of the rapture by the saving work of the Lord, which is the Gospel. We are also assured by the Word of the Lord, which is Scripture.
Though we don’t know the exact date when the rapture will occur, we know it is close and certain; it will happen “in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trump” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
There will be signs of the times; these don’t predict the Second Coming but simply affirm it will take place.
Though the “when” of the Rapture is a mystery, the “why” is clear; it is God’s divine strategy to rescue His Bride from the Great Tribulation to come. It is when we will reunite with our fellow Christians who have died, as we are all received by the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
After we are caught up in the air, the Bridegroom will take us, His Bride, to the place He has prepared for us.
You can have peace in these treacherous Last Days if you keep your eyes on Jesus’ Second Coming; learn of it, live for it, long for it, and share it with others.
These resources are available in multiple formats. You can print from either version. The Word version is editable. The PDF is a compilation of this sermon's overview, outline, and transcript.