Glorious Appearing – Rapture
We live in an evil world where many totally reject God’s influence in any area of their life. Unfortunately many want nothing to do with God’s gift of salvation. It seems that as time goes by this world and its inhabitants are growing indifferent to each other’s needs. They love themselves.
God wants none of us “The Body of Christ,” to be ignorant of the blessings that he will bestow upon us, the saved. That blessing is contained within the pages of our Bible. Specifically the “blessed hope” of the “glorious appearing” of our Lord Jesus Christ. That promise is given to us in Titus 2:13.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians that he wants none of us to be ignorant concerning the rapture of the Body of Christ. The glorious blessed hope.
Titus is not talking about the time of the end. This is not the final days of the tribulation.
1 Thessalonians 4:13a
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, (Body of Christ.) concerning them who are asleep (died) . . . .
Many believe that when you die you go into a condition called “Soul Sleep.” Our souls will never lose consciousness. When physical death happens our spirit will go immediately into the presence of the Lord. It stays conscious. It’s waiting for that great event when those who have died will receive a new body. The lost or the unsaved, will experience the same thing. They go to their doom to the place of torment waiting for their resurrection. Even the lost are going to be resurrected to be brought before the Great White Throne. From there they will go to their eternal doom in the Lake of Fire.
Right now we’re dealing with the believers who are in the Body of Christ. This includes all of our loved ones and our ancestors who before us became members of the Body of Christ. Let’s look further at what the apostle Paul has to say.
1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Corinthians 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.
1 Thessalonians 4:14
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,”
To be part of this glorious event we must believe and have faith in the finished work of the cross. That is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is hard for even good church people to see the difference between the Gospel that the Twelve Apostles were saved by and the other Jews of that day. Many just do not want to understand this. Let’s look at Matthew 16. This piece of scripture accounts for Peter’s profession of faith.
“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, (The Twelve) saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Matthew 16:14 And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
“He (Jesus) saith unto them, (to the Twelve) But whom say ye that I am?
Matthew 16:16. And Simon Peter answered and said,”
Now here is the statement of faith that Jesus wanted from every believing Jew of that day.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, (You’re the Messiah, the Anointed One.) the Son of the living God.”
He says nothing about the cross of Jesus. Not a hint about any shed blood. They had no idea of the resurrection. But this is what the Lord is looking for, because this was the Gospel of the Kingdom you needed to understand, to believe that Jesus was the Christ.
The Kingdom Gospel saved the Jews of Christ’s earthly ministry, by believing, along with their Law-keeping. But they were to believe who this Jesus was.
Let’s look at the book of Acts. We are looking at Peter sometime after Pentecost. They’ve healed the lame man at the Temple Gate, who, I’m sure, the Lord purposely ignored, so that this event could happen. Everything is by God’s design. This lame man laid at the Temple gate for forty years. He had to be there during Christ’s earthly ministry, but the Lord didn’t heal him. But Peter and John come along, and they do.
“Then Peter said, (to lame man,) Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
Did Peter say anything about the cross of Christ? Does he say anything about the shed blood or the Resurrection? Not a word. What is Peter emphasizing? Who Jesus is. He’s the Messiah. He’s the One that’s been promised ever since King David.
This event by the apostle caused great consternation with the Jews. They were bothered that this healing had taken place. In (Acts 3:16) we find the answer.
“And his (Jesus) name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness…”
Once again there was no word about the coming cross? This man believed who Jesus was. Why is that so hard?
This is the Kingdom message, that Jesus is the promised messiah. Place your faith in Him and God will give you eternal life. This message is not the same one that the apostle Paul preached. Let’s look again at (1Thessalonians 4:14).
1 Thessalonians 4:14
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
You see, that’s beyond what Jesus expected of the Twelve. This verse mirrors the gospel of salvation found in 1 (Corinthians 15:1-4). At this time we are under the Gospel of Grace. That Christ has done everything that needed to be done.
1 Thessalonians 4:15
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we (believers) who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them who have died.
1 Thessalonians 4:16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (singular) of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
These are not angels. This is a single trumpet blown by God Himself. Let’s now look at the book of Ephesians.
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his (Jesus) calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints (Body of Christ),
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
“Which he (God) wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”
Let’s now look at predestination. Every one of us has been directed to exactly where God wants us. Now, it takes a little longer to get some of us where He wants us than it does others, but we’re going to get there. Sooner or later you’re going to be exactly where God wants you, because that’s what you’re predestinated to.
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Now here’s what we’re predestinated to.
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
Predestination is always into a position in the Body of Christ. When we die we know where we will be.
2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
To strengthen this statement further Paul tells us the following.
For I am in a strait (difficult position) betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
At the rapture, Christ will bring all the souls and spirits of everybody that is in Christ and unite them with their new bodies. He brings the soul and spirit of the believers so that they can have that resurrected body. We will be a complete soul, spirit, and body again for all eternity. Then, after the dead have been resurrected, those that are alive and remain will be joined with them.
1 Thessalonians 4:17
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up,”
The words “caught up” are the two words that have been coined “raptured.” It means to be suddenly translated.
1 Thessalonians 4:17
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever (for all eternity) be with the Lord. (in that resurrected body)
1 Thessalonians 4:18
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Now let’s go into Chapter 5. Here’s why I know we are in a pre-Tribulation rapture, because of these words in (Chapter 5:1-2.)
1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye (you) have no need that I write unto you.
1 Thessalonians 5:2.
For yourselves know perfectly (or completely) that the day of the Lord, (this is Tribulation language),”
Now you’ve got to remember, James, Peter, and John all thought that the Tribulation was right in front of them. That it would take place in their lifetimes. They had no idea that God was going to call out a people (Body of Christ), for his name. This has been taking place for almost 2,000 years. But here we are again. We’re right up to the appearance of the anti-Christ. We’re that close.
1 Thessalonians 5:2
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (speaking of the tribulation).
1 Thessalonians 5:3
"For when they"
Do you see the difference in pronouns. The pronoun used in chapter 4 is We and Us. Now it’s they and them. Now, that’s as clear as language can make it. That’s two totally different groups of people. The we and the us will experience the rapture. Those that are designated they and them are the left behind.
1 Thessalonians 5:3
“For when they (the left behinds) shall say, Peace and safety,”
That is exactly what the anti-Christ is going to promise, peace and prosperity. And the world’s going to fall for it.
1 Thessalonians 5:3
“For when they (left behind) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them,” as travail upon a women with child; and they (the left-behinds, the Christ-rejecters) shall not escape.”
You can see from this study that God will not bring his people, the Body of Christ to wrath.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
The rapture. We are getting closer and closer every day.
Your questions and comments are always appreciated.