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The Blessed Hope - The Rapture of the Church

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The Blessed Hope – The Catching Away of the Church

THE COMING OF CHRIST

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11, NIV)[1]

Acts 1:11 This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come in just the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven." [Weymouth]

"Why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly as he left." [Message]
                       

Text: " Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, NIV) [2]

"Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, NIV)[3]

 

"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, NIV)



I.        THE COMING OF CHRIST IS PROMISED

A.      THE APOSTLES PROMISED HE WOULD COME
Hebrews 10:37 in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. [NIV]

B.      THE ANGELS PROMISED HE WOULD COME
Acts 1:11 Jesus has been taken to heaven. But he will come back in the same way that you have seen him go." [CEV]

C.      THE CHRIST PROMISED HE WOULD COME
John 14:1-3 DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed or agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me. 2 In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 And when I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. [AMP]

" “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3, NIV)[4]

II.      THE COMING OF CHRIST IS PROCLAIMED

A.      THE APOSTLE JOHN PROCLAIMED IT
I John 3:2  My dear friends, we are already God’s children, though what we will be hasn’t yet been seen. But we do know that when Christ returns, we will be like him, because we will see him as he truly is. [CEV]

B.      THE APOSTLE PETER PROCLAIMED IT
ACTS 3:20 he will send Jesus your Messiah to you again. [NLT]

C.      THE APOSTLE JAMES PROCLAIMED IT
James 5:8 Be patient. Establish your hearts [strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty], for the coming of the Lord is very near. {AMP]

III.   THE COMING OF CHRIST IS PLANNED

A.      IT IS PLANNED TO BE A BLESSED HOPE
Titus 2:11-13 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [AV]

B.      IT IS PLANNED TO BE A PURIFYING HOPE
I John 3:3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. [NLT]

C.      IT IS PLANNED TO BE A COMFORTING HOPE
I Thessalonians 4:18 We, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! 18 Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words. [AMP]

IV.   THE COMING OF CHRIST HAS A PURPOSE

A.      A HE IS COMING TO FULFIL HIS PROMISE
John14:27-28 27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. [NLT]

B.      HE IS COMING TO RECEIVE HIS CHURCH
I Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. 17 Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. [CEV]

C.      HE IS COMING TO REWARD THE FAITHFUL
Revelation 22:12 See, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me, to repay all according to their deeds. [NLT]

V.      THE COMING OF CHRIST HAS A PATTERN

A.      THERE WILL BE A SOUND FROM HEAVEN
I Thessalonians 4:16 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. [AMP]

B.      THERE WILL BE A CHANGE IN THE DEAD AND LIVING SAINT
I Corinthians 15:51-53 Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. 53 For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. [NLT]

C.      THERE WILL BE A REUNION WITH CHRIST
I Thessalonians 4:16-18 The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

VI.   THE COMING OF CHRIST REQUIRES PREPARATION

A.      IT SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR BY REPENTANCE
Psalm 38:18 I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. [NLT]


B.       IT SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR BY RECEIVING CHRIST
Romans 10:9-10 9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. [NLT]

C.      IT SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR BY LIVING FOR CHRIST
I Thessalonians 5:6 let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard) and let us be sober (calm, collected, and circumspect). [AMP]

" And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming." (1 John 2:28, NIV)



Summary:

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:50-52, NIV) [5]

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us the story of the 10 virgins:  “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:1-13, NIV) [6]

[Salatiel’s Video]

We need to ask ourselves this question: ARE WE READY FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD?


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[1]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[2]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[3]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[4]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[5]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[6]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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