Temple Baptist Church - 11-29-2009
A. No, the word “rapture” is not found in your King James Bible. But the truth of the “rapture” is found in your Bible! To deny the catching away of the saints at the end of the church is seriously heretical teaching. Let us just look at the more obvious prophecies concerning the “rapture.”
1. Revelation 4:1-3. Revelation has a three-fold division found in chapter 1:19.
“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” (The Past chapter 1 -“things which thou hast seen;” The Present in chapters 2-3 – “things which are;” The Future in chapters 4-22 – “things which shall be hereafter.”)
In these verses, our glorified Lord encouraged an exiled, suffering saint with the promise of a better day. At the end of the Church Age found in chapters 2-3, we find John “raptured” to stand before the throne of God thus missing the Tribulation Period of chapters 6-18.
2. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians during their great trials of affliction, reminded them of their blessed hope: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
3. John 14:1-3. Our Lord, just before His passion, encouraged the disciples with the promise of His return. “I will come again!” What a promise! He went away, not to build mansions, but to offer His precious blood!
4. Genesis 5:19-24. One of the earliest prophecies is found concerning Enoch.
Jude 14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
In Genesis 6, the Ark is a type of safety through obedience, not of salvation.
Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Noah was saved by grace, not by building an ark and getting on it. We do not work for or build our salvation any more than Noah did. Salvation is and always has been of grace. Noah is a type of Israel going through the Tribulation Period in the ark of God’s safety. Enoch is a type of the Church removed before the beginning of the Tribulation Period.
B. We that know the Lord and walk with Him understand the times in which live in relationship to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. John 14:1-4, we find the both the purpose of His coming and the promise of His return.
1. The Purpose of His Coming – “Ye believe in God, believe also in me!” Salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone! Acts 4:12, John 3:16, John 10:9, John 14:6, and many others declare that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world!
2. The Purpose of His Ascension – “I go to prepare a place for you!” He is not building mansions as the context says that they are already there! Hebrews declares that Christ presented His blood on the Mercy Seat in Heaven. That precious blood that takes away the sin of mankind and presents us faultless before the throne of His glory with exceeding joy. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission the Bible declares.
3. The Purpose of His Appearing – “That where I am, there ye may be also!” He is coming to take us home, restore His nation of Israel through 7 years of Jacob’s Trouble, and deal with Satan and his devils.
C. We understand what time it is!
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
D. I am “preaching to choir” tonight with this message doctrinally. Our people know and understand what it means to be saved, know it, live for the Lord, and look to the heavens for the eminent return of our Lord. My message is not the return of the Lord though. My message is what to do in the mean time! While the world sleeps, God’s children are to be both awake and watchful!
1. We Need To Be Expectant - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 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.
2. We Need To Be Faithful - Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
3. We Need To Be Holy - 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4. We Need To Be Busy - Jude 21-23 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
John 4:34-38 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
5. We Need To Be Patient - James 5:7-8 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
6. We Need To Be Doctrinally Sound - 2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
7. We Need To Love And Comfort One Another - 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.