Sunday, September 17, 2017

John The Beloved Walked With God In Rapture

Temple Baptist Church - 9-17-2017
John 21:20-24


A.  We have looked at 10 different men who walked with God in their lives. 

1.  The series has been a blessing to me as I studied these men.  Each one had something that made him special in his personal walk with the LORD.  There are more men in the Bible that I could have chosen but, alas, all good things normally come to an end. 

a)  Enoch walked with God in Consistency.

b)  Noah walked with God in Spiritual Adversity.

c)  Moses walked with God in Impossibility.

d)  Joseph walked with God in Integrity.

e)  Job walked with God in Confusion.

f)  David walked with God in Worship.

g)  John the Baptist walked with God in Expectancy.

h)  Peter walked with God in Love.

i)  Paul walked with God in the Spirit.

2.  I want to look at one more man, John the Beloved, before I move on to another subject.  I chose John the Beloved because every walk with God needs to have a destination in mind.

3.  Our destination is what lies beyond this life: an eternity of blessedness with Christ.  Aging comes so quickly to all of us.  Yesterday, we were carefree children who were raised in a better time.  We live, we love, and we die.

4.  Life is short, death is sure, sin the cause, and Christ the Cure.  Paul said it all when writing the Epistle to the Philippians: 

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  (21)  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  (22)  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.  (23)  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:”  (Philippians 1:20-23) 

B.  The apostles misunderstood what our Lord said to Peter in our text for this morning.

John 21:22-23  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.  (23)  Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

1.  It was Prophetic of John receiving the Revelation on the Isle of Patmos.

2.  It was also Prophetic of a generation that would not see death but would walk with God.

C.  John the Beloved was special!  In the Book of John, his name is never mentioned but he is call “that disciple whom Jesus loved.”  John was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day when the Lord appeared to him in His glorified body and gave him the Revelation of Jesus Christ and things to come.

1.  John the Beloved is a beautiful type of the Church.

2.  Nothing was said negative about John.  Though he was not a perfect man, he was called “that disciple whom Jesus loved.”  When God sees His child, He sees us as made worthy by the blood and not as we are.

3.  The Lord loved John with an overlooking, everlasting love.  Our Lord Jesus loves the Church and gave Himself for it.  He sees us seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus without spot nor wrinkle nor any such thing.

4.  The Lord allowed John to see Him in the Second Coming in all His glory.  We will one day see Him again.

D.  I want to take a short look at what John experienced that we who love the Lod will one-day experience.

E.  John the Beloved walked with God in Rapture.  We will one day do the same, through the veil of death or in the Rapture of the church.  Rapture:  a feeling of intense pleasure or joy.

1.  John’s rapture as he saw his beloved Lord.   Revelation 1:10, 12-13  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet … (12)  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  (13)  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  (I can only imagine the thrill John felt when he saw Jesus again in all of His glory!)

One day just today and it could be today, our rapture as we see our beloved Lord as He is.  1 Peter 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1 John 3:2  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.

2.  John’s rapture as he was caught up to heaven, his ultimate home.  Revelation 4:1-2  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.  (2)  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.  (From exile on the Isle of Patmos, a barren rock of an island, to the glory of God’s heaven is beyond imagination.)

Our rapture when, in a twinkling of an eye, we are caught up to heaven, FINALLY HOME!  1 Corinthians 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  (Through the rapture of through death, we will one-day step on shore and find it heaven, touch a hand and find it God’s, breath new air and finding it celestial, waking up in glory, finally home!)

3.  John’s rapture of seeing the saints of God along with his loved ones again.  Revelation 5:8-9  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.  (9)  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;  (John was the last of the apostles to die and was probably in his late 90’s when it was his time to go.  He had more on the other side than he did remaining in this life.)

Our rapture when we see those whom we loved in both our physical families and our church family again.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-14  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.  (O that will be glory for me!)

4.  John’s rapture of seeing a new heaven and a new earth with no curse or sin.  Revelation 21:1-2  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  (2)  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  (The seven “No Mores!”)

Our rapture of experiencing the change from this sinful world and aging, corrupt body to eternity’s perfection.  1 Corinthians 15:50-53  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  (51)  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  (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.  (53)  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  (What a day that will be!  I loved to hear Gordon sing that song.)

5.  John’s rapture of experiencing eternity while still in the flesh here.  Revelation 10:6  And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:  (John knew that he was quickly approaching eternity and was thrilled to both see and experience it in advance.)

Our rapture when we are forever with the Lord.  1 Thessalonians 4:17  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.

Conclusion:  You know that this could have been a long message, don’t you?  As John the Beloved walked with God in Rapture, we too will one day do the same! 

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