Return of the King // Part 1
According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until 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. /// 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (ASV)
Today, we are beginning a new series called “The Return of the King” where we are going to talk about the return of Jesus. During this series, we will talk about what is known as the Rapture, The Second Coming, and other topics surrounding Jesus’ return such as the Mark of the Beast, One world government, and the antichrist, beginning today with the Rapture of the church. In the scripture we just read is one from which the term “rapture” originates. The rapture of the church is defined as:
The word rapture will not be found in the Bible because it is a translation of the phrase “caught up” we read in 1 Thessalonians 4. The English phrase “caught up” is translated from a Greek word:
Two things are important to notice about what the Bible is saying to us about this “catching away” or rapture:
1. It will happen instantly.
The tense of the word is immediate. The Bible tells us:
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." /// 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
The same Greek word is used to describe Philip’s disappearance in the Spirit in Acts 8:39.
2. It will happen in the air.
This is important to know so that we are not fooled by anyone coming saying they are the Christ on the earth.
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. /// Matthew 24:24 (NASB)
3. No one knows exactly when it will occur.
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. /// Matthew 24:36 (ESV)
For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. /// 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (ESV)
There are signs that show us the rapture is nearing but God has not given anyone knowledge of the day or hour. What did Jesus say about His return?
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. /// John 14:1-3 (ESV)
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. /// Matthew 24:27 (ESV)
I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. /// Revelation 3:11 (ESV)
There is no doubt Jesus is coming again. The question has always been: When? We’ll talk about that next week.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (ASV)
- 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
- Matthew 24:24 (NASB)
- Matthew 24:36 (ESV)
- 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (ESV)
- John 14:1-3 (ESV)
- Matthew 24:27 (ESV)
- Revelation 3:11 (ESV)
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