Sep 12, 2021. I Thessalonians 4:13-18

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RAPTURE REALITY.  I Thessalonians 4:13-18.  9/12/2021. #10.

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 [New King James Version]

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

  1. The Rapture blues
    1. The Thessalonica church misconstrued end times issues
      1.  Paul did not have time to fully instruct them
      1.  They thought that the Rapture would come quickly
      1.  Some had passed away: what happens to them?
      1.  There was a rumor that the Rapture had already come and they had missed it
    1. Paul 1st addresses the issue of saints who had died
      1.  NT uses “sleep” for believers who die (John 11, I Corinthians 11, 1 Cor. 15)
      1.  Thessalonica’s were grieving that their deceased loved ones had missed the Rapture completely
      1.  Paul seeks to comfort via understanding and hope
  2. A resurrected Lord who resurrects his own
    1. Paul uses 2 arguments to assuage their fears:
      1.  Jesus died and was resurrected (death is not end)
      1.  The same Jesus who died will resurrect believers and bring them with him at rapture of live believers
    1. When Christ returns for his church the dead will be raised first before those who are alive
    1. Christ will shout and the trumpet shall sound, retrieving us
    1. Rapture facts:
      1.  Rapture = comes from Latin, rapto (caught up)
      1.  Acts 1:7 we don’t know when Rapture will come
      1.  Several events will precede the Rapture: wars, pestilence, and lawlessness (Matthew 24:3-14) along with great persecution and earthquakes, a rapid increase in knowledge and movement of man (Daniel 12:1-4), false Christs and rise of Antichrist (Daniel 7:8), and men will be proud and wicked (2 Tim. 3:1-13)
      1.  The coming of Christ will be denied and mocked by unbelievers (II Peter 3:1-9)
      1.  II Thessalonians 2:10-11 God will send a strong delusion to those who had rejected the Gospel after the Rapture so deniers will believe a lie
  3. Consoling the grieving
    1. Paul expected the Rapture to come soon (“we which are alive and remain…”)
    1. Paul states that the inevitability of the Rapture should provide us great comfort to hurting believers
      1.  Christ is returning for his own
      1.  The time of our sojourn here is very short
      1.  Our faithfulness will be reward for eternity
      1.  Focusing on Christ’s return brings comfort
      1.  I Corinthians 15:50-58 we are comforted concerning those who preceded us in death and in the value of our labors for Christ
    1. Our response to the hope of the rapture
      1.  Faithfulness and patience (I Peter 5:5-7; Galatians 6:7-10)
      1.  Serving Christ until he comes (Luke 19:11-27)
      1.  John 14:1-6 take comfort in Christ’s return
    1. The Thessalonica would be relieved at this teaching, though
    1. some would use it to sit around and wait (II Thessalonians 3)
    1. Matthew 6:31-34 focusing on today’s tasks in light of eternity
      1.  It is immaterial when the rapture will come
      1.  By faithfully hopefully serving we will be ready

Key Verse: Matthew 24:3-14

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.