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The Rapture.

Key Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 (KJV)  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: 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.

SUMMARY

“Jesus is coming soon!” We all have heard this phrase often but wonder how exactly. This sermon on the rapture helps us understand what it means, how and why it is going to happen.

SERMON POINTS

What is the rapture?

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (KJV)  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Though the word ‘rapture’ is not there in the Bible, the closest word to it in greek, ‘Harpaso’

Means being caught up or a strong and massive evacuation. This is the perfect explanation of the rapture. Our world is going from bad to worse. It is time for the church to start standing up for Christ, pray and prepare ourselves to meet our Lord. To be a part of rapture you need to have faith in Jesus and to have lived passionatly for the Lord.

Why we need to believe in the rapture?

1.Death will be swallowed up in victory.

1 Corinthians 15:13-14 (KJV)  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

We need to believe in rapture because death is not the end. Jesus conquered death. We who believe in Christ experience everything that He went through. Death is the final enemy and Christ overpowered death and we too would overcome death.Christ is not just in this life but in the life after this as well. Therefore death is swallowed up in victory. Our focus should be on where will our life after this be

2.Faith in Christ will not be in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:17,19 (KJV)  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Rapture is sure to happen when your hope is in Christ. When you put faith in Him then you’ll experience the same glory He experienced when He rose from the dead. We too will rise up in the twinkling of an eye and thereby our faith in Christ will not be in vain.

3.Saints have experienced harpazo in the past.

Rapture will happen; there’s no denying it as many saints in the past have experienced it. Enoch who walked with God experienced the harpazo moment , so did Elijah. Our Lord Jesus ascended on high. St Paul in 2 Cor 12 experienced this. The Bible records about 10 instances about the experience of the rapture. We need to believe this and walk closely with our Lord.

4.Jesus talks about rapture.

John 14:1-3 (KJV)   Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 11:25,26 (KJV)   Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Jesus Christ Himself spoke about rapture. He promised that He is preparing a place for us and will come back to say us. Jesus also said that whoever believes in Him will live even if he dies, these words give us hope.

How to be part of the rapture?

1.Learn to Listen to the Voice of God.

Luke 21:36(KJV)  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Our Lord Jesus clearly mentions here that we need be watchful in prayer that we may be accounted worthy. Being accounted worthy is very important statement. God is the one who judges us and it is He who would account us so that we may be worthy to escape all these things . We need to listen to His voice. God desires that we look around and watch out for the signs of His coming that He has already said that would come to pass. Without being alert and praying for these things we cannot be a part of the rapture. Let’s deepen our prayer life and cultivate an intimacy with our savior.

2. Love His Appearing

2 Timothy 4:8 (KJV)  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The Bible clearly tells us about a crown of righteousness given to those who love His appearing. Apostle Paul tells us that we need to love and wiat for His appearing. Our prayers have to be ‘Maranatha- Come, Lord Jesus!’

3.Holiness

Hebrews 12:14 (KJV)    Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

The writer of Hebrews is very clear on how important it is to have holiness in order to be a part of the rapture. Let us strive to be holy in every aspect of our spiritual and physical lives ,because without sanctification we cannot see God. Here St Paul clearly says that we need follow peace with all men. Even when there is offense, we need to forgive and let go. Sanctification is the secret to see God.

4.Denying Ungodliness.

Titus 2:11-13 (KJV)   For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Through the grace of God, salvation has been made available for all men. But to be taken up in the rapture, we need to deny all forms of ungodliness and lusts of this world. The rapture is not for the disoriented, disorganized or the irregular. Grace teaches us to say NO to the ungodly passions looking forward to the appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let’s prepare for rapture by living soberly and righteously in this ungodly world.

5.Having Spiritual Gifts.

1 Corinthians 1:7 (ESV)   “so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Spiritual gifts should be manifested from our lives for the extension of His kingdom. When a believer ceases to operate in the gifts , he becomes worldly and secular in outlook. Gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Romans 12, 1 Cor 12 should be what we are known for -not for our glory but for the extension of His kingdom. Spiritual gifts reveal the in-working of the Holy Spirit and we should allow the Holy Spirit to take all of us and use us for His glory as we wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

CONCLUSION.

The prophets of the Bible foretold the birth of Jesus and Jesus was born as prophesied. The Bible particularly repeats and emphasizes on the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is bound to happen and very soon too. It’s high time the church of Christ prepares for it. Let us ask the help of the Holy Spirit to help us prepare to meet our Lord.

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Year of Faith.

Key Scripture:

1 Corinthians 13:2 (KJV)  “…faith, so that I could remove mountains,…”

SUMMARY

The Lord wants His people to be a people of faith. Faith can move mountains but to cultivate such faith we need to follow certain principles, this sermon helps us to grow in such mountain-moving faith.

SERMON POINTS

What does the Lord require of us?

Micah 6:6-8 (KJV)  Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The Lord our God doesn’t require of us what we usally think He does. Some of think that huge amout of offerings and sacrifices appease the Lord. But what God really requires of us is

  • To do justice
  • To love mercy-being loyal and loving faithfulness
  • And, to walk humbly with God-cutting off our pride and exalting God.

This is God’s requirement of us. This is when we get built up in our faith. Faith doesn’t come because of the special offerings we give the Lord. It comes when we are able to fulfil what He requires of us.

How can we cultivate this faith?

1.Our knowledge about Jesus should translate into faith.

Matthew 17:20 (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

The disciples who lived and moved with the Lord Jesus Christ couldn’t heal the sick child because of their unbelif. With faith nothing shall be impossible to us. Faith comes from our knowledge about Jesus Christ.

Therefore Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Philippians that he wants to Christ. (Philippians 3:10). This should be our quest as well. Only the knowledge of Jesus can translate into faith. When faith becomes our lifestyle, nothing is impossible.

2.Studying God’s word.

Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Another important way we can cultivate this supernatural faith is by studying the Word of God. The more we hear the word of God, the more we read, study , meditate and think on it, our faith is built up. Let’s make a vow before the Lord to stop allowing negative thoughts take a hold of your mind and give more priority to studying His word

3.Fasting and Prayer

Matthew 17:21 (KJV)   Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

The other way faith is built up is by fasting and prayer. Fasting and praying opens our senses to the presence of the Almighty God. We start to see Him work in every area of our life and family. Faith increases as we fast and pray because we begin to experience His glory and power.

CONCLUSION.

Faith is given to move mountains (1 Corinthians 13:2). Many a times we let unbelief rule over us like the disciples. Let us pray that our faith will be a supernatural one as we study God’s word, fast and pray, and increase in our knowledge of the Lord. Then surely nothing will be impossible to you.

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Being a Soul winner.

Key Scripture:

Proverbs 11:30 (KJV) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

SUMMARY

This sermon teaches us on how to be a soul winner. This is our greatest priority in life. Jesus Christ has commissioned us to do the same with the help He gives us by the Holy Spirit.

SERMON POINTS

Following Jesus to become a soul winner.

Matthew 4:19 (KJV)  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, when He came down to the earth brought the kingdom of God down to us. In the Gospels we read the various ways wherein God was revealed to us through Jesus Christ. However the other aspect was that Jesus wanted to make us into ‘fishers of men’ or soul winners.

That is what He said to His followers; if we follow Him, He will start His work in us, transforming us into soul winners by which we would impact lives, communities and nations

How can you become a soul-winner?

1.Have an encounter with the Lord.

2 Peter 1:16 (KJV) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

The first and foremost thing that you need to be a soul winner is to have an encounter with God. These spiritual experiences make one a soul winner. Paul could not stay the way he was after the damascus gate encounter. Peter took the gospel to the gentiles after the heavenly vision.The Bible is a record of ordinary people having amazing spiritual experiences that transformed them to heroes of faith.

The apostles themselves didn’t just happen to follow Christ, they were eyewitnesses of His glory and majesty. It was this encounter they had with Jesus that made them into soul winners.

2. Being deeply rooted in God’s word.

Joshua 1:8 (KJV) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

To be a soul winner we need to be deeply immersed in the word of God. We need to read the word of God from cover to cover. Sitting at the feet of God, praying and meditating on the Word, thinking about it again and again asking God to teach us His ways; this is what helps us win souls.Once the Word of God takes deep roots in our life we can’t sit quiet. We would be ambassadors of His word.

Galatians 1:17  (KJV)  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Apostle Paul before being a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, after his conversion on the road to Damascus, went of to Arabia to meditate and learn the scriptures. When we are completely given to the learning and meditation of God’s word, then we can become soul winners.

3. Cultivate a divine burden for souls.

1 Corinthians 9:16 (KJV)  For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

Apostle Paul says that the necessity to preach the gospel, to bring souls into God’s kingdom is laidupon each one of us. We need to cultivate this divine burden. God has already called us to carry this burden for souls. As we start to cultivate this burden, God will add grace to our lives to help fulfil it.

4. Minister with authority and grace.

1 Corinthians 2:2,4 (KJV)  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

Once you have an encounter with the Lord, get deeply rooted in His word and carry a divine burden for souls, we have to minister with authority and grace. We minister His healing and word with power and through the Spirit, but also ministering through grace and humility. This comes only through Jesus Christ who was crucified. God seeks for soul winners who minister with authority from the platform of grace.

5. Soak the ministry in prayer.

Acts 20:31 (KJV)  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Above all of it, we need to soak the ministry in prayer. Soul winning cannot take place with talent alone. We need the Holy Spirit to minister. Let us guard the ministry with our prayers and tears.

Soul-winning- Points to remember.

Luke 12:31 (KJV)  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Below are some pointers that give us the wholesome meaning of soul winning in the view of Christ.

  • Luke 12:13- Jesus approached to play a judge in dividing inheritance between brothers. He plainly says that He is not called for that. The same applies for us.
  • Luke 12:15- Beware of covetousness. Those who covet cannot be soul winners. Once we fall into the trap of deceitfulness of riches, we tend to go for it more.
  • Luke 12:22- As we make soul winning of greatest priority, we can be sure that God will provide for us. We can choose to be a rich fool or a blessed soul winner.
  • Luke 12:31- As we seek His kingdom, all that concerns us will be perfected by God.
CONCLUSION.

The Lord has called each one of us to be soul winners. That is a necessity that has been laid upon us. Let this become our goal from this day forward, that we will give ourselves to the study of God’s word and spending time in His presence to cultivate that divine burden for souls, so that we too can follow Jesus and transform into ‘fishers of men’.