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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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The Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

Key Scripture:

Acts 1:11 (KJV)  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

SUMMARY

The rapture is the only exit route for a believer. We need to prepare for the second coming of Christ. Nobody can stop it. This sermon lets us know, how we can prepare so that we will be taken up in rapture because those who miss it will end up in the tribulation. Let us see the ways in which we can be ready for His coming.

SERMON POINTS

3 Aspects in the Second Coming of Christ.

  • Rapture-Believers in Christ being taken to heaven.
  • Harvest of Saints-Many saints who are saved during the tribulation period.
  • Public Coming of Christ-wherein Jesus Christ will be coming as a King and judge all the people of the world.

The Events that will follow the Second Coming of Christ.

  1. Rapture.
  2. Judgement Seat of Christ.
  3. The Seven Tribulations.
  4. The Millennium rule of Christ.
  5. Great White Throne Judgement.

 

Preparing for Rapture.

  1. It’s a secret Rapture

 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (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:

 The Bible distinctively tells us of three sounds we will be able to hear at the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must remember that these will not be heard by everyone. Only those believers, who spend time with the Lord, at least one hour per day, will have a receptive heart. God will answer the prayers of such a heart. When we have the practice of hearing the voice of God can you be able to hear the last blast of the trumpet.

  1. It’s a sudden rapture.

1 Corinthians 15:52 (KJV) 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.   

This Rapture will be sudden. In the twinkling of the eye, we will all be transformed. No one knows the time or day. There won’t be time to change when rapture takes place. To be taken up in rapture, we need to live our lives worthy of His calling; so that dead or alive when the last trumpet calls we will be taken into glory.

Matthew 24:36 (KJV) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  

  1. It’s a selective rapture.

 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (KJV)  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

 The rapture is not for everyone, it’s for all those who live exclusive for the Lord. Apostle Peter asks us to be cautious of our lifestyle. We need to be sure of your calling and election; not as lifeless believers but vibrant Christians.

2 Peter 1:10 (KJV) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

 

CONCLUSION.

In 2 Kings 2:11, 12, we read of Elijah and Elisha walking together when a fiery chariot separates both of them. Elijah is an example of the raptured believer and Elisha the left-behind believer. We need to be prepared for the Second Coming of our Lord. The Lord wants the Church to be taken up at the rapture and not be judged with the rest of the world. Let’s get prepared by leading a separate, holy life , dedicated unto the Lord and prepare others as well.

Reformation Inscribing the Essence of the Gospel!

Key Scripture: II Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

SUMMARY

Today, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Reformation that rediscovered the essence of the precious gospel of Christ; His resurrection and His Second Coming. Let us thank God for the saints who sacrificed their lives in bringing the enlightenment to the history of Christianity. Martin Luther and William Tyndale are the most influential figures in Christian history; Luther began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century when he found in Romans 1:17 “The just will live by faith.” And William Tyndale who helped in translating the first English Bible directly from Hebrew and Greek texts that led to a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and the laws of England which led to his execution. Therefore, let us not forget the price they paid in rediscovering the truths and making the word of God readable for us today! The great Reformation builds our faith upon the Resurrection of Christ and His Second Coming!

SERMON POINTS

The world is fading today with calamities and disruptions indicating the end times. Sadly, the truth is the world seems to be ready for the return of Christ unlike us ‘The sleeping Christians.’ Who need to set up a wake up call to say, “Lord we are eagerly waiting for you to come” Which will be a sweet melody to the Lord and He will be pleased with our request.

The Introduction to the Tribulation:

Luke 21:25-27(KJV)And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

We are in perilous times. The bible says that in the last days, men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. We would see natural calamities like earthquakes, food shortages, droughts and famine; there will be signs in the sun, moon and the stars; the bible further says that there will be great distress upon the face of the earth.

Matthew 24:8(KJV) All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The Gospel of Matthew says that these signs would just be the beginning of the sorrows. Jesus will introduce the tribulation on earth before His Second Coming.

What will happen to the Believers?

Romans 8:21,22(KJV) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

The word says that when the nature groaneth and travaileth in pain, we the believers will be delivered and liberated from the bondage of corruption. However, the scripture says in Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Those who love and obey the Lord, praise and worship God at all times and regular to the church are some set terms and conditions which will help us to be in the mid air with the Lord.

The Two Phases of the Second Coming of the Lord:

  • The Day of Christ (Secret coming)

Luke 17: 34-36(KJV) I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

The Greek word for rapture is “harpazo.” It is an end time event when all believers living and the dead will rise into the mid air and join with Christ for eternity.

 John 14:28(KJV) Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

In the gospel of John, whatever our Lord said about the rapture was given to the apostle Paul many years later when he wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians.

  • The Day of the Lord:

Jude 15,16(KJV) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 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.

The Lord will come this day with His saints to execute judgement upon the people on earth.

What will happen in the Rapture?

1.The Church will be taken.

I 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.

St. Paul stated that Christ will come from heaven with the shout, the voice of the archangel with the trump of the Lord. The rapture of the church will be accomplished; the believers who have died and believers who are still alive will be raised together to meet the Lord in the sky as an act of deliverance.

2. We will be in the Mid Air.

I Thessalonians 4:14(KJV) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

When Jesus comes from heaven, He will be universally visible and audible. Every believer that had died and is living will be visible in the mid air and every eye shall witness the glory of God.

3. Our bodies will be Transformed:

I Corinthians 15: 52(KJV)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.

In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, the dead will be raised imperishable and that Christ will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body.

4. Anti Christ will be Revealed:

Revelation 6:1,2(KJV) And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

After the church is taken, the Antichrist will be revealed. As we have the Holy Trinity, there is also a trinity of the enemy which consists of the Satan, beast and the false prophets.

The Future Event of the Antichrist:

  • He will blaspheme:

Revelation 13:1(KJV) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

The Satan will have the power over the beast and according to the word of the dragon, the beast will seek false prophet to make a statue and recommend every one to worship him.

  • The Mark of the Beast:

Revelation 13:16(KJV)And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

After the glorious Rapture, the world will be under the total control of Antichrist and his New World Order. The False Prophet will work closely with Antichrist to deceive the unraptured people who are left behind on glorious Rapture day. The left behind Christians who are now zealous for the Lord Jesus Christ will be persecuted and martyred horribly and they will be forced to accept the mark of the beast either in their right hands or foreheads.

  • He will exalt himself as God:

II Thessalonians 2:4(KJV) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The Antichrist will achieve a worldwide power and will pretend that he can create an orderly society. The False Prophet will work miraculous wonders by the power of Satan. His benevolence will turn to malevolence later when he will fiercely persecute and attempt to slaughter all who accept Lord Jesus Christ and refuse be worshipped as “God.”Antichrist will conduct a reign of terror bringing death to multitudes, both Jews, left behind believers and unbelievers. The Antichrist will take over the Holy Temple built by the Jews and use it to proclaim to the world that he himself is God.

Daniel 9:27(KJV)And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

In the book of Daniel it says that the Antichrist will put a stop to sacrifices and sets up the abomination of desolation before the return of Christ.

Jesus will Judge the Nations:

Matthew 25:31-33(KJV)  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

The Sheep and Goat judgement will occur on earth just before the thousand year reign of Christ. The Sheep nation will be those nations who like Israel and Goat nation would be who didn’t like the Israelite’s.

Jesus will come back to the earth to set-up a thousand year kingdom on earth. Just before the kingdom is set-up, the bodies of all of the saints from all ages are raised and all the believers will then enter the kingdom and reign with Jesus but the unrepentant will be casted to the lake of fire at the final judgement.

Why Second coming of Jesus should be believed?

  • It is declared by Jesus himself. John 14: 1-3; Hebrews 6:18
  • Confirmed by the Holy angels. Acts1:9-11
  • Approved by the Apostles. Philippians 3:20; Revelation 1:7; 1John 2:28;
  • Old prophets have talked about it. Eg. Isaiah, Malachi
  • All the legends lived after the Lord have talked about the second coming.
CONCLUSION

The Scripture says that the eye is the lamp of the body, so let us keep our eyes focused on the Lord, His word and monitor our life style. Remember only Jesus can save us; therefore be prepared and make sure that we know the truths of the scripture. Let us have a belief that faith alone would bring salvation and encrypt it into our heart asking the Lord to come back soon so that we will reign with Him till eternity!