ibelieve - WEEK 2: PART II - The Rapture The Rapture What are your beliefs regarding The Rapture? Why is this significant?

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1 The Rapture What are your beliefs regarding The Rapture? Why is this significant? I. The Definition of the Rapture The rapture refers to the glorious event where Jesus Christ His church out of this world. It will happen suddenly and without any notice. The rapture of the church and the of Jesus Christ are completely different events. At the rapture, Jesus is coming for His saints. At the second coming, He is coming His saints. In 1 st Corinthians 15: 51-52, the Word of God says, 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, and we shall all be changed. We, the church, will be changed. Paul said in Philippians 3: 20-21, For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the LORD Jesus Christ, who will our lowly body that it may be to His glorious body Describing this Paul wrote to Corinth, For this corruptible must put on immortality (1 st Cor. 15:53). So, the rapture happens first and foremost and then the second coming when we will return with Jesus. Jude 14 tells us, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints to establish His 1,000 year reign here on earth. 1

2 II. Pretribulationism 1. Pretribulationism, (or Pre-trib rapture) expressed in the writings of such scholars as John F. Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, and J. Dwight Pentecost, is the view that Christ will the entire (or universal) church any part of the tribulation begins. Calvary Christian Fellowship holds this view as well. Since we adhere to the Pre- Tribulation Rapture view, we will cover why we believe this in the following points found in scripture: A. No Bible passage on the tribulation mentions the, either in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:29-30; Jeremiah 30: 4-11; Daniel 12: 1-2) or the New Testament (Matthew 13:30,39 42, 47-50; 24: 15-31; 1 st Thessalonians 1:9-10; 5:4-11; 2 nd Thessalonians 2:1-11; Revelation 4-18). Scripture does refer to believers who live during the tribulation (i.e.; Revelation 6: 9-11). However, pretribulationists believe these people become Christians sometime the rapture. B. Scripture assures us that the church will not experience God s wrath (Romans 5:9; 1st Thessalonians 1:9-10; 5:9). This means the church cannot go through the in the tribulation (Rev. 6:17). C. Throughout scripture, God protects His people His judgment falls, (see 2nd Peter 2: 5-9). Enoch was transferred to heaven before the flood. Noah and his family were in the ark before the flood. Lot was taken out of Sodom before judgment was poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah. The firstborn among the Hebrews were sheltered by the blood of the before judgment fell. Israel s spies were safely out of Jericho and Rahab was secured before judgment fell on Jericho. So too will the church be secured safely (by means 2

3 of the ), before judgment falls in the tribulation. D. Again, Pretribulationists believe that at the rapture, Christ will come for His saints in the prior to the tribulation; at the second coming, He will come with His saints to the to reign for a thousand years (Revelation 19; 20:1-6). The fact that Christ comes with His holy ones ( believers) at the second coming presumes they have been previously raptured. III. The Bride and the Bridegroom 1. Scripture portrays Christ as the bridegroom (John 3:29) and the church as the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7). Hebrew weddings included three phases: 1) The marriage was enacted by the parents of the bride and groom, 2) the bridegroom came to claim his bride, and 3) friends and family celebrated with a marriage feast that lasted several days. All three of these phases are seen in Christ s relationship to the church, His bride: a. As individuals living during the church age come to salvation under the Father s loving and sovereign hand, they become a part of the bride of Christ (The church). b. The Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) will come to claim His bride at the rapture and take her to heaven, where He has prepared a place in the Father s house (John 14: 1-3). The actual wedding takes place in heaven prior to the second coming (Revelation 19: 11-16). c. The marriage supper of the Lamb follows the second coming, apparently taking place on earth at the beginning of the millennial kingdom (compare with Matthew 22: 1-14; 25: 1-13). 3

4 IV. Conclusion (or How then should we live?) The term imminent literally means ready to take place or. The New Testament teaches that the rapture is imminent that is, no more prophetic signs must occur before the rapture (see 1 st Cor. 1:7; 16:22; Philippians 3:20-21; 4:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:7-9; 1 st Peter 1:13; Jude 21). Imminence is implied in Paul s words in Romans 13: 11-12, You know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. The word salvation in this context must be eschatological, referring to the rapture, because Paul refers to salvation as a specific future event. At the end of each day, the Christian is that much closer to the rapture. Knowing this, how then should we live? Given this fact that the rapture could occur without a sign at any moment ought to spur the Christian to live in and. Christians living in righteousness at that moment will be blessed; Christians engaged in sin at that moment will be embarrassed. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:11-13). This term blessed hope is a general reference to the rapture of the church. This event is blessed because it brings blessings and hope to believers. The term carries the idea of joyous. We, as believers can hardly wait! Even so, come Lord Jesus! IV. Definitions 1. Tribulation: a seven year period during which God s wrath is poured out on a rejecting world. It will end with Jesus second coming. 4

5 2. Universal Church: the ever enlarging body of believers who comprise the entire body of Christ. The church was born on the day of when the Holy Spirit was poured out. (See Acts 2, and compare with 1:5; 11:15; and 1 st Corinthians 12:13). 3. Mystery: biblically speaking, a mystery is something that was previously hidden but has now been revealed. Biblical mysteries are truths that cannot be discerned simply by human investigation and therefore require special revelation from God. These truths were generally unknown to people living in times but have now been revealed by God. 4. Midtribulationism: the view that Christ will rapture the church in the middle of the tribulation. Held by scholars such as Merrill Tenney, J. Oliver Buswell, Norman Harrison, and others. 5. Posttribulationism: expressed in the writings of George Eldon Ladd, Robert Gundry and other scholars, is the view that Christ will rapture the church after the tribulation, at the second coming of Christ. This means that the church will go through the time of judgment prophesied about in the book of Revelation, but believers will allegedly be kept through the wrath of the tribulation (Rev 3:10). 6. Eschatological or Eschatology: the branch of theology or biblical exegesis (explanation or interpretation) concerned with end time events. ibelieve Statement I believe in the Rapture of the church because: 1. God has revealed this mystery to us through His written Word. 2. That God has NOT appointed us to wrath 5

6 3. That it is not consistent with the nature of God to judge the righteous with the wicked. 4. That this blessed hope I have of being taken up to heaven to spend eternity with my great God and Savior Jesus, causes me to live a life of purity. 6

7 The Rapture: Supplemental Material Some people ridicule the idea or concept of the rapture of the church. They declare that the word rapture isn t even found in the Bible. It all depends on what Bible you re reading. The phrase caught up in 1 st Thessalonians 4:17 is the Greek word harpazo, which actually means to be snatched away violently. The Latin equivalent of harpazo is the verb rapio, meaning to take away by force. In the Latin Vulgate, one of the oldest Bibles in existence, the appropriate tense of rapio appears in verse 17. Raptus is the past participle of rapio. Our English words, rapt and rapture stem from this past participle. Although the actual word rapture isn t in the King James Bible, the basic word does appear in the Latin Vulgate. 7

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