Lesson #65 God s Plan for the Rapture. Selected Scriptures Presented Live on April 15, 2018

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1 Lesson #65 God s Plan for the Rapture Selected Scriptures Presented Live on April 15, 2018 I. Introduction and review A. We have come to learn that the passage we have been studying, John 14:1-4, is Jesus description of the rapture 1. It tells us when He will return to earth and take us home 2. We have also seen that those who don t read the Bible literally, have come up with alternate understandings of the passage 3. But if you consider the words and phrases contained in the text, these alternate theories must be viewed as fallacious B. The final act of those who oppose a literal understanding of this part of God s word, is to push the timing of the rapture back and back such they 1. Suck all of the hope out of this promise 2. And render it of little value C. But this idea of claiming historical uniformitarianism was predicted by God 1. Consider 2 Peter 3:3-10 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers Page 1 of 12

2 II. fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 2. Is that happening in our day, consider Robert Wilonsky, who writes a column for the Dallas Morning News 3. Now notice in verse 10, Peter refers to the tribulation period as the Day of the Lord 4. As does: a. Isaiah, b. Ezekiel, c. Joel, d. Amos, e. Obadiah, f. Zephaniah, g. Malachi, h. Luke, and i. Paul 5. And it is this time period that is key to understanding the when of the rapture D. Let s get our bearings first, before we go deep into this wonderful promise of our Lord There is coming a time when God s wrath will be poured out upon the earth A. That time of judgment, featuring the wrath of God, will last for seven years of judgment Page 2 of 12

3 B. That period of time is referred to by various names: 1. The tribulation period 2. The Day of the Lord 3. The 70 th week of Daniel 4. The time of Jacob s trouble (distress) 5. Or simply the time of trouble [Dan. 12:1] C. So when does the rapture occur in relation to this seven year period 1. You see there are not events or prophecies to be fulfilled before the rapture can occur 2. But there are numerous signs, events and signposts which one could witness if he is looking, before the commencement of this seven year period of God s judgment upon the earth III. Rapture timing theories A. There are five major views as to when the rapture will take place (see chart) 1. There is the post tribulation view a. That the rapture will occur at the end of the tribulation period b. That is right before the return of the Jesus, His second coming c. Under this scenario the Church will not escape the judgment of the tribulation period 2. There is the mid tribulation view a. The church would only have to go through the first half of this tribulation period, that is 42 months of horror b. And the rapture would occur about the time of the Abomination of Desolation 3. Then there is the pre-wrath view a. Proponents of this view believe the rapture must occur prior to the wrath of God being released upon the earth sometime during the tribulation period b. So holders of this belief can vary as to the when, just not the why c. But most adherents to this view end up with their timing of the rapture occurring about three quarters of the way through the tribulation 4. There is also the last trumpet view Page 3 of 12

4 a. The proponents of this view believe that the rapture will occur at the sounding of the last trumpet of the seven trumpet judgments b. The church would be forced, under this view, to endure a major portion of the tribulation judgment c. What makes this view even more confusing is that there are 115 references in the Bible to a trumpet being blown 5. Finally there is the pre tribulation view a. The adherents of this view believe that the rapture will occur sometime before the tribulation period commences b. But no later then the commencement of that final seven years of judgment B. One of the first questions that one must ask themselves is the rapture immanent, that is could it happen at any time? 1. That is could that rapture occur in the next five minutes, five hours, five years, or five decades 2. If you believe that God can come back for us at any time, then you are a pre-tribulationist, if not than you believe another one of the other view may be correct 3. If you are mid- or post-tribulationist you will know within 3 ½ years when the Lord is coming for us. 4. What does the Bible say about immanency? 5. Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, IV. God s coming judgment and wrath A. Should we be in fear of having to live through or experience the wrath of God being poured out on this world? B. What happened the last time that He poured out His wrath on the entire world? C. What about when He allowed His wrath to consume Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain? D. But does our Lord make any specific promises to us in this regard? 1. See Romans 5:8-9 But God demonstrates His own love Page 4 of 12

5 toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (Jesus). 2. And 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come. 3. And 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. E. When does that happen, that is the pouring out of God s wrath upon the earth? 1. Upon the coming of the Day of the Lord or tribulation period 2. Consider the pattern predicted in Revelation for this wrath (see chart) 3. So Revelation should tell us when the wrath of God starts a. Chapters 1-3 speak of the Church b. Chapter 4 picture the rapture and what its like in heaven c. Chapters 5-6 is when the judgments begin and the earth tastes God s wrath like it did in Sodom and Gomorrah or when rained for the first time on the earth 4. Consider: a. Revelation 5:1-3 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. b. Revelation 5:6-7 And I saw between the throne Page 5 of 12

6 (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. c. Revelation 6:1-8 Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." 2 I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. 3 When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come." 4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. 5 When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine." 7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." 8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. d. Revelation 6:12-17 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their Page 6 of 12

7 places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand? e. Consider this word has come e;rcomai erchomai {er'-khom-ahee} (1) Meaning: 1) to come 1a) of persons 1a1) to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving 1a2) to appear, make one's appearance, come before the public 2) metaph. 2a) to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence 2b) be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto 3) to go, to follow one (2) Grammar: Tense - Second Aorist Voice - Active (a) Mood - Indicative The Aorist Indicative: it refers to the previous arrival of wrath, not something that is or is about to take place. 5. If the Church will not face the wrath of God and that wrath starts when the Tribulation period begins, then the rapture must occur prior to the tribulation F. The hope of the rapture 1. The Scripture consistently speaks of those participating in the rapture as those with hope, and those failing to participate in this event as those without hope a. Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, b. I John 2:28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. c. I John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Page 7 of 12

8 Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. d. See also 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. e. John 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled; [you] believe in God, believe also in Me. f. And 2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace. G. The Jewish marriage analogy 1. The bridegroom comes and gets his bride 2. Would he wait and allow her to be hurt, beat up or assaulted before he comes H. Revelation is a chronologically written book for the most part 1. Chapters 1-3 speak of the church 2. Beginning with chapter six the church is no longer mentioned until the end of the Book (Rev. 19) 3. Something happens to the church for it just disappears 4. In Rev. 3:10-11 there is evidence as to explain that disappearance a. Revelation 3:10-11 'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. b. Keep as in to watch over, guard, or protect c. From the hou r (1) Hour as in a period of time (2) Genitive of sphere: from the sphere of d. Chapter 4 of Rev. pictures the rapture of the church (1) Revelation 4:1-2 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must Page 8 of 12

9 take place after these things." 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. (2) Jesus calls John who pictures the Church (3) The person calling him is the same one that appears in chapter one (4) John is taken to heaven where Jesus is (5) He is taken in the Spirit (6) He spends a period of time with the Lord there until he is returned to the earth (7) This happens prior to the commencement of the tribulation I. II Thess 2:1-4 The Day of the Lord will not come until The man of lawlessness is revealed 1. The Day of the Lord is referenced as in I Thess. 5: At the start of the tribulation period [the Day of the Lord] a. See Daniel 9:27 3. II Thess 2:1-4 The Day of the Lord will not come until the departure occurs a. II Thessalonians 2:1-4 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. b. Verse 3: Apostasy [ ðïóôáóßá] is the noun form of the verb: óôçìé (1) It is proceeded by a definite article (2) The noun is formed from áðï meaning away or from, and óôçìé which means to cause to withdraw, to go away, to depart or to withdraw Page 9 of 12

10 from (3) This verb can mean to fall away as from the faith or true doctrine but that additional meaning must come from the context, not the verb itself (4) Apostasy is merely a transliteration of the word, not its translation (5) The verb is translated 11 times in the Greek N.T. as depart and only once as departure from the faith, but in that instance (I Tim 4:1) the qualifying words: from the faith are added in the text (6) The noun here is feminine, in its neuter form it is translated a divorcement, (7) Liddell and Scott in their classical Greek lexicon list departure or disappearance as an alternative meaning (8) This translation is the one selected by Tyndale [1534], Coverdale [1535], the Geneva Bible [1537] and others c. The meaning here should be the departure or the disappearance J. II Thess 2:6-7 The One who Restrains must be taken out of the way, before the man of lawlessness is revealed 1. II Thessalonians 2:6-7 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 2. The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit 3. He cannot be removed unless the church is removed also a. Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. b. II Corinthians 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who Page 10 of 12

11 also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. K. The tribulation period represents the last portion of the Jewish dispensation [Daniel 9:24-27] L. The Tribulation is for Israel s redemption, not the Church, for she is already redeemed V. Final thoughts A. Our God controls the future 1. Never plan without praying 2. If God s not in our plans, we are wasting our time 3. We must respond to the guidance that God gives to us, then He will give us more 4. Obedience is a reflection of faith, love and fearing God B. Consider once again that Jewish bride 1. What is she constantly thinking about, dreaming about, praying about 2. As time goes on, her belief that her future husband is coming for her grows more expectant 3. Her faith in his return remains strong, why? a. Because she loves him b. And that love causes her to trust him c. And as a result, she believes that he will do anything to fulfill his promise to return C. Never forget this 1. The man or woman who really loves his or her God, is fervently watching for His return Believer s Bible Class, & Douglas W. Brady Page 11 of 12

12 My Extra Notes From This Lesson: Page 12 of 12

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