Be Left Behind
Introduction: Tracy’s question about cremation
The Thessalonians issues with dying before the 2nd coming.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.(NIV)
The Rapture (only place used in N.T.): Perhaps a different view? Thanks to Dr. Cottrell
Defining the Rapture
What will happen at the Rapture?
1. Jesus will come down with the Spirits of the Dead
Seeing Family and Friends Again
a. The Rapture is visible!
2. The Lord will come with a loud command, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet call of God!
What will the Loud Command be?
Fireworks that dazzle and boom. What will the trumpet sound like?
a. The Rapture is audible!
3. The Rapture brings Resurrection & Glorification!
1 Corinthians 15:50-52
50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.(NIV)
a. The Rapture is final! And so we will be with the Lord forever!
Paul sees the Rapture as an unmistakably visible, audible and final event in human history. Be encouraged, you will not miss it, and it will not miss you.
Where do some get the idea of a “secret” rapture from scripture? Where millions disappear suddenly from the face of the earth? Primarily this view comes from Matthew 24:40-41.
40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.(NIV)
37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.(NIV)
The Wicked are Raptured FIRST!
36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.(NIV)
1. The dead are raised (some to glory, some for punishment)
2. The wicked are gathered
3. The righteous meet the Lord in the air
The day is coming! When the rapture happens, be left behind. Paul writes this as an encouragement to the Thessalonians because this day will be a day of praise and glory. It will not be a day they miss out on if they die before Jesus comes. Rather, it will be a day of resurrection, glory, praise and communion with the Lord for eternity. Encourage one another with these words.
However, not everyone will be encouraged by the thought of that day. Paul speaks of this in Chapter five that we will look at next week. For some, it will be a day of terror. For some, Paul says, it will be a day of sudden destruction.
Are these words an encouragement to us? Are these words we live by? Is it our hope for the Lord to come and snatch us away to himself forever, or are we rooted too deeply here?
The parable of the King’s fool.
Legend that comes from Italy
A man who had a stupid servant. The master often got exasperated.
“you have got to be the stupidest man I have ever met.”
If you ever meet a man more stupid than you are, give him the staff.
The servant carried it, took his master seriously. Often would meet some stupid people, but wasn’t sure they were worse off then he. He carried it years. Came back to the castle, and was ushered into the bedroom of his master. The master was sick.
I am going on a long journey
When do you plan to be back?
This is a journey from which I will not return.
Sir, have you made all the necessary preparations?
No, I have not.
Could you have made preparation?
Yes, I guess I have had my life to make them, but have been busy about other things.
Master, you are going on a journey from which you will never return, you could have prepared for it, and you just didn’t?
Yes, I guess that is right.
The servant took the staff he carried so long and said, “Master, take this with you. At last I have met a man more stupid then myself.”
Do not be ignorant about life and death. Do not live and grieve as one who has no hope. For the Lord will come. Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him for all men will be raised again. The wicked will first be gathered for eternal destruction, and then the righteous for eternal life. The question for you this morning is, “When the rapture takes place, will you be left behind?”
If you are not sure, today you can be.