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Straight Talk About The Rapture 2021 - Week One

Jun 1, 2022
by Christopher Atkinson
Straight Talk About The Rapture 2021 - Week One

Straight Talk About The Rapture 2021

Week One

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep..... 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thess 4:15-18, NASB)

So many people in Christian circles debate over many things. They argue about how long the worship will go and how short the sermon should be. They can’t agree on the color of the carpet for the new building or even whether they should add a carport. Why should we even believe that there will be agreement on something like the Rapture?

Prophecy Is Important

2 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 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. (I Jn 3:2-3 NASB)

Believing in prophetic events helps change the way Christians live. At least it should. There are at least three ways prophecy changes the way we live.

We Become More Evangelistic

It really makes sense when you think about it. If you believe that Jesus is waiting until the gospel is preached unto the ends of the earth to return, you’ll do your very best to make sure everyone you know and will know hears the good news.

We Become More Missions-Minded

As mentioned above, reaching the whole world is priority number one if we believe in prophecy and sending missionaries to everywhere we can is part of that plan. We’ll give more to these causes and help them to get to the field as quickly as we can.

We Will Live Holier Lives

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:2-3, KJV)

We will live lives worthy of Christ and not worthy of an increasingly unholy world. We’ll ask Jesus what we should think, watch and hear instead of the most influential talk show host. We won’t lower the bar so we are just above the lowest standard of holiness, but we will press ourselves to live as close as we can to being like Jesus.

Things Are Not Just Repeating Themselves

I’m sure you’ve heard people say that prophetic teaching is all a bunch of scare tactics. We’ve always had earthquakes, famines and wars they say. Every generation has had an antichrist like a Hitler and future generations will have one as well. But if you study scripture closely enough you can see that the events just ahead of us are way different than anything that has happened before. And that includes the Rapture of the Church.

 

Previous Prophecies Are Important For Future Ones

The more we see how God’s prophecies were accurately fulfilled the easier it is to build trust for not only future ones, but belief in all of God’s word. If you are willing to believe in the first coming of Jesus, believing in the second coming is not a stretch. And believing in scriptures like John 3:16 is not a big stretch at all.

The Bible Was Just Written By Men

21 … for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Pet 1:21, NASB)

For those who say that fallible men wrote the Bible, the standard is much higher than that. Prophecy has to be 100% accurate so either these men were very lucky or they actually heard from God when they wrote about Jesus coming the first time.

Isaiah, The Prince Of Bible Prophets

9 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ (Isaiah 46:9-10, NASB)

If you want to point out prophecies in the Old Testament, the Book of Isaiah is a great place to start. His prophecies about Jesus are well known even outside of the Christian world. In this portion of scripture Isaiah clearly points out that God declares the beginning to the end. He is the author of events past, present and future and in His mercy He lets us in on what to look for. And with every accurate prophecy fulfillment God proves He is the Almighty God.

The Bible Authenticates Itself

Unlike all other holy books, with every fulfilled prophecy the Bible it proves its divine origin. There are more than 1,000 bible prophecies and 500 of them have been fulfilled in a literal manner. This is why we believe that those remaining 500 prophecies will also be fulfilled literally, too.

Jesus Fulfilled All 109 Prophecies About The Messiah

While I could list them all, here are 8 of them:

  • He would be born of a virgin woman, without a human father (Isa 7:14)
  • He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • He would come out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1)
  • He would have a healing ministry (Isaiah 61)
  • He would be called a Nazarene (Isaiah 11:1)
  • He was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12)
  • He was betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9)
  • He was slain between two thieves (Isaiah 53:12)

What Are The Odds?

A science professor by the name of Peter Stoner has calculated the odds of just 8 of the prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in the life of one person. He concluded that the odds are 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That's the number 1 with 17 zeros after it. That is 100 quadrillion, about 10 times the size of our national debt. Have you ever pondered the odds represented by this phenomenal number?

 

A Texas-Size Example

To illustrate the meaning of 1 in 10 to the 17th power, conceive of these odds. Fill the state of Texas knee deep in silver dollars with one of those dollars having a black checkmark on it. Then you take 10,000 bulldozers and let them just kind of mix up the silver dollars really, really, good for 10 years. Next blindfold a guy and turn him loose in that sea of silver dollars. The odds that on the first draw he would reach down and pick up one of those silver dollars with the black checkmark on it is 1 in 10 to the 17th power!

Why Is It Important To Believe In The Rapture?

Some people would say that it is better to not say anything about such a divisive topic. They maintain that it is better to keep the peace and just preach and teach about other more important doctrines rather than split hairs on when and how Jesus will return. But is this a good response to doctrinal differences? The most important reason to believe in the Rapture of the church is that the Bible says it will happen! If we deviate from any portion of scripture we leave doubt for all scripture.

Jesus Will Come Back

It is difficult just reading the New Testament to not see this truth. It is mentioned in all four of the gospels in direct context to the questions of when He would return to setup His earthly kingdom. Luke mentions it again in Acts when the angel says that, after seeing Jesus ascend that He would return just as He left. And the apostle Paul mentions in the very first of the epistles he wrote, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians that Jesus will return giving us the clearest information on the topic. It’s there, but the timing is what people disagree on, not that it will happen. We’ll go into much more detail on this in future weeks.

The Rapture Is Not In The Bible

17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thess 4:17, NASB)

While it is true that the word “rapture” isn’t in the Bible, the term is. Just like the words “nuclear bomb” isn’t in the Bible, the description of such bomb is in there so the event of the Rapture is very clearly described. Look at the scripture above. I highlighted the phrase “will be caught up” since in the Greek this is really one word, “harpizo” which means “to be snatched.” In the Latin the word for snatched is the word “raptus” which is where we get the modern English word “rapture.” So the term IS in the Bible. It’s just a matter of when and how, not if it will happen.

And About That Timing

If you have ever been in a class of mine this will sound more than vaguely familiar. If you are wanting to set a date for the return of the Lord, stop it now! You are not supposed to know and I speak with authority of Jesus on this:

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matt 24:36, 42-44, KJV)

And another time when he appeared to them, they asked him, “Lord, are you going to free Israel from Rome now and restore us as an independent nation?”

“The Father sets those dates,” he replied, “and they are not for you to know. (Acts 1:6-7, TLB)

Jesus said we wouldn’t know when it would happen not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. When He says something once we should take note and if He says it second time it should stand out, but if He goes out of His way to say it three times it probably because He knows we are prone to set dates and we shouldn’t. And notice in Acts when they brought it up again after Jesus ascended. The angels scolded them for asking a question they should have already known the answer to.

This Is Good News

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28, KJV)

Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near. (Amp)

28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand straight and look up! For your salvation is near.” (TLB)

When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!” (MSG)

It is easy to get depressed when we see the world spinning out of control and when we know how bad things will get. But Jesus anticipated such despair and told us to keep our eyes on the really good news. Don’t panic, seeing me face-to-face is just around the corner!

 

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