Posts Tagged ‘rapture’

The Kingdom of God is Near

June 10, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 6/9/13.

I.  The Kingdom of God is Near:  Luke 21:29-33

Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

A.  Christ had promised to return.

1.  John 14:3

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

2.  Acts 1:9-11

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

B.  We live in expectation

From the very first generation, people have expected Christ to return in their lifetime.  The gospels were almost the last part of the New Testament to be written, because it was only after the apostles began to die off, that it occurred to them that it was necessary to have a written record of the life of Christ.  They had anticipated his soon return.

I remember as a young person hearing a lot of emphasis on the rapture, the belief that Christ would take his people from this world before the seven-year tribulation.  The presentation was very clear that Christ could return at any moment, we should be ready.

I remember reading in church history, that many, if not all generations have had those who read the prophetic words and interpret them in the light of their current circumstances, and believe that they are in the last days before Christ returns.

I consider this to be, not so much an error in interpretation, as a marvel in inspiration.  That God would have inspired the prophets to write in such a way that each generation would read the words and live in expectation is a marvelous feat.

II.  Take Heed :  Luke 21:34-36

But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Take Heed:  We are to be alert, be ready for our Lord’s return.  The day will come “like a thief in the night”  “like the lightning that flashes from east to west”.  We need to continue to do the Lord’s will until He comes for us, or we go to Him.

Watch:  We should live with both anticipation and patience.  Our kids have a dog that provides a nice illustration.  The other day when we picked up our daughter-in-law, their dog immediately went to the window, stuck his head past the curtain, and watched us leave.  When we returned a while later, the dog was still sitting there, head to the window, watching for her return.  That dog is a good illustration of waiting in anticipation and patience.

Pray:  We should pray to be worthy.  We are only made worthy because of the righteousness of Christ.  Yet the presence of Christ in our lives changes us.  We should pray that God continues His work, both in us, and through us.

For our part, we need to be careful to keep God as our top priority.  If we are not careful, the cares and concerns of this world may crowd Christ from the place of priority in our lives.  This  is why  we must take heed, watch and pray; for the kingdom of God is near.  

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Is May 21 the End?

May 9, 2011

Harold Camping and Family Radio are proclaiming that May 21, 2011 is the day the rapture will take place.  He has calculated this date using a mathematical formula applied to biblical prophecy.

I am surprised that he has managed to gather a substantial number of people to believe his prediction.

Throughout the generations there have been many attempts to place a date on the return of Christ.  All previous dates have come and gone without the fulfillment of their hopes.

I believe that Christ will return one day.  I believe in the rapture.  I do not believe that we can predict the date.  I believe that it could happen at any moment, so we should live our lives with an expectancy of the return of Christ, but we should plan for the future, because we do not know the day of His return.

The Rapture

March 23, 2010

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  I Thessalonians 4:17 (NKJ)

This being “caught up” is called the rapture.  There are three basic theories about when this event will occur.  They are called the pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib theories.  Pre-trib is the belief that the rapture will occur before the tribulation.  The tribulation is a seven-year period of time when the anti-christ will rule the world.  The mid-trib is the belief that the anti-christ will make a pact with Israel at the beginning of his reign and will break it after three and a half years, the mid-point of his reign.  The rapture would occur at that time.  The post-trib says that the rapture will occur when the reign of the anti-christ is over, and Christ is about to return.

I believe in the pre-trib theory.  The belief that Christ could return at any moment inspires us to live faithfully, expectantly, and hopefully.  It is not necessarily wrong to believe in the other theories, I just favor the pre-trib. 

Of course, there is also the pan-trib theory.  This basically states that we shouldn’t worry too much about which theory is correct.  It will all pan out in the end.