Things We Should Know About the Rapture 1 Thess. 4:13-18 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In the first verse we see that Paul is writing this passage to save people, note the word brethren. He is also writing this passage to give comfort and hope to us in regards to death and those who have gone on before us in the Lord. Therefore brethren it is up to us to not be ignorant of the things that are found in this passage concerning the Rapture of the church.
Things we should know about the Rapture:
1) The Promise of the Rapture (verse 15)
In verse 15 we see the wording “this we say unto you by the word of the Lord”. Here we have the promise of God. The rapture is a guaranteed event. If God said it will happen then it will happen. It doesn’t matter how long it has been since Paul wrote this or how many times you have heard it before it will happen because God word will come to pass no matter what.
Numbers 23:19 (God is not a man that he should lie)
Matthew 24:35 (Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not)
2) The Pre-requisite of the Rapture (verse 14)
Note in verse 14 those who come with Jesus are those who are asleep “in Jesus”. A pre-requisite is requirement that has to be met in order for something else to happen. In college many courses are pre-requisites for another course. This means you cannot take the second course until you have taken the first course and met the requirements for that course.
In regards to the rapture the pre-requisite is you must be in Jesus. This simple means that you must be born again by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You must be saved. With this said that makes two kinds of people in the world. Those who are saved and those who are not, or those who are in Jesus Christ and those who are not.
Ephesians 2:12 (Those not saved are without God and without hope)
When a person receives Jesus Christ as their savior and is born again the Holy Spirit of God baptizes them into the body of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). This has nothing to do with water baptism that just gets you wet. This is a spiritual baptism that places you in the body of Jesus Christ.
If you are not saved then you have not met the pre-requisite for the rapture and you will not make if it were to happen today.
3) The Power of the Rapture (verse 16)
In verse 16 we see that “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout”. This shows us the power of the resurrection. In Ecclesiastes 8:4 the word of God says, “where the word of a king is there is power”. Well Jesus Christ is king of kings and Lord of Lords and you can bet when he speaks there is power.
In John 1:1-3 we see that Jesus Christ is the word of God. This is also shown in John 1:14 and Revelation 19:13. Jesus is also said to be the resurrection and the life (John 11:25-26). Jesus had power on this earth to lay his life down and he had power to take it up again (John10:15-18).
The world was created by the spoken word of God. Therefore the same word that created the universe is the word that starts the Rapture. Many will say I do not understand how an event like this can happen when you look at the power of the one speaking it, it is not hard to imagine. This whole thing is based on the word of God (Point #1) there for it is the power of the word of God that will bring it to pass.
Also in Romans 8:11 we see that the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead will raise you up if that spirit dwells in you. Now we are back to the pre-requisite of the rapture you must be saved to make it.
4) The preservation of the Rapture (verse 17)
In verse 17 we see the phrase “so shall we ever be with the Lord”. This speaks of our eternity with God after the Rapture takes place. When the rapture takes place this life is over and everything as we know it will end. But we have the promise of being with Jesus forever.
This is also where we get our new glorified bodies. When we get saved we become the sons of God John1:12-13 (Note in these verse it says he gives us power to become the sons of God, for power look at point #3). But also a part of this being a son of God is getting a body like his at the rapture (Philippians 3:21 ; 1 John 3:1-2). This glorified body is going to live eternally and this eternal life is in his son (1 John 5:11). Once again we are back to the pre-requisite of being in Jesus Christ.
5) The peace of the Rapture (verse 18)
In verse 18 we see the command to “comfort one another with these words”. For a saved person who knows where they are going when they die. Or for someone who has a saved relative who dies. This is a great comfort and peace to know that one day the rapture will happen and both of you will be in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you have peace concerning the rapture? If it happened right now would you be ready or would you miss it, if you are not saved then you had better get ready because one day Jesus will come whether you are ready or not.