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The Rapture – Part Two

(Note: I recommend to you Chuck Missler’s book “The Rapture” much of which these messages are based on)

Review – The Blessed Hope  Titus 2:11–14 (NKJV)

As the world spins out of control, and we witness our own country unraveling at the seams, The Blessed Hope is something that becomes more and more relevant

  • The English word “RAPTURE” is not but the Latin word rapiemur is used in the Latin Vulgate to translate the Greek word harpazo, which means “to be seized.”  In the King James, this word is translated “caught up” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Revelation 12:5) or “taken by force” (Matthew 11:12, John 6:15, Acts 23:10).
  • Jesus going away to prepare a home for His Bride (the Church) was modeled, symbolized and foretold by the Jewish Wedding Ceremony

The Wedding Ceremony, a picture of Christ

  • Initiated by bridegroom; established the marriage covenant.
  • The mohar was his negotiating price, the payment he had to make to purchase his bride.
  • At that point in the traditional ancient Jewish wedding ceremony, the bridegroom would depart to his father’s house where he would prepare a room for her.
  • The bride and bridegroom are not yet married, but they are committed by a covenant.
  • The bridegroom is away and the length of his absence is deliberately indefinite. The bride does not know when he will return, but she believes and keeps herself prepared.
  • His return is imminent; there are no preconditions to his arrival except his having finished the work of preparing their new home.
  • This explains the Bible’s urgent plea to always be ready

The Wedding Day

  • Prior to entering the chamber, the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face.
  • After the marriage was consummated, the groom came out of the bridal chamber and announced the consummation of the marriage.
  • Afterwards, the groom came out of hiding, bringing his bride with him, but with her veil removed.

The Jewish Wedding as a Type or Pattern or Symbol

  • It’s a pattern or story that uses symbolism to explain God’s plan in advance.
  • We prepare ourselves, veiled as a bride is veiled
  • This truth believed only by Believers is hidden… then with a shout, the Bridegroom returns to consummate the eternal covenant He made and presents His bride, pure and holy, to God the Father.

The Marriage Supper

  • The marriage supper, lasts seven days in Jewish tradition. Various details in Judges 14, Matthew 9, and Matthew 22 and other Scriptures.
  • This marriage model is fulfilled in the language of the Church as the Bride of Christ.
  • In 1 Corinthians, Paul reminds us of the Last Supper.
    1 Corinthians 11:25
  • We are to enact and remember the “marriage supper”, remembering the returning BrideGroom, preparing for the Wedding “till he comes”
  • The Apostle Paul confirms this idea that we as Christians are THE BRIDE  Ephesians 5:22–32 (NKJV)
  • A great mystery? Dual application… 1) practical marriage advice; 2) revealing the relationship between the Church (BRIDE) and Christ (GROOM)

The Rapture

  • Jesus has been gone for about 2000 years preparing a home for His Bride (THE CHURCH); there will be an escort to accompany Him upon His return
  • That’s the Rapture statement. Again, the Greek word for “rapture” is harpazo, which means “caught up.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:14–18 (NKJV)  References to this passage often end with verse 17, “comfort one another with these words,” is part of the Rapture declaration.
  • Paul knew they were upset because some of their friends or relatives had died, and they were worried that those who had died would not see the return of Christ.
  • There’s a point in history yet to come when all believers will receive resurrected bodies and be with the Lord in Glory.
  • Whenever that happens, there will be living believers who have not died, who will be caught up; the harpazo:
  • Belief that the Rapture will occur after the Tribulation, puts the Bridegroom in this scenario: “I’ve made a covenant with you and we’re going to get married But before we do, I’m going to put you through horrible trials and tribulation. Then we’ll have supper and celebrate.”
  • Anything but a Rapture BEFORE the Tribulation would hardly be comforting

Our Resurrected Body

  • Job brings it up the resurrected body in the oldest written book of the Bible.  Job 19:25–27 (NKJV)

References to the Rapture in the Bible

  1. Enoch was raptured according to Genesis 5:24, and confirmed by Hebrews 11:5. 2
  2. Elijah was taken up in 2 Kings 2:11.
  3. Jesus Himself, after He was physically resurrected, after He was seen alive, walking, talking and eating, being touched and handled, He was taken up in a moment of glory
    (Acts 1: 9-10).
  4. Phillip was carried away in Acts 8:39.
  5. Paul was taken up to the Third Heaven in
    2 Corinthians 12:2.
  6. John was caught up to Heaven in Revelation 4:1.
  7. The Woman of Revelation 12

Rapture Considerations:

  • If there is a Rapture, then why? 1 Corinthians 15:50
  • Flesh and blood itself cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
  • For those who have died, His imminent return means resurrection, but for those still living through His return and the redemption of His Church, a transformation must take place.

Many people are bewildered by HOW a Rapture could occur.

  • Defies all science as we know it.
  • Is it simple faith in God the Creator to believe He can manage the transformation involved in our glorified bodies—of our eternal change from corruption to immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53)
  • The word mystērion in the Greek—“mystery”—means something here is being revealed that has until now remained hidden.
  • In the Greek, a mystery is more like a password.
  • Paul explains this change from corruptible to incorruptible and from mortality to immortality by quoting Isaiah 25:8

Our Digital Universe

  •  “in the twinkling of an eye”
  • A blink is a relatively long period of time.
  • 10-43 seconds, is the digital limit of time as we know it.