The Rapture – Part Three
(Note: I recommend to you Chuck Missler’s book “The Rapture” much of which these messages are based on)
Titus 2:11–14 The Blessed Hope of many Christians, is to be part of an historical event the likes of which the world has never seen.
Some say the word rapture is not in the Bible, but it is.
- 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.”
Jesus going away to prepare a home for His Bride (the Church) was modeled, symbolized and foretold by the Jewish Wedding Ceremony John 14:1–4
The Jewish Wedding as a Type or Pattern or Symbol
- The Jewish wedding ceremony is a type, or pattern.
- Initiated by bridegroom; established the marriage covenant.
- The mohar was his negotiating price, the payment he had to make to purchase his bride.
- Once the mohar was negotiated, the bride was set apart, sanctified (so to speak) for her bridegroom.
- 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 was veiled so that no one could see her face.
- While the groomsmen and bridesmaids waited outside, the bride and groom entered the bridal chamber alone.
- After the marriage was consummated, the groom came out of the bridal chamber and announced the consummation of the marriage to the members of the wedding party waiting outside.
- Afterwards, the groom came out of hiding, bringing his bride with him, but with her veil removed, so that everyone could see her.
The Marriage Supper
- The marriage supper, lasts seven days in Jewish tradition.
- We are to enact and remember the “marriage supper”, remembering the returning BrideGroom, preparing for the Wedding “till he comes” (the Lord’s Supper)
The Apostle Paul confirms this idea: Ephesians 5:22–32
Our Resurrected Body
- All believers will receive resurrected bodies and be with the Lord in Glory forever.
- Why the need for a new body? 1 Corinthians 15:50
- Many people are bewildered by HOW a Rapture could occur. 1 Corinthians 15:51–52
- “in the twinkling of an eye” 10-43 seconds, is the digital limit of time as we know it. That is the digital limit of time — most likely the length of the twinkling of an eye.
Our New Habitation
1 Corinthians 15:54–55 Paul reminds us that death is not the end, that this body is not our final abode. We have a new body awaiting us! The physics of immortality is fascinating to the finite mind.
- Jesus Christ walked on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:25-33), even though he lived in a three-dimensional body just as we do. After His resurrection He was still three-dimensional; He ate food, had weight, and was solid to the touch of others (Luke 24:36-43);
- He could enter and leave a room without passing through walls or the floor or ceiling (John 20:19,26; Luke 24:31).
- If we look at a drawing of a house, we are seeing a two-dimensional representation of a 3D object
- We are like that 2-D drawing; we can begin to see the greater reality that we will have as full 3-D beings
When will this happen? 2 Corinthians 5:1–2
- When this temporary house is dissolved, Paul tells us our body will be a building of God, no longer temporary, but eternal in the heavens and everlasting!
Physical Reality vs. Spiritual Reality
Humanists see this visible world as the one that is real. They say the spiritual is just our imaginations, while the solid dirt beneath our feet is the stuff of reality. The fact is that it’s the other way around.
- This physical universe in which we experience self-consciousness is just a digital/electrical simulation.
- It only feels solid. The Bible accurately (as usual) reflects REALITY even while man denies it: 2 Corinthians 4:18–5:1
- Greek word for “house” oikētērion; Jude 6
- These evil angels left their natural habitation to do something unnatural and were punished by God
2 Corinthians 5:1 (NKJV)
- oikētērion is translated “tent, earthly house”
- Someday we will have a house not made of hands, but a building of God, eternal in the heavens.
2 Corinthians 5:2–3 – When someone dies, they leave their body (their house) behind.
There are lots of different viewpoints but the chronology in Scripture appears to be this:
- The spirits of those in Christ go to be with the Lord during the interval between the moment of death and the moment of resurrection
- But if you are part of the Rapture, the putting on of the new body would happen instantly.
His Imminent Return
The patterns of the traditional Jewish wedding: the betrothal, the purchase price, the bride set apart, and the bridegroom departing for his father’s house where he prepares a room for his bride while she prepares for his imminent return.
The Doctrine of Imminence
- “Imminent” is a word that means “it could happen at any time.”
- The Doctrine of Imminence is a fundamental teaching of the New Testament, because there is nothing necessary to precede the Rapture.
- The word imminent refers to the next expectation, the next event in God’s program.
- The Bride must be ready and waiting to be gathered up by the Bridegroom.
Don’t confuse imminent with immanent, with an “a” or eminent that starts with an “e”
- The immanence of God means He is ever-present, pervading and sustaining the Universe, even as He’s always with us and active on our behalf.
- Eminent, which is a designation of honor, describing God’s position far above us; He is above all things.
When we say the Rapture is imminent, we mean that it could happen at any time; there is no requirement for any preceding event. Philippians 3:20-21, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 9:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Revelation 22:7,12
Imminence proclaimed by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 1:6–10
Verse 10 shows no precedent condition on His return.
- We are to wait for it to happen at any moment.
- There is a hope and warmth of expectancy
- It should result in a victorious and purified life.
- People who live with this expectancy are living their lives in literal expectation that He can return at any moment and their choices, behavior, lifestyles and attitudes are evidence of this expectation.
Paul’s exhortation and warning:
1 Thessalonians 5:2–6 (NKJV) 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
- Any theology or eschatology that places conditions or preceding events on Jesus return, destroys imminence
- We could just wait for that sign, THEN get serious
The Doctrine of Imminency is purifying.
- We never know when Jesus will return, so we trim our lamps, keep ourselves purified and ready for Him
- Otherwise it is human nature to put things off and get ready ONLY WHEN you MUST get ready
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 (NKJV) 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 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 by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words