Life was designed to be lived in community.

09/22/13 Ready or Not Here He Comes!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Under: Sermon
Don't Be Confused Series: wk. 8

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV)

4 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.

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 (KJV)

Intro: Remember the game “Hide & Seek?” the world and its world view is playing that Game with God, can I tell you something? God doesn’t lose. Are you sure you want to hide from God? The scriptures today are telling us ready or not God is coming. Are you hoping He is still counting and if He stops’ are you to be found??

Application: “Therefore comfort one another with these words”

1. The Participants Involved in This Event:

The Savior Will Be Involved: John 14:1-3 (KJV)

While He was here on the earth, the Lord Jesus said that the angels would gather the elect at the Second Coming. However, in the Rapture, Jesus will send no angels or other heavenly representatives. He will come take His bride Himself! The One Who died to redeem the bride on the cross is the One Who returns to rapture the bride off the world! His coming will be accompanied by: A Shout - Jesus promised that there would come a day when the dead would hear His voice: “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” John 5:25 It was this shout that was heard by Lazarus, even in death, that brought him back to life. His coming will be accompanied by: The Trumpet of God - Throughout Jewish history, the trumpet was used for many different, but important reasons. To announce the feast, also other various celebrations, and sacred assemblies, to sound an alarm during a time of war, to assemble a crowd, and especially to make an announcement. This announcement or trumpet of God for this occasion will be to assemble the people of God and it will signal His deliverance of them. The Christian will be delivered! “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

The Saints Will Be Involved:

Let’s we not forget the saints: When the rapture takes place, it will involve all those who are saved by the grace of God, both past and present. It will not be an event for a select few super-saints. It will be a time when everyone who has trusted Jesus as their personal Savior will leave this world together! There is no such thing as a partial rapture. There will be many who we may not think should be allowed go. If they are saved, they will make the trip! Just for the record, none of us deserves to go! The only way anyone goes is through faith in the Lord Jesus and in His finished work at Calvary. The rapture will include ONLY the saints! There will be many fine, moral and religious people who will not be taken when Jesus comes. They may be church members. They may be kind and good people morally, but if they have never been saved, they will not leave this world in the rapture! One of the tragedies of that day will be that many will be left behind who thought they were ready. Don't think you are ready; be sure you are, “The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” He's Coming, Are You Going?

2. The Power Involved in This Event:

There Will Be the Power of Resurrection:

The Thessalonian believers believed in the immediate return of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were afraid that their fellow believers who had already died had missed out on the rapture and on heaven as well. They seem to believe that death was the end and that only those alive when Jesus returned would go to Heaven. The same God Who moved in power to create the world and all that is within it, is the same One Who will raise the bodies of the dead. Quit trying so hard to figure it out! Just believe. All you and I need to know is that we serve a God Who is able to exert this kind of power. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

There Will Be the Power of Rapture:

Paul tells us that those who are alive when the rapture comes will be “caught up”. This phrase comes from a word that refers to “a strong, irresistible and violent act”. It literally means, “To seize by force, to carry off by force, to claim for oneself eagerly.” In the rapture, the Lord Jesus will claim His bride by force! It is interesting to note that this word conveys the idea of force. Certainly, there is within the heart of the redeemed a desire to depart and to go to Heaven. However, there are forces that would hinder our departure if they could. Among them are the strong pulls of sin, the influence of the flesh, the world and the devil. All these would conspire to keep us here. However, when He comes, there will be no staying! He will catch away that which He has redeemed by His blood and He will take it home to glory! Praise God, no force will be able to prevent His coming for us! No force will be able to hold us here when He does come. The bottom line is this: when He comes we go! It is at this moment in time when the saints will forever lose these fleshly bodies! We will be changed, and we will be made like Jesus, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 3.

3. The Promise Involved in This Event:

There Is the Promise of Rescue:

When Jesus makes His glorious appearance, the Bible says that He will come in the “air”. This is significant! According the New Testament, the “air” is the abode of the devil and his demonic hordes. In fact, this world is under the dominion of the devil. When Jesus comes, He will come directly through enemy territory. He will call up His Bride into the realm of the enemy and He will lead her safely and triumphantly through the devil's territory as a display of His power and victory over all the powers of evil! We could never get out of here on our own! He will take us safely through all the way to glory! We will be rescued from this earth before the wrath of God is unleashed against it!

There Is the Promise of Reunion:

“Together with them” you and I will enjoy a blessed reunion with those we have seen taken in death! We all have loved ones on the other side we long to see! We will see them then!

There Is the Promise of Revelation:

“And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” As great as it will be when we reunite with loved ones, don’t forget we will see Jesus. Imagine seeing Him for the first time! Imagine seeing the marks in His body where He bore our sins on the cross. Imagine seeing His face, hearing His voice and being welcomed into His Heaven. What a day, glorious day, that will be!

There Is the Promise of Rejoicing:

“So shall we ever be with the Lord.” You and I are going to be wherever He is forever! Whether it be in Heaven around the Father's throne or whether it be on the earth ruling with Him for 1000 years, it will be a time of endless worship and praise. It will be a time free from sin and filled with His glory. It will be a time when all the tears are finally wiped away from our faces. It will be Heaven! For to be with Jesus is to reside in THE place of glory! “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

Conclusion: He's coming, and He's coming for His people. Now, the question you have to answer is this: when He comes are you going? You can, but only if you are saved! He will come again and He will remove His people. When that day comes, will you go, or will you stay? It will all depend on what you do with Jesus Christ. In the end, what He does with you hinges upon what you do with Him! The Resurrection has happened, the Rapture is coming and a Reunion is evident. Are you going to be there when the role is called up yonder?

Christ does not want us to be confused: He does not want us to be ignorant of His promise, of His plan or of His person. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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