A Sneak Preview of the Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
1. A couple had their first baby. The father had been assigned the dreaded task all fathers have of eventually changing his first dirty diaper. Well, this new father dreaded it like the bubonic plague, but finally gritted his teeth, took off the diaper of his little baby, only to discover that it was only a little bit dirty. He breathed a huge sigh of relief and was kind of chuckling to himself when his wife walked into the room. She immediately sized up what had happened and said, ''If I were you, I wouldn't be too happy because that is just a sneak preview of coming attractions.''
2. In this familiar text, we are given a sneak preview of a coming attraction. We are given one of the most thrilling descriptions in all the Word of God concerning the return of Jesus Christ for His children. Paul said ''But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren'' (I Thess.4: 13). One preacher was voted out of his Church and for his last sermon he chose this verse as his text and preached on the subject, ''I would not have you ignorant brethren.''
3. Well, that's not exactly what Paul said. Paul was stating that he did not want believers to lack understanding of what the future holds. He wanted them to have an understanding of Christ's return and all that would happen.
4. Paul is describing what is often called the Rapture. The word ''rapture'' is not found in the Bible, yet the concept is there. Paul said in I Thess.4: 17, that believers will be ''caught up.'' The word used means ''to seize or snatch out.'' When this term was translated into Latin for Roman readers the word was ''rapia,'' which is the root word for our English word ''rapture.''
5. When we talk about the rapture, we are talking about that event when the Lord will return and believers will be caught up (snatched out. You may not find the word ''rapture'' in the Bible, but you do find the truth of the rapture in the Bible.
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