The Next Happening in the Program of God
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Today in southern California, as well as across the country, we're hearing some strange things in the area of prophecy coming from some men at whom I'm rather surprised. They are right on the border of setting a date. Some were saying Christ would come by 1980. Others say He will be here by the end of the century. Now they worry me because they seem to have a line into heaven that I don't have. That worries me a great deal because I'd like to have that line also, and I simply don't have it. And if you want to know the truth, they don't have it either.
The Word of God tells us what the next happening is. And the Word of God calls it the Rapture. There are three great passages of Scripture on the Rapture: John 14 is one; 1 Thessalonians 4, beginning with verse 13 is a second; and the third is 1 Corinthians 15. But now I'm turning to 1 Thessalonians 4, a very familiar passage for those that are acquainted with this field of prophecy.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [shall not go before] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (vv. 13-18)
This passage has been called one of the most important prophetic passages in Scripture, and certainly I would concur in that. Notice that it teaches the imm ...
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