With Him! With Him! Oh What A Day!
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
When the Battle of Waterloo was being fought England awaited the outcome with baited breath. At last the signals began to whirl: "Wellington defeated..." The two words came through clearly and then fog covered the hillside.
What a misfortune for the nation! The people thrust into gloom as they thought they'd lost! Only two words but there were more. Two words were added which made all the difference: "Wellington defeated... the enemy."
Paul is writing to a young Church in Thessalonica and they were in the fog when it came to understanding what happens to their loved ones at death. The people have seen many of their fellow saints pass away, and they are wondering what happen to them. These deaths came as a shock. Are they alright? Will we see them again?
Into this atmosphere of hopelessness and helplessness, fear and despair Paul instills the truth of what we call, "The Rapture,"
In 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Paul writes, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by your gathering together unto him." Just underscore the word gathering.
Then Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians chapter four verse seventeen he writes, "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."
Underscore the words caught up. Caught up to be with Him and to be with them. Oh what comfort for those of us who remain. The word "rapture" doesn't actually occur in the scripture, but is derived from vs. 17, "caught up together."
The word used actually means "to snatch up, to seize, or to carry off by force." You see, the Bible draws careful attention to the fact that leaving this world will not be accomplished by our own power.
I want us to notice several things in our message this morning. First of all:-
I. BELIEF IN THE RAPTURE
When we talk about the rapture we ...
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