The Rapture - Lesson Outline

Posted in Teachings on February 21, 2016
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The event commonly known as "the rapture" is the next major event to occur on this planet. It is going to occur before the time popularly known as the "Great Tribulation". This is a lesson outline showing many facts concerning this upcoming event.

Future Prophetic Events in Order of Occurrence
The Rapture of the Body of Christ
The Revelation of the Anti-Christ
The Great Tribulation
The Battle of Armageddon
The Second Coming of Christ
The Binding of Satan, judging of nations.
The Millennial Kingdom of Christ
The Final Rebellion Against God
The Great White Throne Judgment
The New Heavens and Earth

I. THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.
A. The meaning of the word, "Rapture."
1. I Thess. 4:13-18. Paul's account of the Rapture.
2. Note the phrase in verse 17, "caught up."
a. The word "rapture" is not found in Scripture. It is derived from the Latin word "rapere", which means to be "transported from one place to another."
It is a good word to describe the events of the "catching up."
b. The Greek word is "harpazo." It is used seven times in the NT. (Matt. 13:19, John 10:12, Acts 8:39, II Cor. 12:2,4, I Thess. 4:17, and Rev. 12:5)
In each case it means something was quickly grabbed, snared or seized.

B. Who are the participants in the Rapture?
1. Jesus, The Lord Himself. 1 Thess. 4:16 He will descend to the earth (while remaining in the air) and call up all believers both alive and dead.
2. The archangel (Michael, see Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1, Jude 9, Rev. 12:7) He will shout, and probably be the one to blow the trumpet.
3. Dead Christians. 1 Thess. 4:17 All deceased believers from Acts 2, until the Lord returns.
4. Living Christians. 1 Thess. 4:17 All believers on the earth who are alive when Christ returns.
C. When will the Rapture occur in time?
1. Scripture presents it as the next prophetic event and as being imminent.
2. There is no teaching or prophecy in the Bible of any intervening event before the Rapture.
3. Titus 2:13. The imminency of the Rapture is seen in that even in Paul's day, he instructed Titus to be "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing
of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
4. 1 John 3:1-3. "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Believers who have the "hope" (sure hope) of the
promise of the return of Christ keeps himself pure, waiting for the event, being ready to go at all times.
5. Philippians 3:20-21. Paul states our "conversation," which means "citizenship" is in heaven, and we are looking forward to the time when we will
being going home. Our "vile body," or "body of humiliation will be changed like unto His (Jesus's) glorious body.
6. Phil. 4:5. "Let your moderation be know unto all men. The Lord is at hand." Moderation means "Let your forbearance or patient restraint be evident at
times", in readiness for Christ's coming for His Bride.
7. James 5:8. "Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
8. I John 2:28. "And now, little children abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."
9. Note that in each of the above Scriptures the writer presents the coming of Christ for the church as being at any time or imminent! Also note that the imminent return of Christ is a strong reason to keep oneself from sin and unspotted before the world. In no Scripture in the New Testament, which is addressed to the Christians of the church age, are they told to look for signs which will indicate the Rapture is near. However, Israel is told to watch for the signs as recorded in Matt. 24, which will indicate the Second Coming is near.

D. The Second Coming and the Rapture are different events.
1. The Rapture takes place before the Great Tribulation. (Premillennial, Pretribulational Rapture.) It simply means that the Great Tribulation is yet a
future event and that the Christian will be "raptured" before the Great Tribulation, thus not going through it. Believers are "caught up," to be with
him.
2. The Second Coming is recorded in many passages of the Bible.
a. See the following Scriptures. Rev. 11:15, Rev. 19:11-16
b. Note in Matthew 24:29, that it specifically states the Second Coming of Christ will take place after the Tribulation. Also note the signs in the
heavens and earth preceding His Coming. See Luke 21:25,26.
c. Note that in Zechariah 14:4-8, the Old Testament says Christ will touch down on earth at the Mount of Olives.
Isaiah 34:6; 63:1, tell us that Jesus will then go to Petra and Bozrah, two chief cites in Edom.
d. According to Daniel 12:11-12, that Christ will return at the end of the 490 years, or Daniel's 70 weeks. God's time clock is now stopped at 483
years, with seven to go. God starts the clock again, after the rapture and begins the Great Tribulation. Then after the seven years of the
Tribulation, Jesus returns at the Second Coming to set up His Millennial Kingdom.
3. It is paramount to note the differences in the events of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 which refer to the rapture and the many
Scriptures dealing with the Second Coming. They are different events, happening at different times.
4. Many of the differences of the many denominations of churches and of persons holding so many views as to these events could be ended by a simple
reading and understanding of the above truths. God didn't make it complicated, man has done that!

II. THE EVENTS OF THE RAPTURE.
A. Hal Lindsey in his book "The Late Great Planet Earth", says that while driving on the free way at the time of the Rapture, suddenly "the place went
crazy...cars going in all directions, ....and not one of them had a driver."
Even though Mr. Lindsey is a little optimistic as to the number of Christians on our roads, his description of what happens may be accurate.

1 Corinthians 15:52. The event is described as taking place "In the moment, in the twinkling of the eye." In other words "instantly." One moment the
Christian is on earth going about his normal life, and in next he is in the presence of the Lord.
B. The Changing of the Body.
1. Philippians 3:20-21. Our present or "vile" body will be changed into a glorious body, the same as Christ's glorified body after His resurrection.
2. Christ made post-resurrectional appearances in His glorified body.people saw him, not as a spirit, but as a man having a body.
See John 20, Matthew 28, Luke 24:12, 1 Cor. 15:5, Luke 24:13, John 20:19, and many others.
3. His body was different, but identical. His mobility was different and physically unrestricted. (Luke 24:31, John. 20:19)

C. The Believer's new body.
1. It will be identical with earth bodies. The "corruptible must put on incorruption."
2. The body will be a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15:44-49)
3. We will not be "clones", but each be different as we are now. (1 Cor. 15:40-42)
4. We will recognize each other. (1 Cor. 13:12)

D. The Challenge of Christ's Coming at the Rapture to the Christians.
1. We are to be Looking. (Phil 3:20) - The blessed hope (Titus 2:11-14)
2. We are to be Loving. (2 Tim. 4:8) - The Purifying Hope (1`John 3:3) 3. We are to be Longing. (Rev. 22:20) - The Evangelistic Hope (Rev. 22:17)
4. More Challenges from the Scripture concerning the Rapture.
a. Attend Church. Hebrews 10:25 .".as ye see the day approaching."
b. Remembrance at the Lord's Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:26 "ye do show the Lord's death till he come."
c. Love the brethren and all men. (1 Thess. 3:12-13)
d. Be patient. (James 5:8)
e. Live a separate life from sin. (1 John. 3:2-3, Titus 2:12-13, 1 John. 2:28)
f. Judge not others. (1 Cor. 4:5)
g. Preach the Word. (2 Tim. 4:1-2, 1 Peter 5:2-4)
h. Comfort the bereaved. (1 Thess. 4:16-18)
i. Win souls to Christ. (Jude 21-23)
j. Seek the things of heaven. (Col. 3:1-4)

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