It seems like I have been handed some of the more challenging passages of Scripture over the past four years. I love being a part of the teaching team at Creekside Church, but so far I have talked about Circumcision, Talking Donkeys, and the like. Last sunday was no different. I spoke on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 a large part of that section of scripture is about the Return of Christ and the rapture. Many people have said many things about the return of Christ, and growing up I was terrified of Jesus coming back. Paul wrote this passage to talk encourage the Thessalonians and to show that the return of Christ should inspire hope. So here is the sermon from last sunday morning:
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A very helpful resource on all this stuff was from Mars Hill, when Mark Driscoll did a series going through Revelation. This series was different than any other Revelation sermons I had heard before because it focused on Worship throughout the book of Revelation. Check it out.
2 thoughts on “Sunday and the Rapture”
Look at Revelation 16:2, and remember that it takes place during the Day of the Lord—the time of Christ’s return.
“. . . There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast. . . .”
The Mark of the Beast, acquired during the Tribulation, will still be current when Christ returns. With this information in hand, a later passage in Revelation ends much of the confusion about End-of-the-Age chronology.
. . . I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Revelation 20:4-5
The First Resurrection includes those who did not worship the Beast or receive his mark; i.e., Christians whom the Beast put to death. A resurrection prior to the time of the Beast could not include those individuals martyred by the Beast. Only two resurrections are prophesied, the second not occurring until the end of the Millennial Reign.
Remembering Paul’s assurance that living Christians would not “prevent” (go before) those resurrected to meet Christ (I Thessalonians 4:13-17), there can be no “Rapture” prior to the Tribulation, that is, not until after the Beast has martyred many Christians. Thus, the passage in I Corinthians 15:51-52 and I Thessalonians 4:15-17 are chronologically established. Christians, both resurrected and living, are given their new bodies and caught up to meet Christ at the last trump(et), at Christ’s single, visible return.
For a greater elaboration of this, check out