The world has little or no concept of the Rapture of the Church.
Mainline churches ignore it. “It is appointed”, etc.
Heb 9:27; Act 17:21 “He has appointed a day”
Some people have heard of the Judgment Day.
Many more talk freely of Armageddon and equate it with global war.
Others talk about the end of the world, expecting it to end in famine … pollution … nuclear war … or an alien invasion.
As Bible believing Christians we expect none of these things.
We are looking for the coming of our blessed Savior. Titus 2:13 “Looking for the blessed hope”, etc.
The disciples asked the Lord in Luke 21:70, “Master, when shall these things be?”
“And what sign will there be when these things come to pass.”
The scoffers today as in Peter’s day say “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the Father’s fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
John 14 – “Let not your heart be troubled”, etc.
He is coming! “If I go I will come again.”
Consider some of the signs of His coming.
“Look at the fig tree (Israel) and all the trees (the nations). When they shoot forth you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Millennium. Israel is shooting forth.
The Lord Himself gave certain signs that would indicate the nearness of the return.
In 1940 there were 58 members of the United Nations, by 1993 there were 184. All the trees are shooting.
The Common Market of Europe is almost welded together. Paul Henri Spaak, one of the organizers said in a recent speech, “Send us a man, be he God or devil, we will follow him.”
The Antichrist will emerge from this union.
The Lord said that False Christs would arise.
Jim John … David Karesh … Rev. Moon claims to be a new Messiah.
Wars and commotions.
Nations rising against nation. Kingdoms against kingdom. Great earthquakes. Pestilences. Famines.
The Lord also mentioned that in the last days persecution against Christians would increase.
It is estimated that 160,000 believers have been martyred this past year 1998.
More Christians have died for their faith during the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined.
In contrast to this there have been more Jews saved in the last 19 years, than in the last 1,900 years.
Is God calling out those who will be part of the 144,000 who will be witnesses to Christ during the seven years of Tribulation?
“Behold I come quickly.” Even so, come, Lord Jesus. He could come momentarily.
Knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:4
See following page.
The Rapture Secretly – suddenly – silently – no signs – just sounds.
The coming is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the N.T. Mentioned once in every 25 verses.
Knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:4; Matt 24:36-41
“But you Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Sir Isaac Newton, in the eighteenth century, read this passage and said: “I believe that these words refer to the end times. Men will travel from country to country in an unprecedented manner.
There may be some inventions that will enable us to travel at 50 miles per hour.
Eight years later the French atheist, Voltaire, read Newton’s words and retorted, “See what a fool Christianity makes of a brilliant scientist, to believe that men may travel at 50 miles per hour, because travel at this rate would suffocate a man, his heart would stand still.”
Two centuries later Edward White, an American astronaut, stepped out of a space ship and walked across continental America is less than fifteen minutes strolling along at 17,000 miles per hour.
Daniel said that during the end times “men would run to and fro.” Describe travel today.
Daniel also predicted that in the last days there would be an explosion of knowledge.
From the Garden of Eden until the beginning of the 20th century, men walked or rode donkeys. In the span of a few years mankind invented the automobile – airplanes – space shuttle.
We earthbound earthlings can fly from London to New York in three hours.
Medical science has exploded.
We have put men on the moon. We can keep a corpse breathing for months on life support. Tiny babies less than one pound can survive outside the womb.
Unborn babies can undergo surgery before birth.
Clone – sheep – cattle – humans? Men acting as God’s computers.
Surely we are living in the end times.
While it is true that we do not know the day nor the hour of His coming for His Bride Christ can come momentarily.
There are unmistakable signs that show the nearness of His coming to the earth to end the Time of the Gentiles, and to establish His kingdom.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the day of the coming of the Son of man.”
How was it in the days of Noah?
It was a prosperous no. The economy was good. They ate, they drank – they married – and women were given in marriage.
Life was good. They lived it up. No thought of God. They lived thoughtlessly and carelessly.
“Every thought and imagination (desire) of their heart was only evil continually.” v.5
The wickedness of the human race was so great, that he decided to destroy mankind. v. 7
“My spirit shall not plead”, etc. Sodom – Jerusalem – Businessman
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
The way of escape. When God pronounces judgment, He always provides a way of escape.
Make 120 years yourself an ark – cover it with bitumen within and without. Eternal Security
Make it 450 feet long. 1 ½ times the length of a football field.
Seventy-five feet high – forty five feet broad.
The capacity of the Ark would equal that of 800 railway cars.
There was one door. Jesus said, “I am the door. I am the way.” Shepherd. Beam.
When God’s spirit stopped striving with man.
God said to Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark.”
Eight souls went in.
The door was left open for another seven days but no one responded. Note the long-suffering of God. 2 Peter 3:9.
Then God closed the door and shut them in. Foolish virgins. Matt 25. See Matt 7:21-23.
Then judgment fell.
For 40 days torrential rain fell from heaven, water gushed forth from the bowels of the earth. The water covered the highest mountain by 22 ½ feet.
Every living person outside of the Ark perished in the flood.
“Sad, sad, the bitter wail”, etc. “The harvest is past.”