Rapture: Biblical Doctrine or Human Invention

you you see you here tonight and it is a real privilege to stand in this pulpit I’ve known your pastor for many many years I don’t know how I keep aging and he stays the same but I’ll forgive him for that someday I’m getting a new body amen Jesus is coming so it is good to be with you tonight and I’m very excited about our topic and we’re going to look at it from a little bit of a different direction tonight if you will and our subject is one that is exciting to consider yet at the same time it is inciting too many in other words it stirs up ire at the mention of the word rapture was some some cry fell some say heresy some say new doctrine some say not in the scripture and in response to this growing number who deny the presence of the rapture in Scripture we need to address this particular issue tonight for two different reasons if you will we’re going to mesh eschatology with apologetics and we’re going to come to an understanding of why we can be confident that in a moment and twinkling of an eye Jesus is going to come get us and we’re going to be with them forever now the two reasons are these proper hermeneutics or interpretation of scripture and accurate eschatology and I would hazard a guess that you’re here sitting in 412 Church and your pastor is dedicated to the proclamation and study of prophecy that you hear tonight believe in the rapture of the church I would say maybe even the majority of you are pre-tribulation rapture asyou believed that before the 70th week of Daniel can be fulfilled there’s a great catching away of the Church of Jesus Christ now our title and topic tonight is the rapture biblical doctrine or human invention so let’s pray and ask God’s blessing on our time together tonight father again we’re so grateful for the hope that we have within us thank you for the hope of heaven thank you Lord for the transformation we experienced in this life thank you for the promise that you made to your disciples that you had gone to prepare a place for them and uh and you were coming again to receive us unto yourself that where you are we may be also into that we pray and say even so come quickly Lord Jesus and all God’s people said amen before we dig in just so I don’t have to answer the question afterwards for you world news briefing viewers why did we lose the last twenty minutes of last week’s program the answer is I don’t know but it was kind of interesting that we were talking about coronal mass ejections or as we call them solar flares and the fact that there is going to be seemingly an interruption of all things electronic in the Tribulation Period and EMPs being fired or suggested to be fired by the North Koreans and things of that nature so what I believe happened last Thursday night was the prince of the power of the air was messing with our stuff but God is greater than he amen and we’ll be back at it next Thursday night so here we go here’s the hermeneutical question does the Bible teach the rapture the short answer is yes you’re not getting the short answer tonight you’re getting the long version now since the Bible clearly teaches the rapture let’s quote all the verses together where the word rapture is used ready go well if there’s no such thing as the word rapture in our Bibles and please heed what I said in our Bibles how can we arrive at an accurate understanding and know that we have doctrine related to eschatology when we mentioned the rapture now we have to make this argument in order to make a point we don’t find the word rapture in our English Bibles but are there other major doctrines of Scripture that we don’t find the word that we associate with that doctrine found in Scripture either well I hope your mind races directly to the Trinity as mine does and the fact is it is an essential doctrine that when it’s denied it compromises the principles of saving faith there is one God manifest in three personages God the Father God the Son and God the Holy now one of the most appropriate set of verses to make our point is that which records Jesus baptism in mark 1 9 through 11 we’re told it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan and immediately coming up from the water he saw the heavens partying and the what spirit descending upon him like a dove meaning as a dove would descend go to the spirit descended on Jesus then a voice came from heaven and said you are my beloved son who’s speaking here so father is speaking in whom I am well-pleased and in this scene we find the three manifestations of the triune Godhead the one eternal God simultaneously present in one scene did you see the word Trinity in there no but as the principal clearly declared that God is triune in his nature now this basically decimates what’s called oneness pentecostalism which is growing in popularity today it’s the belief that the Father Son and spirit are individual manifestations of the single God and you would never find them collectively in one place together well mark says that’s a lie and that’s not true there is one God amen and he is manifest in three distinct personage is God the Father Son and spirit as we said now in Judaism a father and his firstborn son or the heir were considered equals in society and culture which is why the leading Jews accused Jesus of claiming to be equal with God as he claimed and said that he is the son of God now Jesus tells us in John that when the Holy Spirit comes he will teach us all things now don’t you have to know all things in order to teach all things who knows all things only God therefore the Holy Spirit is omniscient a characteristic that is exclusive to God himself the father is clearly God the son being an heir is his equal and he is God and the spirit knows all which again is a by an attribute that only a member of the Godhead would possess now the point is this it is possible for a doctrine or precept to be present and valid in Scripture yet not use the moniker or title that we have associated with it as is the case with the Trinity it’s also true of the rapture now the word may not be used in our Bible but the concept is clearly taught just as a triune nature of God it is clearly taught in Scripture we have labeled it the Trinity now one of the most common objections made about the rapture of the church is that it’s kind of a johnny-come-lately or late arrival in the doctrinal scene which obviously is not true it’s in the Bible now some say it’s not part of ancient eschatology and some propose that the rapture concept was first developed and taught or introduced by the 19th century theologian and scholar John Nelson Darby how many of heard that day associated especially with the rapture now darby may have been influential and instrumental in reintroducing the rapture of the church into mainstream Christian thinking but he was not some delusional wag as many purport him to be and some imply him to be I want to tell you a couple of things about John Nelson Darby Darby is one of the top five most prolific authors in Christian history he personally founded over 1,500 churches he translated the Bible into three languages English French and German and he added two more languages when he translated the New Testament five in total Darby is one of the most important Christian leaders in the history of the church certainly since the Reformation so he’s not some kook he’s not some fringe wacko that came up with this rapture idea because he heard what some girl said in a dream of some report but our time tonight is not about what John Darby said concerning the rapture our time is going to concerned with what the Bible says and the entirety of the Word of God is true and we are going to going to come to decisive conclusions concerning the rapture here tonight so here’s our question how can we arrive at the conclusion that an implied event or belief is indeed sound doctrine though the term we are familiar with is not found in Scripture we’re going to use three elements to arrive at our conclusions that are essential for developing any major doctrine of Scripture and any precept is being valid two of them will use our general one is case-specific concerning the rapture itself the three things we’ll look at tonight are all precedent or Old Testament precedent or typology we’re going to look at New Testament clarity in other words is that found in the Old Testament on a new and for our subject tonight we’re also going to discover prophetic necessity is it necessary that the rapture be a component of eschatology our last days teaching now our last criteria means does the absence of the doctrine of the rapture leave a hole in the prophetic narrative or timeline now if we can answer these three questions you’re still here if we can answer these three questions I believe that we can arrive at a safe and sound conclusion that the rapture is one neither new and two nor is it a human invention it’s as sound of a doctrine as any other in the scripture now one more thing before we dig in as it relates to the view that the doctrine of the rapture is the johnny-come-lately in the recent rise of popularity in evangelical thinking in Daniel chapter 12 verse 4 Daniel was told but you Daniel shut up the words and seal the book until when the time of the end or in the last of the last days many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase to summarize and paraphrase what Daniel was told we can understand that those living close to the end are going to have more prophetic clarity than those living far from it and therefore it is biblical that we would have a better perspective and handle on eschatology than generations preceded us especially for the fact that there were nearly two millennia of people that didn’t see Jews living in Jerusalem we are in the last days the nation of Israel has been reborn and God said once they are back in the land and Amos that they will never be uprooted again Jeremiah 31 says if you see that the Sun doesn’t come up and the moon abandoned its place in the sky and the Seas no longer obey their boundaries that I said at creation then you will know that I have cast off the nation of Israel listen this evening the nation of Israel that inhabits the geographic property that God gave them in Genesis is the Israel of the Bible God said he was going to bring them back into the land and they are there now the Bible says those are the most important words for us to hear and he not popular opinion says not going to cry enforce their belief on to the text to fit their eschatological scheme or timeframe but the Bible says that some elements of the last days scenario are only going to be knowable to those who are watching them happen after all did not Jesus say when you see these things begin to come to pass do what look up for your redemption is what nigh and we are seeing all these things come to pass but listen the pre-tribulation rapture has a much deeper biblical base than saying recent awareness is an invalid argument against it so let’s be Bereans you ready tonight and dig in and put this doctrine to the test and see if it holds up our first criteria do we find all testament precedents or topologies to validate the rapture as a cover to cover doctrine found in the scripture in 1st Corinthians 15 51 and 52 Paul says behold I tell you a mystery we shall not all sleep where everybody’s not gonna die but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye that’s estimated at a millionth of a nanosecond at the last trumpet for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised how incorruptible and we shall be changed now mystery is a Greek word Mysterio and it means not obvious to the understanding we’re going to talk more about this in our second criteria but the point it makes for us is that there are things in Scripture in the Old Testament in particular that are not obvious to the understanding that we have to dig and mine for to come to a complete understanding and we living in the last days have a better grip on it than previous generations examples like the statue in Daniel 2 and the beasts of Daniel seven and eight their meaning wasn’t obvious to all even though the nations were named the Babylonians and the medo-persians and the Greeks were named but the fourth beast was one of curiosity the Daniel long to know more about and now we can look back in history and see quite clearly what the Lord was talking about for successive empires that would basically mistreat the Jews so to speak the Babylonians even carrying them off captive so can the mystery of the rapture of the church be established by a foreshadowing of it in the Old Testament that’s our question first we need to understand exactly what a rapture implies as a doctrine the rapture implies two things one the instantaneous translation from this world into the next secondly the separation of God’s people from his direct wrath on his innovators so let’s look for the instant translation from this life to the next life in the Old Testament and see if we could set a precedent in Genesis 5 21 to 24 were told of Enoch who lived 65 years in begat Methuselah and after he begat Methuselah Enoch walked with God 300 years and had sons and daughters so all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years and Enoch walked with God and he was not what happened to him God took him God translated him and the word took his key the Hebrew word means to fetch or to carry away now here’s something interesting the word can also mean to marry now I think that’s interesting for this reason are we being told that Enoch was fetched away and he’ll be present at the marriage supper of the Lamb well if he was supernaturally translated into the next life there’s good reason to believe that God was pleased with how he lived amen second Kings tells us that when it happened as they continued on a talk that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses and separated the two of them and Elijah went up by a whirlwind where into heaven so based on our Old Testament findings we can say that the first of our our first half of our criteria has been met we find in the Old Testament a precedent which would validate the instantaneous translation from this life to the next life of living flesh-and-blood beings who please then serve God now there’s another reality we need to incorporate that’s going to help us combat one of the arguments against Old Testament types of the New Testament rapture in 1st Thessalonians 1 9 and 10 Paul says for they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you and how you turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God to wait for his son from where heaven that means he’s coming back whom he raised from the dead even Jesus who delivers us from what the wrath to come there is a day of wrath that is coming amen do we not have a promise to be delivered from it right here in front of us yes we do God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation through Christ our Lord now we’re going to deal with other new testament scriptures concerning our deliverance from God’s direct wrath but this will introduce a concept for us so let me ask you again is there an Old Testament precedent for the instantaneous translation of human beings from this life into the next yes there is yet some say the church is going to go through the tribulation the church is going to go through tribulation as Saints of old went through tribulation well as Old Testament types of deliverance from wrath we can note these things Noah was delivered from God’s wrath when the ark lifted him above the waters of judgment amen lot was delivered from God’s wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah when he was removed from the place separated fetched away from the place where God’s wrath was about to be poured out the Israelites were delivered from God’s wrath now listen close when the last seven plagues pounded the Egyptians into submission if you remember between plagues three and four God told Pharaoh I will make a difference between my people and your people in the last seven place will not come near them even though they stayed within the boundaries of Egypt now two things to note some say well the Israelites were still on the planet and that means the typology is telling us that the church goes through the tribulation and God will supernaturally protect them well let me say this Israel is Israel and the church is the church they are two separate entities all together and listen we also have to be careful about appropriating things written about Israel for the church that seems to be popular today but this we can also know anything that God said to Israel concerning his nature and character applies to the church today and you can take it to the bank because our Lord doesn’t change he is faithful is he not he is the Holy One of Israel he is our Savior all things that he said to the nation of Israel that we can embrace as our own so Israel is Israel and the church is the church the church has not replaced Israel nor is God finished with Israel now pay close attention neither Noah are you listening neither Noah nor lot were Jews and their location was changed to deliver them from the direct wrath of God Noah was lifted above the waters a lot was removed from Sodom Exodus 822 records what I mentioned a moment ago and in that day God speaking I will set apart the land of Goshen in which my people dwell that no swarms of flies shall be there in order that you may know God addressing Pharaoh that I am the Lord in the midst of the land and I will make a difference between my people and your people tomorrow this sign shall be told to Gentiles separated physically from the wrath of God Israel remained in Egypt Egypt is a type of what the world and in the time of the ten plagues they encountered the first three plagues but they were separated from them even though they dwelt in the same place during the time of those plagues now I know it’s late it’s Sunday night but 10 minus 3 is 7 how long is the tribulation seven years is there a typology there well of course there is and this is what we are being told that even during the Tribulation Period the Jews will be on the planet because they rejected Christ not Messianic Jews of course but Jews as a whole Israel as a whole has rejected Christ they’re the only people group that God deals with on a national basis and they have rejected Christ and they are going to have their eyes open during the Tribulation Period and they’re going to look upon the one whom they pierced and mourn for him as one mourns for an only Son but during that time they’re going to be supernaturally protected all believing Jews will be protected by the hand of God Jack Araya chapters 12 to 14 tell us two-thirds of the Jews are going to die during the tribulation and those who believe on the mashiac McDavid he is going to supernaturally protect but again Noah a Gentile was removed from the flood when the door of the Ark was shut by who God shut the door so there we have a supernatural agent incorporated into the separating of God’s people from his coming wrath lot was removed from the wrath of God by angels meeting him and leading him out of Sodom once again we have supernatural agents in evolved in the change of location of God’s people delivering them from God’s wrath in Egypt we have the divine protection of Jews during the time of God’s wrath just like it’s going to be during the tribulation notice also that when the Lord spoke to Pharaoh the separation of God’s people of wrath from his wrath was a sign to the world so do we have as a precedent in the Old Testament the instantaneous translation of living human beings from this life to the next yes we do see that with a little more confidence out there would you yes do we have in the Old Testament the deliverance of non-jews from the direct wrath of God by lifting them up and changing their location yes we do what is the rapture the catching away of the church by force of God’s people at the sound of a trumpet blast by a supernatural agent to meet the Lord in the air before he pours out his wrath on the world and he is going to supernaturally protect Israel during that time are there things in the Old Testament that are precedents and topologies of the New Testament mystery of the rapture of the church your waning on me here yes so what about New Testament clarity some say well the rapture is not mentioned as we made our case at the beginning of our time together how then is the mystery of the old made clear in the new and the first thing we need to deal with is our initial statement that the word rapture is not in the Bible let me ask you this is the word Gracias in the Bible yes it is just not your bible is the word Bolger in the Bible yes it is just not your Bible those words are translated as thanks or hello or greetings and their associated languages in first Thessalonians to 17 Paul says for this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until when the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep or dead for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first and we who are alive and remain shall be what caught up together with him – in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and thus we shall always be with the Lord I’m not moving on until somebody says they men we shall always be with the Lord now the word translated is caught up in our pods oh I’m sure you know that because your pastor is a great teacher it means to pluck pull or catch up by force I didn’t say catch up catch up now if your Bible was in Latin it would read instead of harpazo it would say reptiles which is the same meaning to catch away by force so yes the word rapture is in the Bible just not yours if you happen to read Latin for some strange reason it would be in your Bible now Paul says living people will be caught up with dead Saints and meet the Lord in the air and forever be with him and the last statement carries with it some fantastic implications including the instantaneous translation of living human beings from this life to the next via a supernatural agent to live eternally requires a body that’s capable of doing so I just turned 60 this year I can’t hardly believe it and indeed I am feeling the aches and pains of getting older I was just talking with a guy who one of our associate pastors at the church today of saying you know I really because we were both kind of hobbling around I stepped on something and bruised my heel so I’ve been hobbling around for a couple of weeks waiting for that to heal he’s got a pinched nerve in his back and so he’s standing at the door trying to shake hands like this and you know I’m saying man I sure do miss those younger bodies I wish we had the wisdom of a 60 year old placed in a body of a 25 year old but I think we’re going to get that later amen now Paul says in first corinthians 255 behold I tell you a mystery as we said earlier we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed in a moment in a twinkling of an eye that’s the speed of it at the last trumpet the dead will be raised incorruptible and all the things we read earlier remember sleep is an idiom for death and Paul says we’re not all going to die but we shall all be changed changed into what changed into incorruptible immortal beings how fast in the twinkling of an eye is that not instantaneous that’s what Enoch experienced that’s what Elijah experienced instantaneous translation into an eternal being and we are going to meet the Lord we’re in the air how long are we going to be with him forever will death continue then to be a threat will we age anymore no will we lose all our hair no if you’re looking for me in heaven I’ll be the guy with a big throw up there so so since some say that we have forced something into the text I would have to ask the question of those who look at the rapture allegorically in our verses in 1st Corinthians and those ball wrote to the church at Thessalonica what would be the figurative meaning of verses if there’s no rapture it can’t be a picture of salvation because we don’t get new bodies a moment we’re saved it has to mean something else in 1st Corinthians 255 it can’t speak of the soul the soul is already eternal all souls are going to live forever the soul is already immortal so what can it mean there’s only one candidate in Philippians gives it to us 20 and 21 where we’re reminded our citizenship is we’re in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform what our lowly bodies that it may be conformed to his glorious body according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things to himself Paul said we shall not dieeee which has to pertain to the human body not the human soul so these lowly in limited bodies are going to be transformed which can also be translated as transfigured into their predestined form and that being the image of Jesus Christ the glorious image of Christ the word is icon for image the exact representation of now Romans 225 also says for we know that the whole creation groans and Labor’s with birth pangs until when until now not only that but we also who have the proof firstfruits of the Spirit even we groan within ourselves how many ready for heaven amen come quickly Lord Jesus eagerly waiting for the adoption which is the redemption of our body for we were saved in this hope but hope that is seen is not hope for why does one still hope for what he sees but if we hope for what we do not see we eagerly wait for it with perseverance now redemption means a releasing affected by paying a ransom Redemption means releasing affected by paying a ransom we are waiting for our bodies to be redeemed having been confined to the expectancy of death and while Romans 8 does not give us the details of the transition or translation of these bodies into the glorious ones like Christ it does say however that such a thing is awaiting us first Corinthians 15 tells us of the speed of the transition and the twin thing of an eye Philippians further explains immortal incorruptibility as the destination of the transition which is described in Philippians as glorious Christ light bodies so is their clarity in the New Testament on that which was a mystery in the old concerning the translation of the body into eat in an eternally existent capable model yes it is so we have Old Testament types and precedents we have New Testament clarity but what about perfetto necessity is the rapture of the church necessary to the narrative of the whole eschatological picture will there be holes left in the prophetic narrative if there is no reps for the church I bet you can guess what the answer is yes sir well so let’s dig for it by starting with a question must all the Bible’s prophecies come to pass for it to be a reliable and trustworthy source yes they must can unconditionally and eternal promises be forfeited or applied to another group and the Bible still be a source of immutable or unchanging truth no you cannot take promises made to Israel and apply them to someone else so what your thing tonight is what was once true must always be true so what you’re saying I thought that’s what it was revelation 6 15 and 17 says then the kings of the earth the great men the rich men the commanders a mighty men every slave in every free man hid themselves into caves and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and the rocks fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of who the lamb for the great day of his what has come his wrath has come and then the rhetorical question who is able to stand now we’re told the kings of the earth to Richmond the commanders of mighty men every slave and every free man now in John’s day the word every used to mean every in our day the word every means every so rich or poor slaver free all walks of life every person on the earth tries to hide themselves from the wrath of the Lamb the rhetorical statement and follows as the implied answer as no one is able to stand in the face of the wrath of God now do you see the word except there except for the church is that in there no I don’t see it in there either now do we know elsewhere in Scripture when the Lamb of God becomes a lion against his own bride and kills her along with evildoers without discrimination did we see that somewhere does Jesus treat the church that way No he even tells husbands to treat our wives like he treats his bride to treat them without spot or wrinkle and wash them with the water of the word 1st Thessalonians 5 9 through 11 which we mentioned earlier reminds us that God did not appoint us to wrath but conversely to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us that whether we live or die that’s for Wicker sleep means we should live together with him therefore comfort and edify one another just as you also are doing I don’t find it very comforting to think about going through the tribulation as the church I don’t take much comfort in that I take more comfort in us escaping the whole thing and I will remind you the Great Escape precedes the Great Tribulation he is coming for us you know I think it’s funny one of the things that is always leveled against pre-tribulational rapture is that we are escapist guilty guilty guilty guilty I want out of here I want to miss the whole thing so if there is no rapture there’s a discrepancy then between 1st Thessalonians 5 in Revelation chapter 6 so let’s add this since 2nd Thessalonians to 8 now brethren concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him that’s that phrase gathering together we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled either by spirit or by word or by the letter as if from us as though the day of Christ to come let no one do what deceive you by any means for that day will not come unless thee what are the next two words falling away comes in one order first and the man of sin is revealed the son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped so that he sits as God in the temple of God showing himself that he’s God do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you the he sings and now you know what is restraining that he may be revealed in his own time for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work boy is it all around us today only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way and then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming obviously the second coming of Jesus is going to deal with the lawless wine now it doesn’t make it on the radar often but I believe the rapture is found here in the phrase gathering together now the word simply means to assemble in one place are we not all going to be with the Lord in one place we’re gonna meet the Lord in the air with the dead in Christ preceding us and there will forever be with the Lord that is the end result of the rapture the church all gathered in one place now some like to see the phrase falling away or the Greek word Apple stock eeeh to be the falling or the catching away because it can be translated as departure now here’s the problem with that Apple stasi a’ is never used in the context in scripture of physical departure it is always used in the context of defecting from biblical truth it’s never related to leaving from one place and going to another and after all if the falling away or a post hacia were referring to the rapture the church and the gathering together is pointing to the rapture of the church well the text would read like this the rapture of the church can’t happen until the rapture of the church happens first that make any sense no the Bible’s not confusing is it and therefore only one of those two are candidates and it is the gathering together the assembling in one place that points to the rapture of the church the defection from truth speaks of that which is under full swing right now a departure from God’s Word Paul says don’t let the letters or words of others shake you up concerning our gathering together with them and we shouldn’t let the words of the naysayers trouble us today either even though people call us names gooks and everything else I don’t care what they call us just as long as my name is called when the roll is called up yonder that’s all I’m worried but Peter had zips in three to seven of chapter three of a second epistle knowing this first that scoffers will come when in the last days walking according to their own lusts and saying where is the promise of his coming you guys keep talking about the rapture we’ve been hearing about that ever since the Jesus Movement we’ve been hearing about that for forty years as though 40 years is forever in the grand scheme of the whole of human history I’d say 40 years is pretty recent to be hearing about the rapture the church wouldn’t you that’s not some expansive amount of time for since the father’s fell asleep they say all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation and Peter says for this they willfully forget that by the Word of God the heavens were of old and the earth standing out of water and in the water by which the world that didn’t existed perish being flooded with water but the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word are reserved for what until when the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men are there rapture scoffers today yes sir so the Bible is accurate in that prediction as well next Paul tells the church let no one deceive you about this and then he offers a progression of events that initiate the march toward the destruction of the man of sin by the brightness of Jesus second coming now here’s our point of interest lawlessness is already abounding today it’s all around us amen people want to be without any kind of moral restraint they want to redefine marriage they want to pick what gender they are all these lawless things that are set by the laws of nature and the law of God already biologically physiologically chemically listen you are predetermined to be a boy or a girl the day you’re born and those are the only two groups that there are now here’s our point of interest as we note that lawlessness is at work and what is restraining the rise of the Antichrist and his kingdom is going to be taken out of the way and only then can the Antichrist be revealed so who is he that is taken out of the way what is holding back what is the restraining force of utter lawlessness in the world today now if you remember that light is an idiom for truth you will have your answer Jesus said you are the what you are the only truth bearers in the world and when that is removed then the restraining force holding back the rise of the Antichrist to power the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Saints of the church then the church must be taken out of the way for the Antichrist to rise to power the Holy Spirit is in us amen does he ever leave us so do we not then have to be supernaturally translated by a supernatural agent into the next life instantaneously to forever be with the Lord for the Antichrist arises the power I hope you know the answer the answer is yes now that leads to another question and we’re wrapping things up here can the true church be present on the earth and not be a restraining force to utter lawlessness no well of course not none of jesus said where the light of the world so what is the solution to our question and the prophetic dilemma the rapture Luke 21 34 to 36 says take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing drunkenness and the cares of this life and that day come on you how unexpectedly or it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the whole face of the year on the face of the whole earth watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to do what any other escapist man all these things that will come to pass and stand before the Son of man another word escape means to flee how does and this is a time that Jesus described as one that no flesh would survive if he did not return to stop it and then it would be a time of global judgment so where do hundreds of millions of Christians flee to in order to escape his judgment from every corner of the earth where are they going to go there only one solution they have to be translated instantaneously from this life to the next by a supernatural agent who does so and gives us incorruptible immortality in a moment in the twinkling of an eye the rapture is the only answer that completes the narrative of eschatology concerning our getting to the next lives well what about mid-river pre-trib these are bonus points meaning we missed the raft but we’re here for the first half of the tribulation these positions conflict with the church hindering the rise to power the Antichrist because he rises to power under the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or on the first half of the tribulation the church has to be gone for the whole seven years and after all how many weeks of Daniel is yet to be completed there was 69 completed how many is left 70-69 is one there’s one seven year period concerning Daniels people and the holy city that is yet to be fulfilled that it is the tribulation period the 70th week of Daniel the Antichrist has given power to rain during the first 42 months of the tribulation we know this from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse a rider who goes out on a white horse brings a pseudo peace to the world he has a bowl but no arrows meaning he conquers the world through diplomacy and his lying rhetoric so back where we began does the Bible teach the rapture the church absolutely Old Testament precedents and typology New Testament clarity prophetic necessity all say yes so the only question left to ask is are you ready Jesus is coming so they met you you you

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