LESSON 10                         2/2/2014

THE RAPTURE

Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 184, 190

Devotional Reading: MATT. 24:36-44

Topic For Adults

ABIDING IN CHRIST TILL DEATH

Topic For Youths

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE RAPTURED?

Scripture Lesson

1 THESS. 4:13-18; 5:1-4; MATT. 24:36-44

 

Memory Verse:    …And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And this we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:16-17) NKJV

 

DAILY BIBLE READING

No One Knows When The Son Of Man Will Come

Matt. 24:36-44

In answering some of the questions of the disciples, as regards when the end of the age shall be, Jesus told them that of the time, the day and the hour nobody knows, not the angels, not even Himself, except God in heaven. But it will be like the day of Noah when people were doing their business as usual and then suddenly the flood came and destroyed them. The rapture will also separate the saints from their loved ones who are sinners. In view of the above, Jesus gave an advice that we should be ready at all times, for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Therefore, how ready are you for the coming of the Son of Man? Live every moment of your life as if Christ will come at that second. Don’t be caught unprepared, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Point of Emphasis:          Make Jesus and the rapture to be at the centre of all you are doing.

Prayer Point:                                     Lord, I will not be caught unaware, help me to be ready for Your coming.

BACKGROUND

            We have been hearing of the second coming of Jesus, but it must be
understood that there will be series of some events that will preceed His second coming. One of such events is the rapture of the saints. What does this term mean? Who will be qualified to partake in the rapture? This week’s lesson provides answers to these questions.

NOTES ON THE TEXT

(A)  THE EVENTS AT THE RAPTURE – 1 THESS. 4:13-18

The writing of Paul is here probably his response to some erroneous views that prevailed among the Thessalonians in reference to the condition of those who were dead, which tended to prevent their enjoying the full consolation which they might otherwise have done. The erroneous view was probably that those who had died, though they were true Christians, would be deprived of some important advantages which those who are alive during the coming of the Lord would enjoy. Paul, therefore, felt the importance of stating the exact truth on the subject, so that they might not have unnecessary sorrow, and that their unavoidable grief for their departed friends might not be aggravated by painful apprehensions about their future conditions.

Paul stated two basic events that will happen during the rapture. Rapture is a term which means to be caught up. During this event, all saints shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Paul stated that when Christ shall descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God (verse 16), the dead in Christ shall be the ones to rise first. This means that before those who are alive shall be changed. The dead in Christ shall have the honour and privilege to be the first to rise from the dead and meet Christ in the air. Then, those who are alive and remain in Christ shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (verse 17). This is the second event that will happen during rapture. The word “caught up” implies that there will be the application of external force or power by which this will be done. It will not be by any power of ascending which they will themselves have, or by any tendency of their raised or changed bodies, or by even any effort of their own, but by a power applied to them which will cause them to rise.

When these events happen, all of them (the saints) will always be with the Lord. In essence, Paul was saying that during the rapture, neither the dead nor the living would be at any disadvantage. All believers (whether dead or alive during the rapture) will share the blessings of the resurrection.

(B)  THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE – 1 THESS. 5:1-4

Paul continued the subject on the events of Christ’s second coming by telling the people that they were not to be told about the time and season of Christ’s coming. Paul seemed to refer to the suddenness of Christ’s coming. Paul reminds them of what they have heard that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night (verse 2).The day of the Lord” means that day in which the Lord will be manifested, or the day in which He will be the prominent object in view of the assembled universe. The phrase “as a thief in the night” means suddenly and unexpectedly, as a robber breaks into a dwelling. A thief comes without giving any warning, or any indications of his approach. In this way the Lord Jesus will return to judgment.

This proves that all attempts to determine the day, the year, or the century when He will come, must be fallacious. Paul intended that Jesus’ coming to this world shall be sudden and unexpected to the extent that there shall be no such indications of his approach. When the wicked are proclaiming false peace, then sudden destruction will come (verse 3) as travail upon a woman with child. This denotes that the coming of the Lord to a wicked world will be sudden, and also it will be an event of the most distressing and overwhelming nature.

But you, brethren, are not in darkness. That day should not overtake you as a thief (verse 4). This means because of the fore-knowledge Christians have known about the timing of the rapture, they should be prepared and ready at all times so that the day will not come upon them unprepared, for they are in the light and not in darkness as regard that day.

(C) FACTS ABOUT THE RAPTURE – MATT. 24:36-44.

From the above passage, it is apparent that Christ will come at a time when we are not expecting Him. He will come as a thief in the night, when the landlord is fast asleep and relaxed on his beautiful and comfortable bed. The rapture is going to be a sudden and unexpected event. Jesus likens it to the days of Noah when people were marrying and giving children in marriage. They did not heed the warnings of Noah about the impending flood when suddenly the flood came and carried all the people of that time away.

Another fact about the rapture is that it is going to be a selective event. The thief does not normally stay long nor carry everything in the house when he comes but carry those precious things like money, jewels, electronic gadgets, and so would the coming of Christ for His own. He is not coming to take everything that is in the world but only the saints who are His precious jewels. In other words, the rapture is not going to be a general event but a selective and separating event, separating believers from unbelievers, husbands from wives, friends from friends and brothers from sisters. However, it will take place simultaneously throughout the world (Matt. 24:27). Jesus prophesied to this effect when He says “I tell you, in that night, there shall be two men in one bed, one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together, one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left.” It’s going to be a time of serious separation, many people will miss their loves ones. You must therefore be ready and make others ready for this great event.

CONCLUSION

In view of the fact that the rapture is going to be a sudden, selective and separating event, and in view of the fact that believers have been well taught and notified, there must be adequate preparation for it on daily basis so that we will not be caught unaware.

QUESTIONS

(1)   What was the erroneous view that Paul was responding to?

(2)   Who are the dead in Christ and what will happen to them during rapture?

(3)   Define the term “rapture”

(4)   When will the rapture happen?

(5)   Give two facts about the rapture.

French

DIMANCHE 02/02/2014

PERSONNE NE SAIT LE JOUR OU VIENDRA LE FILS DE L’HOMME

MATT. 24 :36-44

Dans ses réponses face aux quelques questions que lui avaient posées les disciples à savoir quand sera la fin du temps, Jésus leur dit que pour ce qui est du temps, du jour et de l’heure, personne ne le sait, ni même les anges, ni lui-même sauf Dieu dans les cieux. Mais il serait comme du temps de Noé où les gens vaquaient à leurs affaires comme d’ordinaire et alors soudain vint le déluge qui les détruisit. Le ravissement séparera les saints d’avec  leurs bien-aimés qui sont des pécheurs. En vue du susdit, Jésus nous conseille d’être prêts en tout temps car le fils de l’homme viendra à une heure où tu ne t’y attends. Comment t’apprêtes-tu donc à l’avènement du fils de l’homme ? Vis chaque moment de ta vie comme si Christ viendrait dès l’instant, à cette seconde-même. Ne sois pas pris au dépourvu. Etre averti en vaut deux.

Point essentiel : Mets Jésus et le ravissement au centre de tout ce que tu fais.

Axe de prière : Seigneur, je ne serai pas pris au dépourvu, aide-moi à m’apprêter pour ton avènement.         

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