Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rapture of the Church (Part 2)


 

Most churches contain people who do not yet believe.  Some are moving in the direction of belief, and others are simply pretending.  Imposters, however, are not to be removed (Matthew 13:28, 29), for that is the Lord’s work alone.  The Good News about Jesus Christ will save us if we firmly believe it and faithfully follow it.

Paul established the Corinthian church on his second missionary journey.  In this study of 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, we will see that the church in Corinth needed the same reassurance as did the Thessalonians regarding their fellow believers who had fallen asleep (died).

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15: 50).

As a believer we know that mere flesh and blood cannot enter into the glorious existence of an immortal body (1 Corinthians 15:35–49).  Something must happen to this flesh so that it becomes incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:42).

We all face limitations.  Those who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities are especially aware of this.  Some may be blind, but they can see a new way to live.  Some may be deaf, but they can hear God’s Good News.  Some may be lame, but they can walk in God’s love.  In addition, they have the encouragement that those disabilities are only temporary.  Paul tells us that we all will be given new bodies when Christ returns and that these bodies will be without disabilities, never to die or become sick.  This can give us hope in our suffering.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15: 51-52)

Paul makes the following profound statements regarding the rapture, “We shall not all sleep”, which means that Christians alive at that day will not have to die but will be transformed immediately - “we shall all be changed".  The teachings here are similar to the teachings given to the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 4:13–18).  Whereas the dead in Christ will be raised first, the living believers will be instantly transformed into their immortal bodies when Jesus returns.

A trumpet blast will usher in the new heaven and earth.  The Jews would understand the significance of this because trumpets were always blown to signal the start of great festivals and other extraordinary events (Numbers 10:10)

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15: 53-54)

The living will receive a body that is not subject to death (1 Corinthians 15: 50). Satan’s apparent victories in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:13) and at the Cross (Mark 15:22–24) were reversed by Jesus’ death (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14, 15) and resurrection.  From the vantage point of Jesus’ victorious return, Death and Hades (the grave) have no power over Christians, because Jesus has already conquered both.  We participate in His victory.  Thus death is no longer a source of dread or fear.

Jesus Christ overcame death, and one day we will also.  The law will no longer make sinners out of us who cannot keep it.  Death has been defeated, and we have hope beyond the grave.  Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible.

12 comments:

Pamela Keane said...

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

Joy said...

I am ready. When I see the sin that surrounds us, the evil people who literally get away with murder, I am calmed and bouyed at the same time by the knowledge that there WILL be justice. Thanks for your blog that is rooted in solid truth.

The Owl Nest said...

While I too believe that we are not to judge other's because that is for Yeshua alone - Scripture continually TELLS US that we are TO SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM worldly people; that includes those in the Body that are of carnal persuasion and causing confusion with heresy ... being carnal is more than being sexual; a carnal person is anyone who does not believe what Yeshua claimed or what the Gospels proclaim. A carnal mind is in opposition to what God has revealed. 2 Corinthians 6 and 2 Corinthians 13 speak to those who preach a "different Gospel" and "follow after false" doctrine and teachers. We are to {{mark them}}. This {{marking}}is not judging, this is Scriptural & Spiritually correct :-)

Shoshi said...

An impressive and disturbing video, Lloyd. When it happens, those who remain will indeed be shocked, especially those who consider themselves Christians, but who have not actually been born again.

I pray that those of us who are born again will be ready and prepared for this event, and that in the meantime, we may be used by the Lord to bring many more into that number, before it is too late.

Ian Curtis said...

The reality of being suddenly caught up is a great motivator for me, and I pray for other Christians as well. I just saw thi bumper sticker recently and it made me laugh: in case of Rapture this car will be unmanned. Thank you again for the reminder.

H A R R Y G O A Z said...

Have a SUPER week, Lloyd !

Laurie Collett said...

As much as I long to see Jesus face to face and to receive my glorified body right now, I find comfort in thinking that it is His mercy that is prolonging the time. What seems to us to be a delay in His return I believe is actually mercy in that He is waiting for all who will ultimately come to Him to do so. Seeing the signs of the times, though, I believe the time remaining is very short, and we should work productively through the Holy Spirit to spread His Word (http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/2011/07/dont-be-fooled-dont-betroubled.html). Thank you, Lloyd, for doing that through your blog. God bless you! Laurie Collett

dfish said...

I agree with your statements about many churches containing people who have not been saved. While we cannot root them out, we need to be careful to encourage them to move toward Christ. Too many are left with the impression just being in the church is enough.

Praise the Lord he is coming back for us.

Toyin O. said...

So true, there are vessels of honor and dishonor in every great house, but it is only up to Jesus to purify his house.

Never Forsaken said...

What a good jolting video. So many scoff at us when we speak of the rapture, but One day it will happen and then they will believe, unfortunately it will not be so easy for them afterwards. I am considering leaving a letter behind to urge people to read the Bible to get understanding of what happened as I believe there will be much deception about what happened to us.
~PEACE & Blessings In Jesus~

Laurie Collett said...

Yes, the authorities left behind will do their best to convince the world that believers disappeared because of an alien abduction or other lie. But in 2 Thess. 2:9-12, Paul appears to indicate that those who heard the Gospel before the Rapture but rejected it will not be saved during the Tribulation. "...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." So I believe it is vitally important to witness to all we encounter now, and to pray for them, so that they can be saved before it is too late. Laurie Collett, Saved by Grace (http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/)

Adroit Vixen said...

Hi, Lloyd. I think that your blog is outstanding. This post moved me beyond articulation. The video was nothing less than profound. Oftentimes, the truth hurts, but the truth shall set you free.