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Getting All Caught Up in It

posted Aug 2, 2009, 10:05 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Aug 27, 2009, 1:53 PM ]
Key Passage: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
“Getting All Caught Up in It”

I love to snow ski but hate to fly; however, I’ve found that both have something in common that I absolutely adore: the view. Give me a majestic view of God’s creation and I can sit mesmerized for hours. In fact, I’ll often find myself thinking, “How great would it be to live here all the time?” But if creation makes us giddy with expectancy, what will it be like to behold the Creator face to face? If we revel in nature’s masterpieces, what will it mean to be face to face with the Artist himself? Though I’ve included a chart in this lesson reflecting the differences between the Rapture and Jesus’ Second Coming, make no mistake about today’s passage: it exists to do two things: make us view life with an eternal perspective rather than a temporal one, and to bring us, simply, comfort and peace!

4 Truths from today’s text that bring comfort and peace:
  1. When we “go to sleep,” our spirits are instantaneously in the presence of Christ. (See 2 Corinthians 5:6-9; Philippians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:14)
  2. The Lord Himself will come down from Heaven unmistakably, to “rescue us.”
  3. Both “asleep” and living Followers will be “caught up together” to meet Christ Jesus.
  4. At that time, we will all be with the Lord forever. We’ll no longer have to search for God, feel alone, afraid or lost, because we will be with the Lord … forever!

 

                          Contrasts between the Rapture and the Second Coming

RAPTURE

SECOND COMING

Christ comes in the air for His own

Christ comes to the earth with His own

Translated Church-age believers go to heaven

Translated believers return to earth

Christians taken to the Father's house (heaven)

Christians come with Christ to establish an earthly kingdom

No judgment on the earth

Christ judges the inhabitants of the earth

Imminent -- could happen at any moment

Cannot occur until many events have transpired

Time of joy and reward for believers only

Time of mourning and judgment for earthly humanity

Occurs before the "day of wrath" (Tribulation)

Occurs after the Tribulation

No mention of Satan

Satan bound for 1000 years

Only Christ's own will see Him

Every eye will see Him

The Tribulation will shortly begin

The Millennial Kingdom begins

Not predicted in the Old Testament

Clearly predicted in detail in the OT

 

Q: What is it that makes the Follower’s experience of death different from those outside His kingdom?

Q: Practically and specifically, what is comforting about the Lord’s return?

Bottom Line: Paul wants us to understand that if we know where we’re going when we die, we should find courage for life here and now. If we understand that death is not the end of the story but simply a turn on the road to our ultimate destination, death loses its bite. If we understand that Christ will one day return, we can spend less time trying not to die and more time actually living.