JULY 29, 2018: WHEN THE TRUMPET SOUNDS! 1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1 Thess. 4:13-17
1 Cor. 15:51-57: Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thess. 4:13-17: Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
The word “Rapture” itself does not appear in the Bible…We get the word “Rapture” from the Latin translation of the Greek word (harpazo), which means to be “caught up”.
- The Rapture is that future event when the Lord Jesus Himself will return in the clouds above this earth and will catch away all who have repented of their sin and made Christ their Lord and Savior!
One common theme punctuates each of these texts…It is the mention of the “TRUMPET”. In the Bible, trumpets were used for four specific purposes. 1.To Proclaim Victory 2. To Call an Assembly 3. To Announce a Warning 4.To Call the Troops to Battle
All four of these events will take place when the Rapture comes about. Victory over the world will be announced by the church. The saints will be called to assemble themselves in the presence of the Lord.
- First those who have already died will be raised and then we who remain will All Meet In the Air and Enter Eternity with Christ!
Thess. 4:13 tells us that those saints who have departed are “asleep”. This does not refer to “soul sleep”. It refers to the fact that their bodies are asleep. When a saint of God leaves this world, they are immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord. 2 Cor. 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”;
Cor. 15:52b tells us that the departed saints will be raised “incorruptible”. That is, they will be changed!
When Jesus returns, He will bring the spirits of all the saints who have died back with Him. He will then place the spirits back into those newly glorified SINLESS bodies!
Many Question, How will all this happen? But, if you look back at the times our Lord shouted while He was on this earth, you will discover that each time He did so, dead folks got out of their graves.
- He shouted in Bethany and Lazarus lived! – John 11:43-44
- He shouted at Calvary and some lived! – Matt. 27:50-52
- He will shout from the clouds and all the departed saints will live – 1 Thess. 4:16.
- There is Power in the Word of our Lord!
ALL LIVING SAINTS WILL HAVE BEEN RAPTURED (1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52a)
The Twinkling Of an Eye…The Church Will Leave Instantaneously:
- Notice the use of words that imply speed and swiftness in 1 Cor. 15:52, “Moment” is an “indivisible point in time. A span of time so short that there is none shorter.”;
- “Twinkling of an Eye” – Scientists have determined that the blink of an eye is 1/30th of a second in duration. That is fast! However, a twinkling is event faster than that, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000th of a second!
- In 1 Thess. 4:17, Paul uses the term “caught up”. This phrase means “to snatch away, to seize with force, to claim for oneself.” Refers to a sudden event when God’s saints will be “snatched from this world with force claimed for the glory of God.”
There will be NO Forewarning. There will be no announcements on TV, on radio, or in the papers. There will be no announcements from the pulpits. It Will Just Happen! You Need to Be Ready!
- Jesus Himself said, “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will”, Matt. 24:44.
World Chaos that will ensue this event takes place! All babies missing! Most children gone! Some husbands and wives missing. Many Cars, planes, trains, etc. without drivers. It will be a time of great hysteria. Every person who hasn’t Accepted Christ as their Savior will Experience it first-hand!
In 1 Cor. 15:51, Paul tells us that “all” will be changed. Every born-again believer will have a part in the Rapture of the church! All the saved will go, all the lost will stay behind!
1 Cor. 15:52b-57 tells us that All Saints will be Changed Physically…All the saints will experience a radical change. Our mortal bodies will be changed to immortal ones like the body of our Lord.
We’ll be Changed Perfectly-We will be Transformed into the image of our Glorified Lord.
1 John 3:2, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is..” Here’s what we know a lot about our Lord’s glorified body:
- It is a body not bound by time or space – John 20:19.
- It is a body that can enjoy food and fellowship – Luke 24:36-43.
- It is a body that can never die – Heb. 7:25.
- It is a body that shines with a heavenly brilliance – Rev. 21:23; Matt. 17:2
- And do I Look Forward to Receiving My New Body! AMEN????
We will be Changed Permanently-No Longer Mortal: Notice what Paul says about this body in 2 Cor. 5:1, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
1 Thessalonians 4: 17 “together with them in the clouds”. Makes it clear, that all saints will enjoy a reunion with our loved ones. Imagine being reunited with spouses, parents, children and grandparents.
However, As great as that reunion with our loved ones will be, it will be eclipsed by another reunion. This same verse tells us that “so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
One day, we will see the one that died for us on the cross! We will look at His face. We will be able to bow before Him in adoration and worship. We will be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Remember, Christ will Come like a Thief in the Night! Are YOU Ready? Have you surrendered Your life to Jesus and been washed in the blood of the Lamb? If Jesus came back for His church today…Would you go, or would you be left behind?