COLLEGE OF THE OPEN BIBLE
The Rapture of The Church. What will be the next great event on God's Calendar? The short answer to this question is The Rapture of The Church.
This is a moment in time when the Church (The Body of Christ) will instantly be transported from the earth to heaven before The Great Tribulation.
The rapture will include all living Christians regardless of their spiritual temperament. The test on whether a believer will be raptured is not in the believers present behavior... it is solely in the finished work of the Savior at the cross. It is not one's spiritual condition... but their spiritual position in Christ that assures their inclusion in the rapture of the Church.
a. Jesus Christ - 1 Thess. 4:16a
b. The Archangel - 1 Thess. 4:16b
c. The Dead In Christ - 1 Thess. 4:16c
d. The Living In Christ - 1 Thess. 4:17
a. Learn The Word of God - 1 Thess. 5:1,2
b. Discern The Times - 1 Thess. 5:3,5
c. Concern For Sinners - 1 Thess. 5:6,9
The rapture of the Church is imminent. Pure consciousness of this reality is essential in bringing the gospel to the world in which we live with a greater sense of urgency.
The word rapture is an old English word which means to be caught away. The word itself is not in our King James Bible, but the definition of the word is there. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 we read. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain SHALL BE CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Notice: Caught Up... is the meaning of the word rapture.
Jesus Christ IS coming! As Believers, we are not here for our own ambitions, we are here for God's ambition, and the two are not compatible.
Apathy becomes the strain of our spirituality for those of us who are not impressed with the imminent return of Jesus Christ. This is very dangerous! Why? Disillusionment sets in as we parade ourselves under the banner of self-sufficiency. The Doctrine of the Rapture inclines the Believer to reflect fervently on eternal values at heart.
Do you want to be characterized by the deeds of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit? The rapture of the church is not just a doctrine we pet. It is the believer's anticipation in every area of life (1 Thess. 4;16,18). All other anticipations leave us un-settled and unpredictable. Jesus Christ Is Coming and that's a fact. Amen!
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger
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