II Timothy 3:1-5
This Morning I would like to speak a message that I believe the Lord has placed on my heart.
The title of the message is "Rapture Ready"
How many here this morning has heard of the Rapture?
I would like to start off by giving you the definition of the word rapture.
The word rapture doesn't actually appear in the Bible, but it comes from the Latin word rapturo, which is a translation of the Greek word "caught up"
The scripture that refers to you and I being caught up is in
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 - 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:
17 - 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.
Reading this scripture reminds me of when I first got saved. I remember we used to watch movies at our youth nights that talked about the rapture.
The name of the movies were "A thief in the night", "A distant thunder", "the image of the beast", and "the prodigal planet.”
These movies made you want to be right with God. I remember almost everybody in the service would go to the altar.
The film deals with Patty, a young woman who knows and has heard the Christian gospel but dismisses it, believing that doing good works, going to church regularly and trying her best to follow the Ten Commandments is all that is necessary.
Then one afternoon her husband who was a Christian and millions of others disappear.
Little by little Patty realized that the Rapture had taken place.
This movie had songs in it like:
Life was filled with guns and war, everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we'd all been ready
Children died the days grew cold, a piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we'd all been ready
There's no time to change your mind, the Son has come, and you've been left behind
Now adays you don't hear too much about the rapture or too many Christians talking about it, but how many know that Jesus is coming back for His Church?
The signs of the times point to the fact that He is coming back soon.
The question is, are we ready?
You say Pastor Dre I come to Church every Sunday ok that is good, but the question is are we ready?
You say Pastor Dre I give in the offering all the time, yea but the question is, are we ready?
You say Pastor Dre I pray before I eat and before I go to bed – awesome, but the question is, are we ready?
You say Pastor Dre I do this for my Church, and I do that for my Church. I say good stuff or good deeds, but the question is are we ready?
How many it is not our works or going to church that saves us, but it is us accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.
Imaging being someone who heard the gospel, but didn’t want to get saved or you almost got saved.
That reminds me of Kin Agrippa.
King Agrippa heard the Gospel and he almost gave his life to God.
King James Version
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
Imagine someone who almost gave your life to God and then missing out on the rapture.
The rapture has taken place and to be left with the thought of:
I was in Church and heard the preacher, but I wanted to play games, and I almost got saved.
I went to Church faithfully, but I wasn't ready to commit to God, and I almost got saved.
I seen Altar call, after Altar call, after Altar call and I didn't want to go, but I almost got saved...
Imagine missing the rapture thinking to yourself I almost got saved...
I hope we have no one like that here this morning, that is almost saved.
I hope all of us here this morning are "Rapture Ready"
Jesus is coming back soon, and I hope you and I are ready.
Ask your neighbor are you Ready?
Let’s take a look at some of the things that the bible says will happen before the Rapture and what is happening in our world today.
Maybe we can get an idea of how close we are to the rapture.
I believe taking a look at these sings will show you and I how close we are to the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...
What are some of the signs that the Rapture is near?
1. Increase of knowledge and travel:
Daniel 12:4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."
The Bible says in Daniel that there will be an increase of knowledge and travel in the last days.
I don't know if you know this, but we have had an increase of knowledge in our generation like no other generation has had in the history of time.
From the garden of Eden to the 19 hundreds...
- men used torches and candles as lights, but now we have flashlights, neon lights, light bulbs, and laser lights
From the Garden of Eden to the 19 hundreds.
- men used smoke signals and morris code to communicate with one another, but now we have radio, tv, cell phones, satellites, fiber optics, and internet.
Now a days with a simple app on your phone, you can pretty much instantly get in touch with anyone across the world.
From the Garden of Eden to the 19 hundreds
- men used horses, buggies, and animals to travel, but now we have gone from trains, to cars, to planes, to being able to fly from New York to Paris in about 3 hours. Now a days we even can travel to the moon.
That is just a taste of how knowledge and travel has increased in our generation.
Billy Graham was quoted as saying, "ninety percent of all the engineers and scientists who have ever lived are alive today."
We have had an explosion of knowledge in this generation.
2. The birth of nuclear warfare:
Zechariah 14:12 -
And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
When this scripture was written, one would probably wonder how this could happen?
Even up until the 1900’s one would wonder how this could happen, but then the nuclear bomb was invented.
Let’s take a look at the nuclear bomb and what it can do, then we will move on:
- The first fission bomb or atomic bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 20,000 tons of TNT.
- The first thermonuclear bomb or hydrogen bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 10 million tons of TNT.
- A modern thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds (1,100 kg) can produce an explosive force comparable to the detonation of more than 1.2 million tons (1,000,000,000 billion kg) of TNT..
- Thus, even a small nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast, by fire and radiation.
The Hydrogen Bomb or the H Bomb can produce the heat of 150 million degrees (81 Million Celsius) in 1 millionth of a second.
The temperature of the center of a nuclear bomb can reach temperatures hotter than the core of the sun.
The temperature at the center of a nuke is usually between 50 and 150 million degrees Fahrenheit which is between ( 27 Million Celsius and 81 Million Celsius) and anything even around the point of which the bomb was detonated, would literally be instantly vaporized to nothing.
One writer said it is odd because you either vaporize to nothing or in some cases get petrified.
What is being described in Zechariah 14:12 - is a detailed illustration of what can happen to someone in a nuclear warfare.
Did you know when a nuclear weapon goes off your flesh can be consumed while standing on your feet, your eyes can consume away in their holes, and your tongue can consume away in your mouth.
When you and I find out what a nuclear weapon can do and how it destroys, Zechariah 14:12 becomes a little bit more real.
Now Zechariah 14:12 is making a little more sense to you and I.
How can what is described in Zechariah 14:12 happen? When I nuclear bomb hits.
The thing about it - is this was prophesied years ago and now we have the equipment and resources to make this scripture possible.
This is just another sign that we are close to the coming of the Lord.
The question is "Are we ready for the coming of the Lord?
3. Technology for the Mark of the Beast.
Now a days we have the technology for the mark of the beast. When the book of revelations was written there were no computers, credit cards, atm’s or even electricity.
So far the book of revelation to be so on point thousands of years before the technology was available speaks for itself.
Revelation 13:16-17 "And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name."
What is the Mark of the beast?
The mark of the beast is a combination of letters and symbols that will be physically and permanently placed on the forehead or the right hand.
Most people will consider it an honor to receive the mark. It will be like a key for them that will open doors of acceptance, prosperity and peace.
The mark of the beast will be placed on people who worship the beast and choose to receive his mark. There will be severe penalties if one refuses to take the mark of the beast.
If you miss the Rapture you will be required by law to get the mark of the beast. One will not be able to buy or sell without it.
Not too long ago, three members of a family in Florida became the first people to receive the biochip implant.
Each device, made of silicon and called a VeriChip, is a small radio transmitter about the size of a piece of rice that is injected under a person's skin.
It transmits a unique personal ID number whenever it is within a few feet of a special receiver unit.
VeriChip's maker describes it as "a miniaturized, implantable, radio frequency identification device (RFID) that can be used in a variety of security, emergency and healthcare applications."
Is the biochip the mark of the beast to be used by the antichrist? We can't really know.
What is significant is that people are being softened to the idea of a mark or an implant as a means of maintaining security, providing medical information, and regulating a more interdependent world.
Doesn’t that sound like what is happening in our world today?
As attitudes change, fears subside, and people are convinced of the need for such a mark, the true mark of the beast will be easily introduced to the world by the antichrist.
What happens if you get the mark of the beast?
If you worship the beast and receive the mark of the beast you will receive the complete wrath of God. The book of Revelation in the Bible gives us this strong warning:
“If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.” Revelation 14:9,10
If you get the mark of the beast God’s complete wrath will be poured out on you.
Now according to these few signs and there is more, it shows us that the coming of the Lord is near.
I have some good news for you this morning....
Tell your neighbor - I have some good news...
I have some good news for those that are Rapture Ready –
If you and I are rapture ready then we should not be concerned about getting the mark of the beast or denying the mark of the beast, because I believe the rapture will take place before all this happens.
If you are not Rapture Ready, then now is the time to get ready.
Ask your neighbor “Are you ready for the coming of the Lord?”
If Jesus were to come right now, would we be ready or would we be left behind thinking to ourselves. I Almost got saved.
I went to church and I almost got saved.
I heard the gospel and I almost got saved.
You may be wondering if you would go with Jesus or not.
We don't have to wonder this morning - We can give our lives to God and be ready when the coming of the Lord is here.
- I encourage you - that now is the time to stop playing games if we are playing games with the things of God.
- I encourage you - that now is the time for us to go for all that God has for us because we do not have much time.
The clock is ticking, and Jesus is on His way - Are we ready?
You may be asking Pastor Dre, how do I get ready.
The only way to be saved is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
The Bible says in Romans 10:13 whoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
So, if you would like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and get Rapture Ready, then I would like to pray for you.
I would like to lead you to the Lord.
Before I ask you to make that commitment, I would like to say a word of prayer.
If you would like to invite Jesus in your heart, then I want you to repeat this prayer after me.
Before I close, I would like to share one more thing.
Did you know that there is only one prophecy that has not been fulfilled yet, that the bible says will happen before the coming of the Lord?
That prophecy is found in Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
The Bible says the Gospel will be preached in all the world as a testimony and then the end will come.
How many know we have some work to do.
Hearing that scripture should encourage you and I to do what God has called us to do because we do not have much time.
We as victory outreach have been called to reach the inner cities of the world.
We have a work to do before Jesus comes back. Now is the time to do it.
It is time to stop playing games and answer the call of God.
- I encourage you - that now is the time to get serious about reaching souls - because souls are dying, and they need Jesus.
We have been called to preach the Gospel to a hurting world.
Maybe you are listening, and you have been running from the call of God. Well now is the time to get serious and answer the call of God.
For what every reason, you are not doing what you know God wants you to do, now is the time to answer the call.
If you want to make that commitment of getting serious about answering the call of God, then I would like to pray for you.
Yes, you are saved, but you have not answered the call of God.
I would love to pray for you.