Sunday, February 10, 2013


To the Jew, the concept of the Church was a mystery (Eph. 5:32).  In fact, Jesus first mentioned the Church as being formed in the future (Mt. 16:18).  In Acts 2:1-47, Christ's prophecy concerning it became a reality.  From that Pentecost until today, the Church, imperfect as it is, has continued.  However, there is coming a time, perhaps even today, when another mystery concerning the Church will occur:  it will be removed from this earth!  We know the event as the Rapture of the Church.

Paul wrote, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor. 15:50-52).

In another passage, Paul wrote, "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" (1 Thes. 4:17-18).

The Church and the Rapture may have been mysteries to the Jews, but there were hints within their Old Testament.  We read of what Jesus called "other sheep" (Jn. 10:16) in Isaiah 49:6; 55:5; and 56:8.  In addition to these passages and many others, there are the "types" which give us clues to the way God works.  Whenever God intends to bring His wrath to bear on His enemies, He removes His children, and always upward! 

Jesus used Noah's experience as a picture of the Rapture (Mt. 24:37-8), and Lot's experience as well (Lk. 17:28-32).  Noah was lifted above the destruction in the Ark (Gen. 7:17), and Lot was taken up into the mountains above the destruction below (Gen. 19:17).  So too, the Church will be lifted up to meet the Lord in the air before the wrath occurs on earth below (1 Thes. 4:17-18; 5:9)!  Praise God!  Mystery solved!

No Ark or mountain will save the Church from God's wrath; Jesus will!    

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