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Afterlife: The Rapture

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 13, 2021 3:00 am

Afterlife: The Rapture

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 13, 2021 3:00 am

If you want to visit Europe, there’s a lot of information online. If you want to tour the Brazilian rainforest, you can find books, and videos, and even personal travel guides. But if you want to know what heaven is like, there’s only one definitive information source. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us dig deep into what God tells about heaven in His Word. You’ve joined us for a fascinating study of the book of Revelation – and today we consider what life is like on the other side.



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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at again it's you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to We all know heaven is a wonderful way but we all wonder exactly what is life Pastor Greg Laurie has insight and scripture when were in heaven within and know so much more than we know.

So many ministries will be revealed to us. Many problem solving many questions, if not all immediately will be answered with them will spend the rest of eternity.

Just discovering more about the Lord. More about the underlying and is a lot of information online wanted to the Brazilian rain forest looks, videos, and even travel guys but if you want to know what heaven is like there's only one definitive information source today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie deep into what God tells us about heaven in his word joint is a fascinating study of the book of Revelation. Today we consider what life is like on the other side of my messages after life. Let's pray together now father as we open your word, speak to our hearts because there's so much we need to discover about what is next in the afterlife, so we ask your blessing on this Bible study. In Jesus name we pray.

Amen. I like you to turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter 4. Again, the title of my message is simply afterlife and we closed chapter 3 with a closed door and we start chapter 4 within open door.

Remember chapter 3 ended with the words of Jesus as he spoke to the church of Laodicea and he said, behold, I stand at the door and I not if any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in the door was closed to Christ.

He was trying to get in to that church. So this reminds us if we will open the door of our hearts to Christ.

One day he will open the door of heaven to us now as we come to Revelation chapter 4.

That camera swings so we been looking at her what's happening here now, suddenly, were looking out of her from a heavenly perspective were seen are from God's viewpoint.

There's a major shift from Revelation 3 to Revelation chapter 4. Because Revelation 4 and five are the introduction and background of the tremendous sweep of prophetic events that will look out for the remainder of this book and it is worth noting that the church is nowhere to be found from Revelation 4 to Revelation 19. Let's read Revelation chapter 4 verses 1 to 2 after these things. John says I look and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here I will show you things that will take place after this. You might underline those words. After this and John says immediately.

I was in this spirit, behold, a throne set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. So he began placing after these things in the Greek it met at Delta. The book of Revelation as I pointed out to you before comes complete with its own outline and there is a golden key to unlocking the book, there is an encryption key or a password if you will that makes Revelation understandable in front. Revelation 119 it says write the things that you have seen the things which are in the things that will take place after this. So Revelation is broken into three sections.

Number one the things that you've seen this is what John writes about in Revelation chapter 1 he sees the glorified Christ with all power in heaven and earth and control of all that is about to happen. Number two the things which are, this is a reference to the seven churches spoken of in Revelation chapters 2 to 3 as I described it, it says seven love letters of Jesus to his church. And finally, category three, and that's all right now. Those things that will take place after these things, so we basically of the Lord's person is people in his program. That's all laid out again to review chapter 1 is a revelation of the glorified Christ chapters 2 to 3 is flyover of church history. Chapters 4 and five were taken up into heaven in the rapture.

Chapters 6 to 19 we have the great tribulation. That will last for seven years. Chapter 20 we have the millennium. Chapters 21 to 22. We have the new heavens and the new earth. So let's talk about the next event on the prophetic calendar I already mentioned it.

It's called the rapture. Look at what John writes in verse one. The first voice which occurred was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here and I'll show you things that must take place after this. After this, after what after the things of the church on earth. So now the church are all believers in Jesus are caught up to meet the Lord. First Thessalonians 4 is the Lord himself will descendent from heaven with a shout in the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first and we which are alive and remaining shall be caught up together with them in the air. So if you're taking notes here is point number one truly a question what is the rapture listen very carefully. The rapture is a future event, when Christ will descend from heaven and resurrect the bodies of believers who have died, their spirits of God the government. Their bodies are still here in the earth in the gray at the same time, we who are alive.

If it happens in our lifetime we will be caught up together with them with you with those others who are having their resurrection bodies given to them will be caught up together with them in heaven.

It'll be a great reunion and it's going to happen for a generation of believers. No lip-synch of the chronology of these things and try to understand the because sometimes people confuse the rapture and the second coming, the rapture is what we might call a stealth event Jesus coming like a thief in the night and contrast the second coming is a big global event in everyone's aware of it. Jesus says as the lightning shines from the east of the West, so will the coming of the son of man be. The rapture is when he comes in the air and the second coming, he returns to the earth and the rapture.

He comes for his pride for his church and the second coming, he returns with his church in the rapture. He comes before judgment. In the second coming, he returns with judgment. So here's John on the lonely island of Patmos writing these words and he's concluded again with the words of Jesus standing at the door knocking.

Now it door is open for John in heaven and he's hurtled into the after life. Revelation chapter 4 verse two. John writes immediately. I was in the spirit and behold of throne set in heaven, and one sat on the throne and he who sat there was a good jasper and sardius stone in appearance. There was a rainbow around the throne I find it interesting. Complete circular rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald around the throne were 24 throne and on the thrones I saw 24 elders sitting, clothed in white robes and they had crowns of gold on their head and from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings invoices seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God before the throne.

Verse six there was a sea of glass like Crystal and in the midst of the throne and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had the face of a man in the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle, and the living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within.

They don't rest day and night saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was who is with pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message just a moment. You know how frequently Angel Stadium Sunday night not to bring their compelling interactive experience help from Greg Laurie music from three more information.

Getting a glimpse of eternity by way of pastor Greg study in chapter 4 of Revelation and you can find out even more by way of pastor Greg's new book on Revelation, which will tell you more about little later or get information now at harvest.orc. John is now in the afterlife. What does John see in heaven.

First of all he sees the Lord seated on his throne. You know that's a phrase we use often as Christians will gods on the throne. And that's our way of saying God's in control, and indeed he is. John see the Lord sitting on his throne in control of all things, and it's beautiful to behold John's trying to describe these things he says in verse three.

They were like were like you know if I like the way teenager says inulin though say like I'm all and she's all he's like and unlike announcement that kind of thing. It's John is trying to the best of his ability with first century language to describe this amazing thing he has seen how Kelly described heaven. The apostle Paul was caught up to heaven. The third heaven and he said what I saw was indescribable. There's hardly even words I can use to explain it to you. But Paul said it was like a paradise. Imagine trying to describe paradise to someone who's never seen it. Imagine trying to describe the island of Maui to a two-year-old. How are you going to convey that information.

So here is John trying to convey to us what he is seen as he is taken into the afterlife when he sees the Lord on his throne.

Also, verse four he sees 24 elders, who are these owners, nobody knows they could be angelic beings of perhaps it's the 12 patriarchs from the Old Testament 12 apostles from the New Testament, but their given crown and we know already that there are rewards promised to us who faithfully serve the Lord in their crowns. The Bible speaks of a crown of life and a crown of rejoicing and more.

And so the elders are given crown.

This is what's important. What did the elders do with the crowns. They cast their crowns down before the Lord. So what were never in a goodly walk around the here check out all my crowns manner in which I got all the levels in the ribbon. I have a friend who's been in so many track meats and other athletic events. He has so many ribbons. I don't think I want a single ribbon or award throughout my childhood, but this guy is so many and I said going to just put them all on a one time just hanging around your neck and wear them all out with. I would be a little ridiculous so no agility walk around with everything he look at all my rewards you know otherwise you like Billy Graham in good touch is not about that. We take these things that we've done for God on earth and we present them back to the Lord in heaven.

In heaven there are also ominous storm warnings. Look at verse five John writes from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings invoices seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. This is all symbolic of judgment in Scripture from the safety of heaven. John can see that the storm is brewing on earth he is in a shelter from the storm, but all other things are coming to planet Earth, which of course will be the great tribulation.

I already pointed out earlier God's promise to keep his children from the great tribulation.

Because remember earlier we read in Revelation 310 because you've kept my command to persevere, Jesus says, I'll keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those tall in the art.

Think of Noah judgment came of the earth in the form of a flood.

What did the Lord do.

He got Noah and his family safely in the ark, and as the rain came down as the judgment came down the ark went up, God will preserve us, he will deliver us before this time of tribulation that is coming upon the earth. And it's interesting to think about the simple fact that when were in heaven working in know so much more than we know now you know you ever seen those little bobble head dolls and other heads really big in the can was rock you know and and is only going to be bobble heads and have it all. I know so much, but it's interesting because the Bible says will continue to learn in heaven but were told in first Corinthians 13, we will know as we are known so many ministries will be revealed to us. Many problems will be solved.

Many questions if not all immediately will be answered with them will spend the rest of eternity. Just discovering more about the Lord. More about his glorious nature and his plan etc. but in heaven you're also remembering earth. I think sometimes people think that we have sort of a brain. Why remember that movie men in black and in the people would see an alien so they do that little thing where they their memory would be a race of people think the memory will be raised in heaven because Allstate well we can remember what happened on earth because will be so sad that's not true.

The Bible never says that. Actually, because the fact is in heaven. You will have perspective you'll see things the way God sees them as an example, in heaven you're aware of the passing of time because over in Revelation 610 we have those folks that have come out of the tribulation. Seeing how long the Lord, holy and true to you judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the earth, so there remembering or how good you have a reward for something you did on earth and heaven.

If you had no recollection of what you did what ribbon for this brown white away heaven.

I don't remember anything know you remember but with perspective. Now do people in heaven know what is going on in her immediately. People say no there oblivious to it. I don't know that that's completely true. They may know some things that are going on, on earth as an example.

Every time a person comes to Christ on earth. There's a party in heaven right Jesus said to tell you there is joy in heaven in the presence of the Angels over one sinner that comes to repentance, so that shows a direct connection between an earthly event in a heavenly awareness so we need to expand our thinking about heaven that we have a lot of fun biblical idea organ to know more than we know now that is for sure MOC it were perspective.

I remember when my granddaughters were young drive for granddaughters and grandson and they were an adult face and they just love dolls. I was a little doll. I used to buy for them. If I'm not mistaken I think it was called Lala loop seek they collected them and so they were losing them, or they would come apart. So I bought a couple of extra boxes of these little dolls and one day one of my granddaughters give you pop up like dolls head came off and there she was holding a decapitated doll. I said everything was okay, but you don't understand came up it'll be okay now and she so upset I said looking, I pulled up the box and give her a brand-new doll. So we come to God, Lord, everything's a message for the Lord says it'll be okay because he sees it from a different perspective, as will we when we get to heaven. Also, John sees angelic creatures. Look at verse eight. Four living creatures, each having six wings full of eyes around and within them.

They don't rest day or night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was who is in who is the cop.this is so hard to visualize if he did a drawing of this. It's almost a little scary right this is symbolic when John is saying that presence of the eyes just conveys the awareness of the angelic beings. The Bible tells us there are different rankings of angels. It seems to me that at the top of the heap.

If you will, of the angelic world is Michael who is uniquely identified as the ark angel.

So he's a high ranking angel. He plays a singular role going back in first Thessalonians 4 Lord himself of the sent from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the ark angel. So Michael's a part of the great rapture event we read of them elsewhere in Scripture. But there's also Gabriel and I don't know if Gabriel is an archangel, but certainly Gabriel is a high ranking angel Gabriel was given the special blessing of revealing to Zachariah that he would be the father of John the Baptist and of course it was. Gabriel. They came to Nazareth and revealed to the young lady Mary that she was going to have the privilege of being the mother of the Messiah. Also we read about cherubim and seraphim spoken of in Isaiah 6 when it says I saw the Lord sitting upon his throat. He was high and lifted up in his glory filled the temple and the angels cry holy, holy, holy, so cherubim and seraphim archangel all kinds of angels doing the work of God in their dental work in your life to because the Bible says the angel of the Lord encamps around those that fear him. Sometimes a question is asked, do we have Guardian Angels. I don't know maybe we do.

But no matter what building angels are actively involved in your life. Greg Lord eye-opening insights on the eternal realm from our study in Revelation 4 on a new beginning. It's fascinating insight and if you missed any part of what Pastor Greg presented just like to hear it again or even share it with a friend. You can get a just look for the one-word title afterlife part of Pastor Greg new Revelation series yesterday when we look at world events global hostility toward Israel. Of course a worldwide pandemic contempt for biblical values. It sure seems like the time is right for the Lord return. Yes, but many people our age.

Remember Pastor saying that back in the 70s, what can we learn from your new book on Revelation, I think we want to always live our life ready for the Lord's imminent return, he may come tonight. He could come in the year he may come in 10 years, 20 years we don't know when he's coming. I've always avoided any kind of date setting because Jesus says no one knows the day or the hour. However, there are so many passages that tell us to wake up spiritually and to put on the armor of God, because the day of the Lord is coming. It will come. It could come in our lifetime may come after, but no matter what life will come to an end and we will enter eternity. So we want to be ready for that moment. But there are many signs of the times happening right now that I think we should pay attention to the Bible tells us that in the end times. It would be like a woman having labor pains. Now you know when mother is ready to give birth. Her labor pains become more frequent and there closer together and that is exactly the analogy Jesus use when you see these things begin. The company says look up for your redemption is drawing near. We've had an increase in many things. The Bible said would be happening. As an example, the Bible predicted that one day there would be a cashless society.

100 years ago that would've seemed absurd, but today with modern technology with crypto currency with all of the tech that's happening around us, we can see how we could step into that immediately. The Bible tells us in the last days that there would be a spread of plagues globally. I think that you could say that this pandemic covered 19 was a plague and that is a sign of the times I could go on and on and things that are happening.

The tension in the Middle East and much much more.

As we see these things happen.

The reminders that Jesus is coming again will tell you what the book of Revelation unlocks this for us, and I've written a brand-new book simply called Revelation subtitled a book of promises. This is a thick book. This is a hardcover book that will be a resource that you can go to again and again and it's going to help make the book of Revelation more understandable to you and you'll begin to understand prep for the first time how to apply these Drews in your own life. Listen, I want to send this book to you for no charge.

It's actually for your gift of any size or encouraging you to send something to help us continue to reach out to this radio broadcast a new beginning, and our other outreach efforts, as well as how we proclaim the gospel. This is how we do it you pray for us. You support as you give us the ability to reach new people and is our way of saying thanks will send you your copy of this brand-new book I just wrote Revelation subtitled a book of promises will be glad to get it on its way to you immediately and will also include a custom bookmark. We produce that lays out the timeline of the events of Bible prophecy, the rapture, the second coming, the tribulation, the millennium, she them all displayed in proper order. Very helpful in the bookmark is automatically included with Pastor Greg new hardcover book. When you send your donation be sure to ask for Revelation, a book of promises you can write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. Our team is standing by around-the-clock Sadat, 1-800-821-3300 or go online to and then you may have heard something exciting is coming up in less than three weeks. It's SoCal harvested Angel Stadium. Pastor Greg first live evangelistic event since everything stopped for the pandemic on October 3.

He welcomes Phil Wickham and for King and country and presents a powerful gospel message.

If you're here in Southern California. Be sure to join us and bring someone who needs to meet the Lord elsewhere.

Be sure to tune in online and invite someone who needs to meet the Lord to watch along with you.

You can get all the details of will next time more of this fascinating book of life in the hereafter.

Will continue in Revelation 4 and the finale of Pastor Greg's message afterlife. Next time join us here on pastor and Bible teacher Greg for an new beginning as a podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life. Share your story leverage you on your favorite podcast and help others find help

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