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Rapture of the Church, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
July 9, 2021 8:00 am

Rapture of the Church, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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July 9, 2021 8:00 am

How and when it’ll happen have been matters of debate since the beginning, but all Christians agree Jesus is coming back for his church. When he does, Dr. Tony Evans says that things are going to change starting with us. Join him as he talks about what those changes will be like and when we might expect them to happen.

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You will be the perfect age with all the flaws removed. Dr. Tony Evans talks about how our bodies will have changed when we meet Jesus in heaven.

It cannot wrinkle, it cannot decay, it will be a glorified body. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas and president of the Urban Alternative. How and when it'll happen have been matters of debate since the beginning, but Jesus is coming back for His church.

When He does, things are going to change, starting with us. Let's join Dr. Evans as he digs deep to help us understand the rapture of the church. First Thessalonians chapter 4. Paul gives detailed explanation for this event called the catching up or the rapture.

He begins in verse 13 of 1 Thessalonians 4. He says, I don't want you to be uninformed about those who died or are asleep. Now, the reason he has to say this is Jesus had promised to come back, so they're waiting for Jesus to come back. While they're waiting for Jesus to come back, some of their loved ones die who are Christians.

And so they're concerned, well, wait a minute. If we're waiting for Jesus to come back and some of our folks have died, will they miss His return? Suppose I die. Am I going to miss out on the rapture? Paul says, I don't want you to be uninformed about that. So one of the reasons he discusses the rapture is to inform them about how this thing will work with folk who are already dead. Another reason, which you'll see later on in the scripture I'll give you, is because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. 1 Corinthians 15, verse 15.

In other words, you can't go to heaven like you are now because that environment does not fit your makeup, flesh and blood. Another reason why this rapture is important is because it's important to be in heaven is to remove you before all hell breaks loose on earth. He's going to come to retrieve His people before the wrath breaks loose. Verse 16, for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout. So at the point of the rapture, Jesus is going to leave heaven and there's going to be a shout, get up. Or like Jesus told Lazarus in John chapter 11, He said, Lazarus, come forth.

With a loud voice, He called him out of the grave. Jesus is going to come and say, get up. Angels are going to come to collect. And the trump of God is going to come for the whole group to move forward.

So those things will happen at the same time. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Because remember, the living won't precede the dead.

The dead are going to precede the living because they're going to rise first. He talks about people, I love the end of verse 14, who fall asleep in Jesus. That's what He calls it, dying as a Christian, falling asleep in Jesus. So the assumption is that you have accepted Christ.

If that assumption is true, then when you die, you will fall asleep in Jesus. The picture here is of a mother rocking a baby until the baby falls asleep. You know what causes that rocking a lot of times? A frustrated baby. So the baby's crying, and the mother is rocking the baby, patting the baby. Maybe the baby is frustrated. And so it's rocking until he goes to sleep.

Okay. So here's what God does for many of us. He lets this life become very uncomfortable. So we're crying. We're crying at the cancer. We're crying at the aneurysm. We're crying at the, whatever it is that's causing us pain.

And He will let us cry so hard because we're so uncomfortable that then we begin saying, that then we begin saying, I'd rather He take me. Because when we get to the point where this life recedes and the life to come becomes bigger, then we're ready to go to sleep. See, some of us, we aren't ready to go to sleep.

So we're going to fuss because we ain't ready to go to sleep yet. But if we're not ready and God is ready, He allows the discomfort to get worse until we are ready. So He says, the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up, that's rapture, caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Okay. Now, please notice where we're meeting the Lord. We're not meeting Him on earth because it's not time for Him to come to earth yet.

That's a whole another sequence in this chain of events we're going to be going through when He comes back to earth with us. By the way, I won't get too ahead of myself so much here, but you have to understand you are going to be living in two places, not one. Okay. And I know we talk about going to heaven when we die. Yeah, that's true. But that's just one of our two locations because we're going to be moving back and forth from heaven to earth.

Okay. So there's a two location thing. So you need a body that can go in both places. You need to be able to play offense and defense.

You need to be able to work both sides of the ball. You need to be able to hang out up there and chill down here. You got, so a lot of your time is going to be spent on earth, not in heaven. Okay. So He says, we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

All right. Turn to 1st Corinthians 15. 1st Corinthians 15.

And let's look at this just a little bit closer. Verse 51, Behold, I tell you a mystery. A mystery is something not revealed in the Old Testament that is explained and revealed in the New Testament. They had no idea about this in the Old Testament, but now He says, let me tell you something they didn't know about.

I will tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep. In other words, everybody's not going to die. If Jesus Christ comes back in the next five minutes, then we all alive. So we're not all going to sleep, but we all will be changed. So everybody dead and alive are going to go through a metamorphosis like a butterfly emerging from a caterpillar. There will be a metamorphosis or a change. In a moment in the twinkling of an eye.

Okay, let me pause there. Let me talk about your twinkle. A twinkle is faster than a blink. Blink is eye opening and closing. A twinkle is a shift in the eye. It takes 1 15th of a second to twinkle.

That is, to have an eye shift faster than a blink is approximately 1 15th of a second. You and I will be changed that quickly. It will be an instantaneous change.

It won't be a casual development. It'll be instantaneous in a twinkling of an eye. He says, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump or the trump will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable and we will be changed. For this perishable will put on imperishable and this mortal will put on immortality. Everything wrong with you will change. We go through great lengths to change. You ladies put on makeup. You buy clothes.

You stitch in weaves. It's all about a change. It's all about improving the look.

We buy clothes to improve the look. He says when God brings about the change at the rapture, this perishable, the older you get, the more perishing you feel. The aches, the pains, the arthritis, all the things that are wrong will be reversed. And you will put on a new set of clothes, a new humanity that will be imperishable. It cannot be tampered with. It cannot wrinkle.

It cannot decay. It will be a glorified body. Okay.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'd be interested to know what that body is going to be like. Okay. John says in 1 John 3 verses 2 and 3, he says, when we see him at the rapture, we will be like him. Okay. We will be like him. Okay. So if I'm going to be like him, then I need to know what he's like. So I'll know what I'll be like when I'm like him.

All right. And that's where Dr. Evans will pick up in a moment when he continues this message from his current series, Prophecy and Our World. As we've been learning, the Bible has a lot to say about what's coming up in the future. Sometimes the language and the images don't seem clear at first, but Dr. Evans explains it all in his current two-volume series, Prophecy and Our World. You'll gain a deeper understanding of terms like the rapture, the tribulation, the second coming, and many more. There are also messages on what happens when we die and what it's really like in heaven or in hell.

Now here's the best part. If you contact us right away, you can get all 12 messages in volumes 1 and 2 of this powerful series as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to help keep Tony's teaching coming your way. And as an added bonus, we'll also include a copy of Tony's powerful book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare. In it, Dr. Evans explains why we need to turn to God for help winning the invisible spiritual battle going on around us. It includes specific prayers for people fighting against substance abuse, sexual or emotional problems, relational issues, and more.

And this special keepsake edition even includes a luxury cover that looks and feels like leather. So contact us right away before time runs out and request your copy of Prophecy and Our World and Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare. Just visit tonyevans.org or call our resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 where team members are standing by day and night to help you. That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, right now let's pick up where we left off in our message.

Here's Dr. Evans. When Jesus rose from the dead with a glorified body three days after crucifixion, when He stepped out, He was the same person who died. He wasn't another person. He says, this Jesus whom you've seen, they say, is coming back again. So you won't become somebody other than who you are.

So that's the first thing. Because remember, it's your soul that's entering the body. So whoever you are is what you will be then. You will be the same race. You'll be the same gender. You'll be the same person only perfected. So no sin, no sickness, no disease. You will be the perfect you you were created to be as an adult.

You say, how do I know? It's as an adult, because that's how God created Adam, created Adam as an adult. So as the perfect age, which I'm guessing is 33, I'm using Jesus as the standard, we'll be like him. You will be the perfect age, never to age, with all the flaws of you removed.

Okay? So there will be perfect glorified humanity, because Jesus was who He was, only with a glorified body. Well, let's discuss this glorified body. When Jesus rose from the dead, He was on the Emmaus road in Luke 24 with the two disciples, and He broke bread with them. And then it says, bam, He disappeared out of the midst. So there will be the ability to come and go seen and unseen, because we shall be like Him.

When He left the two disciples on the Emmaus road and went to meet with the other disciples, the Scripture says the door was closed, but He walked through it. So we will be unencumbered by matter, which explains why Jesus could step on a cloud when He rose from the dead, because He was no longer limited by time and space and matter. Gravity could not hold Him hostage anymore.

What goes up must come down. If you're in an earth suit, but if you're in a glorified body, gravity no longer holds you hostage, which is why you will be able to maneuver between heaven and earth in your new body. When Jesus met with His disciples, He ate with them. So your glorified body will be able to eat without you gaining weight, because you will never exist in non-perfect humanity.

You will never be out of shape, and yet you can enjoy eating. So this is a whole different realm coming at the return of Christ at the rapture. And this imperishable must put on immortality, and it will happen, He says, in the twinkling of an eye. The dead will be sucked out of the grave, new bodies, to meet their souls, redeemed souls.

The souls will enter into the new bodies for their glorified existence. Transformation. It reminds me of the story of this old farmer who lived way out in the country, and he had never been to a modern bank before, because they just lived out there in the boondocks. And finally, they decided to go to town to see all the new things that was happening, and they came to a bank.

You've never seen a bank building before. And in the bank building was this huge vault. He didn't know what it was, but he noticed something. He had his wife and son with him. His wife was looking at some of the other things, so he was standing with his son, and he noticed something. He noticed this old, old lady walk into the vault. And a split second later, he saw this young, beautiful woman come out the vault. He told his son, boy, go get your mama.

It'll be a change, but it'll be you. The rapture is the next event on the calendar before God re-enters his program for Israel. He's going to remove us out before the wrath in order to recall his people. And so he ends in 1 Thessalonians by saying in verse 18, we will be with the Lord, comfort one another with these words. If you hold a magnet to something that has iron fillings in it, it's going to suck those fillings to the magnet. Okay?

You put a magnet near something that has iron fillings in it, it'll suck it to the magnet. When Jesus Christ comes back, his glory will suck up the dead in Christ. Those who have the Spirit of Christ in them, they will be sucked up in their new bodies to connect with their souls for their new, glorified existence.

So why should any of this matter? Number one, you should feel comfort to know when you're dead, you're not dead. You should feel just a little bit better that when you're dead, you really haven't died because you've never been more alive than you are in that second because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord and you ought to feel better and less fearful about death knowing that the thing you fear most is the thing you'll never experience. It ought to make you just feel a little bit better about the uncertainty and the fear that comes with death. Secondly, it ought to make you want to witness so that you don't have loved ones who are left behind. It ought to make you want to share the gospel to make sure in that great getting up morning, family and friends that you love and care about are sucked up in the rapture, seized in the rapture with you and not left for the hell that's going to break loose on earth in the tribulation period. In 1 John chapter 3 verses 2 and 3, he says, he that hath this hope purifies himself. He says, when you know this good news, it ought to affect how we live.

It ought to affect how we live. If the president says, I'm coming to your house and I don't know when I'm gonna get there, just be ready when I come. Knowing that he is coming should make you try to keep your house clean because the president could come in any moment and I don't know when he's gonna come. So if he shows up here, I don't want him showing up to a messed up house, so I'm gonna keep the house clean. It ought to make you say, since I don't know when Jesus is coming back, but he wants me to be ready whenever he comes back, let me start straightening stuff up, cleaning stuff up, dealing with my sin, dealing with the things that are against God, because when he comes back, I don't want him to come to a dirty house. It ought to provoke that thought so that when we are going the wrong way, the Holy Spirit can stop up in our tracks by the statement, what if he comes down?

He says, it causes you to purify yourself. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with a closing story. You know, the first step toward cleaning up your act that Tony was just talking about is making Jesus the Lord of your life.

If you've never done that but are ready to do it now, Dr. Evans would be honored to help you begin your new journey. Just visit tonyevans.org and follow the link that says Jesus. There, Tony will explain everything you need to know about what being a real Christian is all about and how to start a brand new life. And while you're there, you can also get more details on that special double offer I mentioned earlier, the two-volume, 12-part audio collection about the Bible and the unfolding of time called Prophecy and Our World, along with the popular keepsake edition of Tony's book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare. Both of these helpful resources are yours with our thanks when you make a contribution toward Tony's ministry, but only if we hear from you before this special offer runs out.

Make the arrangements at tonyevans.org or get some help by calling our resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, day or night. That's 1-800-800-3222. The Bible says, one day we'll all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

On Monday, Dr. Evans will tell us what that means and what will happen when we find ourselves there. Right now, though, he's back with this closing story for today. Marvin was a prankster in college. This guy was always creating stuff mess.

He was just like that. He's just creating stuff all the time. I wake up one morning, and nobody's in the dorm. I mean, nobody. I'm getting a little nervous, because the day before, we had just studied the rapture and how the dead in Christ will be raised. And I'm waking up, and I can't find a soul.

And I know we all went to sleep that night, but I can't find nobody, except Marvin. And I'm thinking, well, you don't count, because I'm not sure you made it either. So I had gone on some event or something I didn't know about, but my point is, you don't want to miss this. You don't want to be left behind. You're only left behind having played church.

You're only left behind having been religious. If you're here today and you don't know for certain that your sins have been forgiven and that you have received the gift of life, you got two things that could happen. You could die, or the rapture could occur.

Either one are bad news for you. So if I were you, I would run to the cross, where God opens up his hands and says, whosoever will, let him come and drink from the water of life freely. He offers eternal life to every man, every woman, every young person who comes to the cross as a sinner, recognizing they need a Savior and trusting Christ as their sin bearer for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. Don't let another day go by. And for those who are already saved, if God never blushes you with a new house, another new car, more clothes, better job, bigger bank account, all that's fine, but if he never gives you anything else, you have a reason to praise him for your future that he has planned for you. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-23 18:10:59 / 2023-09-23 18:19:30 / 9

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