The Rapture

The “Coming of the Lord Jesus” Before the COMING of the Lord Jesus!

2 Thessalonians 2

July 21, 2013 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (1st Thessalonians 4:17)


A.    This month we are working on getting ready for the Lord Jesus’ return to this world

B.     The first time He came


1.      He was rejected and hated of men. He was used and abused, tortured and murdered on a Roman cross.

2.      He was so dead that when they pierced His side, His blood had already separated into plasma (the water part), and haemoglobin (the dark red part).

3.      He was so dead that they buried Him in a tomb, and rolled a huge stone over the entrance way

4.      Three days later, He got up from the grave!

5.      And showed Himself very much alive

6.      And then ascended up to heaven


C.     Well, He is coming again!


1.      He will be coming to fight the greatest and fiercest battle of all time – the battle of Armageddon!

2.      Coming to set up an everlasting kingdom – the kingdom of heaven on earth!

3.      To be the King of all kings and Lord of lords!


D.    But just seven years before that battle He will come first to get His bride, and take her away with Him, while all hell breaks loose on this planet! Song of Solomon 2:8-10


1.      Son 2:8  The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

2.      Son 2:9  My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

3.      Son 2:10  My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.


E.     It is called the Rapture!

F.      Seven years later, WE will return with Jesus, following behind Him into that battle, and into that kingdom!

G.    Are you ready for the Rapture?


II.    Message


A.    The Warning (2Thes 2:1)


1.      Written to believers, to Bible believing Christians – brethren! Not to the world

2.      Beseech is to BEG, plead with

3.      THIS is serious – as anything in the Bible is

4.      So, pay very close attention to what you are about to read


B.     The Second Coming (2Thes 2:1, 8)


1.      It is promised, prophesied throughout the entire Bible

2.      The Messiah would come


a.       To defeat the serpent, Satan

b.      To restore the earth to the Garden of Eden

c.       To bring in perfect worship – no more false gods, or religions


3.      We are told to be looking forward to His coming, expecting it, READY for it

4.      When He comes (2Thes 2:8)


a.       It will be bright, visible to everyone

b.      He will come and destroy the Wicked One


5.      That is all talking about Christ’s second coming!


C.     The Confusion (2Thes 2:2,3)


1.      Loads of confusion about that day – the day of Christ, and the day of the Lord

2.      It’s the same today!

3.      The problems, or questions that need to be answered:


a.       Are believers, followers of Jesus Christ right now supposed to be looking for Christ’s visible and destructive coming?

b.      Are we supposed to fear the time of the tribulation? It is a time coming of world-wide disaster predicted in Matthew 24


4.      Yet, notice the last part of 2Thes 2:2… It is NOT at hand! It is not within reach! It is NOT soon to happen! The Second Coming has some things that must happen BEFORE Jesus comes back!

5.      Don’t let ANYONE use ANY means to trick you


a.       With “new revelations”, visions, feelings, even miracles!

b.      With messages from angels, or false prophets

c.       By fancy teachers with fancy words and flashy style


6.      If we just stay with the Bible, God helps us “rightly divide” the Scripture so that we are NOT scared and expecting the wrong event!

7.      Let’s see if we can learn what will soon happen – hopefully in our lifetime!


D.    The Sequence of Future Events (2Thes 2:3-12)


1.      The Imminent Gathering Together unto Jesus – the Rapture (2:1)


a.       We are called UP and out of here!

b.      No warning – it could happen at any moment

c.       No signs, no way to know that it is about to happen

d.      It will JUST HAPPEN (1Cor 15:50-53) 1/15th of a second!

e.       The word 'Rapture' does not appear in the English Bible - It comes from the Latin.

f.       God explains the Rapture to us as:


1)      a "Mystery." (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)  He was revealing a new truth, not known before.

2)      This mysterious event is most clearly represented in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

3)      Christians have hope beyond death – beyond the grave

4)      Those believers who have died are with Jesus right now

5)      Even people’s dead bodies will be resurrected

6)      We which are alive will be caught up together – at the same time

7)      To meet the Lord Jesus in the air

8)      In this passage the English phrase "caught up" is a translation of a Greek word which means "to seize upon with force" or "to snatch up." Like a thief stealing a purse! The Latin word for it is "rapturo," which comes into English as "Rapture."

9)      So, at the Rapture, believers who are alive at that moment will be "caught up" in the air, into the clouds, and in a moment in time join the Lord in the air as He briefly descends into the clouds for us, and then whisks us away back to His Father’s house in heaven.

10)  Don’t forget, according to John 14, Jesus comes to get us to TAKE US TO HIS FATHER’S HOUSE – not to bring us right back down to earth for Armageddon!


g.      But what happens next? What happens right after the rapture?


2.      The Falling Away (2:3)


a.       World wide rejection of God – in absolute terms!

b.      It happened in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3

c.       It will happen again!

d.      One world religion, totally against the God of the Bible

e.       We already see this happening

f.       But it will happen in a big way right after we all leave!


3.      The Antichrist Revealed (2:3,4,8-10)


a.       Before Jesus Christ comes back, someone called the Beast of Revelation 13 will show up

b.      He is a counterfeit Messiah

c.       Man of Sin

d.      Son of Perdition – the son of hell

e.       He is the Wicked One

f.       Satan in the flesh

g.      He hates God, and anything connected with God, or worship

h.      There will be NO tolerance that day

i.        And he has all power to do whatever he wants on this world (2:9)


1)      Exalts himself above every religion, every god

2)      He will force the whole world to worship him

3)      All of this was already told us in Matthew and Daniel

4)      He does what Satan does

5)      He has all powers – over weather, over world disasters

6)      Lying wonders – impressing the whole world

7)      And the world will LOVE him!


4.      The Temple Rebuilt (2:4)


a.       According to Daniel 9, the antichrist, called the prince, will help the Jews rebuild their temple

b.      And then on its dedication day, he will sit right down in the holy of holies on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the covenant, and he will declare himself to be GOD in the flesh!

c.       The Jewish temple was destroyed in 70AD

d.      It has not been rebuilt

e.       But it WILL be rebuilt during the Tribulation

f.       All, so that the antichrist can set himself up as GOD in the temple of God – where he has always wanted to rule from!

g.      It is called “the abomination of Desolation” in Dan 9:27!

h.      This hasn’t happened yet – it is so close though!


5.      The Removal of the Holy Spirit (2:6,7)


a.       The Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus to come and stay with us

b.      The Holy Spirit works in this world to hold back Satan – “withholding”

c.       The spirit of the antichrist is already at work, but one day he will be here bodily, and unrestrained!

d.      You see one day, the Holy Spirit will pull out of this world and let Satan do as he pleases!


1)      Satan is like a rabid dog, on a leash, trying so hard to tear into this world

2)      He who now letteth, now allows Satan to do his business, will let go of the leash and walk away


e.       He won’t totally disappear, but will not be in dominant control anymore

f.       This hasn’t happened yet


6.      Strong Delusion (2:11,12)


a.       To help the devil out, God will send a strong delusion

b.      God will mess with people’s minds, so that they cannot get saved

c.       If someone has right now rejected so great a Saviour, then when we all disappear, that person will become deluded, crazy, he will believe a lie, and will NOT be able anymore to believe the truth!

d.      God expects people to take salvation and sin very serious!


7.      The Judgment of the whole World and the Antichrist (2:8; 1:7-9)


a.       The Lord Jesus will CONSUME the antichrist, and his armies

b.      Take vengeance on those that have been fighting Him all along

c.       Right now, God is gracious to let us continue to mock Him, spit in His face, make fun of His Son, put off getting saved, and instead just keep living in sin

d.      BUT… one day, God will say the party is over!

e.       Everlasting destruction – that is what hell is! And end that never ends


E.     The Exclusion of the Believer (2Thes 2:13-17)


1.      Wow! Evidently getting saved from the wrath to come is very serious business!

2.      Believers are NOT part of any of that mess (2:13,14)

3.      All of that is called the time of JACOB’S trouble – Israel is in trouble with God – not the time of Believer’s trouble

4.      When we get in trouble, we get chastened!

5.      But the nation of Israel has to go through the tribulation to GET them back right with God. They are unsaved now, but their troubles will force them to their knees and to see Jesus as their Messiah

6.      We don’t have to have that happen!

7.      We can comfort each other with these words

8.      They don’t frighten us, or cause us to stock up food, or sell our homes and move to bunkers…

9.      We just get more and more encouraged looking forward to three simple, powerful words, “Come Up Hither!”

10.  And so shall we ever be with the Lord!


III. Conclusion


A.    God has called you by the Gospel – to flee from the wrath to come (2:14)

B.     Have you answered Him? And called back to Him, to save you? To make you HIS child, forgiven by the death of Jesus Christ?

C.     If you have, then STAND FAST

D.    Don’t be distracted by troubles, and temptations!

E.     HOLD what you have been taught by this Bible

F.      Allow the Lord Jesus Christ to comfort your heart

G.    And allow Him to stablish you, settle you in every good word and every good work!