Heavens Light 6-15-10 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11 The Rapture and the Day of the Lord – Part 3

1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11

The Rapture and the Day of the Lord  – Part 3 

Mark 13:24, 27

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, …….

He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds,

from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven.  NASB


1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. NASU

C. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord – The word “then” in this context explains that the event which is described happens after the prior event he just mentioned, “the dead in Christ will rise first.” This of course was Paul’s point in verse 4:15 when he said “we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.” After the dead in Christ are raised, “we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” Now of this spectacular event there is much said in Scripture, it is in fact the event referred to as the rapture. The Greek word for “caught up,” harpazo, is the Latin rapio from which we get the English word rapture. It is the translation of living saints from the earth, to the sky, by a powerful act of God which will also transform the bodies of those living saints into glorious immortal bodies. This is in fact the blessed hope of the church, the Second Coming of Christ and the transformation of our bodies to be like His glorious body.

Titus 2:13 – 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; NASB

Colossians 3:4 – 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. NASB

At this time, there will be a powerful transformation of the bodies of living saints, from mortal to immortal and never again to be subject to death.

1 John 3:2 – 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. NASB

Philippians 3:20-21 – 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. NASB

1 Corinthians 15:50-54 – 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. NASB

Notice also, that the translation of living saints united them to both the “dead in Christ” who were just raised, and the Lord Himself, “together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” The raptured saints will meet “together with them,” and also “in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” Notice that the common picture of the Second Coming of Christ is “in the clouds,” and this is where the raptured saints meet the resurrected saints in 1 Thess 4:15-17. This is a key indicator that these events (the rapture and the Second Coming), happen at the same time (post-tribulationism) and are not separated by a period of seven years (pre-tribulationism).

Acts 1:9-11 – 9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” NASB

Revelation 1:7 – 7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. NASB

Nevertheless, Christ will be coming again in the clouds and will raise His people from the dead and gather them together with His living saints “and so we shall always be with the Lord.” Don’t miss this last phrase, and very important part of the text. When Jesus returns for His Church and gathers us together, we shall never be separated from Christ again, but rather, “and so we shall always be with the Lord.” This is the primary reason why verse 13 explains that Christians “do not grieve as those who have no hope,” and the main support of that statement. Why we should we not grieve without hope? Because we have the hope that we will ultimately be rejoined with our deceased loved ones and better yet, united with them and Christ and never again separated henceforth.

D. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words – I suppose of all the comforting words that we Christians possess, none are so profound as these, verses 15-17, which tell us of our ultimate future beyond the grave and describe our eternal destiny with closure and finality. Not only do we “not grieve as them who have no hope,” but on the contrary, we have great hope that our future lies in the hands of the powerful and sovereign God who has purposed to save us from sin and death, and cause us to stand in His presence without fault and with great joy, when He comes again to finally deliver His people from this sin cursed and fallen world which we now live in. Moreover, it is at this point in history that His people will be eternally united to Him, as we are glorified together with Him on that day. There could be no greater hope then to have a sure victory over that great enemy death which has plagued us with its woes since we have fallen into sin. On this basis then, Paul states, “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” These promises are in fact a very comforting and reassuring truth that can give us hope and encouragement, even in our darkest trials and our bleakest day. We are therefore to actually speak this truth to grieving and downcast Christians when so needed, that things will not always suffer and grieve, but that a brighter and everlasting Day is soon approaching, and this Day will come with power from the God who is all-powerful and has promised to bring it to pass with glory, might and finality. Even our Lord Himself, on the night before He was crucified, encouraged with this truth.

John 14:1-3 – 14 “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. NASB


1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 – 1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. NASU

A. Concerning the timing of these great events mentioned in 4:15-17, Paul explains that they had ample knowledge. He states, “Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.” The words here for “times and epochs” clearly speak of the timing and order of these events. Paul again employs that tactic he had used with several times earlier in this letter where he calls them to account of their own knowledge saying “you yourselves know full well.” He wants them to recall the truths he had formerly taught them, and here specifically, “that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” Even Paul himself did not know the day or the hour of Christ’s return, and he points out here that this truth is plain. It was surely taught by Jesus Himself.

Matthew 24:36 – 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. NASB

Acts 1:6-8 – 6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; NASB

This should cancel any fancy notions by people setting dates of Christ’s return, which is usually a ploy to garner a following and the financial benefits derived thereof. On the contrary Paul explains, that God has designed the Second Coming of Christ to overtake the unbelieving world unawares stating, “that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” He goes on to explain however in verses 3-5 that Christ’s coming will not overtake Christians in this way because, although we do not know the exact day or hour, the season of His coming will be very apparent to those discerning Christians who know full well the signs of His coming and of the end of the age. The main focus of Jesus telling us this was to cause us to be on the alert and be ready for His return, expectantly waiting and busy about His business with the treasure and talents He has entrusted to us. See comments on verse 4-5 for a more extensive explanation. 

Matthew 24:36 – 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. NASB

Matthew 24:42-44 – 42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 “For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. NASB

It is significant that Paul equates the parousia or coming of Christ with the Old Testament terms “the day of the Lord.” By doing this Paul makes it clear that the events spoken of in the Old Testament concerning the Day of the Lord will happen at the Second Coming.

Isaiah 13:9-13 – 9 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger,

To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises, And the moon will not shed its light. 11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud, And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. 12 I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold, And mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place At the fury of the Lord of hosts In the day of His burning anger. NASB

Joel 2:1-2 – Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the Lord is coming; Surely it is near, 2 A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations. NASB

Joel 2:30-32 – 30 “And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire, and columns of smoke. 31 “The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 32 “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the Lord has said, Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. NASB

Obadiah 15 – 15 “For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head. NASB

Zepheniah 1:14-18 – 4 Near is the great day of the Lord, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the Lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. 15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 A day of trumpet and battle cry, Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. 17 And I will bring distress on men, So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the Lord; And their blood will be poured out like dust, And their flesh like dung. 18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth. NASB

2 Peter 3:10 – 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. NASB

Note well here the severity of the full scope of events described in these passages. It is obvious that the full scope of these events cannot all happen immediately upon the Second Coming of Christ, for the whole earth will be destroyed and this will not take place until the end of the Millennial Kingdom. This is made clear in the chronology of events given in Revelation 20:1-15. Therefore the Day of the Lord actually has its inauguration at the Second Coming, but its full consummation is not completed until the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ, when He hands over the Kingdom to God the Father having subdued all His enemies, including death, the last enemy to be destroyed according to 1 Corinthians 15:26.

1 Corinthians 15:22-26 – 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. NASB

The chart below depicts this concept by viewing a chronology of events spanning from before the Second Coming of Christ until after the consummation of the ages and the Eternal State have begun. Notice the boxes in the upper right explaining the inauguration and consummation of the “Day of the Lord.”



Therefore the “day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night” to the unbelieving world and they will be swept away in judgment and Christ will destroy the earthly authorities and establish His righteous rule in Jerusalem. In fact, they will be so unaware, that they will think all is well the world’s economic problems have been finally solved by the Antichrist’s wicked and idolatrous system of supposed economic stability.


You can hear this lesson taught on audio here… http://www.abqhcf.com/sermons/09-10/abc/04-18-2010_SundaySchool.mp3


If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2425
Or read about the Christian Gospel here:  http://www.ligonier.org/welcome_whatisthegospel.php
If you have comments or questions, please do respond to shaan@heavenslight.org
If you would like to be added or add someone to this email list, just reply with “sign me up” and the address you want it sent to. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life


26 thoughts on “Heavens Light 6-15-10 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11 The Rapture and the Day of the Lord – Part 3”

  1. Wonderful blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  2. Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.

  3. Somebody essentially assist to make critically articles I might state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this actual submit amazing. Great job!

  4. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I’ve truly loved surfing around your weblog posts. In any case I抣l be subscribing to your rss feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

  5. Thanks for your write-up. One other thing is individual states in the United states of america have their unique laws in which affect house owners, which makes it very, very hard for the our lawmakers to come up with a fresh set of recommendations concerning home foreclosure on people. The problem is that each state has own guidelines which may have interaction in an adverse manner in terms of foreclosure guidelines.

  6. Thanks for the unique tips contributed on this web site. I have realized that many insurance companies offer shoppers generous deals if they elect to insure a couple of cars together. A significant amount of households possess several automobiles these days, in particular those with old teenage kids still living at home, plus the savings with policies could soon begin. So it pays to look for a good deal.

  7. I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome web site!

  8. Thanks for the unique tips contributed on this site. I have realized that many insurance companies offer shoppers generous savings if they prefer to insure more and more cars together. A significant amount of households include several automobiles these days, specifically those with elderly teenage youngsters still living at home, and also the savings upon policies might soon mount up. So it will pay to look for a bargain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *