Beloved Concordia Family,
I hope you are having a good week and that you are basking in the fact that God loves you NO MATTER WHAT!
This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend and we will set aside a time at all the services on Sunday to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and freedom. We will also recognize the families of those who have fallen and offer a special tribute to those who have served along with those who still serve in the military of our nation.
A part of our Memorial Day Weekend observance will be a time to appreciate soldiers who are dear to us at Concordia. If you would consider sending a picture of a special soldier firstname.lastname@example.org we will be delighted to include the photo you submit. Would you also include the name of the soldier as well as the branch of service when you send in the picture? The deadline for these submissions is today at 5 PM (the deadline was extended).
Please don’t miss this special time of worship and remembrance. If you know a service member or family member, please invite them to join us. They will be glad you did!
Last Weekend’s Message …
The End. The True Story of Happily Ever After
“What about the Rapture?”
Word: Rapture … comes from the word for “Caught up.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17
1. There WILL be a “Rapture,” but it’s probably NOT what you think!
A. When the Rapture occurs, it will not be a mystery!.
B. The popular ideas about the “Rapture” come from Matthew 24.
Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Matthew 24:37-42
Question: Is being “taken” good or bad?
What comes before..
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Taken = divine judgment
Left = salvation
Question: Is being “taken” good or bad?
2. When you think about the “Rapture” you do NOT have to be afraid!
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Revelation 1:17, 18
A. One Day the Lord will return!
The Apostles Creed
I believe in Jesus Christ … He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty: from thence HE shall come to judge the living and the dead.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again … 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven … 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
B. Notice the people “in the field,” and “grinding” are doing the same thing?
What is the difference? FAITH!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith … Ephesians 2:8
One additional note: Please remember that Matthew 24 is not speaking about the “Rapture” even though it is talking about the Return of Christ. Don’t confuse the “taken” language to refer to rapture. It is speaking of divine judgment. It is only 1 Thessalonians that is speaking specifically about the Return of Christ AND the Rapture.
As always, you can find the audio and video of this week’s message on iTunes or at www.Concordia.cc. You will also find the GREAT teaching from Adult Bible Class in the same places. Pass these resources along to your friends.
I am praying that God blesses your week. I sure hope to see you for our special Memorial Day observance this weekend.
God bless you,
Pastor Bill Tucker