Dear Church Family,
1 Thessalonians 4:17 has always been a scripture that brings me great joy and hope! It reads, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet The Lord in the air!” The longer I live and the older I get, the more I find myself praying, “Lord, let me live to see that day!” I’m almost sure every Christian has prayed that prayer before. We’d all like to skip the process of death and meet Jesus in the air! Hallelujah, as the Apostle John exclaimed in Revelation, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”
Do you know that the word rapture is not found in most English translations of the Bible? It’s not in the King James Version, the New King James Version, or the New International Version. But that doesn’t diminish its reality or our excitement about it. According to the Apostle Paul, one day soon Christ will descend from heaven with a shout, and believers who are alive at the time will be “caught up” or “caught away” to be with Him.
When The Bible was translated into Latin in the fourth century, the translators rendered the original Greek phrase with the Latin word rapura, a term meaning “snatched away”. That’s the source of our English term rapture. Later, when The Bible was translated into English, the scholars bypassed the Latin term and used the more literal words, “caught up”. The meaning, however, is the same.
In our modern society, rapture also means being caught up in excitement and joy. When Jesus descends from Heaven with a shout, we, His children, will be caught up with Him in the clouds, and we’ll feel rapturous joy in our hearts.
Tom Blackaby, a Christian author once wrote, “Many people do not seem to think Jesus will come back in their lifetime; if they did it would affect the way they lived.” I think he’s exactly right!
We’ll be continuing the new sermon series, “Please Pass the Fruit Salad”, and taking a fresh look at the fruit of The Spirit, this Sunday. The spiritual trait of PATIENCE will be our topic when we come back together this weekend. I hope you’ll join us at 10AM and bring someone with you. I’ll look forward to seeing you!