TOPIC: Description of Rapture [RCCG Sunday School STUDENT Manual, 22nd July 2018]

MEMORY VERSE: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” – 1 Corinthians 15:51  (scroll down for RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL 22ND JULY, 2018 HYMN)

BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (Sunday School STUDENT Manual July 22, 2018)

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words

INTRODUCTION:

The second coming of Christ prophesied by Daniel in Daniel 7:13 is a sound biblical fact. This return shall be in two stages. The first, ‘’being like a thief in the night’’ to receive unto Himself His Church. This is popularly called the rapture. The second stage is His return with the Saints to reign on earth. Our focus in today’s lesson is the rapture.

LESSON OUTLINES
1. What and when is the rapture?
2. What will happen at the rapture and how?

WHAT AND WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?
The word, rapture, is not found anywhere in the Bible although it is used to describe this great upcoming and memorable event. The rapture is the sudden catching up or sudden disappearance of holy and faithful saints from the earth to meet with our Lord and Saviour in the air. It is also referred to as the translation or translocation of believers (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58). Examples of such translation in the Old Testament are; Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24; Hebrews 11:5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11). It shall be as sudden as the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The exact timing of the occurrence of the rapture is not known (Matthew 24:42, 44; Matthew 25:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6). However, Jesus Christ mentioned some of the signs and events that will herald His coming in Matthew chapter 24. ‘So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors’, (Matthew 24:33). We also know that it shall precede the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:12).

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE RAPTURE AND HOW?

The following are to be expected at the rapture:

1. The trumpet of God shall sound (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
2. The dead in Christ shall rise first (John 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:23).
3. Saints which are alive shall be ‘’caught up’’ to meet our Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51).
4. The dead in Christ and saints who are alive shall have glorified or immortal bodies and live forever (1 Corinthians 15:52-54; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2).
5. There shall be extraordinary chaos on the earth (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3; Matthew 24:40-41).

Rapture shall happen suddenly (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Matthew 24:36-41). The power of God shall make all saints’ bodies immortal (Philemon 3:21). The sudden ‘’vacancies’’ produced by such disappearance shall give birth to the chaos.

CONCLUSION
The greatest calamity that could befall anyone who claims to be a believer is to be on earth a second after the rapture. The one who is coming back for His own ‘’suddenly’’, warned us to be prepared, at least six times in different parables. Are you alert and ready? (Mark 13:32-37).

QUESTIONS:
1. What is the rapture?
2. Mention five things that will happen at the rapture.

SUNDAY SCHOOL HYMN

1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.

2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day, Thy friendship suits me well,
Both young and old will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.

3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.

4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee.

5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds black with rain,
I’ll be in Sunday School.

6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?