C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON January 20, 2019, Eternal Plan of God for Man : LESSON ONE: TOPIC - RAPTURE

C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON January 20, 2019, Eternal Plan of God for Man : LESSON ONE: TOPIC - RAPTURE





C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON.
Eternal Plan of God for Man.
January 20th, 2019.

LESSON ONE: RAPTURE

Very soon, our Lord Jesus would appear in the sky for the saints. Would you be raptured?

MEMORY SCRIPTURE:
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17).


BRIEF COMMENT
The Thessalonians were obviously gripped with grief, over the brethren they had lost to the cold hands of death (v. 13). Paul had to console them not to be sorrowful for any reasons, in spite of the fact of the pains occasioned by the brethren's demise. Paul premised this on the assurance that, if Christ rose from the dead, He would also raised those who died in Him (v. 14). He assured them in the Lord that the dead in the Lord have a greater advantage, in that they would be privileged to be raised to meet the Lord in the rapture, before those believers who are still living as at the time of the rapture (vv. 15-16). Our memory scripture then gives hope to those who would still be alive at the Lord's return. These ones would be caught up (i.e. raptured) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (v. 17). Only those who have His Spirit now and live according to His holiness would be qualified for this phenomenal event that would rock the length and breadth of the universe. Paul continued that both the living and the dead in Christ as at the time of the rapture that is presently unknown to anyone on earth and in heavens apart from the Trinity Himself, would reunite, to always be with the Lord. The implication is that, we should be prepared not to miss this great event climaxing the age, and this should be the comfort we have in cases of losing loved ones (v. 18).

DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READING FOR WEEK ONE
Mon. 14:  The Signs of His Coming  (2 Tim. 3:1-5)
Tue.  15:  The Signs of the End of the Ages (Matt. 24:1-18)
Wed. 16:  The Signs for the Saints (Matt. 24:9-14)
Thur. 17:  The Parable of the Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13)
Fri.    18:  The Testimony of Jude (Jude 14-15)
Sat.   19:  The Confirmation from the Angels (Acts 1:11)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS
1.   Something phenomenal is about happening in the history of humanity --- rapture of the saints. Be prepared!
2.  The rapture is the most unusual, exceptional, and phenomenal event we are presently expecting to close this age. It is the coming of our Lord Jesus to take His own (the Church; His bride) out of the pains, sorrows, and difficult situations occasioned by Satan, sin and the world.
3.  Whoever misses this great event would have him/herself to blame eternally. Accepting the Lordship of Christ, personally and totally, is the only way out.

BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: Matthew 24:29-51.

AIM AND OBJECTIVES
Aim:  To show how special and indispensable the rapture is, and the need for full preparation on our part.

Objectives:  At the end of this lesson, the learners should be able to:
i.    define what the rapture means, and what it connotes for the Christians and the entire world.
ii.   describe how the rapture would happen, in line with what the scripture tells us;
iii.  discuss the purpose of the rapture; and
iv.  spell out the qualifications that Christ expects us to possess to be qualified to meet Him joyously on the day of His return.

INTRODUCTION

TEXTUAL SOURCE: JOHN 14:1-3; I CORINTHIANS 15:21-23,51-58; PHILIPPIANS 3:11,20-21; 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18

We thank God for how He took us through a very wonderful period in His presence last year. It was an unforgettable experience as we were privileged to better understand God's mind regarding the theme, LOVE IN ACTION. In the first series (January - June 2018), we discussed how God demonstrates (not define) love to humanity. We saw with great clarity that God did not just define love to us but He has continued to demonstrate what it is to us, beginning from eternity to eternity. The second series (July - December 2018) bordered on the response of man to this great indescribable love of God. May the challenges we have received to love God and others wholeheartedly, and in line with Christ's own pattern, spur us to do as He desires eternally. Amen.

Glory be to the Almighty God for the grace to see this wonderful new year 2019. It is a divine privilege and never a right. He has further privileged us to discuss the theme, THE ETERNAL PLAN OF GOD FOR MAN in this series (January - June 2019) and has chosen to start working on us in the topic, RAPTURE.

The Greek translated "rapture" is harpazo, and is has several meanings which include to carry off, snatch up, seize, overpowering, an irresistible act of catching away due to divine force.

The Latin word for the Greek verb is rapturo from which we derive the English word "rapture". It is believed that the Church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:23,51-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-17). The rapture is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air for the saints. It would be an event that will end the age of grace and usher in all other eschatological events.

In this 2-week lesson, we shall be delving into what rapture means from the perspective of the Bible as well as God's expectations for anyone who desires to be rapturable. May we not miss anything God has for us in this lesson, in Jesus' name. Amen.

INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This lesson is divided into two sections, I and II. Each of the sections is further divided into A and B.

DIVISION I: THE RAPTURE: WHAT IT IS:
This first section is a discourage of John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15::51-57; Philippians 3:11,20-21; I Thessalonias 4:13-18. It is divided into parts A (The Rapture of the Church) and B (The Manner of the rapture). The first part discusses what rapture really means, while the second part opens up on what, from the perspective of the Scripture, the manner of the rapture would be, i. e. how it would happen. The rapture is an impending phenomenal event --- the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ in the sky to take His own into glory. How would this happen? The section deals with this.

DIVISION II: THE PURPOSE AND QUALIFICATIONS:
Division II aims at refocusing the attention of the readers on the purpose of the rapture, as well as the qualifications for being rapturable. We need this in this end-time, when is has become to serious with the prevalence of sin that so many people's attentions are being shifted away from the return of the Lord to rapture His own. We need a better understanding of the purpose of the return and the qualifications of those to be taken along with Him into His glory.

LESSON OUTLINE

I.   THE RAPTURE: WHAT IT IS.
     A.   THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
     B.   THE MANNER OF THE RAPTURE

II.  THE PURPOSE AND QUALIFICATIONS
     A.  THE PURPOSE OF THE RAPTURE
     B.  THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR BEING RAPTURABLE

LESSON EXPOSITION

Jan. 20th, 2019.
I.   THE RAPTURE: WHAT IT IS (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; Philippians 3:11,20-21; Thessalonias 4:13-18)
Anything a man does not meaningfully understand, the tendency is there for him to abuse it. This is not untrue of the expected worldwide phenomenon that we are discussing the rapture. We need a working understanding of this concept so that we don't misbehave with respect to it. May our eyes of understanding be opened accordingly. Amen.

A.   THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH (1 Cor. 15:51-57)
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Cor. 15:52).
i.   It is very important to know that the coming of the Lord would be in two ways. One is the Rapture, and the other is the Second Advent of Jesus. These two comings would be separated by seven years.
ii.   At rapture, Christ will appear visibly on the earth as He did in the first advent, but in the air to catch up or rapture the dead and the living saints (1 Cor. 15:51-57).
iii.  At rapture, Christ will meet the saints inn the air where they will remain during the time, the Tribulation would run its course on the earth (Jn. 14; 1 Thess. 3:13).
iv.   The Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the judgment or reward of the saints would take place in the firmament. Then, at the Second Advent after the Tribulation, Christ and the saints would leave the firmament together to come down to the earth (Matt. 24:30; Acts 1:10-11;1 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 1:7; 19:7-9).
v.  At rapture, Christ will come for the saints and at the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which is the Second Advent, Christ will come with the saints (Matt. 24:30. 16:27; Mk. 13:26; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7)
vii.  The rapture is non-negotiable. It is God's way of coming in Christ to separate the sheep from the goats, so that the sheep can be taken out of the sorrow of this world, into the eternal bliss, which is the reward of their faithfulness to Christ, while the ungodly (goats) would have hell as their eternal consequences. On which divide will you be?

B.   THE MANNER OF THE RAPTURE (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-56; Phil. 3:11,20-21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thess. 4:16).
i.   All saints shall not die before the rapture, but all shall be transfigured (1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:15).
ii.  It will be a sudden incident, in the twinkle of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52).
iii. The trumpet shall sound by the archangel (Matt. 24:31; 1Cor.15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev. 11:15).
iv. All the righteous/saints who had slept (died) shall be raised with incorruptible body (1 Cor. 15:52-53; Phil. 3:11; 1 Thess. 4:14-15).
v.  The living (those who are alive) shall be transfigured.
vi. Both dead and Living souls in Christ will put on immortality. However, the living ones will not precede the dead ones in the rapture (1 Cor. 15:53-54; Eph. 5:27; Phil. 3:21b).
vii. Jesus will appear for His people in the sky (1 Thess 4:16).
viii.Both the living and the dead shall caught up (rapturo/harpazo; raptured) to meet Christ in the air and unite with Him (Jn. 14:3; Phil. 3:20b; 1 Thess 4:17).
x.  The rapturable saints shall appear to the BEMA SEAT (i.e the  judgment Seat) to receive rewards (Matt. 16:27; 1 Cor. 5:10) in form of crowns (1 Thess. 2:19, 20; 2 Tim. 4:6-9; Jas. 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:2-4; 1 Cor. 9:24-27).
xi.  On earth, the anti-Christ will take over.
xii. A lot has been said in several quarters to disprove and discredit the fact of the rapture. This notwithstand, the Lord would come at the appointed time. All eyes would behold His glory, but only those who have accepted Him, personally now, would be part of the flight team to meet the Lord in the clouds.

LESSONS DERIVED
1.   The next major event we should be preparing for in the turn of events in human history is the inevitable, unstoppable rapture of Christ's saints.
2.  The rapture would be so dramatic and spectacular that whosoever misses it would regret so indescribably.

WORK TO DO
Is it true that so many churches and ministers are seldom talking about the rapture, today? Why? What are the ways out?

SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO.
i.    Yes. So many churches and ministers are seldom talking about the rapture, today. There are a lot of reasons for this.
ii.    It is a trait of the end time; people would find it difficult to be comfortable with the truth (2 Tim. 4:3,4). This is making so many churches and ministers to preach to them what they want to hear. And unfortunately, rapture is one of the things sinners or fake Christian would not want to hear.
iii.   The prevalence of 'another gospel' in some churches and among some ministers (Gal. 1,2), most especially, those favourably disposed to such, because of what they think they are materially benefiting from such, is silencing such churches and ministers from preaching or teaching about the rapture and other holiness-related messages.
iv.   The misapplication of prosperity gospel is taking attention of churches and ministers played by this 'gospel' away from the fact of Christ's unstoppable return and its implication for Christians living.
v.    The involvement of some ministers in unwholesome practices, including demonic attachments, would definitely silence such ministers from speaking the truth about Christ's return, because, in a way, it taunts them, thinking of the coming of the Lord to judge their wickedness. They feel avoiding such messages would make them feel good.
vi.   Another reason is the dwindling first love of some churches and ministers for the Word of God (cf. Rev. 2:4).

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vii.  The way out is to rediscovered true love for Christ and His Word (Rev. 2:5). This is true revival.
viii. Then, ministers should make it a matter of compulsion, to preach the whole Scripture, the rapture inclusive (cf. Acts 20:20,21).
C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON January 20, 2019, Eternal Plan of God for Man : LESSON ONE: TOPIC - RAPTURE C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON January 20, 2019, Eternal Plan of God for Man : LESSON ONE: TOPIC - RAPTURE Reviewed by Abodunrin Muyiwa (Muyilight) on January 20, 2019 Rating: 5

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