1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NLT)
And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
V10, The Thessalonians were waiting for God’s Son from heaven. This implies the possibility of His coming during their lifetime, in fact, at any moment during their lifetime. The imminent return of the Lord Jesus is the Christian’s hope. It is found in many passages of the NT, of which the following are a few:
Luke 12:36—“And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master.”
Romans 8:23—“ … waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
1 Corinthians 11:26—“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
2 Corinthians 5:2—“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.”
Galatians 5:5—“For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
Philippians 3:20—“We also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 4:5—“The Lord is at hand.”
Titus 2:13—“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 9:28—“To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
1 Peter 4:7—“But the end of all things is at hand.”
1 John 3:3—And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Jude 21—“… looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Revelation 3:11—“I am coming quickly!” 22:7—“Behold, I am coming quickly!” 22:12—“And behold, I am coming quickly … ” 22:20—‘Surely … quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
The Christian knows that he may be required to pass through death, but he also knows that the Lord may come at any moment and that, in that event, he will enter heaven without dying.
No prophecy of the Scripture needs to be fulfilled before the coming of Christ for His people. It is the next great event in God’s program. We cannot be looking for the Lord’s return at any moment if some event or period of time has to intervene. The pretribulation Rapture position is the only Eschatological position that permits the believer to look for Christ’s coming today. Other views force abandonment of the imminency of His return (From the Believers Bible Commentary notes on this passage).
The One we look for is Jesus, our Deliverer from the wrath to come. This description of the coming Savior may be understood in two ways:
1. He delivers us from the eternal punishment of our sins. On the cross He endured the wrath of God against our sins. Through faith in Him, we have the value of His work reckoned to our account. Henceforth there is no condemnation for us because we are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).
2. But He also delivers us from the coming period of judgment when the wrath of God will be poured out on the world that has rejected His Son. This period is known as the Tribulation and the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:4–28; 1 Thess. 5:1–11; 2 Thess. 2:1–12; Rev. 6:1–19:10).
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 (NLT)
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.* 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
(Tomorrow we will look at the above verse)
I wanted you to read the verse that references the Rapture. No it doesn’t use that term, rather it uses the words “caught up”, which derived from the latin use of this verb. You may want to consider studying for yourself the whole end-time theology doctrines as it challenges your faith and gives you hope not fear for the future. Maybe if we ask nicely, Pastor Ron can start a Life Group on the topic after he returns from Thialand…hint…hint. (not a group that will rest on a particular bent or stance on the topic, but rather shows us the where and why of each side of this debate.)