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Discover the Book - Jan. 15, 2008

  • 2008 Jan 15

The Prophetic Precision of Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11

For the last few weeks in our Prophetic Series What’s Next 2005 we have been in Matthew 24. Have you ever wondered what the context of that passage is? When in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ did that incredible sermon about the future fit?

Please open with me to this day in Christ's life in Matthew 21. We find Palm Sunday in all four Gospels (Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12). But our reading this morning will be Matthew 21:1-11.

Palm Sunday was followed by Doomsday Tuesday. Yes, just two days after this Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem Jesus saw and described the destruction coming in the near and far future. The context of Matthew 24 and the end of the world is Matthew 21 and the Palm Sunday entry of Jesus.

This morning we have remembered one of the greatest days of history, the day Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem as the Passover Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.

This coming Thursday we as a church are celebrating the Last Supper Seder remember what Jesus did. But this morning, may I impress upon your hearts the wonder of this day in God's Word?

Palm Sunday is a day of Prophetic Precision! Palm Sunday is a day in the life of Christ that mirrors literally scores of prophecies God made in the Bible that are fulfilled with pin point accuracy!

We should remind ourselves of just how unique, and how powerful is our God. Why? For just one reason this morning – the prophetic precision that God demonstrates though dozens of pinpoint accurate promises He sent in His Word centuries before the events occurred! And as we see all this, our hearts should be strengthened to trust even more our great God who wants to direct our paths, wants us to trust and obey Him, and wants us to do His will, not our own!

This morning we are looking at the Prophetic Precision of Christ's Death. In fact there were thirty-three prophecies fulfilled on the single day when the Lord Jesus died.

Always remember that one of the strong evidences of divine inspiration of the Bible (not found in other religious books of either past or present) consists of its hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. These are not vague or ambiguous (as in various occult writings) but are specific and detailed, often made hundreds or thousands of years in advance of the event. Many are being fulfilled today, thereby indicating the probable soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, the most powerful evidence that God wrote the Bible is the phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy. The Bible is unique among all the religious books of mankind in this respect. Some of them contain a few vague forecasts, but nothing comparable to the vast number of specific prophecies found in the Bible.

It is easy, of course, to prophesy that someone will die. Everyone must die sooner or later, and it surely takes no gift of prophetic insight to predict death. For that matter, many men and women, especially those who have a morbid interest in the occult, make death a very frequent subject of prophecy. Some of these (e.g., Jeanne Dixon’s famous prophecy of John Kennedy’s assassination) seem to come true, perhaps suggesting that demonic forces do have some limited knowledge of human plans and can occasionally forecast the events which they bring about, though of course most such soothsaying predictions are never fulfilled at all.

There is nothing in all human history, however, comparable to the prophecies associated with the death of Christ. These were not vague and hidden, like those of fortune-tellers, nor were they given only a short time before they were fulfilled, as are those of modern occultists. There are scores, perhaps hundreds, of such prophecies in the Old Testament that focus on the death of the coming Messiah, and many of them are very detailed and specific. All were recorded hundreds of years, some over a thousand years, before they were fulfilled. There are over 90 such Old Testament prophecies which are specifically quoted by New Testament writers in a Messianic sense.


PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE PALM SUNDAY ENTRY: The time when He would come into Jerusalem to die was prophesied in Daniel 9:24-26, and this was fulfilled exactly 483 years later, as predicted, when He entered Jerusalem for His last week before death, as recorded in Luke 19:37-44. After this, as Daniel (or, rather, the angel Gabriel) had prophesied, He was “cut off, but not for Himself.” Also Zechariah 9:9-10 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE PASSOVER PLOT BETRAYAL: His betrayal by one of His close friends was forecast, and even the price of thirty pieces of silver for His betrayal was given. The shameful mockery of the judicial process which constituted His trial is prophesied.

  • Psalm 41:9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
  • Mark 14:10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.
  • Zechariah 11:12-13 Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said to me, “ Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.

Actually the statement paraphrases Zech. 11:12, 13. But the Hebrew canon was divided into 3 sections, Law, Writings, and Prophets (cf. Luke 24:44). Jeremiah came first in the order of prophetic books, so the Prophets were sometimes collectively referred to by his name.

  • Matthew 27:3-10 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” 5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” 7 And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10 and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”
  • Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
  • Matthew 26:67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, Matthew 27:26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. John 18:22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”
  • Psalm 35:11 Fierce witnesses rise up; They ask me things that I do not know.


The awful details of His sufferings on the cross are portrayed graphically in the 22nd Psalm, written by David almost 1,100 years before its fulfillment.

The Psalm begins with the cry from the cross: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” The darkness is pictured. The mocking by the priests and others at the foot of the cross is described. The terrible bodily sufferings induced by the crucifixion process are recorded. The piercings of His hands and feet to receive the nails binding Him to the cross are mentioned. The stripping of His garments and gambling over their possession by the soldiers crucifying Him is predicted. His awful thirst is mentioned and even the vinegar which was offered to Him. The collapse of His heart cavity, leading to the strange emergence of mingled blood and water from His side, is suggested. The fact that, despite the intensity of His sufferings, none of His bones would be broken, is foretold. The piercing of His side is suggested. The wounds in His hands may also have been noted. There is no need for a detailed exposition of Psalm 22 here, but it is surely one of the most marvelous passages in all the Word of God, and will richly repay detailed and prayerful study by each individual Christian.

  • Psalm 22:1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
  • Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
  • Psalm 22:2 OMy God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. Also Amos 8:9 “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
  • Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
  • Psalm 22:7-8 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 “ He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
  • Matthew 27:49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” Mark 15:29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days,
  • Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.
  • Matthew 27:35a Then they crucified Him,
  • John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
  • Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. Psalm 69:21 They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
  • John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”
  • Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
  • Matthew 27:35a Then they crucified Him,
  • Psalm 22:17-18 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. 18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.
  • Matthew 27:35b Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”
  • Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Zechariah 13:6 And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
  • John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
  • Psalm 34:20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.
  • John 19:33, 36 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH OF CHRIST: The 53rd chapter of Isaiah (actually beginning at Isaiah 52:13) is also a marvelous chapter devoted to the future death of the Savior, written by Isaiah 750 years before it came to pass. Especially emphasized in this chapter (which is quoted in at least six different places in the New Testament) is the fact that the death of the Messiah would be a substitutionary death, offered up in sacrificial substitution for the sins of others.

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE SUBSTITUTIONARY NATURE OF CHRIST'S DEATH: As a matter of fact, the Christian Gospel—that “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3) finds its clearest expression in the whole Bible right here in this Old Testament chapter, recorded long before Christ came into the world to bring it to pass. Herein is surely a most marvelous evidence of the truth of God’s Word, and the sure fulfillment of all His promises! This emphasis on substitutionary suffering is repeated over and over in this remarkable chapter. It says, for example, that “He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (verse 4), that “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, chastised for our peace, and striped for our healing” (verse 5). Verse 6 says “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Verse 11 says “He shall bear their iniquities,” and verse 12 that “He was numbered with the transgressors, and bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE DETAILS OF CHRIST'S TRIALS AND DEATH: Other details of His trial and death are also given in this chapter. The awful bruising He bore at the hands of the soldiers and others is graphically portrayed in 52:14: “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” His silence before His accusers at His trial is predicted in 53:7. The result of His mock trial is given in verse 8, and His death with the criminals, and His burial by a rich man, is recorded in verse 9.

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE PROMISE OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION: And then, after His cruel death, His resurrection is prophesied in verse 10: “He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days.”


The great defining passage on the Gospel is 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Here, the Gospel is defined as the good news that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Thus the Gospel involves three main parts—the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ—and further emphasizes his post-resurrection physical appearances in confirmation thereof.

But why is there such an emphasis on the burial of Christ? Clearly, the reason is that it is of vital importance for men to realize that Jesus Christ “is come in the flesh” (1 John 4:2). As His burial was an actual physical burial, with His body placed in a physical tomb, so His resurrection must therefore be a physical resurrection with His body coming out of the tomb. One ancient foe of Christianity that still persists is Gnosticism which teaches that the man Jesus and the great “Christ-spirit” were somehow united only in a very superficial way, so that when Jesus died the Christ returned to the Father. Thus, Christ did not really die—only Jesus died. Further, Jesus did not really rise—only Christ arose!

Neither demons nor unbelieving men have been willing to acknowledge that “Jesus is the Christ,” that “Jesus is the Son of God,” and that “Jesus the Christ is come in the flesh” (1 John 5:1; 5:5; 4:3). The Son of God is also Son of Man, with both the divine power and the human nature enabling Him both to represent man and to set man free from the evil one.

So the Gospel we declare affirms that it is absolutely vital for all men to know beyond any doubt that it was the human Jesus who rose from the grave. Therefore, it must be certain that His body was carefully buried after His death, and that this burial was known to all, both friend and foe. Then, on the great morning when He arose from the dead, the emptied tomb would stand forever as the infallible proof of His bodily resurrection. Look at Matthew 27:62-66.

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THOSE WHO BURIED CHRIST'S BODY: Such an important ministry as the burial of the body of Jesus could not be entrusted by God to the Roman soldiers, who would merely further defile it and then throw it in with the bodies of other executed criminals, nor to the Jewish authorities who would probably do even worse. Nor would these authorities have permitted it to fall into the hands of His disciples, as they were afraid they would seek to hide it and then claim He had been resurrected (Matthew 27:62-66).

  • GOD PREPARED THOSE WHO HAD AUTHORITY TO BURY CHRIST'S BODY: The solution was for God to have the body buried by one or more of the authorities themselves who were also disciples. For this purpose, God chose two of the members of the governing Jewish body, the Sanhedrin, Joseph and Nicodemus. Thus, they would have access to the necessary information about the time and circumstances of His death, they would also have access to the Roman governor in order to make the required arrangements to acquire the body before the soliders could dispose of it, and they would have enough wealth of their own to be able to make the needed preparations for a suitable resting-place for the body until it could be raised from the dead.
  • GOD PREPARED THOSE WHO WOULD BURY CHRIST'S BODY: Of course, they would have to be prepared ahead of time for this ministry. God therefore somehow touched the heart of Nicodemus, as he listened to John the Baptist, then later to Jesus, and as He saw the miracles which Jesus did. Eventually, he made his way into the presence of Jesus one night, where the Lord spoke to him of the necessity of being born again, even though he was already the greatest “teacher in Israel” (John 3:7, 10). The Scriptures do not tell us the outcome of that interview, except that sometime later Nicodemus defended Jesus on one occasion before the Sanhedrin (John 7:50-51). Similarly, we read that Joseph did not concur in the decision of the Sanhedrin to condemn Jesus (Luke 23:50-51).
  • GOD KNIT THE HEARTS OF JOSEPH AND NICODEMUS: Somehow these two men had become friends and had resolved to make preparations for Jesus’ burial. Probably in their studies together during the many months following Nicodemus’ first meeting with Jesus, the two friends spent much time in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. There especially was the sacrificial and saving work of the Messiah foretold, and this had been the great theme of Jesus’ words to Nicodemus (John 3:14-21). And in the heart of that great passage is the statement: “And He made His grave with the wicked (thus near the execution and burial grounds of the condemned criminals), but (a better translation in this context than “and”) with the rich man (therefore, a rich man must somehow provide a grave for Him even in these unlikely circumstances) in His death” (Isaiah 53:9). Joseph somehow decided himself to assume this prophetic obligation. He proceeded to purchase the land, cut out the tomb, plant a garden, purchase the required materials for the burial and hide them there, and then wait there with Nicodemus until they could perform that service for the Lord for which they had been born.

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE PLACE PREPARED FOR THE BURIAL OF CHRIST’S BODY: Some such background as this is necessary to understand the otherwise inexplicable prescience of Joseph. Why, for example, should he, a rich man of Arimathaea, buy a burial ground in Jerusalem instead of his own home town? And, especially, why should he purchase it in such a place as this—adjacent to the hill of Golgotha, where day after day there would come the cries of dying criminals and the wails of mourning families? Furthermore, it was a brand new tomb, not one in which others of the family had been buried (John 19:41), one that Joseph himself had hewn out in the rock (Matthew 27:60), perhaps not wishing others even to know about its preparation.

PROPHETIC PRECISION IN THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE BURIAL OF CHRIST’S BODY: Strange also was the fact that Joseph knew exactly when Jesus died, and was immediately able to rush to Pilate with the request for His body, before others even realized He was dead (Mark 15:43-44). Even stranger was the fact that immediately thereafter came Nicodemus carrying one hundred Roman pounds (or 66 pounds in our terms, the Roman pound was 12 ounces) of ointment for the burial (one does not carry even one hundred Roman pounds very far!). Then, while the women watched from a distance, no doubt in amazement, these two respected members of the Sanhedrin gently lowered the body from the cross, wound it in the linen clothes, applied the spices and ointments, laid the body in the tomb, and then departed. Never, so far as the Biblical record goes, were they ever heard from again, but there can be no doubt that this one act cost them their positions and probably their possessions, and possibly even their lives.

Much of these points are quoted or adapted from Henry Morris, Creation Trilogy, Many Infallible Proofs Appedices, electronic edition, n.p.

The Prophetic Precision of the Resurrection

The resurrection caught the disciples completely by surprise. There is no indication that they had any hope after Christ’s death. In fact, when they did see Him they were frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost (Luke 24:37).

THE PROPHETIC PRECISION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS: Although the prophecies of His resurrection in the Old Testament were not evident to a superficial reader, they should have been correctly understood by those in Israel who diligently studied the Word. Such prophecies as found in Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Psalm 16:9-11; Psalm 22:14-25; Psalm 30:2-9; Psalm 40:1-3; Psalm 110:1; Psalm 118:21-24; Isaiah 53:9-12; Hosea 5:15-6:3; Zechariah 12:10; and others, if carefully studied, would have indicated that the coming Messiah would be put to death and then rise again.

THE PROPHETIC PRECISION OF CHRIST’S TEACHINGS: Even if they had not been able to anticipate the resurrection from the Old Testament, however, they had the clear statements to this effect from the lips of Christ Himself. Note John 2:19; Matthew 12:38-42; 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19; 26:30-32; John 10:17-18; 16:16; and many other passages in the four Gospels. One thing is certain: the disciples could not have fabricated the story of the resurrection from their own imaginations. On the contrary, they somehow failed to anticipate it even after such an abundance of prophetic preparation for it, both from the Scriptures and from Christ. It took the strongest of evidences to convince them it had actually taken place. But once they became convinced, their lives were wholly transformed, and they went forth to live and witness and even to die for their resurrected Lord.

So, as we have seen all this, Is your heart strengthened to trust even more our great God? Do you want to follow Him who wants to direct our paths? Will we trust and obey Him who wants us to do His will, not our own!

So Palm Sunday affirms the Prophetic Precision of God's Word. How can we relate that to life in Tulsa in 2002? We should live lives consecrated to God’s will -- like Christ's! Hebrews 10:7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ”

We should live lives filled with God’s Will – like Christ's! Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

We should live lives guided by God’s Will – like Christ's! Look at His life again in Matthew 1.22; 2.15; 2.23; 4.14; 8.17; 12.17; 13.35; 21.4; 27.35.

But for this morning we need to look at this entry and presentation to Israel Christ accomplished. After thirty years of relative obscurity as a boy, a carpenter with just a glimpse at age 12 going to the Temple. Then these three and a half action packed years of incredible ministry. Now we are at the final week! What did Jesus emphasize in those final days? We need to weigh them because they were so important to Him that He shared them at this crucial time. What? He spoke of His promised Return and Judgment! From the Triumphal Entry to the Cross Jesus emphasized future things!

In fact, in all the Gospels as soon as the dust has settled from the Palm branch strewn road to Jerusalem, Christ is talking about things to come. Note what Matthew records:

  • Matthew 21:41 They said to Him, "He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease [his] vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons." (NKJV)
  • Matthew 22:13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' (NKJV)
  • Matthew 23:33 "Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? (NKJV)
  • Matthew 24:51 "and will cut him in two and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (NKJV)
  • Matthew 25:30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' (NKJV)

He repeats it. I the Christ am returning and will Judge sinners who do not repent and bow to me!

In Mark 11:1-10 through chapter 13: He is talking about things to come. The same is true from Luke 19:29-38 (Triumphal) to chapter 21:10-38 He teaches about a future returning and judgment!

But note John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if [it were] not [so,] I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, [there] you may be also. (NKJV)

What a precious word of comfort in this dark hour of doom and judgment. Jesus says, don’t be troubled, I will take care of you my own! This is John’s introduction to the second event in God's plan for the future: the Rapture (the parousia or royal return Paul describes in I Thessalonians).

Out of the gloom and doom of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 comes hope . . . let’s look at three promises God gives His church through the Rapture:

A Promised Homegoing John 14

Though suffering and enduring this world’s wrath is tough, there is a bright future coming. Christ is personally preparing a place for us. He will return for us, so the Rapture is a promised home going! The Rapture is a Promised Rescue Matthew 24 from coming wrath!

First of all the Scriptures portray a rescue in the lives of Noah, Lot, Enoch and Elijah:

Look at Matthew 24:38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, (NKJV). What happened to Noah in his day? He was saved from the Flood!

Look at Luke 17:24-37 24 "For as the lightning that flashes out of one [part] under heaven shines to the other [part] under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 "But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed [them] all. 30 "Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 "In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods [are] in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 "Remember Lot's wife. 33 "Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 "I tell you, in that night there will be two [men] in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 "Two [women] will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 "Two [men] will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left." 37 And they answered and said to Him, "Where, Lord?" So He said to them, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together." (NKJV)

Secondly, not only is it portrayed, it is described:

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, [even] Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (NKJV) delivers in greek is rhuo “rescued with power”. God has promised in His power to rescue us!
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:17 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. (NKJV) Paul said we would be harpadzo “seized hastily and drawn with swift and sudden movement to oneself” kind of like how you pull someone from being hit by a speeding car!

Finally, it is not only portrayed and described, it is promised as a rescue from coming wrath:

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (NKJV)
  • Revelation 3:10 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (NKJV)

So the rapture is a promised Homegoing in John 14, a Promised Rescue in Matthew 24 from God's coming wrath, finally it is a promised transformation of our bodies. But that is for tonight. What should our response be? The King has spoken. We should respond in three ways: expectance, patience and preparedness.


We can’t know when it exactly will be! Acts 1:7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. (NKJV)

We can know it is near because the Lord says Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (NKJV)

We must remember that it is for us to watch Matthew 25:13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. (NKJV)

God expects from us a patient expectancy of instant readiness for eternity. We must always be ready for the last things first thing each day. Why? Because Jesus said Luke 12:35-36 "Let your waist be girded and [your] lamps burning; 36 "and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. (NKJV)


Remember James 5:8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (NKJV) Beware of calculating and speculating. There are equally great and saintly teachers with very divergent views. Remember it is not for us to know!

Some sad predictions:

  • Luther said the world would end in 1556.
  • Famous Bible commentator John Cocceius said it would be in 1667.
  • Amos Comenius said it would be in 1672.
  • Scientist Isaac Newton predicted the Lord would come in 1715.
  • Noted scholar J.A. Bengal taught it would be in 1836.

Beyond those are all the contradictions of the Millerites or Seventh Day Adventists, the recent prophecy hounds “88 reasons for 1988” and then 100 for 1989 . . .

Some sage advice: Eschatology or Bible prophecies about future events should Rebuke dogmatism, induce forbearance and provoke inquiry! Finally Expectance, Patience and lastly - preparedness. How do we prepare? Try answering these three questions:

  • Do you know Christ personaly?
  • Do you serve Christ constantly?
  • Do you love Christ completely?

He is coming again! Hallelujah! 

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