Message delivered at Hartstone Bible Camp
In this passage the Paul shares the burning hope and eager expectation that motivates him to a life, decisions and attitude that cut off the siren calls of his flesh and instead keeps the focus of his life now aimed at pleasing the Lord.
Titus 2:11-14 and the Rapture, our Blessed Hope
Proofs of the rapture being pre-tribulational rather than mid-trib/pre-wrath, or post-tribulational
Rev 3:10, The promise to be kept out (ek) of the hour of trouble.
Rev 6:17, 1 Thess 1:10, 5:9 The Tribulation is a time of the outpouring of the wrath of God on the people on the earth, yet the church is exempted from wrath.
1 Thess 5:1-6 The Scriptures teach that the rapture of the church is imminent. That means there are no other signs or prophetic events to be completed before its arrival at any moment. But the rapture can only be imminent, be hanging right there as the Blessed Hope for believers in Jesus if it is pre-tribulational. This is because the events of the Tribulation are carefully sequenced out and timed out over 7 years, or 3 ½ and 3 ½ years per Daniel, the Revelation and Jesus in Matthew 24. Once the Tribulation begins, and Daniel tells us that is when the AntiChrist confirms a covenant regarding the security of Israel lasting 7 years, things begin happening like clockwork. So if the Rapture were to occur at any other point than before the Tribulation, it could not be thought of as imminent, the next thing on the prophetic clock for the church.
Key Distinctions between the 2nd Coming of Jesus and the Rapture of the church
1) At the rapture, believers meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17). At the second coming, believers return with the Lord to the earth (Revelation 19:14).
2) The second coming occurs after the great and terrible tribulation (Revelation chapters 6–19). The rapture occurs before the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10).
3) The rapture is the removal of believers from the earth as an act of deliverance (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 5:9). The second coming includes the removal of unbelievers as an act of judgment (Matthew 24:40-41).
4) The rapture will be secret and instant (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). The second coming will be visible to all (Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:29-30).
5) The rapture is imminent; it could take place at any moment. And there are no signs in this age preceding it. We might say that the Rapture is THE next thing on God’s eschatology chart and there are no signs leading up to it. (Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54).
The second coming of Christ will not occur until after certain other end-times events take place (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:15-30; Revelation chapters 6–18).
How should we then live in light of our any-moment catching up and translation to our glorified bodies and being with Christ forever, and the concerns and pleasures of this world and life fading by comparison into just a distant memory?
Titus 2 gives us some key things to consider and align with
And these connect us to the call of 1 John 3:1-3
Our future home with Jesus John 14:1-3
Preach the gospel. Share this future hope and joy with those around you. Because absent salvation in Jesus Christ, the future for those who reject His forgiveness and gift of eternal life are truly without a hope and a future.