John Hagee - The Final Farewell
Let me give you the Bible basis for the Rapture of the Church. John 14:2 and 3: 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. Say that with me, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there you may be also. A second verse of scripture confirming the coming of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:51: behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep but we shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. And we, the living, shall be changed.
Some try to ignore the rapture of the church, because they say the word "Rapture" is not found in the biblical text. That's true. But the word "Trinity" is not found in the biblical text: and yet, it is taught very plainly in Matthew 28:19: Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It's a very clear word picture of the Trinity. The Trinity begins in Genesis 1: Let US make man in OUR own image. And it continues till the end of the revelation. The rapture of the church of Jesus Christ is the first phase of Christ' return.
When the rapture happens, the trump of God shall sound, Jesus will descend from heaven. He will stay in the clouds. He's not coming to earth. He will be in the clouds and he will bring with him the perfected spirits of believers who have died. At that same instant, he will resurrect their bodies, and their bodies shall join their spirits as they sail into heaven. This is what Paul means when he says: the mortal shall put on immortality? The dead in Christ will rise first. They are joining their spiritual body coming with Christ.
How does this happen? Christ is the victor over death, hell and the grave. Listen. If one molecule of your body remains in the grave, he is not victor. This is his day of absolute victory over satan and over his kingdom. He is the absolute victor over death, hell and the grave. The victory belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah to the lamb of God.
Let me show you on this chart. We are now living in the church age. And you're driving home today and suddenly you take off, and you're gone in the twinkling of an eye. You've gone to the mansions on high that God has promised for those who are redeemed. In this rapture experience, the living are here. They are translated saints. But the dead in Christ, who have been buried, this is the grave. The dead in Christ, who have been buried, go first. And their spirits are joined here. And we both walk through the gates of heaven together to go to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
What is that? "The judgment seat of Christ" is not to determine if you get to heaven: you are in heaven. It's to determine what you did in your Christian life and how well you did it. We are going to answer for the gap that exists between what you could have done had you obeyed the Lord and what you did not do: because you are going to give an account for every word, for every thought, and for every deed. That's another sermon for another day. Then the Antichrist is going to appear. He's going to rule the world for seven years. And then there will be many, many people who will be killed then, who will not take his mark. Then the tribulation saints are going to be taken into heaven to join the body of Christ so that they can be participants in the marriage supper of the lamb.
Down on this earth, when satan is bound, he'll be thrown into hell. There will still be the wicked in the grave. There is going to be a thousand years of perfect peace when the lion shall lay down with the lamb. Think about that. Isaiah said: it will be such peace that if your child is playing in a cockatrice nest you have no fear of the child being injured. We're going to have that kind of peace. Men will study war no more. There will not be a battle of any kind for a thousand years of perfect peace.
At that point in time, those who have not received Christ, who have been lying in the grave seven years and a thousand years. A thousand and seven years later are going to rise here in what the Bible calls "The Second Resurrection". It is the Great White Throne Judgment for the wicked, and only the wicked are there. And the Bible says: there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Why? Because the only reason they are there is to be judged, to return to come back to live forever in the lake of fire, according to Revelation 20:14 and 15. There's weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth because they know their soul is lost, because they did not receive Jesus Christ as the Son of God. That explains the resurrections that are recorded in the Bible.
Now, when does this happen? Christ is the victor over death, hell and the grave. If one molecule of your body remains in the grave, he is not victor. This is his day of absolute victory over satan. Victory is ours through the Lord Jesus Christ. When the dead in Christ rise first and are rejoined with their spirits and sail into heaven, those who are alive and remain shall be caught up in the twinkling of an eye. What is "The twinkling of an eye"? Paul couldn't say in a nanosecond, because people didn't know what a nanosecond was. "The twinkling of an eye" is not the batting of an eye, because the batting of an eye requires that the neurological impulse go to the brain and back to the muscle in the eye, and you blink. Very, very quick, but that's not fast enough. The twinkling of an eye is when it goes straight to the brain and that's it. It's quicker than a blinking of an eye. Literally, biblically, it is the snatching away so instantaneously it is not perceptible by natural vision. That's quick.
What is the rapture? The resurrection of the righteous and transformation of the living believers. Those who die without accepting Jesus Christ are going to remain in their graves another 1.007 years until they come to the judgment for the wicked. There will be a second resurrection and it is the resurrection that John calls "The resurrection of the damned". They will be brought to the Great White Throne judgment, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, because they have rejected the Son of God and are now being formally sentenced. Why? Because it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment.
Christians will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ. The wicked will be judged at the Great White Throne judgment. Listen. We are not ever going to appear together to be judged. It's important for you to understand that. Pastor Hagee, what's the difference? What difference does it make whether I believe in the rapture or not? Exactly this: Hebrews 9:28 says: to those who eagerly look for him, he will appear a second time. Hear that? To those who eagerly look for him, will he appear a second time. That means if you're not looking for him, you're not going with him. That's what that means. The Bible says: watch and pray that you may be counted worthy to escape those things that are coming on the earth.
There are six certified accounts of raptures occurring in the scripture. Let me give them to you. The first is the rapture of Enoch in Genesis 5:24, confirmed by Hebrews 11:5. Genesis 5:24 says: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not, for God took him. Snatched him off of the earth.
The second rapture is the rapture of Elijah, 2 Kings 2: And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind... That behold there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire... And Elijah went up in the whirlwind into heaven. Elijah has been in heaven over 3.000 years, and he's never died. Why is that important? Because the Bible says: it is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgement. He's been up there breathing oxygen or whatever you breathe in your mortal body. Things like that bother me. How does he get, where was the transformation here? Ten thousand feet there's no oxygen. How is he doing it? I'm sure God didn't put that in the Bible. But I'm going to ask him when I get to heaven.
The third rapture is the rapture of Isaiah. Isaiah 6:1 and 3. Isaiah 6:1: In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon the throne, and his train filled the temple. The angels placed a live coal on Isaiah's lips... For my eyes have seen the king. This was not a vision: he was in heaven.
The fourth rapture was that of Jesus in Acts 1:9-11: and when he (Jesus) had spoken these things, he was taken up in a cloud and received him out of the sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men standing by them in white apparel. They were angels. Ye men of Galilee, why stand you here gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall come again in like manner as you have seen him go.
Philip vanished into thin air. He did not go to heaven, but he was bodily transported, not to heaven, but from one geographical location to another that was 20 miles away. There was an Ethiopian that was reading the scripture. It was imperative that this Ethiopian understand what the scripture was about, because he was critical to getting the Gospel message to his nation. And God had an evangelist, Philip, 20 miles down the road. There was no high-speed taxi, so God just reached over, snatched him. And put him right down by the chariot. And he said, do you understand what you're reading? And the Ethiopian said, no. He explained it. And the Gospel explosion happened that carried the Gospel to the African nations.
The rapture of Saint Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: and I know a man, whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell, how he was caught up into paradise (heaven). Jesus said to the thief on the cross: this day you will be with me in paradise. That was heaven. And heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.
Please understand that the first six raptures have already occurred. And the seventh rapture of the church is the only rapture that is still to come. The imminent return of Jesus Christ to this earth is right now, not in the future. The mystery of the rapture is in 1 Corinthians 51: behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep but we shall be changed in a moment. The word "Mystery" in the New Testament is a truth that has never been revealed until this time. It's a divine revelation. You put these Bible verses together and you have this picture: the trump of God shall sound, announcing the appearance of royalty. The voice of the Archangel shall summons the righteous from their graves. And all over the earth, the graves are going to explode as the occupants soar into the heavens to be united with their spiritual bodies for the meeting in the air. Coming instantly behind them will be those who are alive instantly transformed by the supernatural power of the living God.
Now get this picture. Churches are going to be packed with weeping, sobbing hysterical people: the Lord has come and we are left behind to go through the hell on earth of the Great Tribulation. You're either going to take the mark of the beast and lose your soul or have your head cut off. And that's your choice when you walk into the tribulation because you've rejected Jesus. Some of you watching this telecast are going to be in line to take the mark of the beast, because what you think I'm saying is pure poppy cock. You're living a godless life and Jesus Christ is the last person you want to think about or talk to. But I assure you: he is the answer to every need in your life. He is the person you are looking for.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 speaks of escaping the wrath of God in the coming Great Tribulation. Listen to this verse. You turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, which is Jesus who rescues us from the wrath that is to come. Who rescues us from the wrath that is to come. And it's speaking about the tribulation.
A second verse for those of you who are just insisting we're going through the tribulation. You must enjoy suffering. But listen to this. 1 Thessalonians 5:9: for God has not destined us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The problem with the English language, that "Salvation" is too broad attempt. That word in the Greek is "Soteria". And it means "To be rescued physically". So read it that way. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to be rescued (physically) through the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what it means. Give the Lord praise in the house.
In closing, what are we going to escape? The Great Tribulation. Walk with me quickly through just two chapters of the book of revelation. One, one-third of all the vegetation in the earth is going to be burned up (all grass, all trees) from the intense heat of the sun. The sun and the moon are going to be darkened, as there's a revolt against nature. It's going to be darkened for weeks on in, and people will fall into deep depression across the earth. Thirdly, the gates of hell are going to be opened. And the hoards of locusts, the size of a horse, upon the earth shall sting men like a scorpion. And the sting will last for a period of five months. Men will beg God to let them to die. And God says, no.
There will be a worldwide famine. You can see it right now beginning to develop. A world will be so bloody that the blood of those who are killed in battle will flow for 200 miles up to the bridle of a horse in the valley of Jezereel in Israel. Every person on earth is going to be covered with running, festering boils like Job. The seven seas of earth will turn to blood. Every river, every creek, just as when Egypt was cursed of God will produce blood. No oxygen will be in the water. The fish will die, producing famine, producing a maddening thirst and a stench that will cover the earth. The sun will scorch the earth and men with fire in a heat situation unlike the world could ever imagine.
Global warming is going to happen. It's really going to happen. Major uncontrollable fires are going to break out all over the world spontaneously, destroying homes, vegetation, national economy, livestock. Earthquakes are so shattering that the islands of the sea are going to disappear. That will be places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Every wall shall fall down flat. Hear that, "Every wall on planet earth". Millions of people are going to be trapped beneath the rubble. And no one can come to their aid because the freeways are torn up, the highways, there's no transportation, gas lines are going to be ruptured, producing fires, major fires in every city simultaneously. Revelation 9:15, four angels are released by God to destroy one-third of mankind in one day.
Now I ask you, being of sound mind, and having two brain cells that work, don't you want to miss that? I do. I do. I really do. And I'm going to miss it! King Jesus is going to sound the trumpet in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. It's going to be a literal meeting in the air. The Lion of the describe of Judah, the Lord of glory, the light of the world is coming to redeem us. He is the lover of my soul, the Son of king David. He is the day star. The bright in the morning star, the fairest of 10.0000, the rose of sharon, and the lily of the valley is on his way.
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the one who was, and is, and ever more shall be. He is the bread of life at the marriage supper of the lamb. He is the fountain of living water. He is the rock of my salvation. He is my shield and my buckler, my fortress and my high tower. He is the cornerstone precious and elect in Zion. Upon this rock have I built my church, he said, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He is Emmanuel, God with us, the hope of glory. He is the friend that sticketh closer than a brother. He is the fountain filled with blood. He is heaven's hope and hell's dread. He is crowned with many crowns, because he is the king of all kings and he is the Lord of all Lords. Give him highest praise in the house of God!
Stand. There are two groups of people watching this telecast and two groups of people that are in this service, those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and those who have not. You have just heard me briefly describe two chapters in the book of revelation. There are seven years of constant suffering that is so beyond belief that when God pulled back the drape of the book of revelation, and the church was standing in heaven and they saw it, there was total silence for 30 minutes, because they couldn't grasp the horror of what's happening.
You can escape that with one single prayer and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. If you're in this room and you've never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you've never prayed the sinner's prayer, I'd like for you to slip your hand up, because I want to pray it with you now. Would you hold your hand up now? God bless you. God bless you. Hold it up high. God knows you. Thank you. God bless you and God bless you. And God bless you, sir. And God bless you. Those of you that are watching by television, you could join us in this prayer. There's no distance in prayer. God can hear you right where you are. Pray this prayer right now.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. And today, may the blood of Jesus be applied to my record in heaven. Father God, from this day forward, I will serve you with my heart, soul, mind, and body. I will read your word. And I will obey your word. From this day, I am a Christian, born again. By the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, I have eternal life. Amen.