First Thessalonians, chapter four, the part of the chapter that I want to focus on at the end dealing with the rapture. What I want to preach about today is this new Hollywood movie that's coming out this Friday, Left Behind. This movie is one of a series of "biblical" movies that Hollywood has been putting out lately. It's almost scary how many biblical movies that they're putting out. They put out recently the Noah movie, which was a complete perversion of scripture. I didn't watch the movie, but I can read the synopsis of these movies online, and they're nowhere near what the Bible teaches. Then there's the Son of God movie. Then there's an Exodus movie that's coming out now of Moses and parting the Red Sea and all that once again. Then this new Left Behind movie that comes out Friday.
Let me tell you something, it's not that Hollywood suddenly loves God, and loves Jesus, and loves the Bible. That's not what's going on. If you believe that, you're very naïve. Some people have said, "Well, they just know that they can make money off Christians," and whatever. That's not it at all, because the phony Christians of our day in the United States will go see whatever worldly movie they put out. It doesn't have to be a Bible movie to get these worldly new evangelical Christians to go to the theater and watch it.
There's an agenda, my friend, to twist and distort the teachings of the Bible, and I believe that it is in preparation for the end times, that the devil wants to distort the word of God, and get people so confused that when these things begin to come to pass, they will have no idea what's going on, and they'll be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, and these things will take them unaware. They will not do as the Bible says, and watch, and be sober unto the end, but, rather, they'll have no clue what's going on.
I want to start in First Thessalonians, chapter four, which is probably the most famous rapture passage. It gives the clearest teaching here, and I want to start out by saying there's a lot of people that have wrongly reacted to all this false teaching about the rapture, to just go to the opposite extreme and say there is no rapture, because the pre-tribulation rapture is a fraud, because the Left Behind movie is a fraud, they walk away saying, "The rapture just doesn't exist." That's just as dangerous of a teaching, if you're going to deny that the rapture exists, and the Bible is very clear in First Thessalonians 4 that the rapture exists, many other passages. It's just that it comes after the tribulation. That is the colossal difference between what the Bible teaches and what Hollywood is teaching.
Don't get caught up in every bandwagon that the world wants to get you on. So many people are so plugged into the world, and they're so plugged into the media and TV, or social media, or the news, to where they just get caught up in every trend that comes along. The world has an agenda, and it's a godless agenda. We need to study our Bibles to stay anchored to the truth, and not just be carried away with the trends of the world.
Another example I have to think up is this show Duck Dynasty, which I've never seen the show, but I've seen all the bunch of long haired hippies on the show that are lifted up now as just the greatest Christian examples in America today. I mean these guys are just lifted up and exalted as these are our Christian role models. Look at these wonderful Christians. Let me tell you something, none of them are saved. They're on their way to hell today. Why? Because they're not even believing the gospel of Jesus Christ. They believe that you have to be baptized to be saved. They believe in the seven steps to salvation of the so called Church of Christ, false religion. Seven steps to salvation, including baptism to be saved, and they're being lifted up as these great Godly examples. Get a hair cut, then we'll talk. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then we'll talk. Become a Baptist, then we'll talk. But this Church of Christ false denomination, but nobody cares. They're just so thrilled that somebody on TV, somebody in Hollywood is throwing Jesus a bone or throwing God a bone.
No, wrong. It's another Jesus. It's a false gospel. It's a false religion, and anytime the world is exalting someone, you know they're a false prophet, period. The Bible says, "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you, for so they did unto the false prophet," and when somebody has a bestselling TV show amongst this godless generation of the United States of America, you can just take it to the bank that they're not teaching the truth.
Let me tell you something, when Hollywood puts out a movie, which, by the way, I bring up Duck Dynasty because one of those long haired hippies from Duck Dynasty is the executive producer of Left Behind, and is pushing this pre-trib doctrine, also, in addition to all of his other heresies.
You'd think that Baptists would wake up, and realize when Hollywood is teaching your doctrine, it's time to rethink your doctrine, because Hollywood never puts out an accurate biblical movie. If you ask the Baptists of our day, "Hey, is the Noah movie accurate?" "No." "Exodus accurate?" "No." "Son of God accurate?" "No." "Left Behind?" "Oh, yeah, nails it." Left Behind, just dead on. It's exactly how it's going to be.
No, it's a lie. I hope that they wake up, but they won't. Let me just show you from First Thessalonians 4 what the Bible actually teaches. Look at verse number thirteen. It says, "That I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren," and that right there is a whole sermon in and of itself. We need to know the Bible, and here's the thing. You might say, "Why do we need teaching on Bible prophesy? How does this apply to my daily life?" What does the Bible say? He doesn't want us to be ignorant about these things, so we need to know the contents of this sermon, because God doesn't want us to be ignorant of these things.
He said, "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them, also, which sleep in Jesus will God bring with them."
Let me start off by saying this, sleeping or being asleep in Jesus in the Bible is a euphemism for death. This is referring to people who have died, and the reason that it's called sleeping is that the Bible talks about how they sleep in the depths of the earth. It's talking about the body, and the reason it's characterized as sleep is because one day that body will rise again. There will be a bodily resurrection. This is not a soul sleep, and the reason why we know that for sure is that in verse fourteen, it says, "If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them, also, which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with them." At the return of Christ, notice, he's bringing them with him that are asleep in Jesus, isn't he? He's bringing them.
Later in the passage, at the end of verse sixteen it says, "The dead in Christ shall rise first." Do you notice in one verse, it says he's bringing them with him. In another verse it says they're going to rise first. You say, "How can that be?" Here's how, because the soul is in heaven. The body is buried in the earth. When he returns, he's going to bring them with him, the souls, and then they're going to rise, the bodies, and basically in a moment and a twinkling of an eye, they're going to be changed in the air, and they're going to be transformed from that corruptible body to an incorruptible body, to a new spiritual body.
It's interesting in verse fourteen, that we have a very clear proof of the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, because notice who it says is going to be coming in the clouds. It says, "If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them, also, which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." Who is coming in the clouds? Jesus, and he's bringing them with him. It says, "God will bring them with him."
Then it says, "This we say unto you be the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord," so, again, it's calling Jesus the Lord, and calls him God, calls him the Lord. It says, "We which are alive remain under the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep," meaning we're not going to come before them that are asleep, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord, wherefore comfort one another with these words."
I don't see how you can read this passage and say that the rapture doesn't exist. The Bible's crystal clear here, and we're going to see it in a few other passages as well, but the Bible is very clear that Jesus Christ will come in the clouds. A trumpet will sound. There will be a shout of an archangel, and then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
A lot of people will say the word rapture is not found in the Bible, but the word caught up in the clouds is found in the Bible, and actually where we get our English word rapture is from the Latin, because in the Latin Bible, the word for catching up or caught up is a derivative of the word rapture, and so that's where we get that word in English. It just sounds catchier than calling it the catching away, the catching up. It just doesn't sound as good as saying the rapture, so it's just a different word to describe this event.
To say that because the word rapture is not in the Bible, that the doctrine of the rapture is not in the Bible is foolish, because it says we're going to be caught up in the clouds. Whatever you want to call that, the catching up into the clouds, it just is a mouthful, but the doctrine is still there. The teaching is there.
If you would, flip over to Matthew, chapter twenty-four, and I want to show you some things about this that the new Left Behind movie is not going to tell you, because the Left Behind movie is a fraud, just like every movie that Hollywood puts out is a fraud. Look at Matthew 24, and look at verse number twenty-nine. It says, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days," and, of course, the Left Behind movie teaches that the rapture happens before the tribulation, even though the Bible clearly says it happens after the tribulation. They teach that it can happen at any moment, but the lies don't end there. Keep reading. It says, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heavens, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet," watch this, "and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other."
First of all, the Left Behind movie says it's going to happen before the tribulation. The Bible says it's going to happen after. Not only that, the Left Behind movie teaches that everybody's going to disappear. Did First Thessalonians 4 say anything about anybody disappearing? Did it say people will disappear? No, it says that we'll be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. We get a little more detail in Matthew 24, but guess what it says, we'll be caught up, it doesn't really tell us who is doing the catching up, but in Matthew 24, it very clearly tells us in verse thirty-one that, He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other."
There's no disappearance happening. There's no pile of clothes. I don't think these angels are going to show up, strip you of your clothing, and then pull you out of here. They're going to catch you up as is, and take you up in the clouds. That's what the Bible actually teaches.
If you go down a little further in the passage, it says in verse thirty-six, "But of that day and hour, knoweth no man, know not the angels of heaven but my father only." No man knows the day or the hour, but we do know that it's after the tribulation because he just said that a few verses ago. Then he says, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be, for as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating, and drinking, and marrying, and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away. So shall, also, the coming of the Son of Man be."
This parallel with the story of Noah is that the day that Noah entered into the ark, it started raining, and God shut the door of the ark, and it rained on the ungodly, and they were flooded, and all drowned and killed. Up to that point, they didn't really see it coming, but they were killed.
The same thing, the Bible says, is going to happen in the coming of Son of Man. He says in verse number forty, "Then shall two be in the field. The one shall be taken and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill. The one shall be taken and the other left. Watch, therefore, for you know not what hour your Lord doth come." These verses is where the movie, Left Behind, takes its title, where he talks about two people being in the field, right? One's taken. The other is what? Left behind, left behind. That's where they're getting this from. One's taken, the other left.
What's funny is that then to people that defend their false movie and their false book series, here's what they'll say, "Oh, Matthew 24 is not about the rapture." They'll say, "Matthew 24 is not about the rapture. It's about the second coming of Christ." First of all, First Thessalonians 4, the most famous rapture passage, calls the rapture the coming of the Lord. Unless it's coming one point five, that would make it the second coming, right? First coming, Bethlehem. Second coming, in the clouds, trumpet sounds, we're caught up together with him, according to First Thessalonians 4.
You say, "Oh, Revelation 19, he comes on a white horse at Armageddon." That's never called the coming of Christ. Show me one place in the Bible where Jesus on the white horse at Armageddon is ever called the coming of Christ. It isn't there, and if it were called the coming of Christ, it would be a third coming, but it's never called that. It's never referred to as that. Whenever we see the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints, for example, that's where it says, "Them that are asleep in Jesus will God bring with them," at the rapture, First Thessalonians, chapter four. People will say, "Well, the difference between the rapture and the second coming is that at the rapture he comes for his saints, and at the second coming, he comes with his saints." Wait a minute, it says that if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, he would show them, also, with sleep, and Jesus will God bring with him at the rapture. He's coming with his saints at the rapture.
That's what the Bible says. They have all these cute things of, "The difference between the second coming and the rapture." No, the rapture is the second coming. That's what it's called, the coming of our Lord.
People don't disappear. They're carried away by the angels. They're caught up by the angels. The Bible says he'll send his angels to gather his elect.
Another thing that's interesting though is that these people will tell you Matthew 24 is not about the rapture, but then they'll take their whole concept for the movies, two in the field, one taken, the other left from a chapter that's supposedly not of the rapture. Then some people will say, "Well, first, he's not talking about the rapture. Then he's talking about the rapture again. Then he's not ..." Look, God's not the author of confusion. This passage is all talking about the same event of Christ coming in the clouds, gathering the elect, one is taken, the other is left behind. That's what's actually been taught, and it's after the tribulation.
Go to Luke 17, Luke, chapter seventeen. Actually Luke 17 is the first time that Jesus really goes into detail and teaches people about the rapture, and teaches people about his second coming, because even though you don't get to Luke 17 until after Matthew 24 when you're reading the Bible, Luke 21 is parallel with Matthew 24. If Luke 21 and Matthew 24 are parallel, that means Luke 17 comes first.
This is Jesus' first teaching of the disciples that's recorded in scripture, where he really goes into detail about what it's going to be like when he returns, and in Luke 17, it says in verse twenty-two, "And he said unto his disciples, 'The days will come when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and ye shall not see it, and they shall say to you, 'See here, or see there.' Go not after them nor follow them, for as the lightening that lighteth out of the one part under heaven, shineth under the other part under heaven, so shall, also, the Son of Man be in his day.'"
What that's saying there is that if you have to wonder, "Is this the second coming of Christ," then it's not it. If there's any doubt in your mind, if anybody is wondering, "Is this really the big one or not," it's not, because the Bible says there will be no doubt. If anybody tells you, "It's the second coming of Christ. He's here. He's there," he said, "If there's any doubt about it, it's not," because when Jesus Christ returns, the Bible says it will be like the lightening that lights up one side heaven all the way to the other.
We experienced this last night. There was a lot of lightening last night, but there was one particular lightening bolt that literally I had my back to where the lightening struck, and it lit up the whole sky in front of me, because it literally just lit up the whole sky, three hundred and sixty degrees around where I was. It was that bright last night. Anybody see that type of lightening last night?
I was outside dealing with the gigantic three that fell on my house, but, anyway, thankfully it didn't do any damage. Thank the Lord, because it was like an act of God that it didn't damage anything, but a big, giant tree came crashing down. Thankfully nobody was injured or anything. We were out there working on it, and there was a lot of lightening and stuff like that.
If you have to wonder, it's not, and that's what God's warning us. All the people that are going to be deceived by the anti-Christ, they don't understand this concept, that there will be zero doubt when he comes, and he says in verse number twenty-five, "But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation," talking to the people that he was with at the time. "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be, also, in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." Watch this. "Likewise, also, as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all, even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
A couple things we see here. First of all, we saw in First Thessalonians, chapter four, and in Matthew 24, that the rapture comes after the tribulation, not before. This Left Behind movie is a lie. Secondly, we saw that this idea that the Left Behind movie teaches, where everybody disappears, and you have piles of clothes, that's, also, a lie, because the Bible says that he'll send forth his angels to come and gather the elect from one end of heaven to the other. Then, thirdly, we see here that according to the Bible, on the day that the rapture takes place, the same day, God will rain fire and brimstone from heaven, the same day that we are removed. He compared it first to Noah, and said the same day Noah entered into the ark, it rained upon them, and, of course, that was water that flooded and drowned them. Then he said, also, as it was in the days of Lot, where it rained fire and brimstone. It says the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone.
Thus shall it be, also, in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. It's going to be the same way, he said, when Jesus comes back. If you study Revelation, that's exactly what happens, literally a half hour goes by, after we are removed, and God pours out fire and brimstone upon this earth, and burns up. By the way, it says that it's going to burn up all the grass that's on the earth. I mean it's going to rain fire and brimstone to the point where all the grass is going to be burned up.
Some people have asked, "Well, if all the grass is burned up with the sounding of the first trumpet there of the wrath of God being poured out, where he rains fire and brimstone on the earth, how can the locust be told that they're not going to eat any grass with the fifth trumpet?" You know what that proves, is that there's a substantial period of time between the first trumpet and the fifth trumpet, because of the fact that if you burn up all the grass, you know what's going to happen a year later? You're going to have all the grass again, because grass grows up. In the course of a year, you're going to have all the grass come back.
I've seen some places that were very severely burned. There's a hiking trail that we've been going on most of our lives in Northern California by where I used to live, and there was a major forest fire. First, I went on this hiking trail, and it was all nice, and green, and pristine. Then a fire came through, and just wiped out half of the trail. All the trees burned up. All the green grass burned up, but we went back there just shortly after that fire, a year, two, three, whatever, later, and there were all kinds of new grasses and plants. The trees are going to take a lot longer to be replaced. You just have these big, black, burnt sticks sticking out of the ground, and the sun just beating down on you, no shade, but all of the grasses and things are just thriving, because without the trees, they're growing better, and there are all kinds of grass. It doesn't take long for the grass to be replaced, my friend.
The Bible is really clear that God is going to pour out his wrath on this earth, and it's going to take years. It's not going to be something that happens all in one day or something like that, or even in the course in one year, as a lot of people teach. It's going to be spread out over the course of over three years, in fact.
In this passage, it's compared unto the days of Lot. Let's think about the story of Lot just for a moment. We don't have to turn back there and look at it. Hopefully, you're familiar with the story. Let me just give you the synopsis. Lot is a righteous man. He's a saved man, and he decides to live in Sodom, because of the fact that it was a well watered plain, and he saw the financial prosperity that he could achieve by being there. His cattle is going to thrive by being in such a nice place. But the problem was that the men of Sodom, the Bible says, were sinners before the Lord exceedingly. "Well, all sin is equal." No, they were sinners before the Lord exceedingly, because their sins were very vile and wicked in the sight of God.
Lot living in the town of Sodom, is in danger of being destroyed with Sodom, and God comes to Abraham and tells Abraham that he's going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham knows that his nephew lives there, so Abraham seeks to intercede for Sodom and he says, "What if we can find fifty righteous in the city, would you destroy it," and God says, "No."
Noah gets to thinking ... Noah, good night. Abraham gets to thinking ... I'm mixing up the days of Lot and the days of Noah here. Abraham gets to thinking, and he says, "I don't know if there's fifty righteous people in that city," so he says, "What if it's just forty-five? Just because five people are missing, are you going to destroy it for want of five," and God says, "I won't destroy if there's forty-five." "Okay, how about forty?" Abraham keeps talking God down, thirty, twenty. He finally gets down to ten. He says, "God, please don't get angry at me. I'm going to say one more thing." He's a great negotiator. He's the kind of guy that you want to take to Tijuana with you. He ground him down to ten people. He said, "What if there are just ten righteous people, will you destroy it," and God says, "I won't destroy it." Of course, God ended up doing what? Destroying it, because there were not ten righteous people in Sodom.
What's interesting is that even though Abraham prayed for God not to destroy the city, he didn't really care about the wicked. He was worried about the righteous. He was worried about Lot. What's interesting is that even sometimes when we pray for things, God doesn't always answer our prayer the way that we pray it, but sometimes God will answer it in another way, and he'll do what we need. He'll do what's good for us, even if we didn't know how to ask. Because Abraham could have prayed and said, "God, would you just get Lot out of Sodom before you destroy it," and that would have been a better prayer, than to just say, "Let the city just continue to be a cesspool of filth and inequity."
God knew what Abraham's intent of his heart was, and that's what the people teaches that the Holy Spirit will do, according to Romans 8. He will intercede for us because the Bible says we don't know how to pray as we ought. I know there have been a lot of times when I was in a situation where I didn't really know what to pray for. I didn't really know what needed to happen, but I just prayed, "God, let you will be done. Just help me out here. Do something, God. I don't know what's needed," and God, when he hears that kind of prayer, he'll answer it in the way that's right. Sometimes we'll pray for the wrong thing, and God will give us something better.
Abraham prayed, and in a sense his prayer was not answered, because God destroyed the city, but in a sense, his prayer was answered, because, instead, what God ended up doing was sending his two angels to the city to remove Lot from the city.
When the two angels show up at Sodom, of course, the filthy Sodomite perverts are there, and they want to basically lie with these men carnally. Disgusting perversion of men. By the way, men with men, it's disgusting. That's what the Bible says. The Bible uses the word filthy, vile, and we ought not become permissive or tolerant of it. Preachers today, they've bought into this political garbage. It's like they get more of their beliefs from politicians than from the Bible, so they have this thing where they're on this kick against gay marriage. That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life, arguing about whether gays should get married or not.
That's not what the Bible says. The Bible doesn't say anything about that. But you know who talks a lot about that? Politicians. People like Obama, people like Mitt Romney, people like John McCain. They love to talk about gay marriage, because they love to have it both ways. Politicians like to have it both ways, so they want to say on one end, "Oh, I'm for the family. I'm against gay marriage. Protect marriage." All the conservatives, this can be the conservative side of the auditorium.
Then they go over to the liberals, who sit over here. No, I'm just kidding. Then they come over to the liberals, and they say, "Oh, man, I love queers, and homos, and faggots. They're wonderful. In fact, I'm going to hire more of them in my administration than any president who has ever been in history, and I'm going to appoint them to the Supreme Court. I'm going to hire them on my staff. Some of my best friends are perverted, filthy pedophiles."
They do it both ways. Over here, they make the conservatives happy by telling them, "I'm going to protect marriage." Then over here they're like, "Oh, but we'll still just let homos adopt children, and live together, and be queer together, adopt children that have been taken from their parents, because their parents smoked pot, and let's take it away and give it to a Sodomite."
Listen to me, it's one thing for the world to be deceived by that kind of garbage, but are you Christian? Are you Bible believing Baptists going to actually be deceived by the rhetoric of these politicians that are lying and saying, "Oh, we need to protect marriage." No, we don't. We need to stand against homosexuality, period, in general, and not tolerate it at all, have zero tolerance for it. Then to sit there and say, "Oh, let's tolerate it. Let's work with you. Let's invite you to church. Let's be your friend. Let's treat you nicely. Let's not offend you. But just one thing. You just can't get married. You just have to just live together and act like you're married, and adopt kids together, but you just can't call it marriage. Just call it something else, and then God will be okay with it."
It's a bunch of stupidity, my friend. The Bible teaches that if a man lies with another man, they should be put to death. That's what a politician should be saying. He should be saying, "If I'm elected, murderers, and adulterers, and homosexuals are going to be put to death," and he's not going to win. You know what though? He might actually get me voting again. Even though I've pretty much decided I'm never going to vote again, he might get me to vote again if he said that. The bottom line is though, I can't believe he said that, but that's what the Bible said.
People are more influenced by the world and politics than they are by the Bible. You can't show me one scripture dealing with gay marriage. In fact, I'm okay with gays getting married right before they're killed, for committing the crime of homosexuality. Again, I'm not a vigilante. I don't believe that we should take the law into our own hands. I've never harmed anybody. I'm not going to harm anybody, but I'm telling you something, in America, homosexuals used to be put to death, in America. In America, a few hundred years ago, they were put to death, and you know why? Because the people who were running the country, based what they believed on the Bible, and they said, "Let's base our laws on the perfect law of God." Imagine that, but, no America knows better now. This whole philosophy of ...
I even heard an independent fundamental Baptist preacher say this, he said, "I don't have anything against gay people, and I think we should treat them like everyone else, but they just shouldn't get married." What in the world? It's bizarre, my friend, but that's what happens when you don't read the Bible, and when you watch TV all day, or listening to talk radio all day. That's what you're going to end up saying, stupid things like that. I don't believe in it.
As it was in the days of Lot, so will it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. Is this another sign of the times that we're approaching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Because it's starting to get like Sodom and Gomorrah in America today, and in Israel today. In Tel Aviv, they have sodomy abounding, and so that's another sign of the times, because, remember in the last days, in Revelation, chapter eight, you know what God calls Jerusalem? Sodom. He says it's spiritually Sodom, and it's already happening over in Israel. It's the queerest place in the whole Middle East.
In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, God sends his two angels, and, by the way, anybody who is offended right now, you're liberal. Anybody who is offended right now, you have your head so far in TV and talk radio, that's why your opinion is messed up. Come back to me when you read this whole book cover to cover five times, and then we'll see if you're still offended.
Anyway, the two angels come into Sodom, and they want to get Lot out of Sodom, so they basically just tell him, "You need to get out of here. God's going to destroy the city. You need to get out of here." Lot, he tries to warn his family, and he tells them, "God's going to destroy this place," and they laugh at him, and make fun of him, and they don't believe him. Then the angels tell him, "You just need to get out of here, just with you and your wife, and the two daughters that are right here with you. You four just need to get out of here right now."
What does Lot do? He lingers. "Let me just check my stuff." They're like, "No, he's going to destroy the city. You need to get out." He's lingering. Eventually, what these angels finally do is they grab hold of Lot's hand. They grab his wife's hand, and then the other angel grabs the two daughters, because the two angels have two hands, four people, so they each grab one by the hand, and they literally drag Lot and his family out of Sodom, I mean by the hand. They grab them, and drag them out of there. Of course, they told them not to look back. Lot's wife sinned and looked back. She left her heart in San Francisco, so she turned back and became a pillar of salt.
It's amazing how that story parallels with the rapture so nicely, because if you think about it, the Bible teaches that God's going to send his angels to gather his elect, right? It says they're going to be caught up together in the clouds. They're going to be taken by the angels up into the clouds. It's a perfect illustration, where the two angels went into Sodom, and laid hold on Lot and his family, and take them out of the city. That's exactly what's going to happen.
This movie that's coming out on Friday, is a fraud, where it shows everybody disappearing in a pile of clothes. There's nothing like that in the Bible. In the Bible it's actually angels that are going to be sent to lay hold on those that are saved, and to carry them away into the clouds.
In fact, the Bible even teaches that when a person dies, like, for example, Luke 16 is a great example of this, the story about the rich man and Lazarus. When Lazarus, who was saved, died, the Bible says he was carried by the angels unto Abraham's bosom, so the angels, again, were sent down, and picked up Lazarus, just his soul, not the body, but they picked him up and carried him to heaven, because obviously Abraham is in heaven. Abraham's bosom is not a place. It's a body part, but that's another sermon in and of itself.
We see here in Luke 17, let's keep reading. It says, "Likewise as it was in the days of Lot," and we're living in days that look a lot like the days of Lot, by the way, because of all the sodomy that abounds. He says, "As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it, also, be in the days of the Son of Man." Let me find my place here. It says in verse twenty-eight, "They did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded," verse twenty-nine. "But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all, even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
Right there, we clearly see that when people are taken in the rapture, no one's going to be wondering, "Where is everybody? What's happening," and just going through their lives trying to figure out these disappearances, what happened. No, because they're going to be running for cover, because of fire and brimstone raining out of the sky. When there's fire and brimstone raining out of the sky, you're not wondering, "I wonder what this pile of clothes is about?" Not that there's even going to be a pile of clothes, because that's not even accurate anyway, but they don't portray it that way. They don't have God's wrath being poured out at all after the rapture, from my understanding of this movie. It's just everything goes on as normal, and then the anti-Christ begins to take power and everything. All stuff that the Bible teaches happens before the rapture even happens, because when the rapture happens, God starts pouring out his wrath. It's pretty clear.
Let's keep reading. It says in verse thirty-one, "In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away." Again, this is a reference to Lot. Remember, he's trying to go back and get his stuff. "He that is the field, let him likewise not return back." Remember, Lot's wife. "Whosoever shall seek to save his life, shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life, shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night, there shall be two men in one bed. The one shall be taken, and the other shall be left." Again, left. That's where this new fraudulent movie is even taking its title from, left behind. It says, "The other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together. The one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field. The one shall be taken, and the other left. He answered and said onto him, 'Where Lord,' and he said unto them, 'Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.'"
Let me just point out a few things in this passage here. First of all, it's interesting, because it says in this passage, "In that night," so it talks about it being at night, "In that night, two men are going to be in one bed, the one taken, the other left. Two women grinding together. One taken, the other left," but then in other places, it says like in that day, "They'll be in the field and one will be taken, and the other left." That's because it's going to be both day and night at the same time, because the earth is round, so if you think about it, if it's night in one place, it's going to be day in the other, and vice versa. Some people could look at that as a contradiction, if they don't think about the fact that it's a different time. It could be a different time of day, depending on where you live on this earth when this happens.
It says that they're going to be in the field. Other people are going to be in bed. I've heard some people, it never ceases to amaze me the bizarre things that people come up with. Somebody said, "Oh, this proves that homos are saved," because there's two men in one bed, and the one is taken, and the other left." What will they think of next? Good night, but this is the world that we live in today. It's so creepy, the way that people think anymore, because it's just become so perverted. They don't understand that throughout the world, there are people who sleep in the same bed, just because they're poor people. Poor people share bunks together, and sleep in a bed, and it's not because they're a sodomite. It's just they're sleeping in bed, because they're just normal people that are just workers, who share a bed. It's actually pretty common throughout the world.
We live in America in the lap of luxury. We wouldn't think of sharing a bed with anyone, except our spouse, but throughout the world, that's not the kind ... There are all kinds of people just lining up on a bed in other parts of the ... Who has been to another part of the world and seen something like that, where people just line up, all the Nigerians have their hands up, South America, Mexico, right, so we're seeing some places where people do that, but to the American mind, this is foreign. All the American mind can think of is just [Inaudible 00:39:36], homos, because they've been watching so much Hollywood. They get all these weird thoughts in their head. I've been reading this verse my whole life. That thought never came in my mind. Just growing up and reading it, I'm like what in the world. Are you nuts?
It says that, "They'll be left," and then the last verse, I just want to emphasize this last verse. It says, "Whither so ever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." A lot of people really choke on this verse, and I don't really understand why, because he's using a parable. He's using an illustration, and he says, "Wither so ever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together." Keep your finger here, and go back to Matthew 24, where we were reading. Matthew, chapter twenty-four, says pretty much the same thing. In verse twenty-six, helps tie these passages together. Look at Matthew 24, verse twenty-six. It says, "Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, 'Behold these in the desert, go not forth. Behold these in the secret chambers, believe it not, for as the lightening cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall, also, the coming of the Son of Man be, for whatsoever the carcasses," notice the word carcass instead of body. That will help us understand a little more what Jesus is saying. "For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together."
A lot of people will look at that and say, "Well, a carcass is bad. Carcasses are bad, and so, therefore, when the Bible talks about the one taken and the other left, it's the bad people that are being taken," because I'm telling you these pre-tribbers have to scramble to find something to salvage their false doctrine, because the cat's out of the bag. The Bible says it's after the tribulation, trumpets sound. They're like, "What do we do? We've been saying all these years that Matthew 24 is about the rapture, when we talked about one taken, the other left, and all these years we've been saying no man knoweth the day or the hour. Turns out that verse is in Matthew 24, too, and then Matthew 24 says after the tribulation. What are we going to do? We got to find a way to just make Matthew 24 not be about the rapture at all anymore," but you called the book Left Behind. "I know." You called the book Left Behind. It says left. Right there, it talks about people being left behind. "I know, but we got to scratch that. We got to come up with another ..."
"I got it. This isn't the rapture. It's bad people being removed. The good people stay. It's brilliant." This is the new doctrine that's being taught now. I just saw some pastor preach a sermon last Sunday, the rapture of the wicked. That was the title of the sermon. It's the bad people that get raptured. The good people stay. What in the world? Well, just keep telling yourself that once if I'm gone. What's all this? The Faithful Word people are gone. Just keep telling yourself that.
Anyway, this is what they're teaching now, and here's what they say. The carcass, I mean carcasses are bad. Who wants to go to the carcass? Because he says one shall be taken, the other left. One taken, the other left. They're like, "Where Lord? Where are they going to be taken to?" He gives them this really cryptic answer, "Whither so ever the carcass is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." In this parable, the eagles represent who? The people who are being taken, right? The people who are being taken are the eagles, and where are they going? To the body, to the carcass. Then they say that's a bad place, because carcasses are bad. Here's the thing. When you're an eagle carcasses are good. I mean if we were to ask an eagle, and I know animals can't talk. Just bear with me. If we were to ask an eagle, "Hey, are carcasses a good thing or a bad thing?" They'd be like, "Oh, man, carcasses are great."
If you ask me, I think carcasses taste pretty good myself. I wouldn't mind throwing a carcass on the barbecue this afternoon, because a carcass is food unto the eagles. That's good. To say, "Oh, a carcass, they're going to a bad place." No, when you're an eagle, you live for carcasses. That's what they use that super good vision for, to spot carcasses, because that's their food. That's what they like.
Of course, I've preached whole sermons, where I really went in depth on why it's used in the illustration, the eagle, and the body, and the carcass. I think my sermon, The Four Gospels, is where I went in and really covered that a lot. The bottom line is that people are grasping at straws to try to defend a Hollywood movie, and to try to defend this pet doctrine. It's not biblical, my friend, and, again, I'm going to close down the sermon, but I just want to give you just a quick review of what is not biblical.
Don't go see this movie on Friday night. It's there to brainwash you. Don't go see any of these biblical movies that Hollywood is putting out. You know what? I know it's tempting, because I'm going to tell you something. When I was a kid, I used to love watching the biblical movies that Hollywood put out, when I was a kid. Here's why, because you love the Bible, and because you love the Bible, you love the stories. You love the story of Moses. You love the stories of Samson, and you love the story of Joseph.
When somebody puts out a movie about it, your flesh, the temptation is, "Man, I love that story. I would love to see a movie about that story," and theoretically, in a perfect world, where Hollywood would actually put out movies that were a hundred percent biblical, it would be pretty cool, wouldn't it? I mean it would be cool to be able to go down to the theater. I don't know, maybe during the millennium, when Jesus is ruling and reigning. It would be cool to go down to the theater and watch a movie about Moses, watch a movie about Noah. If it stayed true to the biblical story, it would be fun. I'm just saying from a human, fleshly perspective it would be entertaining. It would be fun. It would be cool to watch.
That's how they get you sucked in is just that good desire that you have to love those stories, but I'm telling you, it is a fraud. It's like the bullfighter. He puts out that red carpet there to try to get you taunted into coming his way, but behind it, there's a sword that that bull doesn't expect, that's going to kill him. I know it's tempting to want to see these Bible movies, but we, as Christians, need to stay away from these movies, and we need to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but, rather, reprove them. We need to stay away from this movie. Don't support it. Don't drop your money into the ... Because they want to have a big showing. They want to have a big box office take of money, and you don't want to be a part of that, number one.
Number two, you never want to get this attitude that says, "I can watch it and it's not going to influence me. It's not going to affect me," because it does influence you when you get these twisted Bible stories. I remember when I was a kid, watching the Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston, and I watched the Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston before I'd read the story in Exodus. I saw the movie first. I remember after watching the movie, the first thing I did was I went upstairs, and I'm going to get out the Bible. I'm going to read Exodus, and I'm going to see how accurate this movie is. I remember reading it, and just being blown away with how different the Bible story was, and I'm sure that movie was way closer to the truth than what they're putting out now. Still, I remember just noticing thing after thing. I remember coming to my parents, and me and my parents were talking about what in the movie was accurate and what wasn't, and going through it.
I'm telling you, it does influence your thinking. I still think of Moses as Charlton Heston. No, I'm just kidding. It influences your thinking. You don't want to just go there and think, "Oh, I can watch this." Just stay away from it. It's a lie. Everything about this movie that's coming out on Friday is a lie. The only good that can come of this movie is if you just use this movie maybe, because people are going to be talking about it, if you just use it to just talk to people about spiritual things, and then you can get on the subject of the gospel, and give somebody the gospel, or you can explain to somebody, who says, "Oh, this Left Behind movie ..." People might know that you're a Christian at your work. "Hey, you going to see this new Left Behind movie," because they think you're going to be into that. That's an opportunity to say, "Hey, you know what, actually this new Left Behind movie is completely unbiblical. Here's what the Bible actually says," and then you could, also, get into the gospel, and how to be saved, and things like that. That's the only good I could see coming from this movie, is just a conversation piece, just to start a conversation about biblical things with people.
Look, the devil has a reason for coming out with this movie, and for coming out with a succession of biblical movies in a row that are all twisting the truth, and it's to prepare people for the end times when these things actually happen, to get them so confused and so mixed up they won't know what to expect, and it's only the few that are standing against this movie. The majority of Christians are just coming unglued with how excited they are about this new movie.
Quickly review, what are the problems with the movie? Number one, it depicts the rapture as happening before the tribulation, happening at any moment. That's a complete lie. The Bible is very clear it's going to happen after the tribulation. You say, "Well, what's the problem with believing that?" Here's the problem. The tribulation is going to start happening, and you know what the Christians are going to say? "Oh, this can't be the tribulation, because the rapture hasn't happened yet," and they're not going to see it coming at all. It's going to roll right over them, and they're going to have no clue what's happening, because they'll keep telling themselves, "This can't be it, because we're still here."
Then, finally, it's going to get to a point where they realize, "Whoops, this is really happening," but by then, they're already going to be so thrown for a loop, and then they're going to be like, "Okay, what now," and then they're going to be confused, and not going to know, and then you know what a lot of people are going to say, "There was no rapture. It turns out the rapture wasn't even biblical. This is just the second coming of Christ," and it's really who? Anti-Christ. You can see how this is all going to work together with the masses of apostate Christians out there. Number one, the movie teaches that the rapture is before the tribulation. The Bible said after the tribulation.
Number two, the movie shows people disappearing. That's not biblical. No one's going to disappear. The angels are going to come and carry them away.
Number three, the movie shows people saying, "Where is everybody? What happened? What's going on?" There's no fire and brimstone falling out of the sky. No people running for cover and asking for the rocks to fall on them. By the way, there's no trumpet in the movie. You don't hear the sound, because this is what the preacher of rapture teachers tell you. They say, "Only Christians will hear the trumpet." It's like a doggie whistle, where he's like [Inaudible 00:51:18], and then just every dog in the neighborhood comes, and nobody hears it. Just the dogs hear it.
The Bible is clear. It says every eye shall see him. You know what this Left Behind movie is missing? Christ never comes in the clouds in this movie. There's no coming of Christ. People just disappear. Going along, people disappear. That's it.
I don't know how this all exactly is going to play out, as far as how it's actually going to happen, just specifically in our culture in our day, but we do know that the Bible says first there's going to be the tribulation. There's going to be the anti-Christ, the mark of the beast, persecution, beheadings, all these things are going to happen first. Then the rapture. Then God pours out his wrath. It's not going to be a disappearance. It's going to be the angels coming and gathering.
Not only that, but I think that this Left Behind movie has way too many people disappearing. I mean the Bible says, "Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. Many there be which go in thereat, because straight is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" but whenever I've read the advertising for this Left Behind movie, it's like can you imagine just tens of millions of people disappearing from the United States?
Like, no, because, unfortunately, most people aren't saved. Planes are just crashing everywhere, because the pilot is saved. How many planes do you think this morning are piloted by a saved pilot and a saved co-pilot? You know what I mean? Just stop and think about that. I'm not saying that there aren't saved pilots. I'm sure that there are many saved pilots, but, first of all, that's not a job that a lot of saved people go into. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure there are plenty of saved pilots, but a lot of saved people, it's important for them to go to church on Sunday, and you do have to miss a lot of church to be an commercial airline pilot, or to be a flight attendant. It's not really the best job for a Christian to have, because you end up missing a lot of church, and being away from your family a lot, which is not a very healthy thing anyway.
Are there really going to be that many planes, where both the pilot and the co-pilot are both saved? All these air traffic controllers, they're all saved, and they're all disappearing, and entire classrooms of children, like a children classroom, and they're all just gone, every single one. The teacher is the only one left. I believe that part about all the ... No, I'm just kidding.
I'm just saying, folks, just stay away from this movie. It's not biblical. There's nothing biblical about it. It has no redeeming quality. Nicholas Cage, he doesn't even claim to be a Christian. Did you know that? He even said, "I don't even believe any of this." He's just making the movie, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake. It's all about money, and I'm sure this movie is going to be a big success and make a fortune, but I'm not going to have anything to do with it.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, We thank you so much for the truth, Lord, and that we don't have to be deceived by Hollywood or politicians, or the media, Lord. Help us to everyday read our Bibles, Lord, because it's the only way we're going to keep our feet anchored to reality, and actually have beliefs that come from scripture, Lord. Please help us to read our Bibles more than we listen to anything on the radio, Lord, and just get our doctrine and our philosophy and our attitude from scripture, and not to just be spoon fed what the devil has for us this Friday night, Lord, and in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.