After The Trumpet Sounds
By Dr. Rex McPherson
Turn in your Bibles to I Thessalonians 4:13-18: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye 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 him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which 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.
These verses in I Thessalonians are key to our understanding of the Second Coming of Jesus. Jesus according to His own words in John chapter 14 promised to come again. You are familiar with that passage, I am sure. You probably heard it at funerals. Jesus said in John 14:2-3: 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
He is coming for you if you are saved, either in death or by way of the rapture, but here in John 14 Jesus is talking about His literal return for the Church. He said, And receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Jesus was saying, “I am going to Heaven for a little while, and I will have a place prepared for you when I get back.” I think I can trust His Word, don’t you? In fact, I am sure I can trust His Word. You know, when this happens, it is going to be a fantastic miracle. We are talking about the Lord Jesus Christ descending from Heaven, the dead in Christ rising, the living being changed in a moment, transformed, and caught up into Heaven to meet the Lord in the air. What a fantastic miracle!
Everything about our salvation is a fantastic miracle. The fact that God would send His Son to die on a cross, that was a miracle. The fact that the Son would become sin for the whole world and suffer, bleed, and die for us, was a miracle. But the miracles are not over yet, Jesus is coming again! He said, “I will go away, and I will come again and get you for Myself.”
Now, His disciples, like us, wanted to know when they should expect Him. My wife does not like for me to invite anyone over on the spur of the moment. You understand that. Even though the house looks clean to me, she is not going to be satisfied with it. So, she likes to know when to expect people.
They wanted to know when to expect Him. So they asked Him the question in Mark 13:4: Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? They wanted to know when it would happen and what kind of signs to look for in advance of His coming. Jesus tells them a lot of things will happen before He comes back again, but He basically says the world will have a lot of problems. There will be famines, earthquakes, and death. The earth will just go on until it becomes utterly corrupted like Sodom and Gomorrah and as it was in the days of Noah, when every man imagined all the evil he could do. “Hello, America!”
Then after this, He says in Mark 13:31-33: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
That is a clear declaration of the fact that we don’t know when it is going to be, and neither did He. He may know now since He has gone to Heaven, but He didn’t know then. He said, “I don’t know when, but the Father knows. You just need to be ready. I can’t tell you the time or even the day. That is up to the Father, but I will tell you this, you better be ready. You better be ready for the coming of the Son of Man.”
Mark 13:34-37: For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
The goodman of the house, obviously an estate owner, is going to, say, France for the summer. He says to his servants, “Now, you take care of everything. I’m not sure when I’ll return, but when I get back, I want everything in order, so you had better be watching.” I imagine the porter checked the driveway often, because he did not want to be caught sleeping or napping when the goodman returned.
Jesus told James, Peter, and John when He went into the garden, “Stay here and watch with Me a little while.” They went to sleep, and when Jesus came back, He scolded them saying, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Brothers and Sisters, what we are doing in these days we have upon the earth amounts to less than one hour of all eternity. You say, “Well, it has been so long.” Well, it won’t seem so long when it is over. When it is done, this life will be like a fading memory. We have an eternity of wonderful experiences in our future.
Now, the question must be asked and answered: How does a person get ready for the coming of the Lord? You must accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. You must believe that He died on the cross for you as payment for your sins. He did it to save your soul. All you have to do is to reach out and take it for it says in Acts 2:21: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. When you get saved, you are ready for the Kingdom of God and you are ready for the coming of Christ.
Not only are you to be ready, you are to be watching. You are to be expecting Him. So, what are you to do after you get saved? You are to live for Him. Give your life to Him. Take up His cross and follow Him. You are to live for Him every single day of your life, looking to Him for His help, and looking for and anticipating His coming.
We are here today, July 28, 2013, and the truth of the matter is I never thought we would get this far. Years ago I got out my calculator and the book of Daniel, and I calculated that Jesus would come in the year 2006. Ha. Ha. Ha. Well, here I am seven years later, but at least I did not write a book about it. I didn’t make a recalculation when the date passed. I just gave up trying to figure it out. Amen. I don’t know when He is going to come. I just know I am ready for His coming.
We are waiting for the trumpet to sound. Look again at our text. It says that Jesus will descend from Heaven with a shout. We will hear the voice of the Archangel and a blast of the trumpet. Let’s read I Thessalonians 4:16 again: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God . . . .
We see a few more details of this event in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (we will not all die), but we shall all 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 shall be changed.
Now turn to Revelation 4:1-2: After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, (Clue number one, the rapture is about to take place. He looks and a door is opened in Heaven, and the first thing that he hears is a trumpet-like voice that said to him, Come up hither. Come to Me, My Bride, My Fair One. Come to Me, My Dove. Come to Me, My Child. Come up hither. I think I’ll take off my coat and have a running spell!) and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Immediately we will be transformed, like it said, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. John said, “I was in the Spirit.” Then he said, and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. It was not a vacant throne. It was occupied. God has not abdicated His Lordship. He has not abdicated His Kingdom. He was still on the throne when John saw Him, and He will be on the throne the day we all go home. Did you notice the words, after this—After this I looked. After what? After I heard the trumpet sound!
What will happen after the trumpet sounds? That’s my subject for today. I’ve dealt with the events before the trumpet sounds, and now, I want to talk about what happens after the trumpet sounds. I am going to give you the Reader’s Digest condensed version. We will cover just the highlights.
The Saved of the Earth Will Be Extracted
We will be extracted, evacuated. Christians will be taken from all over the world, Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, Canada, if anybody is at the North Pole and they are saved, they will go too. All Christians will immediately be extracted. No country on the face of the earth will feel the effects of it more than the United States. You ask, “Why?” The effects will be great because we probably, per capita, have more professing, born-again Christians than any other country in the world.
First, those who have died in the Lord and then those who are living will be taken up to meet the Lord in the air. The Bible says that we will be changed in a moment. Why is the change necessary? It is necessary because we are not fit for Heaven in this body. We will be given a new, glorified body, like unto His body, and we will be fit for Heaven eternally—forevermore.
You can imagine what is going to happen when we all disappear. How would you like to be in a society where just about all the decent, honest folks are gone? Well, we are almost there now. Would you really want to live in a society where the Ten Commandments are not even considered? If somebody saw that you had something they wanted, they would just shoot you and take it. That’s what those two 18 year old boys in Forest Park did this past week. They killed that 13 year old boy, who was helping his sister put air in the tires, because they wanted their truck. Do you think that is something that just happens once in a while? After the rapture, it will happen all over the place. Do you have any food in your cupboard? They will come and get it. If you have a basement full of canned goods, you had better hide it well. They will come and get it. Money will fail. The economy will fail. Politics will not be the answer. The anti-Christ will arise, and a world leader will come. A new world order will be established. George H. W. Bush was a proponent of the new world order. He talked about it in a couple of his speeches. The world will be thrown into a crisis after the trumpet sounds, but we will be gone.
We Will Enter the Throne Room of God
Revelation 4:2-5: And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. (John sees a beautiful, majestic throne with beautiful colors all around.) And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
I don’t know how I can paint the picture for you, but the moment we are gone, immediately we will be in the throne room of God. We will see, as John did, that rainbow, the emerald colors, and the sapphires. We will see the angels round about the throne crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Twenty-four elders will be sitting there representing, I believe, the Old Testament saints and the New Testament saints. They will be wearing crowns, crowns of life and righteousness. We will see the elders cast their crowns at the feet of God and fall on their faces to worship Him. They are giving us a lesson on how to worship Him now that we are in Heaven.
We Will See Jesus
Oh, we saw Him when we met Him in the air, but we are going to see Him in a little different way this time. Let’s read Revelation 5:5-7: And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (One of the elders said, “Don’t worry. There is One worthy.” There wasn’t any on earth or any among the redeemed who were worthy, but there is One Who is worthy. Look! It is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb (Now notice these next words.) as it had been slain. . . . He saw a lamb slain for sacrifice. What are we going to see, Preacher? I believe we are going to see the prints of the nails in His hands and feet and the wound in His side. Seeing the Lord Jesus in this way, we are going to truly comprehend, for the first time ever, what it meant for Him to die on the cross for us. We are going to get a glimpse of Calvary. After the trumpet sounds, right after, immediately, I was in the throne room. I saw God. I saw the throne. I heard the angels, but then I saw Him! I saw Him! I saw Him! The Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world! I know, people say I shouldn’t get so excited, but I can’t help it. After the trumpet sounds, the saved will be extracted. After the trumpet sounds, the saved will enter the throne room. After the trumpet sounds, the saved will eyeball Jesus (for the sake of alliteration, there’s another e).
We Will Join the Whole of Creation in the Greatest Worship Service Ever
Revelation 5:11-14: And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands (Millions? Billions?); Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.(You are talking about the greatest worship service ever known. Now, watch the next few verses.) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. I am talking about even the critters of the earth, the animals on the land and the fish in the sea.
I told Jessica on the way to church this morning, “I can’t speak dog.” There was a little stray dog walking down the sidewalk with its leash on, and no master, this morning. I would have stopped and helped it, but I couldn’t ask it where it lived, so there wasn’t any use in stopping.
On that day we are going to be able to understand the voices of the animals. Psalm 150:6: Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. What a worship service! An innumerable multitude all with one voice will be saying, “Worthy is the Lamb!”
Can you imagine how exciting it would be if all of us here this morning would get anointed and touched by the Holy Ghost and every last one of us would jump up from our seats, throw our hands in the air and say, “Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb!” I think Heaven might even get excited about that.
After the trumpet sounds, there will be terrible confusion and terrible tribulation on the earth for seven years. It will be chaos. Though it will start out with peace, it will end in tragedy as the anti-Christ takes control and demands the worship of all people. For seven years, it will be a terrible time of tribulation. One third of the earth will be burned by fire. One third of the water on earth will be poisoned so you cannot drink it. At least one third or more of the population of the earth will die during that seven years of tribulation. Judgment after judgment will unfold. Instead of mankind repenting, they will harden their hearts and turn their faces against God. Finally, they will join the forces of the anti-Christ and march against God’s people, the nation of Israel. Then Jesus will descend destroying the anti-Christ and his armies, and blood will run to the depth of the horses’ bridle for the distance of two hundred miles. What a great and awesome slaughter it will be. It will take years to clean up the dead and bury the bones. Read the prophecies. Men will be appointed in the millennial kingdom to travel that area and look for dead bodies and bones to bury according to Ezekiel 39:11-16.
After that tribulation time is over, Jesus will come to rule the earth for a thousand years. There will be peace and righteousness. The leopard and the young goat will lie down together. The ox and the bear will feed together. Jesus, the promised King of David, will ascend to His throne in Jerusalem and rule the world with a rod of iron. All the nations will be required to come and submit themselves before Him.
After the thousand years are over, the devil is going to be let out of his prison for a little while. There will be one final battle. Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, and then those who are lost will stand before the judgment seat of the Great White Throne. Revelation 20:11-15: And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
What are you saying, Preacher? I am saying that if you die without Jesus Christ, at least one thousand and seven years from today, you will stand before God at His Great White Throne. God will open the record book of your life, and no matter what you pray and how you plead, He will show you the record that you are a sinner and that you have never been born again because the next verse says, And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. This is what will happen after the trumpet sounds.
It does not end there! We have Revelation chapters 21 and 22. There will be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness and a new city for us to live in forever and forever. It is a beautiful city with streets of gold and walls of jasper, but not just jasper. The wall has layer upon layer of beautiful stones: diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other beautiful, glorious stones. Read the context. It is multi-colored with beautiful, translucent stones. Whew! Jesus, the Lamb of God, the light thereof, will be shining out through those beautiful colors. You see how the light shines through these stained glass windows and gives that pleasant, blue color. Think about the wall around that great, magnificent city with the pure light of Jesus’ glory shining through those stones reflecting colors like your mind has never conceived before. We will see such beauty and experience such peace, for there is no more sin, no sickness, no sorrow, no death. No one is old and feeble. Revelation 21:4, . . . there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
All of this occurs after the trumpet sounds. The question is: Are you ready for the trumpet to sound? Have you realized that you can’t make it to Heaven without Jesus? Have you called upon Him as your Saviour repenting of your sins? Are you living in such a way that you would be glad to meet Him today? Matthew 24:42, Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.