What Happens Right After the Rapture of the Church

I. What is the next end time event that happens right after the rapture of the church?

And why should we be focused on it now? Let’s break it down. In order to get to the point that I want to make, I need to teach you some things about the 24 Elders and the Crystal Sea in the Book of Revelation

A. The 24 elders

1. (Rev 4:4 NKJV) Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.”

2. (Rev 5: 8-10 NKJV) “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.””

B. Notice that the 24 elders are blood redeemed people and representative of a vast number of people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.

C. This vast multitude of blood redeemed people is symbolized in Revelation by the Crystal Sea.

1. (Rev 4:6 NKJV) “Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. and in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.”

2. (Rev. 15:2 NKJV) “And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.”

3. Explain the Law of Mountains and Seas.

4. The Crystal Sea represents a vast multitude of believers who have been resurrected, raptured, and glorified.

5. This is the glorious church; pure as crystal, without spot or blemish before the throne of God.

6. (Eph. 5:25-27 KJV) 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

7. The 24 Elders are elders of the Body of Christ, the church, in heaven, resurrected, raptured, and glorified, standing before Jesus before He opens the seals that release the events of the tribulation period on earth.

II. Now that we have identified the 24 Elders and the Crystal Sea, I want you to notice again that they are crowned before the Tribulation starts on earth.

A. Why is that so significant? Two reasons.

1. Crowns are the rewards that will be distributed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. (1 Cor. 9:24, 25 NKJV) 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

2. The Crowns are not distributed until Jesus appears to receive the church to Himself at the Resurrection and the Rapture.
  • a. (1 Pet 5: 1-4 NKJV) The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being Lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;” 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
  • b. (Rev 22:12 NKJV) And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”

III. The Judgment Seat of Christ for the Church is the very next event that takes place in heaven immediately after the Rapture of the Church.

A. The Judgment Seat of Christ

1. This is the scene of final examination for all believers that ever lived.

2. (Rom. 14:10 NKJV) 10But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

3. (2 Cor. 5:9-11 NKJV) 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

4. Judgment seat in Greek means a step or elevated place such as a throne or tribunal where champion athletes would stand to receive their rewards for winning.

5. The Judgment Seat of Christ is not a judgment of condemnation for the believer's sins. Our sins were taken care of at the Judgment of the cross. Rather, it is a final judgment of the believer's works done in Christ. (1 Cor. 3:10-15 NKJV) 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

6. Crowns are given as rewards. Crowns or wreaths were conferred upon a victor in the public games. They signify public honor bestowed for distinguished service or personal worth and authority.

7. Testimony of my missing a reward.
  • a. Loss of reward verses forgiveness
  • b. Inheritance verses individual rewards.

IV. How then shall we live?

A. We should live in the expectation of Christ’s return.

1. (2 Tim. 4:8 NKJV) 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

B. We should be watching and praying.

1. (Luke 21:34-36 NKJV) 34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

C. We should be laying aside weights and sins.

1. (Heb. 12:1, 2 NKJV)Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

D. Be a servant.

1.  (Gal. 5:13 NKJV) 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

E. Be a soul winner.

1. (John 4:35, 36 NKJV) 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
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