The Upward Tug

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Sep. 17, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                   Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                   Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Genesis 5:21-27

Text: Genesis 5:24

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Introduction: I want to bring you a message this morning on the subject, “THE UPWARD TUG.”

All of us have experienced an upward tug at some time in our lives. One of the most common experiences of it is on an elevator. One of our young men and I were making a hospital call this week, and I heard him grunt as the elevator began to ascend. He felt “the upward tug.”

I was on a ride at an amusement park many years ago. It was just a seat for two. I had one of the young boys in our church sitting with me. The ride actually just hoisted the seat gradually up in the air until you could eventually see for miles and miles. This first trip on it brought an eerie feeling! The kid next to me never moved. I looked over at him and he was as rigid as a statue, with his eyes bulged wide open. He didn’t say a word until we got back on the ground!

My earliest experience of this feeling was in my childhood. As a matter of fact, it is one of the earliest memories that I have. My dad and a friend were fishing at the end of a dock. I was perhaps about four at the time, and I was playing. Dad had told me to stay away from the edge. Well, while Dad wasn’t looking, I worked my way over to the edge, lost my balance, and fell over. Dad saw me begin to fall, and just before I went down, he grabbed me by the seat of the pants and jerked me back on to the dock. He beat the devil out of me and sent me back to the cabin. 🙂 In that case, my salvation was very painful!

By the way, there is a sense in which God pulls us up when we trust Christ as Savior. When a sinner realizes that he is a sinner headed for hell and trusts Christ’s sacrificial death for his sins according to the scriptures, His burial, and His rising again the third day according to the scriptures, God saves Him. Included in that salvation are a “quickening” and a “raising”:

Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

If you have not bee saved by the grace of God, you are sinking deep in sin. I urge you to trust Christ today. My message this morning is not primarily, however, about the upward tug of salvation. It is about a FUTURE tug that awaits the believer. We call it “the Rapture,” although there are other names for it.

First of all, let me show you from the Bible


Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

A. The faithful man, Enoch, experienced it

B. The fearless man, Elijah, experienced it

C. The forecasting man, John the Revelator, experienced it

  • Rev. 4:1 – God said to him, “Come up hither,” and he was “caught up”!


1 Thessalonians 4:13-19 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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 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. 16 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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

A. There will be Christ in the sky

B. There will be a call from heaven

C. There will be a coming out of the graves

D. There will be a catching up of the saints

E. There will be a change in our bodies

F. There will be a cheering, a comforting, and a collection of the people of God!

  • It’s almost possible to get everyone to come to every church service. They just won’t do it.
  • But EVERY saved person will go up at the Rapture!


Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

A. It is a steadfast expectation

  • We believe in an imminent return of the Lord — that is, that it could happen at any moment.
  • Paul looked for it in his day!

B. It is a sanctifying expectation

1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

C. It is a sure expectation

  • 1. John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 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. 3 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.

D. It is a sweet expectation

  • It is “that blessed hope” of Tit. 2:13
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