1 Corinthians 15:51-53, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
Acts 1:9-11, “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
As many of you know I have been fighting cancer now for a little over a year and I have been off Social Media for about six months while dealing with Chemo and Radiation therapy. Thank the Lord, that is done and I only have a surgery to get behind me to make sure I am clear of the cancer.
But in the interim, I have not followed many posts while dealing with the debilitating effects of the treatment, so suffice it to say that as I have started to recuperate I have been surprised at some posts I have seen in Social Media stating a disbelief that there will even be a Rapture.
Now it is true that the Bible does NOT use that term, Rapture. That truly is a religious term, but it aptly describes what the Apostles, especially the Apostle Paul and even Jesus Himself spoke about numerous times. (See chapters of Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and John 14:3-4).
1The origin of the term extends from Paul the Apostle’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians in the Bible, in which he uses the Greek word harpazo, meaning “to snatch away” or “to seize,” and explains that believers in Jesus Christ will be snatched away from earth into the air. It is derived from Middle French rapture, via the Medieval Latin raptura (“seizure, kidnapping”), which derives from the Latin raptus (“a carrying off”). (How’s that for a little Etymology?!).
What has surprised me recently is as I have been catching up with missed posts on Social Media and in light of the stolen election in our nation, the blatant corruption going on not just in our nation but in the world that there are many posts where people are actually coming out and stating a total disbelief in the Rapture and that we will ALL go through the Tribulation period which is a time of God’s judgment and wrath upon a rebellious and corrupt world.
Now I admit there is debate among Bible scholars and Bible teachers about when, in relation to the Tribulation that the Rapture or “snatching away” will take place, but I again reiterate something I do so often in ALL my teaching; you can’t just take bits and pieces of Scripture to fit your theories, no matter how traditional they are or how sure you are. You MUST fit your theories to the WHOLE counsel of God’s Word!
Now not just speaking in regards to the Rapture or even to Tribulation, we must consider our Heavenly Father’s whole Character and Nature! Paul says this in his writings under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11.
Verse 9 specifically states that God did not, nor does He “appoint us to wrath.” Paul also writes this at the beginning of Thessalonians:
“Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:8b-10.
Yet, there are those who will not just debate but argue that there is no Rapture and that we must all suffer the Tribulation. As I stated, there are good arguments for Pre-Tribulation Rapture and even Mid-Tribulation Rapture and all we can do is be prepared with our “oil lamps lit and full of oil” to await the Bridegroom. Either scenario, God, with His Holy Spirit will protect His children from the pouring out of the Bowls mentioned in Revelation and the wrath that will befall those left in the world under the reign of the Anti-Christ until Jesus once again sets foot on the Mount of Olives!
It is important for a Christian, a TRUE believer to know WHY you stand on a certain principle, doctrine or concept and the only way you CAN know is to immerse yourself into the Word of God and be careful to take what you read in the context with which it was written under inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
While I was doing some research for this, I found this interesting yet disturbing statement in the online Wikipedia concerning the Rapture, which just goes to confirm what I was stating about some posts on Social Media:
2Most Christian denominations do not subscribe to rapture theology and have a different interpretation of the aerial gathering described in 1 Thessalonians 4. Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Methodists, the United Church of Christ, and most Reformed Christians do not generally use rapture as a specific theological term, nor do they generally subscribe to the premillennial dispensational views associated with its use. Instead these groups typically interpret rapture in the sense of the elect gathering with Christ in Heaven after his second coming and reject the idea that a large segment of humanity will be left behind on earth for an extended tribulation period after the events of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Many well-meaning Christians confuse the Second-coming of Christ Jesus, the time when He comes back towards the end of the Tribulation and sets His feet upon the Mount of Olives, with the Rapture, where He is NOT setting foot upon the earth, but calling from the heavens, the “clouds: with a trumpet blast, the Father’s children, the dead in Christ Jesus first, then those believers that are awaiting His return.
This is the time when we shall ALL, the dead in Christ first, then the remaining believers shall be changed as the Bible tells us endowed, just as Christ Jesus is with an incorruptible body. The dead first shall take on incorruptibility, then those that remain, shall sluff off, “die” to this mortality and be renewed in incorruptibility. All this will happen faster than the human eye can blink. If you can measure an eye twinkle, you could calculate the time it will take for us to lose our corruptible flesh and take on incorruptibility, to become like Jesus in body.
Remember, the Word of God says this; “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” – Hebrews 9:27-28.
In that “twinkling of an eye” that the Apostle Paul describes, the mortal, corruptible must die before the incorruptible will be possible but it will happen so quickly, we most likely won’t even realize that our old flesh died away!! Think about how the Scriptures describe that and be comforted!
Now this study has been more about the Rapture itself and it’s relation to the Tribulation. I personally believe a certain way because of the Scriptures and the very Nature and Character of our Almighty Father. Only time will prove whether I am right or I am wrong, but in the meantime I am saved because I have been born-again by the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus and I am awaiting Redemption as are all my true brothers and sisters in Christ.
The fact remains concerning the Tribulation that there may be three and a half years that APPEAR to be peaceful, but once the Anti-christ turns on Israel, real judgment and wrath from the Father will come to this world. God’s children will NOT suffer through that wrath according to the promised of God, our Father and His Holy Word!
Whether we as believers, see the Anti-christ introduced or not, again is up for debate. Personally I believe he is already in the world because of the “signs of the times and seasons” and yet I believe it is the Holy Spirit within the hearts and souls of believers that is keeping him from arising to power in which he can spread his evil plans. We WILL see the world get worse and more corrupt around us, just like Noah and his family did, while they remained obedient to the Lord until the Lord, Himself, shut Noah and his family into the Ark. Noah was not given a time-line, he was just told to build the Ark and he was faithful and obedient.
We have been given a prophetic mandate also without a definite time-line, though we CAN know the “seasons” of the age around us. We are witnessing the world as a whole getting worse and more corruption around us, but we also must remain faithful and obedient with our tasks we have been given. Soon the trumpet will sound and the Lord will “seal” us into the ark of the Rapture until He steps foot on the earth a second time.
Those that are religious, and not walking according to the Spirit will continue to argue and justify their beliefs, but it can’t be done when taking into consideration the WHOLE counsel of God. There is no need to argue or debate for the same Spirit that leads us can deal with their lack of faith and belief in the Word of God.
As the Apostle Paul stated, comfort one another with this thought and the Word of God and the Lord’s promises to His children. The spiritual rain is soon coming upon the world, let us remain vigilant and obedient and not forget to warn those around us. They may mock us and ridicule us, but even one saved soul will be worth it.
Come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen and AMEN!!