What Do You Believe About the Rapture?
Whenever I make a telephone call to a number of people and can't find them, I jokingly say, "Did the rapture come and took these people out of the world, and I am left behind?
I say that in jest because I do understand what will happen during the rapture.
The word "rapture" is not in the Bible. However the concept is clearly conveyed in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 when Paul says, "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."
Different Views About the Rapture
There are different views even among Christians. I can only write and articulate what I believe based on my study and God's revelation to me.
Some think the rapture is figuratively and not literal. They base this on an ancient custom. When dignitaries would visit a city, the leading citizens would go out of the city and escort them back during the last stage of the journey.
The picture here is that the Christians are going up to meet Jesus in the air and return to earth with Him. Others say believers will return with Jesus to heaven. Whether this meeting is literal or figurative, Christians will undoubtedly join Jesus when He returns. I personally think it will be a literal event; therefore, I am writing from that perspective
The Rapture: A Biblical Event
The rapture is clearly a biblical event, but there is much dispute about the timing of this event. According to my understanding those who are saved will be "raptured" or "caught up" in the air to meet Jesus. The feet of Jesus will not touch the earth. The dead in Christ will rise first and those who are still alive will meet Jesus and we will go up to heaven with Him and return later. Only unbelievers will remain on the earth.
Paul teaches in 1 Thessalonians that Jesus will come FOR the saints. Then in 2 Thessalonians, Paul teaches that Jesus will come back WITH the saints.
Be Rapture Ready
The Bible says and most people agree that the rapture will happen. However, no one not even angels and Jesus knows when it will happen. Only God knows this. Therefore, we should be Rapture Ready at all times.
I have seen on television where a pastor leads his congregation in rapture practice. He says, "Get set, get ready, rise up." The parishioners jump straight up from their pews.
Don't they know that our rising will not be done by human efforts?
Jesus will come FOR believers, first those who have died in Christ and are in the grave and then those still alive on earth. Jesus' feet will not touch the ground. All believers, dead and living, will be caught up in the air with Jesus.
Second Coming of Christ
Paul talked about the rapture to clear up some misunderstanding about the Second Coming of Christ. He explained that the rapture will be a future event.
It is believed that those born-again Christians who have died will have their bodies raised from the dead and meet Jesus Christ in the sky. Then a second mass migration of the born-again believers who are still alive with join Jesus and the others and go back to heaven.
Order of the Rapture
Dead in Christ will rise first.
Believers who have died will come up from their graves.
Living in Christ will rise second.
Believers still alive on earth will be caught up in the air.
Dead and living in Christ will meet Jesus in the air.
All believers dead and living will go back with Jesus.
Living unbelievers will stay on earth.
Living unbelievers will not be caught up in the rapture.
Dead unbelievers will stay in grave.
Dead unbelievers will not leave grave and be caught up in the air.
The Bible Tells How Rapture Will Happen
It is believed and the Bible supports that two people could be lying together in bed and one could be snatched, pilots will disappear from planes, drivers from their automobiles, and others will be separated if one is a believer and the other is not.
Matthew 24:39-49 says, "That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
So, now you know why when I cannot locate family and friends I jokingly ask, "Has the rapture come?"
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