END TIME EVENTS: ‘The Rapture’


“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

In Titus 2:13, the Apostle Paul writes – “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  The “blessed hope” of the church is the return of Jesus Christ to receive us unto Himself.  Often this event is known as ‘The Rapture.’

Perhaps one of the first things that we should note is that the Rapture is not the same as the Second Coming of Christ.  Many Bible scholars believe that the Rapture takes place before the Tribulation Period begins.  It describes an event when the Lord Jesus returns “for” the church.  The Second Coming of Christ occurs seven years later, at the end of the Tribulation Period, when the Lord Jesus “with” the church.

The word ‘rapture’ is not found in the English Bible.  It is a word carried over from the Latin Vulgate (5th century version of the Bible), where the Apostle Paul wrote –“Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up (rapio – Raptured) into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…”  As you can see, the word ‘rapture’ means to be ‘caught up’ or ‘taken away’.

Although there are many passages of scripture that we could study to learn more about the Rapture, we will look primarily at Paul’s writings in Thessalonians and Corinthians.

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  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.  (1 Thess. 4:13-18)

Books have been written describing this event, therefore it will be difficult to condense it down to just a few paragraphs.  Who are those who have ‘fallen asleep’?  Most Bible scholars agree that this is a reference to Christians who have died.  (Acts 7:59-60)  At the moment a believer dies, their soul and spirit returns back to the God who gave it and the body remains here on earth.  Jesus told the thief on the cross “today thou shalt be with Me in paradise.”  (Luke 23:43)  The Apostle Paul writes of, “being absent from the body and present with the Lord.” (2 Cor 5:6-8)   

According to scripture, when the Rapture takes place: there will be the sound of a shout from heaven, the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God.  Perhaps these are three are one in the same.  At that moment, the bodies of all Christians who have died, will be resurrected and reunited with their souls.  This is sometimes called the First Resurrection or the Resurrection of the Just. (Dan 12:2; Rev 20:4-6)  I Corinthians 15 tells us something about this resurrection –

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.  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 Cor 15:50-53)

Never again will the saint’s body deal with disease, death or decay.

Immediately following this resurrection, all the saints who are still living  and have not died, will be caught away (rapio – Raptured) (body, soul and spirit), from this earth, and their bodies too will be changed to a form like that of the Lord Jesus’ resurrected body. (1 John 3:2)

In another article we will consider the various views concerning when the Rapture will take place.  It is the belief of many Bible scholars that the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation Period begins and that Christ’s return could take place at any moment; perhaps even today!

Are you ready for the rapture?  If Jesus returned today for His church, would you be taken or would you be left behind to go through the Tribulation Period?  If you would like to know more about receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior, click on this link – “How Can I Know Christ as My Savior?”

For a outline of other End Times Events covered in this study, click on END TIME EVENTS.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s