The Rapture

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The Rapture

Rapture scenario video.

Not many people have heard of the Rapture, while many of those who have heard of the Rapture dismiss it as another "extreme Christian theory". Those who do believe in the Rapture know that it is the "BLESSED HOPE" of the "CHURCH", that wonderful moment when Jesus Christ the Saviour leaves Heaven and comes into the air and draws us unto Himself, to take us home to the Father's house.

The term itself refers to a "catching up" and is derived from the Greek harpazo. This term is also used in Acts 8:39-40 where Phillip was miraculously "caught up" by the Holy Spirit and placed at Azotus after explaining the Gospel to the Ethiopian eunoch. In Latin the word is rapio or rapture.

There are two special pieces of Scripture that clearly explain the event of the Rapture, 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 which are two of my favourite group of verses. Before reading on it might be good for you to read the topic "What happens the moment you die?" as this will give you a clearer understanding about what happens at the moment of the Rapture.

Starting with 1 Corinthians 15:50 we read that Paul is about to explain the mystery of resurrection. He says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (Heaven) nor the perishable the imperishable, meaning that the physical bodies suited to this world can never pass over to the resurrection world.

There need to be a change! In verse 51 Paul tells us the mystery, that we shall not all sleep (meaning we shall not all die; this has nothing to do with soul-sleep) but we shall all (that is, all the born-again Christians who have died since Pentecost and those who are still alive at the moment of the Rapture) be changed.

Moving on to verse 52 Paul explains that this change will happen in a moment, which is so fast that is like a twinkling (blinking) of an eye. This is so fast that when the Rapture happens many of the ones that have been left behind (the unbelievers) wonder what happened to the person they were just talking to, or shaking hands with etc. There will be all kind of disasters and accidents as a pilot in charge of a large airplane might be a born-again Christian and suddenly, in an twinkling of an eye, he disappears and the plane suddenly crashes to the ground; drivers will disappear; half of a church congregation will be gone while the other half are left behind crying, as they realise their christianity was only nominal.

You can think of many other disasters that will happen. The world will be in a great panic. But the event will soon be explained away by the new world government as an event that took away those trouble makers, those fundamental, born-again Christians. Many will rejoice over the fact that we are gone while others will start looking for Bibles realising that what we had been saying to them has suddenly taken place. They will also realise that soon an evil leader will appear who is none other than the Antichrist who will cause mankind to enter the darkest and most evil period this world has ever experienced, the Tribulation period. You can read more about this period under the TOPIC of "The Tribulation".

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

We now take a look at this part of the Scriptures that tell us about the Rapture.

Starting at verse 13 we can read that the apostle Paul didn't want the believers who had lost loved ones since his last visit to think that those departed loved ones would be at a disadvantage and miss the blessed reunion (the Rapture), or at least endure a delay and come behind those who were still alive at the Rapture. That feeling of no hope only belongs to the unbelievers. Paul is telling us that all born-again Christians should have this blessed hope of the Rapture in their hearts. The hope that those who have died (sleep, this sleep only refers to the physical body as the spirit and soul will be with the Lord in Paradise, up in Heaven as explained in the TOPIC "What happens the moment you die?") will be resurrected at the Rapture, while those alive will have the hope that they might be changed any moment and never experience death! What a mighty thought that is!

In verse 14 Paul tell us that if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God would bring with Him (that is the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes for His Bride, the Church) those who have fallen asleep in Jesus (that is, died trusting in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, thus being "born-again").

Paul then goes on to say that this will happen just a minute fraction before we who are still alive get changed into our spiritual bodies, as in verse 15 we read that those believers who are still alive at the moment of the Rapture shall NOT precede those who have fallen asleep (died).

In the next verse Paul explains that at the moment of the Rapture the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout (calling His Bride together), with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

Chart 3.

Looking at chart 3 we can see through the red arrows that the moment a born-again Christian dies, his/her body goes into the grave (where it decays) while the spirit and soul go to be with the Lord in Paradise, which is in the third Heaven, where God dwells.

The green arrows show us what happens at the moment of the Rapture. In the twinkling of an eye their decayed bodies get resurrected and changed into resurrected (spiritual) bodies which rise into the air, while at the same moment their spirits and souls have arrived (from Paradise) with the Lord Jesus Christ in the air and get joined with their resurrected bodies. The bodies of those who have died are resurrected (will leave their graves, be it earthly, waterly or firely graves) and are united with their spirits and souls (which the Lord Jesus will bring with Him, more on that in the TOPIC of "What happens the moment you die?").

Chart 4.

In verse 17 Paul says that at that same moment we who are alive and remain (at the moment of the Rapture) shall be caught up (raptured) together with them (the resurrected believers) in the clouds to meet the Lord Jesus in the air (blue atmosphere, for this read the topic The three Heavens). This is portrayed on chart 4 above, where we can see through the green arrows what happens to the born-again Christians who are still alive at the moment of the Rapture. The arrows show that the Lord Jesus Christ will leave Heaven and comes into the air (like in chart 3 above where we can see that He brought with Him the believers that have died since Penticost) we who are alive on the earth at the moment of the Rapture, have our bodies changed perishable (physical) body into an imperishable (spiritual) body and are drawn unto the Lord Jesus in the air and are united with all those who have died in the Lord.

This is the moment when the Body of Christ, the Church is complete. The last stone has been fitted into place and none other can be added to the Body.

Who will participate in the Rapture?

All "born again" (read the TOPIC "Born-Again") believers in Jesus Christ, whether dead or alive, will take part in the Rapture. To better understand "whether dead or alive" go to the TOPIC "What happens the moment you die?"

All this above ties in beautifully with the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:2-3 where He promises us that He will go and prepare a place for us in the Father's house and that He will come again, and receive us (the born-again believers, dead or alive) unto Himself (this is the moment of the Blessed Hope, the Rapture), so that we may be where He is, and that is in the beautiful place called HEAVEN. Praise the Lord and blessed be His Name.