By Chad Thomas
Throughout the Bible, God tells us very clearly to be watchful for His soon return. In fact, He tells us that if we are watchful and sober, that day will not catch us off guard, but unfortunately, for most of the world it will catch them off guard:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 KJV – “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Very clearly, we’re told if we are vigilant and watchful, that day will not overtake us like a thief! We are also instructed to look for the ‘Blessed Hope’:
Titus 2:13 KJV – “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
Why are we told to look for that ‘Blessed Hope’? What is so ‘blessed,’ and why should our ‘hope’ be in it? I’ll tell you why, because it is an event where the Lord will remove Christians that are truly His before the coming judgement of God on this Christ-rejecting world. This judgment period is called ‘the Tribulation’ and will take place for seven-years. Those that have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are NOT appointed to this coming wrath:
1 Thessalonians 5:9 KJV – “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 3:10-11 KJV – “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the Earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
We are told very clearly that we (Christians) are kept from the hour of temptation that shall come upon the whole world. Before this horrific timeframe begins, Jesus Christ will remove those that are genuinely His off the Earth to be with Him in Heaven in something called the ‘Rapture.’
The word ‘Rapture’ is actually not in the Bible. Many mistakenly think that this means there is no Rapture. However, for example, you also do not see the word Bible in the Bible or Trinity, but the concept is still understood. The Rapture is very much in the Bible, you just have to know where to look.
So, let’s look for it! Turn with me first to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJV – “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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
In verse 17, the phrase “Caught Up” is translated from the Greek word ‘Harpazo’ and the Latin ‘Rapturo.’ That is the word from which we get ‘Rapture.’
Upon closer inspection of ‘Harpazo”s definition, we learn it literally means:
- To snatch away
- To take away
- To pluck away
- To claim for oneself eagerly
- To seize by force
So, when you summarize 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 literally, Jesus Christ himself is going to descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ are going to rise first (referring to those who are in Christ that are in the graves. They must rise from the ground to meet their spirits in the air for their glorified body). Then we which are alive and remain will be caught up (snatched away, plucked away) to meet Jesus in the air to be with Him in Heaven.
After this, the Tribulation period occurs on Earth. The purpose of the Tribulation is for the salvation of the Jewish nation. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble… not the time of the Church’s trouble.
Think about it like this: For those of you that have kids, if your child was on train tracks and you saw a train moving full speed toward them, you would snatch your kid out of harm’s way before that train hits. Likewise, Jesus is going to snatch us out of harm’s way before the seven-year Tribulation hits.
Why else should we be looking for that blessed hope, besides the fact that we will escape the wrath to come and be with Jesus forever? Well, because we will be getting brand new glorified bodies! No more death, no more pain, no more sorrow! I have met many that are in wheelchairs or disabled in other ways that say they can’t wait until the day they will get their new bodies! A day they can walk again! A day they can see again! A day they can move their arms again!
How do we know that we will get new bodies at the Rapture? Check this out:
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 KJV – “Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
The Rapture is truly a mystery! The Bible is full of supernatural occurrences, and the Rapture is one of them. These bodies we are in now are corrupted! These bodies can’t enter Heaven. So, at the Rapture, we will be immediately changed and put on our incorruptible body! Our Immortal body!
How fast will this translation into our glorified bodies occur? You just read it in 1 Corinthians 15:52… “In a moment, in the twinkiling of an eye”.
So literally, you will be here one second, and the next, you will be transformed into your glorified body and meet Jesus in the air to go to Heaven! Wow!
Who is excited for this event to occur? It should encourage each and every one of us! And it should also encourage each and every one of us to plant as many seeds as possible to our loved ones and friends because we want them to get saved now! Yes, they can still be saved during the Tribulation period, but it will literally be Hell on Earth, and they will be under the severe persecution of the antichrist and false prophet and most likely be killed for their faith! The Rapture of the Church is an event that is sooner than many of us realize.
Today is the day to be ready! Your Glorified body is coming, but until then, let us not cease to teach and preach Jesus! Tell people that today is the day of salvation. It’s time for them right here and now to repent, believe the Gospel and be converted to a new life in Jesus Christ today. Share with them the Gospel of their salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 10:9-10)
I hope this article has helped some of you out there that questioned the Rapture. I hope it helped you see the Rapture is clearly in the Bible, and it is a supernatural and incredible event that will occur suddenly, and we will receive our new and glorified bodies!
I’ll leave you with a final section of scripture straight from the words of Jesus and His promise to us:
John 14:1-3 KJV –” Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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. 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.”
Keep watching with me… the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Jesus Christ is coming soon! (Click to Source)
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