The Rapture of The Church

In a now-discredited book, the dates between September 11 and 13, 1988 were forecast to be the Rapture of the Church. Edgar Whisenant, a former NASA rocket engineer, wrote the book called 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988. More than 6 million copies of the $2 book were s … More

Rapture

Evidently some of the believers had misunderstood Paul’s teaching concerning the Lord’s return and because of the terrible persecution they were going through, had concluded that they were already in the tribulation. Perhaps they had sent an inquiry to Paul concerning this matter and he is answering their question. He says he doesn’t want the believers to be ignorant about life after death (vv. 13-15). He goes on to say that those who are alive when He returns will not go to be with Him until after the dead in Christ are raised first. He explains step by step what will happen when the Lord returns:

  1. A return (v. 16). The Lord Himself shall usher in this great event with a dramatic and forceful announcement from heaven.
  2. A resurrection (v. 16). The bodies of the dead in Christ will be raised before those who are alive are changed.
  3. A rapture (v. 17). The phrase “caught up” is referred to as the rapture. This means the act of conveying a person from one place to another and as used here refers to the transport of the living and the dead to heaven.
  4. A reunion (v. 17). The place is not as important as being united with Jesus and all our loved ones for ever.
  5. A reassurance (v. 18). Not only do Christians not grieve like unbelievers who lose their loved ones but they can actually look forward to that day when they will be re-united with Him.  Just repeating these truths will bring assurance to the heart.

Application

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are some of the most certain facts of History. Because of this I need to be looking for opportunities to share this truth with others.

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 (English Standard Version)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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