Rapture

Almost everyone has heard at some time or another something pertaining to or about the Rapture. Some believe it, others do not. Some understand it, and surely others do not. ¬†Whether you choose to believe or not, that’s entirely up to you. With that said, lets try to shed some light on the subject.

Some fifteen years ago Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins authored a wonderful fictional account of the rapture, followed by their interpretation of the seven year tribulation and Christ’s second coming. I believe the twelve book series, though sophomoric, is a great read, and faithful to the scriptures.

The word rapture comes from the root word for “caught up”. The root word for “caught up” in the Greek language is harpazo, which means “to snatch away” or to take away suddenly. In the Latin Vulgate Bible, the words “caught up” are translated as rapturo. Christians have since chosen to describe this soon-coming event of the Lord suddenly snatching away His true followers from the earth as the rapture. The rapture according to the bible in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says… 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”.

This is when Christ Himself will descend from heaven with the shout (also known as a trumpet blast) of the Arch Angel, to take all those who believe in Him. (Also known as the church or the body of Christ). Those believers who have died are raised from the grave first. Those who are alive, are then caught up to meet Christ in the air. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 Behold I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trump 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“. (See the NLT translation)

What this verse means is that we will not all die or taste death. Some of us will be changed as we yet are alive. In the twinkling of an eye… approximately 1/100 of a second! Our bodies must be changed into glorified bodies and therefore incorruptible. We will be given perfect bodies; no blemishes, no scars, no imperfections, no overweight and sorry, no tattooed or pierced bodies, We will be clothed in fine white linen and be made ready for The Bridegroom.

This is not the time of Christ’s second coming on a white horse with an army of angels that we find in Revelation chapter 19 and forward. That second coming is seven years after the event of 1 Thes. 4:17. The rapture will occur with no warning – no stars falling, no red moon (Rev. 6:12). In what is called the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24, our Lord Jesus informed His disciples of what was to come, regarding His return.

He warned them of wars, of natural disasters, of false prophets and teachers, and that the nations would be at each other’s throats. He warned them of persecution, hatred and betrayal. Now we might say “now is such a time!” But we find that the spiritual writers and speakers of every generation as far back as we have documentation, each felt their generation was surely facing the days of the rapture. As sinful and godless as we may perceive this time, so too did our predecessors in the faith. And yet the Rapture has not come. . .why?

I think Peter addressed that in his second epistle; “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, NOT WANTING ANYONE TO PERISH, BUT EVERYONE TO COME TO REPENTANCE.” (2 Peter 3:8-9 emphasis added) In this case God is the Master Procrastinator. . .waiting – desiring that more and more of His creation would come to Him before the hammer falls.

I think there are a couple of most important issues we must tattoo onto our mind and heart. First and foremost – it (the Rapture) could happen now – RIGHT NOW! The Bible tells us there will be no warning of when Christ will come to “gather His elect” (Matt. 24:30-31) Jesus originated the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared”. What about your life would you change if you knew He was coming tonight????

And secondly, there is what you must do to be prepared. . .

It is assumed that as a Christian you have surrendered yourself to God, confessed you sin before man, and repented of all wickedness. That being a given, we further assume you are abiding by the commandment Christ Jesus delivered to the Pharisees as told in Matthew 22:37-39, and that you are counted among the sheep as depicted in Matthew 25:34-40.

We never get it perfect my friends – hard as we may try. But God knows those who love Him and are sorrowful of their failures to meet His standards. It is only as we are sure of His mercy and forgiveness that we can boldly come to His throne and eagerly anticipate the Rapture.

As for your author. . .I say “BRING IT ON!”


Comments

  1. Anna Meehan says:

    Today may be the day. I’m ready!!! Thanks Michael for the reminder.

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