There are many sermons, articles, social media post and so on regarding the topic of the Rapture. This in my opinion and not “Thus Said the Lord”. After spending a considerable amount of time studying the Bible and using scriptures as a basis, again I am sharing my opinion.
Those that believe in the Rapture may have one of these 3 differing beliefs regarding the Rapture.
- Pre-Rapture: Will take place before the Tribulation begins
- Mid-Rapture: Will take place at the mid-point of the Tribulation
- Post- Rapture: Will take place at the end of the Tribulation
I tend to believe in the Pre-Rapture event, so this writing is consistent with that belief.
No one knows when the Rapture will happen, only God knows. However, we know that it will happen because it is stated in the Bible. Here are several references that support the catching up or Rapture in the Bible (KJV):
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – “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:”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:17 – “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.”
- Mark 13:32 –“But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:52 – “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.”
As referenced in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, and 1 Thessalonians 4:17 after the last trump of God, we believers in Jesus will be caught up (Raptured) in the air to meet Jesus in the clouds. First of those that will be caught up will be the dead in Christ and second are the believers that are still alive.
We will be caught up in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52), wherever we are, those that are dead or alive we will be changed into an incorruptible, glorious body (Philippians 3:21).
While we are still in the clouds, Jesus reunites our Spirit and Soul with our new Body. After that we are taken to Heaven with our new bodies and remain there until the conclusion of the Tribulation. As the Tribulation ends, we will join Jesus in the final battle, as we are the Bride of Christ and His army.
Revelation 19:14 “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And we will rule and reign with Jesus during his Millennium (1,000 Year) Reign.” Revelation 20:4
The other question was who will be taken?
Over the years I have heard some pastors, teachers, bible scholars state that not all that confess Jesus will be part of the Rapture! I can tell you this really bothered me! How can someone that knows Jesus not be Raptured? Maybe someone that has backslidden or someone that never had a real relation with Jesus, maybe?
I was looking for something more that would delineate from this other than Maybe! We have to remember the Rapture is a gift for the Church that spares us from God’s wrath. Given that we need understanding of who is worthy of this gift.
A clue is found in Revelation 1-3 where Jesus has asked Apostle John to send letters to seven churches located in Asia. We will not show the entire scriptures only sections pertaining to who is worthy.
Let’s look at portions of the scriptures on the seven churches and look at the common thread between each church:
Ephesus – Revelation 2:7 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
Smyrna – – Revelation 2:11 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”
Pergamos – Revelation 2:17 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”
Thyatira – Revelation 2:26 “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.”
Sardis – Revelation 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
Philadelphia – Revelation 3:12 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”
Laodiceans – Revelation 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne.”
Remember, the seven churches were Christian churches not Jewish Synagogues. These were warnings for the Church singling out the overcomers with gifts and protection from the Wrath of God, the Tribulation! The common thread He is looking for is overcomers and for that they are spared.
So, who are the overcomer? Who is worthy? Where is it written? If you go to the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi 3:16-18 where he describes who the overcomers are in the “Book of Remembrance”
The Lord’s Promise of Mercy Malachi 3:16-18 (NLT) Book of Remembrance
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.
17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
As I said before the Rapture is a Gift from God for those that fear, honor and serve Him and they are His special treasure. Again, it does spares us from God’s wrath, the Tribulation!
Are you serving God, love Him, honoring Him, fearing Him and also believing that your name is written in the “Book of Remembrance”?
As always, if you do not know Jesus as your Savior, there is no better time than now for your Salvation!