What is the Rapture?
The word ‘rapture’ means ‘a seizing and carrying away; extreme delight; ecstasy’ (Chambers Everyday Dictionary). It is the word Christians use to describe the instantaneous removal of all Christians, both dead and alive, from Earth to meet Jesus in the air, whereby Jesus will take us to be with Him in Heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4: 16 – 17 – For the Lord himself (Jesus) will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ (Christians who have died from Pentecost to the moment of the Rapture) will rise first. After that, we who are still alive (only the then living Christians) and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Although the word ‘Rapture’ does not appear in the Bible, (except in the Latin translation in 1 Thessalonians 4: 17) its writers referred to the event Christians call The Rapture.
2 Thessalonians 2: 1– Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, (the Rapture).
John 14: 1 – 3– Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me (Jesus). In my father’s house (Heaven) are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you (Christians). And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you (the Rapture) to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Isaiah 26: 20 – 21 – Go my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
Common questions regarding The Rapture;
- How will The Rapture happen?
- When will The Rapture happen?
- Who will be included in The Rapture?
- Why will only Christians be included in The Rapture?
How will the Rapture happen?
The Bible clearly states there will not be any warning; The Rapture will happen in an instant and be generally unexpected.
Luke 17: 26 – 36– Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man (Jesus). People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all…It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed (the Rapture)…I tell you on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.
1 Thessalonians 5: 1 – 3– for you know very well that the day of the Lord (the Rapture) will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying “Peace and safety”, destruction (the Rapture) will come on them suddenly…
1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 52 – Listen, I tell you a mystery: We (Christians) will not all sleep (die), but we will all be changed -– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.
Being ‘changed’ refers to our mortal bodies being changed into immortal bodies in the instant we are raptured to meet Jesus.
When will the Rapture happen?
Only God knows the exact time and date He has set for the Rapture, there is no way of finding out or knowing when it will happen and it could happen at any moment.
Matthew 24: 36 – 44– No-one knows about that day or hour (the Rapture), not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son (Jesus), but only the Father…. So, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
However we are told to be ready and to watch because although it could happen at any moment, the more Signs of The Times we see taking place the nearer and more imminent it must be.
Mark 13: 37– What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”
Luke 21: 29 – 31 – He told them this parable: “Look at the fig-tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you will know that the Kingdom of God (The Rapture) is near.”
Who will be included in The Rapture?
The Rapture will only include Christians; firstly those who died between Pentecost and The Rapture, who will be raised to life, and secondly those Christians alive at the time of The Rapture; together they will be instantly gathered and taken to meet Jesus in the air and taken to Heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 17– According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we (Christians) who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep (Christians who have died). For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Isaiah 26: 19– But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
It is also likely that all children under a certain age, the age of innocence twelve or thirteen years old in line with Jewish Bar Mitzvah, will be included in The Rapture as they will be blameless in God’s sight, not having reached the age for individual spiritual responsibility.
It is also very likely that all unborn children will be included in The Rapture, as God considers life begins at conception.
Psalm 139 v 14 – 16– For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
For those who believed in God prior to Pentecost, their resurrection will take place at the end of The Tribulation, along with those who came to believe in Jesus and died, between the Rapture and the end of The Tribulation. These believers will then join the raptured church and live in the presence of God for eternity.
All unbelievers throughout history will be resurrected and cast into the Lake of Fire (Hell) at the end of Jesus’ 1,000-year reign on Earth.
Why will only Christians be included in The Rapture?
It is our reward for our faith in Jesus, whereby we will not have to suffer The Tribulation because Jesus died to save us from God’s wrath, which will be poured out against humanity for its rejection of Him and our abuse of the Earth and everything in it.
John 3: 16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish (spend eternity in Hell) but have eternal life (spend eternity in Heaven).
1 Thessalonians 1: 9 – 10– They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath (The Tribulation).
Hebrews 9: 28 – …so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time (the Rapture), not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Revelation 3: 10 – Since you (Christians) have kept my command to endure patiently, I (God) will also keep you from the hour of trial (the Tribulation) that is going to come upon the whole world.
1 Thessalonians 5: 9 – For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 18: 4 – Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.
What does that mean for you?– Good News