I know that I touched on the rapture in a earlier blog post, but I would like to go into a little more detail. The rapture is when Christ comes in the air to remove those of us who have come to faith in Him and take us to heaven to the place He has prepared for us. Jesus tells us in John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” While the word “rapture” does not appear in the scriptures, the equivalent of the word rapture does. It is referred to in the Greek in 1 Thes 4:17 as the “harpazo” which means in Greek “to raise from the ground” and “take for oneself” which is exactly what the Lord does when He removes the church from earth before pouring out His wrath on the unbelieving world. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 the Bible tells us ” 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. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” Even with all the chaos that surrounds us, we can know that God is still in control!
There are different views individuals believe for the timeline on when the rapture will take place. You may believe in a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation rapture. If you have never heard these terms before, let me try and make understanding this a bit easier. The purpose of the Tribulation period is to punish unbelieving Israel and unrepentent non-jewish people who have turned away from God and who would rather continue in their own sin. The Tribulation will be a time of great wrath and devestating judgements from God, and will last 7 years. Those whose stance is for the pre-trib believe the rapture will occur before the Tribulation period begins. The mid-trib believe it will occur 3 1/2 years into the Tribulation. Post-trib believers think it will occur at the end of the Tribulation. Who is right or wrong is not up for debate here, everyone is entitled to their opinion and belief. Personally, I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture and I will tell you why. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 26:19-21 “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. 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.” In 1 Thes 1:9-10 it says, ” 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.” And also 1 Thes 5:9, “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Being rescued from the time, the place and any relation to God’s Wrath means the church has to disappear before Revelation chapter 6, and that’s why I believe the rapture takes place in Revelation chapter 4 and the church is the group of believers in view in heaven in Revelation chapter 5. I take those verses very literally and believe firmly that God means just as he says.
God did not promise us that as believers in Him our lives would be easy. Though I have known people who think nothing bad should happen to them because of their relationship with Christ. Jesus’ own walk on earth was difficult. Why then should ours be any different. Although we may go through hardships, the wrath that God will pour out on the unrighteous will be like nothing anyone has ever seen. The rapture is a special event promised only to the church as a special reward for believing in Jesus by faith. And as the Bible clearly states, we are not destined to wrath, but salvation through Jesus Christ. What a majestic and merciful God we serve!!
—–Please take time to explore the blog and links that are provided, and Roy has some great stuff under “Time with Roy.” If you have questions please feel free to contact Roy or me. Thanks! 🙂