It’s been said that Jesus will come for His church on earth and rapture them into His presence. It is a catching away of all Christians, real ones, not religious, fake or even churchgoers that play church for other selfish reasons.
The word rapture (in Greek harpazo, in Latin rapere) means to be caught up or taken away suddenly. The rapture refers to the sudden removal of all of God’s people on the earth. In the twinkling of an eye, “Born Again” Christians will suddenly be transformed out of their human bodies and will rise up into the air to join Jesus Christ.
There is a reason Christ warned his followers 13 times in the New Testament to not be deceived, and to watch and be ready. He wanted us to be excited about His glorious appearing.
Satan, on the other hand, does not want us to be excited. He is the master deceiver; the father of lies and wants us to believe his deception rather than the signs of Christ’s return given to us by Jesus himself. He will send many lies to deceive us and to rob us of the joy of living every day in anticipation of Christ’s return.
For those who believe that the Bible is the truth and is the very Word of God, it’s easy to believe in and rejoice in the prophecies that tell of the rapture of God’s church. The Bible tells us of others who have been taken up into heaven in very much the same way that we will be at the time of the rapture. Elijah was taken up into heaven like a whirlwind. I Kings 2:11-12 “As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel! And Elisha saw him no more.”
Enoch was also taken from this life so that he would not experience death. Hebrews 11:5 “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. for before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God, and without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” So, when will the church be raptured? We know there is more evidence today that He is coming for His church soon, than at any other time in history.
As these signs intensify, all of us who know Christ as our savior will be looking toward heaven and awaiting the coming of our Lord.
Many biblical scholars feel that the rapture will occur prior to the “Tribulation Period”, or a pre-tribulation rapture. Thus God will spare His church from the persecutions of the Antichrist and the wrath of God that will fall upon the inhabitants of the Earth during the end times. Those who come to Christ following the rapture will live through the persecution of Christians by the Antichrist. Some will face martyrdom for their faith.
There are several other views of the timing for the rapture of the church; however, here we will examine the pre-tribulation view and the biblical support for it.
Best supporting verse
One of the best supporting verses from the Bible for the rapture of the church is found in Revelation 3:10. “Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth.” I would assume that God would not bring the same type of judgment to His children, as He will on the wicked. This scripture seems to support my premise. The assumption is that Believers will be taken out of harms way.
Listen to what Paul tells the Thessalonians in his second letter, chapter two verses 2-15.
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions, which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
I wanted to show the context so there is no misunderstanding. Note verse seven…he that letteth is God’s Holy Spirit. He is a restraining force in the world, holding evil back from its ultimate expression. When the Spirit is taken out of the way, guess what? the Spirit is in us and Jesus said He would never leave us comfortless but will be with us until the end of the age. (John 14:18) The moment has come. It is the end of the age and we will go with the Spirit to meet Jesus in the air as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
There you have it. The rapture or sudden removal of God’s children is at hand. The big question now is will you be left behind? Non-believers will be left to face the great tribulation where God pours out His wrath upon the wicked. You don’t want to be in that group of folks. Get your heart right with God, make Jesus your Lord and Savior, and start looking and being ready for His return.
Until Next Time
Rev. John Marinelli