What does the Bible say about the rapture?
Many ask, “is the rapture biblical?” The short answer is yes! You will not find the word “rapture” in the Bible. However, you will find the teaching. The rapture describes the snatching away of the church (Christians).
There is no judgment, no punishment, and it will be a glorious day for all believers. At the rapture, the dead will rise with new bodies and new bodies will be given to living Christians as well.
In an instant, believers will be caught up into the clouds to meet with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Those who are raptured will be with the Lord forever.
When Christians think about the end of the world, many are drawn to terms like apocalyptic, tribulation and rapture. Books and Hollywood have their own depictions – some with biblical guidance, others just for the entertainment value. There is a lot of curiosity and also confusion surrounding these terms. As well, there are varying views on when the rapture will occur in the timeline of the events of Revelation and 2nd advent of Jesus.
I will use this article to look to the Bible to gain understanding on what it says about the Rapture and how the Rapture fits into the time when Jesus will fulfill the events of Revelation 21 and 22: the New Heaven and New Earth. This article assumes a premillennial interpretation of the Bible with regard to eschatology (the study of last things).
Christian quotes about the rapture
“The Lord does not come to the world at the time of the Rapture, but only reveals himself to the members of His Body. At the time of his resurrection He was only seen by those who believed on Him. Pilate and the High Priest, and those who crucified Him, did not know that He was risen. So it will be at the time of the Rapture. The world will not know that He has been here, and will have no knowledge of Him until He comes with the members of His Body, at the close of the Tribulation.” Billy Sunday
“[C.H. Spurgeon] refused to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing, for example the relationship of the rapture to the tribulation period, or like points of eschatological nuance. An elaborate dispensational chart would have little or no appeal to Spurgeon. Any dispensational framework that has a tendency to divide the Scriptures into segments, some applicable to contemporary life and some not, did not get his attention at all. He probably would have rejected any such scheme. He kept to the basics of future things.” Lewis Drummond
What is the rapture of the church?
There are several passages in both New and Old testaments that speak to the second coming of Jesus to redeem His church and to judge the nations. Some of these passages speak to what many believe will be an event that will remove, or rapture the church, before judgment comes.
Three of those passages are 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, Matthew 24:29-31, 36-42 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.
These passages describe a miraculous removal of God’s elect from the earth, whether living or dead, to be immediately transported into the presence of Jesus. We learn from these passages that the rapture will happen quickly, at a time that is known only to the Father, that it will be preceded by some kind of heavenly announcement resembling a trumpet blast, that the dead in Christ will be risen bodily along with those who are alive in Christ with both being transformed into the glorified state, and that believers will be taken while unbelievers will remain.
1. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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 one another with these words. – (End times in the Bible)
2. 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
3. Matthew 24:29-31 (NASB) “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet blast, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
4. Matthew 24:36-42 “But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 At that time there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”
Is the word rapture in the Bible?
When one reads through their English translation of the Bible, you will not find the word rapture and you might assume that since we do not find the word Rapture in the Bible, then it must be something that is made up and not really biblical.
The English word Rapture comes from the Latin translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which translates the Greek harpazo (to catch up or carry away) as rapiemur from the Latin rapio. You can find the Greek word Harpazo occuring fourteen times in the New Testament in passages that help us understand the rapture event.
So we must understand that Rapture is simply another English word that could be used to translate the greek word (Harpazo) that means: catch up, caught up or carry away. The reason English translators do not use the word “Rapture” is because it is not a suitable translation that is easily recognized in the language, however it still conveys the same idea, that there is an event that the Bible describes as believers being miraculously caught up into heaven, in a similar way that Elijah was caught up and brought to heaven without experiencing physical death (2 Kings 2).
5. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (KJV) “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.”
Christ will come for His bride and take His saints to heaven
6. John 14:1-3 “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.“
7. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.“
What is the Tribulation?
The tribulation refers to a time of judgment upon the nations that precedes God’s final movement before the New Heavens and the New Earth. It is His last act of mercy with the unbelieving nations in hopes that some would repent and turn to Him. It will be a time of great suffering and perishing. Daniel 9:24 explains God’s purpose for the tribulation:
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.” Daniel 9:24 ESV
The tribulation is described through three series of seven judgments found in Revelation chapters 6 through 16 that culminates in a final battle described in Revelation chapters 17 and 18.
8. Daniel 9:24 (NKJV) “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.”
9. Revelation 11:2-3 (NIV) “But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
10. Daniel 12:11-12 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”
Only believers will see Christ and we shall be transformed. We shall be like Him.
11. 1 John 3:2 “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.“
12. Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
When will the rapture happen?
Does the rapture happen near the end of the tribulation or at the end of the tribulation? Those who ascribe to a premillennial interpretation of end times events understand the tribulation to be two periods of 3 ½ years marked by certain events, the rapture being one of these events, as well as the judgements, the desolation of abomination and the second coming of Christ. WIthin premillennialism there are four ways that students of Scripture have interpreted the timing of these events. We must approach all these with a measure of grace and charity by not being too dogmatic about either view, for Scripture does not expressly teach one view over another, nor does it give a clear cut timeline.
The four different timelines of the rapture
The pretribulation rapture understands that the rapture of the church will take place right before the 7 years of tribulation begin. This will be the event that begins all the other end times events and understands that the return of Christ is split into two different events separated by 7 years.
We find support for this view in scripture that seems to imply that believers, God’s elect, will be spared from the judgment that occurs during the tribulation.
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come…. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ… 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 5:9
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10
The pretribulation view is the only view that understands Christ’s return as truly imminent, meaning that the rapture can happen at any moment without announcement and will leave all who are left behind by surprise.
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:42-44
Another support for a pretribulation view is that in the story of Scripture, God seems to save a righteous family or a righteous remnant from coming wrath and judgment, such as Noah and his family, Lot and his family and Rahab. Because of this pattern of God, it seems fitting that He would do the same for this final culmination of events that end with redeeming all things.
Another interpretation of the timing of the rapture is the midtribulation view. Proponents of this view believe that the rapture will come in the middle of the 7 year tribulation period, most likely at the 3 ½ year mark. This belief understands that the rapture occurs with the 7th trumpet judgment before the bowl judgments are released upon the earth, ushering in the greatest part of the tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon. Instead of a 7 year separation, the Rapture and the Coming of Christ to set up His kingdom are separated by 3 ½ years.
Support for this view comes from the passages that associate the last trumpet with the rapture, such as 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Midtribulationists believe that the last trumpet is in reference to the 7th trumpet judgment of Revelation 11:15. There seems to be further support for the Midtribulation view in Daniel 7:25 that can be interpreted that the Antichrist will have influence over believers for 3 ½ years before they are raptured at the midway point of the tribulation.
Though 1 Thessalonians 5:9 states that believers have not been “appointed to suffer wrath” which seems to indicate a pretribulation rapture, midtribulationists interpret wrath here as referring to the bowl judgements of Revelation 16, thus allowing for a midway point rapture after the seven seals and seven trumpet judgments.
A similar view to the midtribulation view is the prewrath view. This view holds that the church will experience most of the tribulation as in part of what the Antichrist ushers in with his persecution and trials against the church. In terms of redemption history, God will allow this to be a time of purifying and purging in the church, separating true believers from false believers. These true believers will endure, or be martyred, during the seal judgements which is considered the wrath of satan, rather than the wrath of God, which comes with the trumpet and bowl judgements.
So where this is different from the midtribulation view is that midtribulationists hold to the last trumpet judgment as being the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15. Prewrath subscribers believe that Revelation 6:17 marks a change in the judgments and indicates that God’s full wrath will come with the trumpet judgments: “or the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”.
Like pretribulationists and midtribulationists, prewrath subscribers hold to that the church will not experience the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 5:9), however each interpretation differs on when God’s wrath will actually occur in the timeline of events.
A final view that some hold to is a posttribulation view, which as name describes, means that the church will endure the totality of the tribulation with the rapture occurring simultaneously with the second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom.
Support for this view comes with the understanding that throughout redemption history, the people of God have had various trials and tribulations, so it should not be surprising that God would call on the church to withstand this hour of final tribulation.
Furthermore, posttribulationists will appeal to Matthew 24 in that Jesus states that His second coming would come after the tribulation: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:29-30
Posttibulationists will also point to passages like Revelation 13:7 and Revelation 20:9 to show that there will be saints present during the tribulation, however it is noteworthy that the word for “church” never appears in Revelation 4 – 21.
Again, like the other views, the interpretation boils down to understanding and defining God’s wrath in scripture with regard to these events. Posttribulationists understanding of God’s wrath is that His wrath is present in His victory over satan and his dominion at the Battle of Armageddon, and of course finally at the Great White Throne Judgement at the end of the millennial reign of Jesus. Thus they can say that though the true church will suffer during the 7 years of tribulation and Satan’s wrath, they will not ultimately suffer God’s wrath of eternal death.
Conclusion on the four views of the rapture
Each of these four views on the timing of the rapture can be supported by scripture, and they all have weaknesses, namely that there is no explicit timeline detailed in Scripture. No one Bible student can ultimately declare they have the right interpretation, however one can hold to a conviction concerning their own study of God’s Word. However one lands in their interpretation of an end times timeline, they should be able to offer charity with other interpretations, so long as the interpretation is not outside the realm of orthodox Christianity and essential doctrine. All Christians can agree on these essentials regarding the end times: 1) There is a coming time of Great Tribulation; 2) Christ will return; and 3) There will be a rapture from mortality to immortality.
13. Revelation 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
14. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
15. Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
16. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (Jesus Christ in the Bible)
17. Matthew 24:29-30 (NIV) “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”
18. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.“
19. Revelation 3:10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
20. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 “for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
21. Revelation 13:7 “It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.”
22. Revelation 20:9 “They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”
23. Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
24. 1 Corinthians 15:52 “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
25. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “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.”
26. Revelation 11:15 “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
27. Matthew 24:42-44 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
28. Luke 17:35-37 “Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
Does Scripture teach a partial rapture?
Some believe that there will be a partial rapture in which faithful believers will be raptured and unfaithful believers will be left behind. They point to Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins as evidence in Matthew 25:1-13.
However, this author does not believe that the five unprepared virgins waiting for the bridegroom represent unprepared believers, but rather unbelievers who have not prepared themselves by heeding God’s warning through the Gospel.
All those who are in Christ at the time of the rapture will be prepared by the fact that Christ died for their sins and that they have received His forgiveness for sins past, present and future, whether they are actively prepared for His coming by a show of their present works, or they are not. If their lamps (hearts) contain the oil (the Holy Spirit), then they will be raptured.
29. Matthew 25:1-13 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Who will be raptured according to the Bible?
So with this understanding, those who are raptured are all who are dead and alive in Christ. They are all who have placed their trust in Him by the confession of their mouth and belief in their heart (Romans 10:9) and have been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1). Both the resurrection of the saints who have died and the saints who are alive will be raptured together, receiving glorified bodies as they join Jesus.
30. Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
31. Ephesians 2:8 (ESV) “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
32. John 6:47 (HCSB) “I assure you: Anyone who believes has eternal life.”
33. John 5:24 (NKJV) “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
34. 1 Corinthians 2:9 “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
35. Acts 16:31 “And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
36. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
How long will the rapture take?
1 Corinthians 15:52 states that the process of the change that will take place during the rapture will be immediate, in a moment, as fast as “the twinkling of the eye”. One moment alive saints will be doing whatever it is they are doing on earth, whether it is working, sleeping or eating, and the next moment they will be changed into glorified bodies.
37. 1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
What Is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?
The Rapture is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ. Scripture describes them as two separate events, though as discussed earlier, there are a variety of interpretations on the timing of the rapture. But all views agree that the rapture occurs before the Second Coming (or nearly simultaneously with it). The Second Coming is when Christ returns in victory over Satan and his followers and sets up His kingdom on the earth.
38. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
39. Hebrews 9:28 (NKJV) “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
40. Revelation 19:11-16 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.“
41. Revelation 1:7 (NLT) “Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him— even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!”
What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?
The Bible talks about many antichrists who are false teachers (1 John 2:18), but there is one Antichrist, a human, who will be used by Satan to fulfill the prophecies of judgment. Whether believers will be raptured and not know who this is, or this person will be identified before the rapture, is unclear. What is clear is that this person will be a leader of some kind, will gain many followers, will be allowed to have authority over the earth for 3 ½ years (Revelation 13:1-10), will eventually cause the “abomination of desolation” as prophesied in Daniel 9 and will be falsely resurrected after suffering some kind of mortal wound.
While it is unknown whether or not the church will be raptured before the Antichrist comes, what is certain is this: Whether it will be the church, or it will be people who come to Christ as a result of the rapture as a sign of the end, there will be believers who will be persecuted by the Antichrist, some even being martyred for their faith (Revelation 6:9-11). For believers, the Antichrist is not to be feared, for Jesus already has the victory over him and Satan. What is to be feared is losing one’s faith during this time of great tribulation and trial.
42. 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.”
43. 1 John 4:3 (NASB) “and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now it is already in the world.”
44. 1 John 2:22 “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist-denying the Father and the Son.”
45. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”
46. Revelation 6:9-11 (NIV) “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.”
47. Revelation 13:11 “Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.”
48. Revelation 13:4 “They worshiped the dragon who had given authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can wage war against it?”
If the rapture occurred, would you be ready?
If there is a rapture will you be raptured? As mentioned earlier, Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25 is given as a warning for this world, as is the continual warning throughout the Gospel that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. You will either be prepared with the Holy Spirit confirming this within you and Christ’s light shining in your life, or you will not be prepared without the light and the rapture will occur and you will be left behind.
Are you ready and prepared? Have you heeded the warning from the Gospel? Are you shining your light in preparation for the arrival of Christ and as a witness to the Light of the world?
You can be prepared by believing in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, that He is indeed the only sure salvation and that He is able and willing to forgive you and receive you unto Him in the last day. Please read how to become a Christian today.
49. Matthew 24:44 (ESV) “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
50. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (HCSB) “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.”
With whatever view you take concerning the timing of the rapture, it is best for Christians today to posture themselves with a hope that pretribulationists are right, and yet with the preparation needed in the case that the mid or posttribulationists are correct. Whatever the case, we have certainty from Scripture that times will not get easier, but more difficult as the time draws near (2 Timothy 3:13). No matter your viewpoint on the end times, believers must gain strength through prayer and hope to persevere well.
There is a reason why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians concerning these events. It is because they were losing hope and worried that those saints who were dying were going to miss out on the second coming of Jesus and that they were damned. Paul says – no…. “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
The events that mark the Second Coming of Jesus were known to saints of old as the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13). This Blessed Hope is to be waited upon with anticipation as it beacons us aliens to remember that we belong to another Kingdom and another Land, one whose King reigns victorious over all.
We are not left without instructions for what we are to do as we wait for this Blessed Hope. I’ll finish this article with Paul’s instructions from 1 Thessalonians 5:
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11