photo credit: John Henry Mostyn
The Rapture Day!
As the last note of the trumpet is played we will be changed!
1Corinthians 15:51-52, 1Thessalonians 4:15-17
By Craig C. White
Definitions are from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries.
The Rapture is a term used to describe the bodily resurrection and taking away into heaven of Church age believers. What hope do we have that we will be resurrected? Because Jesus rose bodily from the grave we have confidence that one day we will rise likewise! That is incredible news. But wait, it gets even better! Not every person who lives will die! Christians who are alive at the time of Jesus’ return will not suffer death but will be instantly transformed into a perfect undying body then taken up into heaven. That event is called the Rapture!
1Co 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.
In the Rapture we shall be changed in an instant, but not without warning. We will all enjoy a long trumpet call before we are changed, kind of like waking up with a bugle call at boot camp. The whole world will hear the noise and take notice. The bugle call will continue while an astonishing event occurs. Millions of dead people will stand up out of their graves; alive! Wow, that will certainly get a lot of attention. The Rapture will not be a quiet affair. Our bodies won’t be changed until the trumpet call is finished so please don’t worry if you are driving. You will have plenty of time to pull over. The second part of the verse above puts the Rapture in chronological order. 1) We will all hear a long loud trumpet call. 2) As the trumpet plays, the dead will rise (these are people you know, and folks who have trusted Jesus since his resurrection). 3) As the last note of the trumpet is played we will be changed!
There is even more said about the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians. We will not be caught up with Jesus in the air until the dead are raised alive. In the verse below “prevent” means to come beforehand. So the living will not meet Jesus until the dead are raised. All church age believers must be present and accounted for before we are taken up together in the Rapture.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
The Rapture continues in the verse below. Jesus will come down into the sky. Michael the Archangel will yell for all believers to prepare themselves. At the same time there will also be the long trumpet call. The trumpet call will be the announcement that it is time for the church to meet Jesus in the air! The dead in Christ will rise out of the grave first; then we will all meet Jesus together.
1Th 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:
During the Rapture, people who were previously dead, will be together with people who have never been dead (I hope that is me). they will all be taken up into the air to meet Jesus. Now that is a church bus!
1Th 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.
The words caught up in the verse above is the Greek word harpazo (har-pad’-zo). Harpazo means to seize, or catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force). Harpazo is the word that we get our English word rapture from. As you can see from the definition of Harpazo it means to be taken by force. So we won’t be floating weightlessly into the sky while defying gravity. We will be lifted by some strong force. May I suggest that we will be taken to heaven the same way that every other person in a human body has been taken? In storm cloud, and cyclone, and chariots of fire!!!
2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Here is what an eyewitness had to say about the rapture of the prophet Elijah!
2Ki 2:12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
In the Rapture we will be changed instantly, but not at first. We will be taken, but not until all have been raised. We will be taken by force, and not without fanfare. The rapture is an event that will take some time and gain the world’s attention.
Lord, bring peace to Jerusalem; and even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.