Volume 33, Issue 3 _________________________________Bible Prophecy Ministry

What is the Rapture?

      The rapture is the literal catching up of all the end-time true believers in Jesus Christ, who have placed their faith and hope in him for salvation. The Christian persons of every generation since the ascension of Christ into Heaven nearly 2000 years ago have aspired to live to see the day when Jesus would keep his promise to return to the world. The specific revelation concerning the secret snatching away of a certain era of Christians was first shared with the followers of Jesus on the eve of his crucifixion. That night Jesus conveyed to them that although he was going away, he would someday return and receive ( catch away ) them unto himself to be with him forever.

      Many of the early followers of Jesus expected Jesus to return in their immediate lifetimes. Indeed, a great number of the followers of Jesus thought that the rapid explosion of their numbers in the first century portended that Jesus was ready to return then. Many became disillusioned by reports that he had already came back without receiving them into his entourage bound for Heaven. Paul submitted himself to writing a letter to many of the followers of Jesus explaining in more detail the specifics about the return of Jesus. ( II Thessalonians chapter two )

      There he spelled out the fact that the day set for Jesus return would not come ahead of a prophesied falling away within the midst of the established church. Later, in the Revelation, the old prophet John would categorize in summary form the various eras of church history, culminating with a final church status analogy described in comparative form to one of the local churches in Laodicea. This condition ultimately would provide the religious apostasy necessary to culminate in the revealing of an Antichrist; that great imposter Christ.

      This information was conveyed to the universal church in the hope that it would alleviate any fears believers might develop about missing the return of Jesus. The Rapture message was intended as a wonderful doctrinal truth designed to encourage believers. It is the next great event in the providential plan of God! Christians all down through the centuries have anticipated being the generation that remained alive unto that glorious day, without ever having to pass through the unknown monster known as gate of earthly death.

      The Rapture is perhaps most clearly related to us from I Thessalonians 4:13-17. The English phrasing “caught up” is translated from the Greek word, “harpazo”, which means “to seize upon with force, or to catch away suddenly”. Latin translators of the text utilized the word “rapere”, which is the root word for our English terminology.

      Christians have traditionally used the term “rapture” to describe the event that belies our Blessed hope. This mysterious event will result in the immediate transformation of our earthly tent into a grand and glorious celestial body that will in the mere twinkling of an eye be enabled to transcend all known forces and be designed for eternal incorruptibility.

      The Rapture shall bring instantaneous change. Change will take place also on the earth. All the Christians will be gone! This is what the Rapture is all about. Jesus has promised to return and catch away his faithful bride, and that event is an imminent possibility. The epic signs described by the early apostles have all already transpired, and Christians are the only ones that realize it.

      Would you be among the RAPTURED if that event took place right now?

      What will you face if you are not RAPTURED? Do you know?

      God said that it is not his will that any should remain ignorant about the Rapture ( I Thessalonians 4:13 )

      I Thessalonians 4:13-17 But I ( God ) would not have you to be ignorant, brethren ( Christians ) concerning them which are asleep, ( already passed in death ) that ye sorrow not , even as others who have no Hope ( only Christians have this hope ).

      For if we ( Christians ) believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep ( passed on Christians ) in Jesus will God bring with him.       For in 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 ( precede or interrupt ) ( Jesus is the first-fruits from the dead, then everyone in his order ) which are asleep ( dead )

      For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead ( those already passed on ) shall rise first. ( absent from the body is present with the Lord )

      Then we which are alive and remain shall be “caught up” together with them ( Christian dead ) ( they went first ) in the clouds, to meet the lord in the air: and so we ( all Christians ) shall be ever with the LORD……THIS IS THE RAPTURE…………….all who remain alive unto the great day!

Darrell G. Young

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