The Rapture

Bill Brinkworth

“… 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. 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: 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 …” I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Hundreds of biblical prophecies have been fulfilled. In I Thessalonians 4 there is one mentioned that will be the next to be fulfilled. Billions, in the last two thousand years, have been waiting for this one (vs. 13-18) to be accomplished. It is the great catching up of the dead in Christ and the Christians that are living (vss. 16- 17) at that time.

The Greek word used for “caught up” (vs. 17) is “harpazō”, and it means “to catch away, to seize, pluck, pull, and take by force”.  It is very similar to the English word “rapture,” which means “transport, seizing away”. Although the word “rapture” is not used in the preserved King James text, this futuristic happening is often referred to by that name.

When the Lord shouts, the archangel’s voice is sounded, and God’s trumpet is blown, the rapture will occur (vs. 16). The first to ascend will be the dead in Christ. Those that have trusted Christ as Saviour and died will be called up. Their souls are already joined with Him (II Cor. 5:8, Eccl. 12:7) as a soul never dies; but the body sleeps (vs. 14), awaiting its wake-up call by the heavenly summoning of the rapture.

“Then we which are alive …” (vs. 17), all Christians living at that time, will follow the dead in Christ to meet the Lord in the air with them — without dying and without going through the terrible Tribulation happenings. No one knows when this catching away will occur (Mat. 24:36). It could be today. It could be tomorrow or twenty years from now, but it will happen. God promised!

If the heavenly trumpet were blown to call the living saved from this world, are you absolutely, positively sure you would be called away home to heaven? What a terrible time it will be when a lot of well-intentioned, good-deeders, and many religious-but-lost find out that they never were summoned by the heavenly call. It will be too late for those that have already heard God’s message and have rejected it. What a frightful time it will be when the prophesied wrath of God is finally poured out on this earth to give those that have never heard the Gospel message a chance to turn to Christ for salvation.

If you are not sure you will be going up during the catching away, make sure of your transport “ticket” today. Admit your sinnership, and trust Christ’s death on the cross as the only payment for your sins. If you do, then you will be one of many that will hear the heavenly trumpet sound its victory call to Christians one day soon.

We are going either by the clods or by the clouds.  Are you ready?
— Pastor Tommy Seay

This article was featured in the Bible View #435.

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