The Rapture Is Coming
When he was on Earth 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ said to his disciples and followers, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house [Heaven] are many mansions [dwellings]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."1
This event that Jesus is referring to is identified as the Rapture of the Church which, according to many Bible scholars, is at the beginning of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. In spite of being one of the most climactic events in world history, the word "Rapture" isn't in the Bible, but the concept is. The word comes from a Greek word that literally means "to snatch out" or to "seize." However, the English word "rapture" is derived from the Latin verb, rapturo, which also means to be "snatched" or "caught up." It refers to the day that Jesus was talking about in today's Bible verse; that is, when he returns to take all his true followers to be with him in Heaven, and together be with him forever.
Jesus made this promise to his disciples and followers prior to his crucifixion and resurrection. At the Rapture Jesus doesn't actually plant his feet on earth at this point of time, but comes in the clouds to call or "snatch" up his people to meet him in the air. Also, according to many Bible scholars, approximately seven years after the Rapture, Jesus will come back to earth via the Mount of Olives in Israel to put down all evil forever.
As the Bible further explains, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we [Christians] who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words."2
The Apostle Paul also wrote in the Bible, "What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'"3
As mentioned earlier, this will be one of the most climactic events the world has ever experienced. Can you even begin to imagine what it will be like when millions of graves will be opened, the bodies of dead Christians will arise, be immediately changed, and together with them all the millions of living Christians will be snatched up from the earth to meet the Lord in the air and transported to Heaven. Thousands of cars will be left on highways driverless. Pilots will be snatched from airplanes. Doctors and nurses will be caught up out of hospitals. School teachers will vanish—as will many students. This chaos will happen worldwide.
Jesus also said about the Rapture, "I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."4 This indicates that this event will happen worldwide simultaneously as in some parts of the world it will be daytime and other parts nighttime.
Furthermore the Bible predicted 2,000 years ago that every eye would see Christ's return. In the last book of the Bible Jesus' disciple, John, prophesied: "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen."5 "Every eye" seeing him will be made possible worldwide in today's world via satellite, television, and the revolutionary electronic media.
I wonder how those in the news media who are left behind will rationalize the millions of people missing. I'd love to know what they will come up with but don't plan to be around to find out.
For today, I urge you to make sure that you are ready for this dramatic and climactic event. Of one thing we can be absolutely certain and that is this: just as Christ's first coming, predicted in the Bible hundreds of years prior to his birth in Bethlehem, is a fact of history, so also will be his return. And as Jesus said, he will come when people least expect it.6
Note, too, that when the trumpet of God sounds, Christ's return—the Rapture—will be as sudden as a flash of lightning. As Jesus described it, "For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.7 It will be too late then to make preparations for Christ's return.
If the Rapture should happen today, would you be ready to meet the Lord in the air? To make absolute certain that you are ready, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian. Don't delay. Be sure to do this today.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your promise that Jesus Christ is coming back to earth to take all his true followers to be with him in Heaven forever. Please help me to be absolutely certain that I am ready for his coming. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: In our next Daily Encounter, "After the Rapture, What?" we will answer the question: "What happens after the Rapture both in Heaven and back here on earth?" Click HERE for this article.
1. John 14:1-3 (NKJV).
2. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NLT).
3. 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 (NLT).
4. Luke 17:34-35 (NIV).
5. Revelation 1:7 (NIV).
6. Matthew 24:44.
7. Matthew 24: 27 (NLT).
Note: While Bible scholars differ regarding the actual timing of end time events, the important issue is that we are ready for Christ's return for he is coming on a day when he is least expected. See Matthew 24:44 (NIV).