Q and A The Rapture?
This entry was posted on November 13, 2013.
Q - Do you believe in the Rapture?
A - Thanks for your question. I'm not sure if you want a one word answer, yes! Or if you’d like me to explain why I believe not only in the reality of a rapture, but also that the rapture as I understand it from the Scripture, explains it to be a Pre-tribulational rapture. Here are my reasons.
Yes! I believe the Scripture teaches there will be a rapture. It's an event when the Body of Christ, the Bride, the believing Church, will be caught up to meet Christ in the air and changed. It's a promise which Jesus taught about in John 14:2-3, and Paul also teaches about in 1Cor 15:51-52 and 1 Thess 4:13-18.
"In my Father's house are many mansions: 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 unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2-3)
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.” (1 Cor 15:51-52)
While the word "rapture" is not mentioned in the Scripture, the term “harpazo” is, which means to snatch away. Thus the idea of being "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air is clearly mentioned in 1 Thess 4:17-18, “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: 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.”
This coming of Jesus is not to the earth, but in the air, where He returns to take His Bride (the true believers in Him) to be with Him where he’s presently "on the Right Hand of God." (Col.3:1)
Since the second coming of Jesus will be His return to earth to set up His 1000 year millennial kingdom to rule over the earth, this “catching up” of believers by Christ to take believers to the Father’s house is a separate and prior event. Therefore, the rapture is where Christ descends in the air to gather believers before the seven year Tribulation, as contrasted with the His second coming in return to the earth after the Tribulation (Rev 19) with the armies of heaven to begin His kingdom rule.
Another proof for a Pre-tribulational rapture is the teaching that says the Church is not appointed to wrath, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9). The Tribulation is the wrath of God poured out on the inhabitants of the earth, but the Bride who is not destined for wrath, and who are now Christ’s ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20) are calling sinners to reconcile with God. Just like a nation today calls their ambassadors home when war is about to break out, so God calls His ambassadors home before the war for rule over the earth breaks out in the Tribulation.
We also learn from Rev 3:10 that, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” This verse is another proof for the removal of the church before the tribulation begins as it tells that the church will be kept from the "hour," meaning the time, of trial that is coming upon the world.
One more support for a Pre-tribulational rapture, that ties into going to the Father’s house is Isaiah 26:20, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Since the Tribulation is also known as the indignation of God, this picture fits nicely with John 14:2-3 when Jesus comes to take His Bride and bring her back to His Father's house where she, the Church, will be protected from the indignation of God.
To add one last incredible tidbit to the already overwhelming support for the Pre-tribulational rapture, a study of the Jewish betrothal custom shows that the bride is waiting for her bridegroom to return and take her away to his Father’s house, where the couple is sequestered for seven days before the bride is presented by the bridegroom to the wedding guests. This is yet another picture of the Church, the Bride of Christ, being taken to the Father’s house for a seven year period, before returning with the Bridegroom to be presented to the earth at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Hope this helps?