1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
The Rapture is the “catching up” of the church saints to be with the Lord forever. Every Christian should look forward to the Rapture for comfort.
The Rapture may seem extraordinary, unusual, or bizarre, but it is not unheard of:
- Enoch we raptured - Hebrews 11:5
- Elijah was raptured - 2 Kings 2:11
- A man (probably Paul) was raptured - 2 Corinthians 12:2–4
- The Lord Jesus Christ was raptured - Acts 1:9; Revelation 12:5
- In the future the Two Witnesses will be raptured - Revelation 11:11–12
There are three key bible passages that teach about the Rapture of the Church:
John 14:1–3 - Jesus gave this promise specifically to the Church. He was going away to His Father’s heavenly abode to prepare a place there for His bride. He will come again to receive believers to Himself into Heaven.
- This must be a future coming when believers will be brought to heaven.
- Jesus used Jewish wedding custom as an analogy for His return.
- Believers are not to be troubled because Jesus will come again. What troubling thing did Jesus promise to return and save believers from?
1 Corinthians 15:51–52 - All saints receive their glorified bodies at the Rapture. The dead in Christ will be resurrected and we who are alive will be glorified with them.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 - The rapture is the great hope of every believer.
For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven - Jesus is returning bodily for His own.
- with a shout - a sign of authority (He can’t be ignored)
- with the voice of an archangel - a sign of power (He can’t be resisted)
- with the trumpet of God - a sign of purpose (He can’t be misunderstood)
And the dead in Christ will rise first - The brethren that have died will not miss His return.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them - to snatch up; to take away; a sudden forcible seizure; irresistible because of Divine power; to be rescued from danger:
- in the clouds - the heavenly realm; in the presence of God
- to meet the Lord in the air - an upward movement toward Heaven
- and thus we shall always be with the Lord - His bride will never be physically separated from Him again.
The Rapture is the next event in the prophetic timeline. Jesus promised to return at any moment and take us home, therefore comfort one another with these words.