(1 Thes 4:16-18) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
A lot of people wonder about when the Lord is coming back. Will we go through the Tribulation? Or will Jesus rescue us before that happens? There is a lot of debate over this issue, but I personally believe the Lord will take us up in the Rapture before the seven-year Tribulation judgment. (Rev 6-18)
First of all, we have to explain the word rapture. Rapture is taken from the word "caught up" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. It's from the Greek work harpazo but translated in the Latin Bible as raptus, from which comes the term “rapture.” It means, “to seize, carry off by force, to snatch away.” So, the word rapture is not mentioned in the Bible, but neither is the word trinity. But both terms describe a truth that is taught in the Bible. The word rapture has really caught on so it remains the main word to describe the Lord coming back before the Tribulation. I guess it sounds better than saying the Lord is coming back in the Harpazo!
Are there other scriptures that describe the Rapture? (1 Cor 15:51-53) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (John 14:3) 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.
The teaching of the Lord's coming brings hope to the believer: (Titus 2:13) looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. We can bring comfort to each other when we remind each other that the Lord is coming soon. Would we have much hope if we thought we'd have to suffer God's wrath during the seven-year Tribulation? (1 Thes 5:9) For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The teaching of the Rapture also encourages being ready. (1 John 3:3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (Mat 24:44-51) Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
There's something exciting about anticipating something that will happen suddenly and unexpected. Just to think that the Lord will come for His Bride at any moment! Keep oil in your lamps and be alert for when He comes. (Mat 22:1-13) You want to go up when the Lord comes down!
Jesus is coming back soon. Are you rapture ready?