Jesus Christ’s Coming for His children – The “Rapture”
John 14:1-6 NLT “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me (Jesus). (2) There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? (3) When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. (4) And you know the way to where I am going.” (5) “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where You are going, so how can we know the way?” (6) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.
(No one gets to heaven any other way except through Jesus)
This thrilling promise wasn’t given to everyone, only to His believers. (Judas had already left by then.) This parallels the promise of the bridegroom in the pattern of the ancient Jewish wedding, where, after the ketubah, the engagement, but before the huppah, the formal ceremony, the groom departed to prepare a new home for his bride, usually an addition to his father’s house. The bride was kept in a state of expectancy pending his return—often in the middle of the night, as a surprise. (The huppah, the wedding ceremony, was followed with a seven-day celebration.) The wedding ceremony will take place in heaven while the 7 year tribulation period occurs on earth. It will be between Jesus (the bridegroom), and his children (the bride).
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV (16) 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.
The above passage speaks of what some call the “Rapture” from the Latin Vulgate translation of the bible. “Caught up” in this passage refers to the original Greek word Harpazo. The meaning is like a bird of prey “snatching up” it’s prey, taking it out of it’s world. This happens in the book of Revelation in chapter 4 verse 1, and this is what has happened to us who belong to Jesus. This event is different from the Second Coming of Jesus. Here Jesus appears in the clouds and takes His children to Heaven. Only Christians see Him. In the Second Coming He comes to the earth with His children and every eye on the planet sees Him like lightning from the east to the west.
Difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming
Translation of believers
No translation involved
Translated saints go to heaven
Translated saints return to earth
Earth not judged
Imminent, any moment sign less
Follows definite predicted signs
Not in old Testament
Predicted in Old Testament
Affects all men on the earth
Before the day of wrath
Concludes the day of wrath
No reference to Satan
He comes for His own
He comes with His own
He comes in the air
He comes to the earth
He claims His bride
He comes with His bride
Only His own see Him
Every eye shall see Him
Great Tribulation begins
Millennium begins (1,000 year reign)
Church believers only
Old Testament raised later
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 NLT (50) 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. (51) But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! (52) 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. (53) For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. (54) Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die [and our mortal bodies have been transformed into immortal bodies], this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” (56) For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. (57) But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
The anticipation of a bodily resurrection after life on this earth pervades the entire Bible. In the oldest book of the Bible, Job declares:
Job 19:25-27 NLT “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and He will stand upon the earth at last. (26) And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! (27) I will see Him for myself. Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 NKJV (1) But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. (2) For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (3) For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (5) You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. (6) Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. (7) For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. (8) But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. (9) For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (10) who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. (11) Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
For us this is bittersweet. We are full of great joy to be with our Lord. Our earthly sinful bodies and nature have been translated into holy and perfect, sinless and eternal. The bitter part is if you are not born again you are left behind on earth in what is called the tribulation period (The day of God’s wrath and judgment on a wicked and rebellious world) . We are heartbroken that you are not here in heaven with us! Oh if you had listened and turned to God and repented and walked with Him!
John 3:2-21 NKJV This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (3) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (4) Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (5) Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (9) Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” (10) Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? (11) Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. (12) If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (13) No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. (14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15) that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (18) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (21) But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
It’s still not too late for you to turn to God. Don’t believe the lies of Satan. Accept Jesus as your Lord and savior. Cry out to him and he will save you. All those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. If you do this before the Rapture you can still get to heaven. If you wait until after the Rapture you can still turn to Jesus although it will be very difficult. Most of those who turn to Jesus in the tribulation period will be killed for their faith (many beheaded) but you will be instantly in God’s presence where you will remain forevermore. The alternative is the Lake of Fire. You must choose! What will you choose? By not accepting Jesus you have already made a choice!
2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV For He says: “IN AN ACCEPTABLE TIME I HAVE HEARD YOU, AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION I HAVE HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
James 4:1-10 NKJV Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (2) You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. (3) You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. (4) Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (5) Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? (6) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” (7) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (9) Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Jesus came the first time to the earth and was rejected and crucified for our sins. He was buried and rose again and now sits at the right hand of God. Since then He has been preparing a place for us in heaven. The reason we are gone is he came in the clouds to pick up his children (snatch up, rapture us) and take us to heaven. He didn’t actually set foot on the earth this time. When He sets foot on the earth for the second time, it’s called the Second Coming (first time salvation, second time judgment). It will be at least 7 years after the Rapture. He will then judge the earth and take His place on the throne of David in Jerusalem and reign on this earth for 1,000 years. After that He will reign and live with his children in the new heaven and new earth forever after. (included below in Revelation 21 and 22)