Almost everyone has heard at some time or another something pertaining to or about the Rapture. Some believe it, others do not. Some understand it, as well others do not. This post is not for argument purposes. It is for information only. Whether you choose to believe or not, that's entirely up to you. With that said, lets try to shed some light on the subject.
The rapture according to the bible in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says... "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". You will notice that this verse does not contain the word rapture. The word rapture is an English translation for caught up or the catching away. The translation does not negate the verse. In other words, the verse is still true and when we say Rapture, it does in fact pertain to this verse. There are literally hundreds of English translations that are not in the bible. This does not mean the bible didn't say it.
What is the Rapture?Edit
The rapture or the catching away is the final event to take place just prior to the tribulation period. (Notice how the word rapture more clearly defines the event, that's why the English language used it as a substitute) This is when Christ Himself will descend from heaven with the shout (also known as a trumpet blast) of the Arch Angel, to take all those who believe in Him. (Also known as the church or the body of Christ). Those believers who have died are raised from the grave first, Those who are alive, are then caught up to meet Christ in the air. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 "Behold I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trump shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality". What this verse means is that we will not all die or taste death. Some of us will be changed as we yet are alive. In the twinkling of an eye... approximately 1/100 of a second! Our bodies must be changed into glorified bodies and therefore incorruptible. We will be given perfect no blemishes, no scars, no imperfections, no overweight and sorry, no tattooed or pierced bodies, We will be clothed in fine white linen and be made ready for The Bridegroom. This is not to be confused with the second coming of Christ. That will happen at the end of the tribulation, seven years later. Also take note, The bible is clear that the rapture must take place before the tribulation! There is no such thing as mid-tribulation or post-tribulation. Those who believe either of these are sadly mistaken and are very easily dismissed. The bible states that all Christians living during the tribulation are in fact beheaded or forced to accept the mark of the beast. If they accept the mark of the beast, they loose their salvation forever. If they refuse the mark of the beast, they are beheaded! They must die as martyrs in order to get to heaven. That in itself smashes both theories! Here is the biblical proof: Christians will not know who the Antichrist is. 2 Thes 2:7 ONLY "HE" WHO NOW LETTETH (or is restraining) WILL LET (or will continue to do so), UNTIL "HE" BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY. To paraphrase this verse, "he" (the church) is holding back or restraining the Antichrist from being revealed (or from being let loose to come forth) until "he" (the church) is taken out of the way or is removed. God’s Word Shows us the Rapture of the saints must occur FIRST, and then and only then, the Antichrist can be let loose (or come forth) and be revealed. The Antichrist is the first one on the scene at the beginning of the tribulation. It is he that creates the 7 year peace contract with Israel. Therefore he is revealed at the beginning of the tribulation, hence the church or the body of Christ has been removed!
There are two main reasons for the Rapture.Edit
First is Gods mercy. As mentioned earlier, the rapture ushers in the tribulation period. During this seven year period, Gods wrath is poured out on all mankind. Revelation 6:16-17 "And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand"? Nations will be divided, wars will increase, disease and famines will plague the earth. The Antichrist will rise to power and eventually Armageddon. God promised all those who have accepted Christ as their savior, would be spared from His wrath. Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. 1 Thess 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Second is the marriage super of the Lamb. Revelations 19:7 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, Write, Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are true words of God." The bride, being all corporate and collected members throughout the church age, who have accepted Christ as their savior, after His Crucifixion and resurrection. The old testament saints and other believers that died prior to Christs resurrection have already been released into heaven when Christ went into hell and took the keys to death and hades. The marriage super is almost the exact same thing God did with the Jewish people. He told Moses to bring His people up mount. Sinai for a feast. There God established His covenant with them. The Jewish people are the bride of God The Father. Now Christ Jesus will do the same, except this time He will call up all those who have accepted Him as savior including the gentiles, they will be His bride. At the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ, we will be rewarded; and at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, we will be Given the special place God has for us. The Bema Seat is described in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, "If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." Your gold, silver, and costly stones are works done for the glory of God, with the right motive, and in dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit".
Who will go in the Rapture?Edit
This is where the bible is much more clear. Not all those who proclaim to be Christian will be taken during the rapture. Luke 21:34-36 So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly. For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth. Therefore be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man." Mathew 24:31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." These passages clearly point out not all Christians will go.
The best scripture that proves this is the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25:1-13 At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him! Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out. No, they replied, there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves. But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. Sir! Sir! they said. Open the door for us!' "But he replied, I tell you the truth, I don't know you. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. In this parable the ten virgins would represent ten Christians, the lamps represent God the Father and the oil represents the word of God or the Holy Spirit. What the parable implies is, even though you are a Christian, you must remain filled with the word of God and renewed by the Holy Spirit until Christ Jesus comes for you.
When will the Rapture take place?Edit
The bible says no-one knows the day or the hour. But God said He would let the body of Christ know the season or when it was close. In my research, if you combine all prophetic teachings, biblical and non biblical alike, I can comfortably say it can happen anytime between now and December 2012. All good research indicates 2012 as the end. I believe the end meaning the beginning of the tribulation. The church will be removed and satin will have free reign over the earth. The bible tells us this is the beginning of sorrows The Mayans foretold the end would be December 2012 as well as Nostradamus and the Jewish calendar puts it at October 2012. There are several other indicators that say the same thing. As far as bible prophecy, all events leading up to the rapture have taken place. It could happen at any day.