|(2d) What is the Rapture ?|
|Book 25 LESSON TWO * PART I |
Something that is never referred to anywhere else in Scripture, and that's why people have such a hard time contemplating it even today and that is what we call, "The Rapture." That's a Pauline doctrine that you won't find anywhere else in your Bible. But now look what Paul calls it.
I Corinthians 15:51a
"Behold, I shew you a mystery;..."
Something that has never before been revealed. Now what's this mystery or secret? Oh, that there's going to be one group of believers who are not going to die physically. They're going to be alive when everything comes to a culmination, and you can't find that anywhere else in Scripture, and so it's part of the mystery. There is going to be a group of believers at the end of the Church Age that are going to be suddenly changed, and be from here to there in a split second. I was mulling it over again just the other day and it's hard to comprehend. No wonder the unbeliever scoffs at it. I can understand why he would because it takes some faith to believe that all of a sudden Christ will leave Glory, will come to the atmosphere, the trumpet's going to sound, the archangel is going to shout and all of a sudden, all the dead believers of the Church Age are going to be raised from wherever they are. They're going to be resurrected, gone up to meet The Lord in the air and then a split second right behind them, here we come that are still alive and remain. This is hard to comprehend. I can't envision millions of people suddenly congregating up there someplace in the atmosphere and then going back with Christ to Heaven. But what does The Book say? Exactly that. And so I believe it even though I can't comprehend it. This is a mystery, a secret, revealed to the Apostle Paul and now it's no longer a secret and we're to believe it.
I Corinthians 15:51b
"We shall not all sleep, (die physically) but we shall all be changed."
And then of course he goes on to say how it will happen. Let's go to I Thessalonians Chapter 4. He doesn't use the word "mystery" in this portion, but nevertheless, he's talking about the same thing, so it too is part of the mystery. And that is what we call the outcalling or the Rapture of the Church. And again he uses the same word he uses in I Corinthians 15, "I would not have you to be ignorant."
I Thessalonians 4:13
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (your loved ones who were believers and have died) that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope."
I always call this the qualifications for the Rapture. This is all you need to be in that great company that one day soon is going to be called out of here.
I Thessalonians 4:14
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,..."
Do you believe it? The Gospel. (Ref: I Corinthians 15:1-4) I had a gentleman here and he will never know what his testimony meant to me. He'd always had trouble with the resurrection. He could believe all the rest of it, but he couldn't believe the resurrection. A highly educated man, a brilliant man, he said, "All of a sudden one day, The Lord opened my eyes somehow or another and I believed it. And everything changed."
I Thessalonians 4:16,17
"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 (what) caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:...."
Those are the words that we have coined the word "Rapture" - caught up to meet The Lord in the air.