THE RAPTURE

It's the hope and joy of every Christian, or so we thought. Much to our surprise, many Christians don't even believe that it will happen, and many of those who do believe it will happen believe that we will have to undergo torture before it will come to pass.

We're talking about the Rapture, the alleged Rapture.

No, the actual word is not in the Bible, but the event is most definitely discussed! Christians have coined the term rapture to describe the "catching away" of the Church into Heaven.

I Thessalonians 4:15-17

15 For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first.

17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Jesus Himself is coming for us! We will see those who have died in Christ Jesus rise-up to meet him first, and then we who are alive will meet them in the air! How Awesome!!!

Those of us who are alive will experience a very special victory:

I Corinthians 15:51-55

51 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.

54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

55 O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?

Oh, to sing that song! We who are alive will slip out of Death's grip! Due to the earth being cursed, and because our bodies are from the earth, they will eventually expire. But we who sing this song won't have to allow death to receive our bodies. We will escape death!

So, now you're wondering when will this event take place? Many believe that Jesus is going to allow His bride to be beaten and tormented under the wrath of God before He will accept her into his Heavenly home. An earthly husband would never require this of his bride to be, what makes us think God is any less kind-hearted and loving than we are?

People get this misconception when they try to apply the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24:4-31 to the Church. The Olivet Discourse is to the Nation of Israel! Verses 13 and 31 refers to the Tribulation Saints. Verses 29 and 30 tell of Jesus' Second Coming when He will literally set His feet upon the Mount of Olives and proceeds to wage war against the Devil and His hoard at the battle of Armageddon.

You cannot apply what will happen to the Nation of Israel to the Church because God deals with each differently. I Thessalonians talks about us, the Church, not being appointed unto wrath but to obtain salvation though our Lord Jesus Christ, and the subject being addressed here is the Day of the Lord. Before the wrath of God will come, the Antichrist will appear and set himself up as God in the temple (the abomination of desolations). But as it states in II Thessalonians 2:6-7, someone is restraining the coming of utter lawlessness, the full embodiment of Satan into the Antichrist. That someone who is restraining is the Holy Spirit embodied in us, the Church. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would dwell with us forever in John 14:16. If He is dwelling with us forever, then when He is taken out of the way, so will we be.

Be encouraged! Comfort one another with these words! Jesus is coming back for us, and we will be spared from the wrath that is to come!

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