Rapture of the Church
page 4 of 5 pages

Part 4 (continued)
Components of the Soon-Coming Rapture

The Rapture includes five components.

Page 3 of this study discussed the first four components of the Rapture as follows...

  • 1 Jesus returns to the clouds above earth, accompanied by the spirits of deceased believers in Jesus
  • 2 The shout and the trumpet
  • 3 Resurrection
  • 4 Glorification

The page you are now reading discusses the Rapture's fifth and final component...

#5 - The Catching-Up of Christians to the Clouds

  • The four events described on the previous page will take place "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."
  (The Rapture will take place...) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
1 Cor 15.52a
  • In that SAME brief instant in time, all believers in Jesus will be caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds above the earth.
  • This will include resurrected believers as well as believers who are alive when Lord Jesus returns. We will be caught up TOGETHER.
  We who are alive (living Christians at the time of the Rapture)... shall be caught up together with them (resurrected Christians) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
1 Thes 4.17a
  • And thus we shall ALWAYS be with the Lord. Halleluyah!
  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thes 4.17b

The True Church Assembles -- at last!

There in the clouds high above earth -- for the very first time in all eternity -- the True Church of ALL God's children shall assemble together!

Red and yellow, black and white,
ALL shall gather in God's sight!
Those alive -- those gone before,
ALL shall gather at God's door!
  The Bible does NOT describe the assembly of believers at the Rapture. The following verses depict future events that will take place in heaven. They are quoted here to give us an idea of what the Rapture reunion COULD be like.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
Rev 1.9-10
  • "Do ye see yon lovely lass? She's the beautiful woman who was imprisoned in the aged and decrepit body of someone's dear old granny."
  • "Feast your eyes on that fine broth of a lad standing yonder! That's a splendid young man who was slaughtered in his mother's womb."
Aye, ALL God's children shall assemble.
Perfect in body and spirit they shall be!
Alive forevermore in the bosom of Jesus!
  The following verses depict future events that will take place in the Millennium. They are quoted here to give us an idea of what the Rapture reunion COULD be like.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing.
Isa 35.5-6a

And THERE! In the midst of His redeemed,
There stands our Savior!
At last we see His glory.
With our own eyes we behold His lovely face.
Our Lord! Our King!
Our Jesus!


And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19.26-27

Therefore comfort one another with these words!
1 Thessalonians 4.18

Part 5: Who will be Raptured?

The Rapture will include ALL people -- living and deceased -- who have believed on Jesus as their Lord and Savior...

  • The Bible clearly states that ALL believers will be changed (glorified) at the Rapture.
  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall ALL be changed. 1 Cor 15.51
  • The Bible further states that ALL believers are baptized by the Holy Spirit into ONE body.
  • Thus, ALL believers in Christ are members of Christ's body.
  • The fullness of the body of Jesus Christ will NOT be "disassembled" at the Rapture.
  For by one (Holy) Spirit we were ALL baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Cor 12.13

And He
(God) put all things under His (Christ's) feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church (believers in Jesus), which is His body, the FULLNESS of Him who fills all in all. Eph 1.22-23
  • Finally, one purpose of the Rapture is to summon believers to be judged by Jesus.
  • The Bible says that ALL believers must appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
  For we (believers in Jesus) must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Cor 5.10

As an "aside" to this discussion, we must assure you that...

  • The judgment seat of Christ has the purpose of bestowing rewards.
  • It is NOT a judgment to determine if a believer will remain "saved."

Each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire.

  • And the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.
  • If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
  • If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

1 Cor 3.13-15

Part 6: When Will the Rapture Occur?

Beware of false teachers

  • Down through the ages, there have been numerous con artists, charlatans, and self-anointed "prophets" who have come along, claiming to know the exact date of the Lord's return.
  • If you should ever find yourself in a church that "sets the date," then run -- do not walk -- to the nearest exit!
  • ONLY God knows the date of the Rapture. Period!
  (Jesus said...) But of that day and hour (the exact date when the end-times will commence) no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Mt 24.36

And He
(Jesus) said to them (the disciples), "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. Acts 1.7

Circle today's date
Before His crucifixion and ascension into heaven, Jesus commanded us to WATCH for His return.

  • "Watch" means this -- As you awaken each morning, you are to stand ready for Jesus to rapture you on THIS VERY DAY.
  • The Rapture is "imminent" -- it can take place at any moment.
  • There are NO prophecies remaining to be fulfilled before the Rapture can take place.
  (Jesus said...) Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time (date of Christ's return) is.

It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house
(Jesus) is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.

And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!
Mk 13.33-37

Making an Estimate

  • While we cannot predict the date of the Rapture, the Bible DOES give us information whereby we can at least "narrow down" the possibilities.
  • In the paragraphs that follow, we will explain why such a "narrowing down" is possible.
  For now our salvation (the Rapture) is nearer than when we first believed. Rom 13.11b

Delivered from the wrath

  • The verses alongside set forth God's promise that believers in Jesus will be delivered from "the wrath to come."
  • Thus we can rest assured that the Rapture will take place BEFORE the wrath of God falls upon Planet Earth.
  (Christians are commanded to...) wait for God's Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thes 1.10

(Concerning believers in Jesus Christ, the Bible says... ) God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ
1 Thes 5.9

(Jesus said...) Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Rev 3.10

Wrath is Tribulation

  • "The great day of God's wrath" is another name for "The Great Tribulation" (Rev 7.14), as described by the book of Revelation.
  • God's promise to deliver us from the wrath means that the Rapture of believers in Christ will take place BEFORE the inception of The Great Tribulation.
  • Although the Bible doesn't tell us when the Rapture will occur, it DOES give us signs for recognizing the approach of The Great Tribulation.
  (The people on earth) ...said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus)! For the great day of His (the Lord's) wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" Rev 6.16-17

Then I
(apostle John) saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. Rev 15.1

For reasons explained above, we can BRACKET the timing of the Rapture as follows...

  • Earliest possible date for the Rapture: RIGHT NOW!
  • Latest possible date for the Rapture: BEFORE THE TRIBULATION

On the fifth and final page of this study we will examine Tribulation Signs of the Bible so as to zero in on...

The Latest Possible Date for the Rapture

  (Jesus said...) Now when these things (signs of the coming of the Tribulation) begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near! Luke 21.28

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