Wednesday, July 6, 2011
“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 caught up together with them in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 KJV).
The words of today’s Scripture are of great hope and comfort for us as members of the Church the Body of Christ. At any moment, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself shall come and take us, His Body, home to be with Him forever in heaven’s glory. “In a moment, in the twinkling [blink] of an eye,” we will be “caught up” (raptured) into the air (1 Corinthians 15:52).
One day, at the rapture, those who have died in Christ will be resurrected bodily, and given glorified physical bodies fashioned like unto Jesus Christ’s resurrected body (Philippians 3:20,21). Immediately after, we Christians who are living will be instantly transformed bodily. Together, with the now resurrected saints, we will take the grandest of all excursions. In that brief instant, we are yanked from this wicked, filthy world and ushered into heaven’s everlasting bliss and joy!
The rapture is not to be confused with the Second Coming, which will occur seven years after the rapture. At the Second Coming, God sends angels to gather His elect (Matthew 24:31). But, at the rapture, God Himself comes for the believers, us. Wow! The rapture ensures that we will avoid the wrath of the seven-year Tribulation, which is God’s program for Israel (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9)
Paul makes some 10 references to the rapture. This one is noteworthy (Titus 2:13): “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” We should be continually vigilant, waiting for the rapture to happen at any moment. Would you be raptured out? Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? If you have, ye shall be caught up!