The Rapture has been a debatable subject for many years. The idea of possibly millions of people disappearing from earth - being snatched away (or caught up) in a split second (the twinkling of an eye) is a tough thing to comprehend. Yet, if you believe the Bible is completely true, and was written under the inspiration of God, as we do, then you have to believe in the validity of the Rapture.
Why? There are many scriptures pertaining to the Rapture - the snatching away of true Christians, true believers, and you cannot disregard these scriptures. Read the following verses and form your own conclusions.
1. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 - "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an 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 clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words"
This is the basic scripture of the Rapture. We are actually removed from earth - caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air, and forever be with Jesus. Notice, we meet Jesus in the air. This is not the second coming of Christ, where He actually steps foot on earth. This meeting Jesus in the air takes place seven years before His return to earth. And we believe this from other scriptures that state He will not allow His people to suffer "the wrath" (1 Thess.1:10 and 1Thess. 5:9) or better known as the "seven year Tribulation."
2. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 - "Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be incorruptible, and we shall be changed"
These verses are stating some of us will be alive ("not all sleep" which means dead in this case) when the Rapture occurs. In the split second of a "twinkling of an eye", our earthly bodies will be changed to heavenly bodies, and we will be taken alive to Heaven.
3. Matthew 24:40-42 - "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come"
4. Mark 13:34-37 - is a parable stating "We should not be sleeping when the Master of the house (Jesus) returns from His journey". Sleeping in this case, pertains to a person who is religious, but lost. This scripture is saying - if you are sleeping (a lost or lukewarm Christian) you will not be caught up in the Rapture. You will be left behind.
5. Matthew 25:1-13 - Jesus gives a parable of the wise and foolish virgins (bridesmaids) waiting for the Bridegroom during a wedding. The 5 wise ones had oil for their lamps, the other 5 did not bring oil. When the Bridegroom arrived the 5 wise virgins trimmed their lamps and went in with Him to the marriage. But the 5 foolish virgins left to buy oil for their lamps. When they returned, the door was shut. They called out to open the door. But the Bridegroom answered "Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh."
The Bridegroom in this scripture is the Lord, and the parable is a description of the Rapture. Jesus is telling us to be ready for His return, to be prepared, otherwise we will be left behind.
There are more scriptures of Rapture. Enoch and Elijah were both taken up to Heaven alive. Read Genesis 5:24 and 2 Kings 2:11.
John, in Revelation 4:1,2 was taken through a Heavenly door, and Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:2-4 was raptured to heaven. Both were taken alive, and returned alive.
We know there is going to be a Rapture of believers in the future. What we donít know is just when - or how many are leaving - or how the news media is going to explain the vanishing of possibly millions of people. We do know it could happen any time - tonight, tomorrow, whenever. It would be a wise thing to do what Jesus says, and be prepared, and not be caught sleeping.
By George Konig
April 3, 2005
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