This is a post I’ve long thought about writing, but have held off on doing so for a multitude of reasons. However, while reading yet another book on the topic currently, I feel more motivated than ever to ensure I add my voice to all the others to enlighten the world that there IS such a thing, that it WILL happen, and when it does, the world will be an utterly much darker, and more dangerous place than ever in its history to date. It’s a topic that seems to be on the lips of many Christians regardless of their knowledge of it to any degree, and like so many other things currently, it would appear to be something else the Lord is provoking many to discuss and debate perhaps.
Ok – first off – what’s the Rapture? Well, if you’re a Christian and you’ve not yet heard of the term – shame on you!! Fair enough I know it’s not a term mentioned in the bible, but neither is the Trinity and all Christians have certainly heard of that one in their lifetime. And if you’re not a Christian and/or think this is nothing to do with you, you couldn’t be MORE wrong!! While the Rapture itself directly affects Christians, the aftermath will be the worst period ever for those who don’t know Jesus as their Saviour regardless of whether they may determine to do so a day later.
Back to the question then – what’s the Rapture? Well, it’s a concept based on the Greek biblical term “harpazo” which means “to catch up,” and Paul discusses this quite a few times in his letters to Timothy and the Church at Thessalonica – (to save space I’m not going to put verses in here, but will rather link to them to make it a bit easier for you). Check out: 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 which is the primary verse used to lay the foundation for this awesome event. Others include:
Revelation 3:10 -where Jesus states that He will keep His church “from” the “hour of trial” which he says will hit the whole earth in the last days i.e. now.
Acts 8:26 – another example of a singular “rapture” of one person being ‘translated’ from one place to another in an instant.
1st Cor 15:50-54 – how it will happen in a nanosecond.
Luke 21:34-36 – Jesus exhorts us to remain faithful so that we can be proven worthy to “escape” all the things that will happen in the end days.
Plenty of others if you want to really research the topic. Mind you, when I first came across it a decade or so ago, I found it rather confusing as I discovered that like any doctrine in the Christian church there are a number of varying views on the timing and actions of it, while plenty of others refute the possibility in any shape or form. I have to admit personally I often think it does sound like science fiction, but then so does the idea of God becoming man in order to allow man to kill Him so that man might live!
If you’ve read this far all I want to do is to urge you to contemplate the possibility if you haven’t already – read the scriptures, pray for God to reveal the Truth to you about it, and then determine your own viewpoint. But if you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour none of the above is of any value to you other than to know that once He removes His church (i.e. all true “born-again” Christians) from the world all hell will literally and figuratively be let loose. You’ve no doubt heard all the hype about the “mark of the beast”? Well – the time that happens is AFTER the Rapture occurs when Satan indwells a leader of the world and provokes him to instigate a one world government wherein he will insist on total and complete obedience and allegiance to him alone (above ALL Gods!). However, it’s only fair to point out that this fact is debated and denied by many who consider that the Rapture happens at another time – each to their own – my personal view is Rapture first then Tribulation – please don’t start leaving comments on how I’m wrong and throwing all the reasons why at me – I’ve read both sides of the argument and this is my stance, and I’m happy with it.
One thing that does stand out for me though is that regardless of when people think it will occur, there’s an increase in interest on the whole concept and also prophecy and end-times information, all of which points towards the time of Jesus’ return being acutely closer than ever. Biblical prophecy is awesome not just in its accuracy but also in its ability to fairly well pinpoint certain events and timescales for things. Jesus also made some references to this time and although again He did so in parable, it’s plain to those who desire to understand how He was referring to His Return – in the parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the Bridegroom:
Mat 25:1Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
God’s timetable for everything is connected intimately to Jewish tradition and history, and especially to their feasts and festivals. The Jewish wedding is a perfect model for the return of the Bridegroom – Jesus said as much in providing that particular parable, and He is currently awaiting His Father’s command to go and retrieve His Bride (the Church) from the earth for the Marriage Feast of the Lamb as outlined in Revelation:
Rev: 19: 7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
If you want to read more about the fuller context of this, you can read more about it here and here . And if you want to read more in depth stuff on the Rapture head to Rapture Ready – one of the most comprehensive sites on this particular viewpoint of it at any rate. But if you really want to do a good job, just go and search around for those sites that provide both arguments (pre/post trib Rapture), although unless you’ve a good grounding in scripture, you’ll find it hard to make a decision based purely on what information is provided to back up each argument as each one is so forcibly presented with tons of scripture. Thus you alone have to pray hard, judge for yourself, and once you make your decision, be happy with it. Ultimately as I always say to those who insist you absolutely have to get this one right – don’t stress. Regardless of whether the Rapture is pre- or post-trib etc, or whether there even IS a Rapture – the most important vital thing for absolutely everyone is to be ready to meet God at a moment’s notice, and to have your life right before Him. Pointless having the strongest views on doctrine if your relationship with Him isn’t there. Once that’s in place, the Rapture and it’s timing issues will become interesting perhaps but somewhat irrelevant! Marantha, Come Lord Jesus!