Christian Apologetics Study

THE FUTURE RAPTURE OF MESSIAH YESHUA’S CHURCH

Nov
22

The Rapture describes a magnificent supernatural event, which God has promised to all members of His Church.  This promise says that someday within the near future, when the majestic trumpet of God is blowing during the awesome shout of an archangel, Yeshua will appear in the sky and transport believers in His Church, both living and dead, to His dwelling place in Heaven.

THE RAPTURE TERM

The term, Rapture, originates from the Latin word, RAPIO, and this word means to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out suddenly. This word Rapture is also a translation of the Greek word, HARPAZO. This means the word RAPTURE is a Biblical word that originates from the Latin Vulgate and Greek translations of the Holy Bible. The word is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.  In the New American Standard Version, New King James Version, and New International Version, the English phrase, “caught up,” is employed.

THE RAPTURE IS A PROMISE TO THE CHURCH

The Rapture concept was not revealed to the Old Testament Hebrew prophets because it is a promise to the New Testament Christian Church and not to God’s saints who lived before the Christian Church Age. Yeshua will return as a bridegroom for His bride, and His bride will only include Church Age saints.  The saints mentioned in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures will be resurrected at the conclusion of the seven year Tribulation period and not either before or during the Rapture of Christian believers. The prophet Daniel reveals this future history when he wrote: “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:1-3 NKJV).

THE BIBLICAL REFERENCES FOR THE RAPTURE

The first clear mention of the Rapture in God’s Holy Scriptures originates from the words of Messiah Yeshua when He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:1-4 NKJV).

The most detailed revelation of the actual Rapture event is given by Paul when he wrote: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV).

Paul mentions the Rapture event again when he wrote: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 NKJV).

Paul mentions the timing of the Rapture when he wrote: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NKJV).  This passage confirms that the Rapture event occurs before  the Anti-Messiah is revealed worldwide. The English words for FALLING AWAY were originally translated DEPARTURE AWAY in early English Bible versions, according to Dr. Grant Jeffrey.  Therefore, after the great departure of believers occur, then the Anti-Messiah will be revealed to the world.

RAPTURE SUMMARY

These Biblical passages teach that the shout of an archangel and the blowing of God’s trumpet will signal the sudden and dramatic appearance of Messiah Yeshua in the heavens. The dead in Messiah Yeshua will be resurrected and they will

rise up to meet Yeshua in the sky. Then, the believers who are alive will be “caught up” to the Lord. Paul concludes his breathtaking description of the Rapture event with “comfort one another with these words.” The Rapture will be the most comforting experience for all believers in Messiah Yeshua because we will all receive a supernatural immortal body and we will never experience sickness and death again as we spend eternity with Messiah Yeshua.

RELATED SOURCES

Bible Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, PhD; 2000. The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Last Days; Richard H. Perry; 2006. The Book of Revelation; Larry R. Helyer, PhD and Richard Wagner; 2008. Article by Dr. Thomas Ice. Bible Prophecy Revealed  by Dr. Grant Jeffrey. Article by Dr. David Reagan. Learn the by in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler. Comments by Dr. Gary Stearman.

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