One of the difficulties for bible prophesy readers are the time lines involved for unfulfilled prophesies that lay ahead, before and during Israel’s coming "seventieth week" (the seven-year 'Tribulation' period). The book of “Revelation” reveals an abundance of End Times information, but it is not chronological nor presented in a sequential cohesive manner. Each passage can be read for its own content merit and then be looked at for cross-referenced clues to help flesh out the idiosyncrasies revealed about the people, places, and events of the 'Last Days'.
The Rapture is only one of the End Times events I receive questions about. As we have shared in our previous End Times series, “Hidden in Plain View”, “Out of the Shadows” and “The End? Or just the Beginning?” we can identify three unmissable, unmistakable, and undeniably linked prophesied End Times events the entire world will witness as proof of God’s nature, character, existence, and Word.
"No one knows the day or hour" [Mt 24:36-41, Mk 13:32.-33]. This quote from Jesus speaks of the coming ‘Rapture’ of believers. ‘Caught Up’ in the air to be with the Lord, is how it is described in the bible. The Rapture is perhaps one of the most studied, discussed and disagreed upon prophecies in bible scripture. Regardless of when the Rapture occurs the key is being spiritually prepared.
We will start this series with the Rapture but focus on a possible timeline based on information we have been given as believers and watchers anticipating Christ’s return. The Rapture is one of the most well-known (or at least, most heard of) End Times events. However not everyone who has heard of the “Rapture” knows exactly what it is about, so we will start there.
The “Rapture” is an End Times event for all who have believed in and trusted God’s Word about Jesus Christ and His coming millennial kingdom. Before His ‘kingdom on earth’ begins Jesus will make three ‘visits’ to the realm of the earth. The first will be in connection with the Rapture. The second and third will be associated with the Battle of Armageddon and His physical return for His one-thousand-year kingdom reign.
In the first, prophetic scripture tells us Jesus will return to the sky above the earth to Rapture (or retrieve) the spirited souls of those who have believed in His Messianic role and purpose as redeemer, savior and Son of God the Father. The spirited souls of dead believers will rise from their graves followed by all those alive who believe in Jesus as the Christ/Messiah. The purpose of the Rapture is to remove from the earth those who have trusted in God’s Word, that they may be separated and spared from the wrath of God’s displeasure at mankind’s moral and ethical disobedience (‘sins’) and refusal to believe, understand and heed His offer of redemptive salvation through Jesus.
God unconditionally loves His creation. He longs for His creatures to be reunited with Him spiritually after their mortal passing. As part of this desire for reconciliation, He has warned mankind of a “Line in the Sand” He has established about ending our current world prior to Jesus’ return to claim His inheritance [Colossians 1:15-22].
The Rapture is the event that denotes the final removal of His protective grace upon the earth's inhabitants through the shared gospel of Jesus Christ. Although there may be multitudes who still come to the Lord in the “Tribulation’s” seven-year period, those who are alive during this time may suffer terribly, as the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth.
How to be part of the Rapture, instead of being “left behind” is described in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and Romans 10:9-10, 17.
Join me next time when we note the difference between a “Pre, Mid, and Post Tribulation” Rapture.
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