Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries
I can talk about the Rapture of the Church all I want to, but better instead, why don't I show you a possible example of what the rapture would be like. Included in the video above is a dynamic illustration from the Potter's Church in Australia. If you were to go to GodTube it's got nearly a million hits on this video. It has a powerful message.
[See first video illustration in video above.]
Every time that booming flash comes, I still jump. Showing this video to others, I always see them jump like me. But, the Rapture will be very much like the video portrays. It will be a lot like that, I believe.
A Key Passage on the Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 gives us even more details about what happens at the Rapture.
"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."
Again, this passage gives us a tremendous amount of detail concerning the Rapture. For one, it begins with the fact that we gain hope from the knowledge of the Rapture.
Secondly, to think that God loves us so much that He is not going to leave us to be beaten up by his own anger. Think about your parents, or your wife, or husband or someone. For example, I'll say my wife. I love my wife, but can you image what would happen if I beat up my wife for seven years straight, and then at the end of the seven years I say, "Honey, let's get married."? No way! She wouldn't have even stuck around past one beating. I would probably get the beating. That's not how God works. He wouldn't take the people He loves and calls His children and beat them up by His own wrath and anger for seven years before rescuing them. So, we have great hope in the knowledge that God loves us that much and that He is going to rescue us.
The Rapture reiterates Jesus' resurrection. Because of Jesus beating death on the cross and coming back from the grave, His victory has become our victory. His resurrection enables us to be resurrected as well.
1 Thessalonians 4 tells us the dead in Christ will be resurrected first. If the order is the dead in Christ first then us being raptured, it doesn't really matter the order too much, right? The dead in Christ will first, and we who are alive if the Rapture occurs during our lifetime will be second. We shouldn't feel like we're second in importance or anything like that, as it all happens in the blink of an eye anyway.
Notice the passage tells us that Jesus will come down from Heaven, but that He doesn't come all the way down to earth. It says He stays in the clouds. Jesus stops up there to receive those who are being raptured up to Him. That Jesus doesn't land on the Earth is significant, for it's one of the descriptors which separates the Rapture event from His Second Coming event by at least seven years.
Paul also tells us that there is going to be a loud command from God's head angel — the Archangel Michael. It doesn't tell us what he says, but maybe he says something like, "It's time!" or "Come on up!" or "Glory time!" It will be something commanding, but we can only guess as to what he will say. The Archangel makes the announcement to come up to Jesus.
There will also be a trumpet heard, too. It will be a very loud trumpet blown throughout the earth. Now, whether everybody will hear the trumpet or only the believers in Christ will hear the trumpet, we are not told, but there will definitely be a blasting trumpet. God likes trumpets. He uses them all the time as the Bible demonstrates.
The passage also tells us that we who will be raptured will remain where Jesus lives forever — Heaven. Isn't that awesome? That also means we get to skip all of the Tribulation, all that death, all the rest of life in a living torment, and be with God forever.
Old Testament Rapture Hints
Isaiah 26:19-21 is one of the little Old Testament hints given concerning the Rapture from a time where the Church was still a mystery.
"But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You, who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer."
This Old Testament passage reinforces the biblical teaching that God's people will stay in Heaven during tribulation. And, as Jesus shared in John 14:2, He is building those grand rooms — those mansions — in Heaven for us believers in Christ. Those raptured will live in Heaven while God pours out His wrath on the rest of the earth. That wrath is in part punishment, but also to get those who continue to live in rebellion against God to finally say, "Oh, Lord, I give up! I accept you. Be my Savior."
Another Old Testament hint can be found in Malachi 3:17, "'They will be mine,' says the LORD Almighty, 'in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.'" Those who are saved are the Lord's. They are protected by a hand that cannot be conquered.
Isn't it amazing that God says He treasures us? That we are important to him? He is not some distant God sitting up on a cloud who could care less about our lives. He actually loves us. He treasures us as worth something important. Think of something that you treasure in your life. I treasure my family. They are important to me. I wouldn't let anything happen to them. Maybe you have a favorite toy from when you were a kid that you still keep around as an adult because you treasure it. It is important to you and you value it. This passage give us the wonderful news that God in His love will spare what He treasures, and that is us!