The Promises of the Rapture

The Promises of the Rapture


1Thessalonians 4:13-18

The word rapture does not occur in the King James Bible, but it comes from the Latin word “rapto”, which means to seize something by force. From this we also get our English words “rupture” and “rape” and neither of those words exist in the AV KJV 1611. However, we have examples of rape found in the bible (2Samuel 13:1-14; Genesis 34:1-2) and even a law against it (Dt. 21:25).

Should we not use the word because it doesn’t exist in the bible or do you think God gives us the liberty based on the meaning of the word being found in scripture? Likewise, even though the word rapture doesn’t occur in the bible, should we not use it or preach the word as the event is described?

The rapture of the church is called a mystery here, which shows that the rapture is unique from the Second Advent because the Second Advent is not a mystery. There are 5 parts or differences between the rapture and Second Advent.

I. The Saviour Himself Descends

A. Only the church of God sees him (1John 3:2), and the lost see nothing but flesh and blood left behind (1Cor. 15:50) B. At the post-tribulation rapture enemies behold the rising of the saints (Rev. 11:12) C. At the post-tribulation rapture the Lord doesn’t descend at all (Rev. 11:12) but sits on a cloud and reaps with a sickle at the command of an angel (Rev. 14:13-16) D. At the second advent, the Lord descends with an army (Rev. 19), and all the world sees him (Zechariah 12:10)

II. The Shout of the Saviour

A. Only the church will hear him shout “Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1) B. The world will hear thunder and lightning (Job 37:1-5), at which time Luke 10:18 will become a reality. C. In the post tribulation rapture the enemies of the Jews will hear those words “come up hither” (Revelation 11:12).

III. The Archangel Speaks

A. This archangel is Michael, which stands before the Tribulation (Daniel 12:1), signaling the end of the Gentiles and the beginning of Jacob’s trouble for the next 7 years (Jeremiah 30:7) B. There is no archangel’s voice at the post-tribulation rapture, only the voice of angels flying in the midst of heaven (Rev. 8:13; 14:6)

IV. The Sound of the Trump of God

A. This is either the sound of a literal trumpet blown and it is the last sound of that trumpet (1Cor. 15:52), which signals the end of the church age (i.e. Exodus 19:19), or it is the voice of God sounding like a trumpet (Isaiah 58:1; Rev: 1:10; 4:1-2). B. In the Tribulation it’s the trumpets of angels that are sounded (Rev. 8:2) and the last trumpet blown signals the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 11:15)

V. The Saints Go Up

A. In Two Parts: 1. The dead (sleeping) go up first – not to heaven but the clouds. There is perhaps – and only conjecture or thought – a “layover”, where the dead in Christ are witnesses for a few days on earth before the final “meeting in the air” (i.e. Mt. 27:50-53). 2. We are caught up together with them in the clouds, where we meet the Lord in the air

B. At the post tribulation rapture, there are no “dead in Christ” because nobody is in the body of Christ during the tribulation - There are only those that “die in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13) C. There are no “Christians” that “rise first” in the Tribulation because all the dead in the Lord and all the living in the Lord go up together in a general reaping known as “the harvest of the earth” (Revelation 14:15)

VI. The Source of Comfort

A. This mystery concerning the sleeping of the believer, and the glorious rapture of the church is said to be a comfort in Verse 18. There is no comfort in the thought of having to endure the Tribulation. There is no comfort in the possibility of losing your salvation if you don’t endure. There is no comfort in having to prove your faith and your salvation by losing your head for not having taken the mark of the beast. B. Biblical Christianity and the faith in the doctrine and truth concerning the rapture are the only true sources of comfort at the graveside of a loved one who has gone to sleep in Christ Jesus and those that are left to await the sound of the trump.

Jeffrey smithComment