By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


What is the rapture?


There are many Christians who believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ will be in two phases. First He will come for believers, both living and dead, in the “rapture”; read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. In this view, the rapture—which is the transformation and catching up of all Christians, dead or alive, to meet Christ in the air—will be secret, for it will be unknown to the world of unbelievers at the time of its happening.

The effect of this removal, in the absence of multitudes of people, will, of course, be evident on earth. Then, second, after a period of seven years of tribulation on earth, Christ will return to the earth with His church, the saints who were raptured (Matthew 24:30, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 1:7). He will be victorious over His enemies and will reign on the earth for a thousand years (the millennium) with His saints, the church.

After the thousand years, living unbelievers and the wicked dead now raised to life will be judged at the great white throne judgment. They will then be cast into the lake of fire, while the saved will live forever with Christ in a new heaven and earth (Revelation, chapters 19-22).

Many other evangelical Christians believe that Christ’s return and the rapture will not occur until the seven years of the tribulation have ended. As far as the latter view is concerned, the rapture will not be secret, since it will be part of Christ’s visible and triumphant return to end this present evil age (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). At this point, interpreters differ as to whether there will be a literal thousand year reign of Christ on earth or whether the white throne judgment and the new heaven and earth will immediately appear.

All Christians do not agree on every detail of what will occur in the final events of this world’s history. Some of these events and their order of occurrence have simply not been made clear in the Bible. What is important is that all Christians hold in common that Christ will ultimately return bodily, visibly, and gloriously to reign and rule with His resurrected and transformed saints forever and ever. The details of this great event will be made known in God’s own time.

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  1. Donna Grubbs says:

    At times my soul longs for His return so strongly. I am a prodigal child that was reborn 20 years ago. I am so blessed. Let us all pray for the unsaved in the world as they have no idea what is coming. They face horrible times. They know not what they need. Blessings to all.

  2. Amy Raducz says:

    I’ve been a believer in Christ since 1969 and I’m 55 years old I was 9 years old and its people like you to continue to preach God’s Word and I thank you for that you’re a blessing

  3. Dana Westmoreland says:

    I really dont know if I believe the rapture or not i believe in the what some of the rapture is saying

  4. Kaye Allen says:

    I believe in the Rapture but I was just informed by a close relative that is a Christian that she doesn’t believe in the Rapture. Does the great Billy Graham believe that the Rapture will occur? I know that Don Wilton has a CD out of The Rapture and the End times. Billy Graham is a member of his church so does he believe the same as Don Wilton? Thank you for your time. Kaye Allen

    1. Tiffany Jothen says:

      Hi, Kaye. Yes, Mr. Graham believes in the Rapture. Here are some short Q&As, along with some devotions from our website about the end times, some written by Mr. Graham:

      – BGEA Staff

  5. Nancy Gay Crawford says:

    Praise Jesus!

  6. Diane Holden says:

    Yes, I believe with all my heart that Christ will surely return and that we cannot know the day or time. However, we are given many passages in the Bible that give us clues as to when Christ’s return is imminent. I think God allowed that so that more people would be made aware and turn to Him. Let’s take this seriously brothers and sisters and follow His command to share the Good News and be Kingdom Builders. We only need plant the seeds – God will do the rest. Lord give us the courage!

    1. Dana Westmoreland says:

      thousand years with Jesus as our ruler KING