Answers

By   •   June 1, 2004

Q:

What is the rapture?


A:

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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10 Comments

  1. Charles E. Miller, BA, MAR says:

    I believe that when Jesus comes the general judgment, general judgment, and the new heaven and new earth will immediately appear. Some Baptists and Methodists accept that view.

  2. June Builderback says:

    I am very interested in learning more and being able to understand more of the Book of Revelations. People have never addressed it enough or taught about it enough, in my opinion. I would like to see studies in easy to understand wording offered for very low cost or even free. I am a 66-year-old disabled lady and my husband and I are living on a fixed income. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate your help. God bless.

  3. Eugene Roy says:

    The one thing Christ made abundantly clear through his many parables is that when he does return, he wants to find his servants working hard to complete his commission…to go into all the world spreading the gospel, healing the sick, setting the captive free and making disciples of men.

  4. Linda Harr says:

    Thank you for leading by example. The life time of inspirational work, of not only you sir but your entire family. God Bless you and yours. Linda Rae Harr

  5. LaGonda Norwood says:

    This is very helpful, and like many, I’m still confused about the one phase or two phases. But enjoyed reading this.

  6. Tom Newman says:

    we find in the scriptures that regardless of the time or order of these wonderful events, we need to get ready, be ready, and stay ready, and try to help others to get ready. Praise God, your kingdom come your will be done, amen

  7. Bimal poudel says:

    I want to love Jesus Christ more n more and receive His love.

  8. Charles E. Miller, Jr. BA, MAR says:

    Only God the Father knows when the rapture is. We should work for the Kingdom of God until Jesus comes for His own. Accept Christ and be saved. Whether I walk the veil with Him or meet Him in the air, I know whom I have believed.

  9. Naomi Brooks says:

    It will be as God intends not as we suspect.

  10. Robert Thomson says:

    I don’t think that Christ would rapture all of us away from the world when the world would need witnesses for Christ during the tribulation