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. Johnny Books says:

    I know we are to be aware of events going on around us…watch and to be ready for the time of departure. But, the Bible states that even Jesus doesn’t even know of the time. So, how in the world does any Christian really know the hour or the day? So much of of the rapture is here say…and I believe people in general are ready to escape the horrors…that’s coming on the earth. I’ve always been told to be ready but, most importantly is your salvation in order between you and the Lord? Nobody will know when it’s happening until that day comes. So, why is everybody so uptight about this event? It may not happen in your lifetime, or it could be still hundred of years away from today. So, chill out enjoy your life and be ready!!!

    1. Kriztal says:

      I’m not if “chill” is the best advice to solicit. We must be vigilant because He will come like a thief in the night. That is a time we all least expect. Everyone will be carrying on with business as usual and it will happen in a heartbeat. Yes the scriptures says no one but the father knows the day nor hour; however, the scriptures gives us insight on the times it will happen in. Those times painted look awfully identical to the ones we are currently living in. I look up at the sky every night because I can feel something big is near, something big is coming

  2. Karen says:

    Regardless of when and where. We must focus on the most important thing the we all can do, and that is to reach out and spread the news of Jesus, to friends, family & strangers….God bless and keep all.

  3. Michael Oduro says:

    I believe that one day Christ will come for his own (Those who believe in Him). Because it was a prophecy told by the two angels who was seen by the disciples after He (Christ ascended into heaven). If one does not believe in the rapture, then one must believe that definitely, we must all experience death and there is life after death. Now the BIG question is, where are you going to spend eternity,after death?

  4. Jeanne Wong says:

    I don’t know why, but the more I learn about this, the more confused I get. I’m also confused about when the believers’ judgement will take place. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

  5. Belinda Holland says:

    Why are we taught of rapture but the bible doesn’t speak of rapture, i thought the dead was already w God, not sleeping in a hole in the ground

    1. Sarah says:

      Me too

    2. Sarah says:

      To be absent from the present is to be present with the Lord.

  6. Billy Hilburn says:

    I believe in the Apostle Paul’s theology.

  7. Hyuha Jimmy says:

    matthew 13:24-29,36-41 puts a blow to the whole concept of the pre, mid rapture theory

  8. Marianne Schomaker says:

    Thank you so much for your response.