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. Sherri C says:

    If the antichrist is revealed before Christ returns, which it clearly states in Thessoalonians 2:3-4, then there would be no need for a rapture. I don’t understand why people would believe in that. Satan.will return saying he is God and try to get people to follow him thinking they are being raptured. That is why people need to read the bible and not listen to any man.

  2. Sherri C says:

    Let no man deceive you for any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Who oppose the and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; So that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Thessalonians 2:3-4

  3. James finborg says:

    Thank you. Very helpful reading.

  4. De Anna Conner says:

    People have been talking about Sept 23,2017- that the rapture will happen. I hope so. I’m so tried of hearing bad news everywhere.

  5. Jim Black says:

    Reply BGEA article, 6-1-2004, Two things support a post trib rapture. First is the meaning of “imminent:” Over-hanging, close at hand, ready to take place, about to happen,  menacingly near.”  This definition  requires a known event to happen very soon. The arrival of a train is imminent when it’s heard or seen  coming around the bend. Second is Luke 21:28: “When you see these things happen, raise your head and look up, for your REDEMPTION  is drawing near.” This happens, “AFTER the tribulation of those days” (Mt. 24:29).  Redemption is, “Deliverance effected by the payment of ransom, of the body from frailty and mortality, from Antichrist & Co., by return of Christ.”(Thayer #629). So the rapture is fixed to occur Post Trib (Ro. 8:19-23).

  6. doops says:

    Revelation 22

    18 For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

  7. Adenike atayero says:

    God bless this ministry

  8. Sylanda Severino says:

    I’m looking forward to be among the saints during the rapture in Jesus Name!!