“Therefore I will protect you from the time of Great Tribulation” ~Rev 3:10
“Do you know the next great event on God’s prophetic calendar?” Chris asked his friend, Evan.
“Actually this event occurs just before the tribulation.”
“I guess I’m not sure. I often get the end times stuff mixed up.”
“The next big prophetic event is…The Rapture!”
“To tell you the truth, I am a little foggy on how that is supposed to work, Chris. Can you fill me in? Oh, and should I worry about being left behind?”
“I can give you the ultimate test to see if you will be included in the rapture (if it happens before you die). Answer this question for me and we will know for sure:the Bible says, in Romans 10:13, “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Evan, have you called upon the name of the Lord to save you?”
“Yes. I have. I most certainly have.”
“Then you will not be left behind; plain and simple.”
“Praise God. That is a relief. So, go ahead, tell me about the Rapture.”
“Let me quote Mark Hitchcock’s book, 101 Answers To The Most Asked Questions About The End Times
The Rapture is that future event when Jesus Christ will descend from heaven and, in a moment of time, resurrect the bodies of departed believers, transform the bodies of living believers immediately into His glorious presence, and then escort them to heaven to live with Him forever. The Rapture is the blessed hope of the church.”
“When is this supposed to happen?”
“That is the question for all the ages, Evan. Only God knows the date and time. So we are to look with expectancy…anticipating that any moment we might hear the mighty shout and trumpet blast calling us home.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-2
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
When is all this going to happen? I really don’t need to say anything about that, dear brothers, for you know perfectly well that no one knows. That day of the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 I tell you this, my brothers: an earthly body made of flesh and blood cannot get into God’s Kingdom. These perishable bodies of ours are not the right kind to live forever.
But I am telling you this strange and wonderful secret: we shall not all die, but we shall all be given new bodies! It will all happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For there will be a trumpet blast from the sky, and all the Christians who have died will suddenly become alive, with new bodies that will never, never die; and then we who are still alive shall suddenly have new bodies too. For our earthly bodies, the ones we have now that can die, must be transformed into heavenly bodies that cannot perish but will live forever.
When this happens, then at last this Scripture will come true—“Death is swallowed up in victory.” O death, where then your victory? Where then your sting? For sin—the sting that causes death—will all be gone; and the law, which reveals our sins, will no longer be our judge. How we thank God for all of this! It is he who makes us victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So, my dear brothers, since future victory is sure, be strong and steady, always abounding in the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever wasted as it would be if there were no resurrection.
“Life in these mortal bodies often brings conflict, sadness, sorrow, uncertainty and discouragement, Evan, which is why verse 18 in 1 Thessalonians, above, is so crucial: So comfort and encourage each other with these words! When a friend, a fellow believer, is at rock-bottom, encourage them with these words! We cannot hear them too often and need the powerful, life-changing assurance God’s word brings to our souls. Therefore, comfort and encourage each other with these words!”