|Posted on July 23, 2020 at 1:20 PM|
The next major event on the prophetic calendar is what is referred to as the rapture of the saints. Although the word rapture is not actually used in the Bible it conveys the idea of “a catching away” referred to by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-18, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall arise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” This event is the beginning of the second coming of Jesus to this world and will have global effects the world has never witnessed.
Space does not permit a full explanation of the rapture here but the fact that it will occur is not up for speculation as far as the Bible is concerned. Although there are many scoffers that doubt such an event could or would occur Jesus promised his disciples that he would come again to receive us unto himself. All the writers of the New Testament make mention of Jesus’ return and John gives a detailed description of it in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The promise of the second coming of Christ is foundational to our hope as believers and the idea of the rapture of the saints gives us comfort in the midst of dark times such as these.
My understanding of the rapture along with what immediately follows in this world has been solidified by the recent events of the Coronavirus pandemic. When every believer in the world is instantly changed and caught up to meet Jesus in the air the world will view that it as a catastrophic event that mysteriously caused the death of millions. Since flesh and blood (our physical bodies) cannot inherit the kingdom those who are raptured will likely leave behind their physical bodies to return to dust. In the ensuing chaos the world will seek a rational explanation for such an event and likely conclude that these people died of some kind of global pandemic rather than believe that Jesus called them to join him in the air.
The removal of all believers from this world will also remove the presence and influence of the Spirit of Truth setting the stage for the “the Wicked One” to be revealed “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders”. The anti-christ or “man of sin”, the “son of perdition”, will establish his rule over all the world in opposition to God and reveal himself as God. At last, the hidden agenda of the “New World Order” will be fully established under the power of the final world dictator and his government. Many will be deceived and put their trust in the ability of humanity to save the world.
Because God is gracious the rapture of the saints will be followed by a seven-year period of tribulation like the world has never seen before. It is like Jesus will grab the world by their deaf ears and shake them awake to his power and willingness to save them from themselves. During this horrific time many will turn to the Lord for salvation while Jesus systematically destroys the anti-christ and his kingdom and comes to establish his own kingdom of righteousness. Yes, the future hold many earthshaking events, but the ultimate end is righteousness and peace.