Christ's Second Presence

"Caught Up Together With Him." I Thess. 4:17

Is the "Rapture" Scriptural?

The word "rapture" is not found in the Bible. The Scriptures describe the event of the resurrection of the Saints at Christ's return as follows:

I Thess. 4:15-17 "...We which are alive and remain unto the presence ["parousia"] of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep.

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven...and the dead in Christ shall rise 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."

Note the time sequence: The dead in Christ shall rise "first." This refers to the Christians who have died [fallen asleep] for the last 2,000 years. "Then" [afterwards] the living saints are "caught up" to meet the Lord. "First" and "then" denotes a difference of time.

I Cor. 15:51,52 also describes this difference of time. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [during] the last trump."

Some Christians will sleep in death until the Lord returns. Others will be alive when he returns. But all will be changed during the period of the last, the 7th trumpet. This "last trump" is the last of the seven trumpets of Revelation and is symbolical of the proclamation of truth at the last stage of the church.

The phrase "caught up together with them" does not denote the time, but the place of their being together. The place is to meet the Lord "in the air," a spiritual resurrection to join their returned Lord in the spiritual rulership of earth's affairs. The time of the resurrection is first those who slept during the last 2,000 years. Then as those living at the time of Christ's return die, one at a time, they will also be changed, in a moment in a twinkling of an eye. Each, at the instant of their dying will be resurrected to immortality.

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