We all long for a better day. A day when we can be taken from this world – delivered from the ugliness of sin. We look forward to the day when all our problems will vanish.
As believers we have the assurance that that better day is on the horizon.
We call it the Rapture of the Church.
Paul describes it this way: “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 Christians 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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
It’s true! Jesus, our Bridegroom, will come to snatch us – His Church – away from this place one day.
The word rapture is not found in Scripture, but that doesn’t make it less true. 1 Corinthians 15:52 describes it like this: “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye”… The word twinkling can be defined as a “gleam in your eye,” which is faster than the eye can see. The phrase caught up referenced in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 means “to catch away speedily, for there will be no warning; to seize by force. We’ve combined these truths together with one word – Rapture.
Jesus said, “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:3).
With this before us, we ask ourselves what it will be like. Of course, the Bible gives us just a little information, but enough to keep our hope alive.
According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Jesus will be accompanied by huge fanfare.
A true celebration!
From this verse, let’s observe three things that will accompany Jesus’ return…
A loud command!
This means “to summon.” One commentary states: “This is the shout of a king or conqueror as he leaves his palace with the expressed aim of setting the captives free.”
Perhaps we might liken it to Jesus calling Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43). I’m not sure anyone had ever heard such a commanding voice – a voice loud enough to awaken the dead.
All believers will hear Jesus’ voice at the Rapture.
The voice of the archangel!
Archangel means “chief or first” angel. Therefore, we can be certain that there will be a host of angels and the archangel will lead them.
Think about this. If just one or two angels, appearing in full glory, caused fear and trembling in people (Matthew 28:3-5, Luke 2:9), imagine what it will be like to see a host of angels. Just imagine…
The trumpet call of God!
In relation to the trumpet call on the day of the Rapture, we can be certain that it is the final summons for God’s people to come meet with Him, deliverance for His people, and the arrival of a new season/new life for the Church.
When God’s purposes reveal something major, He makes it known with great displays of power and authority. Read again the birth of Jesus, the death of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus. Each of these marvelous acts of God is accompanied by huge and glorious fanfare. It is NO different on the day of the Rapture – the day our Bridegroom comes to retrieve His Bride.
But here’s what we need to remember. The Rapture is for only the Church – God’s people. Believers are the only ones to hear these sounds and to be snatched away.
So it’s important that we don’t live these days without Jesus’ mission before us. What is His mission? That everyone be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). It’s the perfect time to tell your story to your unsaved loved ones, friends and acquaintances and point them to Jesus.
Let’s keep our eyes on this fundamental truth and keep our hope alive by looking forward to this day. Something tells me that it’s probably sooner than later.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of “What Will Happen at the Rapture of the Church.”
If you are interested in studying more about the events of the end days, especially the Rapture, then consider getting our Bride of Christ: Being Rapture Ready Bible study.
Love and blessings,
Upcoming Bible study – January 2016
Joshua: Heaven’s Mighty Warrior