Before we get into the message on the rapture, we would like to review Paul’s conversation with the early Church regarding those who died, and those who are dying, and those of us who will remain until the return of Jesus Christ. And by now you may guess, our view on the rapture is that there won’t be one.
Now, the reason we are addressing this topic on the rapture it is to help us prepare properly for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because it has been widely accepted there will be a rapture of the Church, and on account of that rapture, we will escape the great tribulation.
There is no doubt, Christians will escape the great tribulation, but the question we have before us is how. There seems to be no great need for us to worry or prepare for Christ’s second coming because the scripture according to many, has made several statements that seem to suggest we will not go through the great tribulation as a Church. Instead, we need only wait on the Lord.
But how we wait on the Lord is another matter of importance, and because this is an important topic, the other reason we are addressing this subject on the rapture it is because if we keep on looking to escape the great tribulation with the help of the rapture, we as Christians will miss out on one of the greatest moments of our lives.
Nevertheless, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let us open with a preview on one of Paul’s conversations with the early Church for us to understand Paul was not speaking concerning a rapture of the Church in the way we believe the rapture will escape the coming tribulation. Because if Paul was speaking concerning the Church being taken away from the earth, it would contradict Isaiah’s, Ezekiel, and many of the other prophets, including John who penned the book of Revelation who prophesied concerning the return of Jesus Christ, and how it will take place.
Isaiah speaking of the coming kingdom of Jesus the Christ, and the Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15, spoke both of Christ being king over all the nations and of our part in the establishment of the kingdom of God.
Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 9:7 saying, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. And he said, “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” And what we needed to have understood when Isaiah spoke of the increase of the kingdom of Christ, was that the increase of the government of Christ will include those of us who are coming into the kingdom through the proclamation of the gospel.
God according to Isaiah is determined to accomplish his word; therefore, he gave us the Holy Spirit. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts.” And in agreement with Isaiah, John spoke these words to the Pharisees who themselves did not understand these things.
In Matthew 3:7-11 John shouted at the Pharisees saying,” O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham as our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. The axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore, every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”
Now, as we examine Paul’s conversation with the early Church, we can see that it is falling in line with Isaiah’s prophecy, because both those who have served until their death, and those who will have to endure the great persecution and surviving, will be with Christ upon his return, and again, that is when Christ returns and not when he takes us away according to some, but returning to establish his kingdom and government on the earth.
The rapture we are looking for will not take place in the way we are expecting it, a rapture that will take us away from the earth because if we can remember what Isaiah had prophesied concerning the increase of Christ’s kingdom and government. We will suddenly realize that at the appearance of Christ, we will be transformed in an instant to be reunited with those who had passed on before us. It is at that moment we will be with Christ forever in His kingdom. Therefore, “We will forever be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 reads, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” God will not take us away from the earth in a rapture, instead, he will return and rescue us with those who has already passed on before us in death and is about to experience the resurrection.
Let us come together as one in Christ and prepare for what God is about to do so that we might play our role well in the coming kingdom of God to be revealed in the earth an everlasting kingdom that shall not be left into the hands of a another people.