- 1 Thessalonians 5:9
- Revelation 3:10 - 11
- Revelation 6:15 - 17
Why I believe the church is raptured somewhere between Revelation 3-4.
1. God’s Wrath not for us. Revelation 6:15 - 17 (NLT)
15 Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.
16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.
17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”
BUT God………1 Thess. 1:10 (KJV) 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 (KJV) 9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:9 (ESV) 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Revelation 3:10 - 11 (ESV) 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
- As the people of God, we will certainly go through tribulation (John 16:33; Acts 14:22), but not the Tribulation John 16:33 (KJV) 33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
- ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION:
Ch. 4-5 appear to describe the church (24 Elders) in heaven, worshipping God. The word “church,” used 18 times in chs. 1-3, isn’t used even once after that until the very end of Revelation. Chapters 6-18 describe the Tribulation, but don’t once mention the “church. ”Bride” is mentioned in Rev. 19. Because the church isn’t on earth; it’s in heaven.
Sequence of events when the Lord returns: (NOT the Second Coming in Rev. 19:11-21)
- The Lord descends with a shout = Archangel’s voice + Trumpet sounds
1 Corinthians 15:52 (KJV) 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound…..
1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV) 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God……
2. The dead (asleep) in Christ rises first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV) 16For 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 rise first:
1 Corinthians 15:54 - 55 (NLT) 54Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
3. The living believers will be raptured.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 (KJV) 17Then 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.
Harpazo (caught up) refers to a strong, irresistible, even violent act.
- in Acts 8:39 it speaks of Philip’s being snatched away from the Ethiopian eunuch;
- 2 Corinthians 12:2, 4 it describes Paul’s being caught up into the third heaven.
- It is when living believers are caught up that they are transformed and receive their glorified bodies (Phil. 3:21). “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” believers “will be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52).
4. Believers, both living and dead, will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51 - 53 (KJV) 51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 ….and we shall be changed. 53…this mortal must put on immortality.
Changed: (Gk. Metamorphai) = Both living and dead (sleeping) are transformed immediately.
Philippians 3:20 - 21 (NLT)
20But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
1 John 3:1 - 3 (KJV) 1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Deuteronomy 29:29 (ESV) 29“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
- We will be together with Him in the clouds, in the air forever, with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 The Transfiguration was a prelude to the rapture:
Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets, both of which find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ (Luke 24:25-27 Moses had died and his body was buried, but Elijah had been raptured to heaven (2 Kings 2:11). When Jesus returns, He will raise the bodies of the saints who died and will rapture the living saints (1 Thes. 4:13-18).
Moses’ body had been buried by God in an unknown tomb in Moab some 1,500 years before (Deuteronomy 34:5-6Elijah had been taken alive into heaven in a chariot of fire over 900 years previously (2 Kings 2:11).
Moses representing the resurrected saints, and Elijah the “raptured” saints. “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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).