By Randy Nettles
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “rapture” has three basic definitions. 1) Ecstatic joy, bliss, euphoria, or delight. 2) The carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence. 3) The final assumption of Christians into heaven during the end-time according to Christian theology.
This English word is derived from the Latin verb “Rapere” which means “to carry off,” or “to catch up.” Although the word “rapture” is not found in the Bible, it is based on Scripture.The following is a partial listing:
“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. 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 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 4:13-17)
The Greek word for “caught up” is “harpazō” and means “to seize, to carry off by force” or “to snatch away.”
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
“Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:20-21)
“Before the decree is issued, or the day passes like chaff, before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you! Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.” (Zephaniah 2:2-3)
As a true Christian, can you imagine the joy (rapture definition #1) we will experience when we are “caught up” (rapture definition #2) into the air to meet with Jesus, our Savior, Lord and King?As the Bride and soul mate of Jesus, He will then escort us to our new home in heaven… (rapture definition #3); where we will be with Him forever.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
The unbridled bliss we will know when we are together with Jesus and all of our saved relatives and friends will be unimaginable. It will be the ultimate family reunion of the ages. There will be no emotion present other than that of perfect love and happiness. Never again will we experience the negative emotions of fear, hate, envy, greed, sorrow, uncertainty, lust, selfishness and pride.
The will of the Father shall become the will of all humans and angels in heaven. We will never again experience the sorrow of sin in our lives. Our sin nature, inherited from Adam, will no longer be with us, for we will be made holy and righteous after Christ.
Our mortal bodies will be transformed into immortal bodies that will be suited for eternity in the new heavens and earth.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. We will have a spiritual body like Jesus’ resurrected body. 1John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does 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.” (1 Corinthians 15: 53)
It will be a glorious body similar to Jesus.’
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3: 20-21)
In our spiritual bodies, we will have supernatural abilities and senses; compared to our current carbon based earthly ones. What an upgrade it will be!
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary: and they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:32)
All transformed believers in Jesus will become children of God and will be co-heirs with Christ throughout the Millennium and Eternity.
“But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
God’s kingdom will consist of the new heavens (universe) and earth; including the eternal city… the New Jerusalem. Here is John’s description of our new eternal home.
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs.
The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.
first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Isaiah 21:10-27)
Oh, enraptured by the Rapture!Does this sound like an event you want to miss? If you miss the Rapture train, you will have to face the train wreck known as Daniels’ 70th week, otherwise known as the 7 year Tribulation. It would be a shame to miss it because of not making a decision for Christ. Even if the Rapture doesn’t happen relatively soon (or if you miss it), no person knows when he or she might pass from this life into the next one.
The next life will be for eternity… do you want to spend it in Heaven or Hell? Choose Jesus and live forever as a royal son of the most high God. Make your decision today, for we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
“But God said unto him, though fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided.” (Luke 12: 20)
Even so, come Lord Jesus.