It’s coming to a tipping point here on planet Earth. Even people who are not normally tuned in to end-time events sense something is getting ready to happen. There is a lot of speculation as to what exactly it is, but most feel like the earth is becoming a more dark and dangerous place. Dark spiritually, too. Surely, the other shoe is getting ready to drop. We, as Christians, are the only ones that have anything to offer people—by way of the gospel of Christ. Part of this good news, believe it or not, is our imminent departure in an event called the Rapture. For the Christian, it is the grand finale of the ages. Our Lord will be glorified, as His body and bride are united with Him in the air, fulfilling promises made to us long ago. From there, Jesus moves to fulfill future things concerning mankind.
The Rapture is the pivotal point of the end-times, ending the long church age. It also gives way to some other things that I will label as justice, as God is the just judge of all the earth.
This judgment time after the Rapture will not be pretty. It will be exactly seven years of really bad stuff. As a matter of scriptural fact, it will be the worst time the world has ever seen, spoken from the mouth of Jesus himself.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22).
This time forecasted in the scripture is not for believers who are now living in the church age. We will be removed or “hidden away” in the event called the Rapture. We have a very special place with Christ, as we are His. We belong to Him and have belonged to Him since the moment we believed and trusted in Him for salvation. This also applies to those who are in Christ who are no longer physically alive—the dead in Christ. We are not only saved from our sins, we are saved from this time of judgment.
This judgment is specific to the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles remaining on the earth after our departure with Jesus on Rapture day. It does not apply to us—the forgiven and blood-washed of Christ.
I found a beautiful verse in the Old Testament depicting the Rapture, using another description—hidden away.
“But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
“Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of His dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed on it; the earth will conceal its slain no longer” (Isaiah 26:19-21).
There is a lot in the above verse, but central to the underlying theme is the judgment of the wicked, not for those in Christ. Their judgment day will come; but we will be hidden away in a multi-room mansion prepared for us by our Lord and King.
The wicked inhabitants of the earth will have all their sins and murders fully disclosed for the Lord to see and punish. No one gets away with anything—and we can all comfort ourselves in the justice that is coming. Only God can look upon this worldwide sin; I don’t think you and I would be able to stomach it. He will serve up justice according to this scripture, as we are hidden away during this time. We are to enter our rooms and shut our doors, being completely removed from it.
Another parallel story portraying the Rapture can be found in the story of Lot from Genesis chapter 19. Lot, his wife and family were residents of Sodom, adjacent to the city of Gomorrah. It was so bad and sinful in the twin cities, the outcry reached to the Lord of heaven. God sent angels to Sodom to remove righteous Lot and his family before the fire and brimstone fell.
The angels gave specific instructions as they were leaving, not to look back at the cities, and flee to the mountains. Lot appealed to the angels, and it was granted to them a detour to Zoar, a small nearby town, Lot fearing they could not survive in the mountains. It was granted, and they left quickly, eating a meal of unleavened bread in haste before they hurried along. On their way out of the cities to “Zoar,” which literally means “small + refuge,” God’s judgment began to fall, and Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back.
I have read various opinions and interpretations of why Lot’s wife was turned into salt. There was a reason for it, I am sure. I think possibly she looked upon the judgment of God that she was not permitted to see. She had a place of refuge waiting for her if only she would have continued on.
The good things about the Rapture to remember for now and into the days ahead:
-Everyone in Christ gets to go!
-We will be clothed in immortality.
-We will meet our Lord Jesus in the air.
-The dead in Christ will be rising to meet Him, along with us, as well.
-We will always be with the Lord, never to be parted again.
-Embraced in the safe refuge of Him.
-We are to comfort each other in the faith as we wait for this day.
“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 precede those who 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. Therefore, comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
This verse in First Thessalonians sounds very much like the verse at the beginning of Isaiah 26:19 in striking similarity: “But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.”
I see these two passages supporting each other in the doctrine of the pre-tribulational rapture. These are wonderful, affirmative scriptures of our long-awaited day!
-Our future dwelling will be a place of many mansions prepared by Jesus, just waiting for the time He comes and calls us up into the air at the Rapture.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
-We are removed from judgment. Hidden away, kept from, suddenly taken away, caught up, removed by force, raptured, snatched from, sealed up, concealed, and spared from this time of judgment through the sacrifice and forgiveness of Jesus Christ—manifested to us the very millisecond we’re Raptured. The Bible says it is so!
We can look forward to our promises to be “hidden away,” and I don’t believe it is much longer.
Our bodies will rise from the dust; even those who are dead will wake up and shout for joy! The Lord will be there to meet us in the air, to hide us away from judgment in a place He has prepared for us!