I’ve given myself an assignment of ‘homework.’ I’ve studied the Bible, as you have; I’ve known the many verses of Scripture which, when taken together, give a clear and obvious picture of the fulfillment of our redemption when the Lord Jesus Christ comes down, in the clouds, to call us up together to meet Him in the air. At that moment, our physical bodies will be instantly changed into sinless, glorified, eternal bodies, which will be like Jesus Christ’s own body. This twinkling of an eye moment is known at the Rapture of the Church. The problem, for me, has been that I only know of the verses and where they are found in Scripture. I’ve never taken the time to memorize what they say and remember exactly where they are written.
To that end, I have included the Scripture reference, both at the beginning of the verse and at the end of the verse.
I want to more than know of God’s Word… I want to genuinely know God’s Word so that it can take root in me and grow into the harvest which God intends.
So, now I am beginning to learn and know more than I have previously, and I invite you to join me.
Our current study, together, then, is the truth of our soon deliverance in the Rapture of the Church.
The Greek word Paul used to describe our instantaneous ‘snatching away’ is ‘harpazo,’ which, from Strong’s Concordance, means to seize, to carry off by force, to seize on, to claim for one’s self eagerly, to snatch out or away.
When Jerome, in the 4th Century A.D., translated the Bible into Latin, in 1 Thes. 4:17, he used the Latin word ‘rapiemur,’ from the Latin root verb ‘rapio,’ instead of the Greek word ‘harpazo.’ Rapio is also the root of our English: raptor. A raptor is a bird that swoops down, violently snatching up its prey and then carrying it away by force, and thus shall it ever be ‘in the bird!’ Examples of raptors are hawks, eagles, owls, and ospreys.
The Rapture is clearly taught in Scripture. We just don’t see the Latin word, rapiemur, in our English Bibles, but then, neither do we see any other Latin or Greek or Hebrew word… almost every single word is in English!
Something else to remember: in 2 Tim. 4:6-8, Paul writes: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Some of us may feel like we, too, have been poured out as an offering before the Lord and that our time of departure is at hand. God’s Word says that a Crown of Righteousness is waiting for every believer who is anxiously watching and waiting for his Lord’s appearing to call us up to Himself and to Home… finally home with Him forever.
Now, our souls and spirits have been redeemed; our spirits are in perfect union with Him while our souls are being, day by day, ever more sanctified into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. But one day soon, our physical bodies will also, finally, be fully redeemed.
It could even be today.
My intent is to read through the following every day with the goal of really knowing it in such a way that it can actually grow out of me, producing the fruit that God always intended for me.
The Rapture: our full redemption
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15).
John 14:1-4; “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. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; “you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-55; “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?'”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Titus 2:13; “looking for the [our] blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
1 John 3:2-3; “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Revelation 3:10-11; “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
Read through Matthew 24 and Luke 17: the Days of Noah, the Days of Lot, the Tribulation and the Rapture.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2). “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Eph 4:1). “Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10).