Why do I spend so much time writing about and defending the biblical foundation of the pretribulation Rapture? It’s because Jesus’ imminent appearing is so much more than just sound theology to me; it’s my precious hope.
My purpose here is not to defend the doctrine of the pretribulation Rapture as I have done in numerous blog posts as well as in my latest book, The Triumph of the Redeemed. Instead, I chose to explain why my hope in Jesus’ appearing is so dear to my heart.
The Rapture Is a Biblical Event
Jesus is my salvation and my righteousness; I know this is true because God’s Word tells me so. My faith rests on what Scripture assures me concerning my salvation, which includes Jesus’ death on the cross in my place, His resurrection, and His promise of eternal life for all those who believe.
“What does this have to do with the Rapture?” you ask. The Bible also tells me about Jesus’ appearing to take me home to the place He’s preparing for me.
Notice the close connection that Paul makes with things that happen during the Rapture with our Gospel hope:
“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved” (Romans 8:23-24a).
I cherish my hope in Jesus’ appearing because of my love for the words of Scripture that the Lord has cultivated inside me since an early age, but that’s a story for another time. My love of God’s Word certainly extends to what it teaches me about Jesus’ return to take me home to glory (Colossians 3:4).
The Rapture is When I Will See Jesus
In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul wrote these words:
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” The Rapture is the time when the Lord will clear away the fog of this life, and I will see Jesus face to face.
In the meantime, I press forward with my calling, writing, and service for Jesus. However, there’s a sense in which I feel the “fog of war” that those engaged in active combat often experience. I have an enemy that messes with my feelings and thoughts and brings fierce opposition to my doorstep, even from those once close to me.
At Jesus’ appearing, I will see my beloved Savior and appear before Him to receive rewards for faithful service in this life. I long both to see Him face to face and hear His true appraisal of my life and service for Him. For now, I “see in a mirror dimly” in anticipation of the day when my faith will be sight, and I will revel in His presence.
The Rapture is When I Will Receive My New Body
The Rapture will also be the time when I will receive my incorruptible and immortal body (Philippians 3:20-21, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55). Perhaps the saddest aspect of pastors ignoring the Rapture is the absence of any teaching about the imperishable bodies we will receive at the time of the Rapture. I don’t recall any sermon in the past twenty-five years where a pastor has preached about this glorious aspect of our “blessed hope” beyond a fleeting mention that everyone soon forgot.
I realize that with age, this promise becomes increasingly precious. I also know how quickly this life passes, and if you have not yet felt the impact of aging, you will soon.
Yet regardless of age, most of us endure illnesses and physical ailments from which we never fully recover; this is also true for me. Why wouldn’t I long for my glorified body, the one that the Lord promises to give to me at His appearing? But this is just one aspect of the glorious future that lies ahead for me and for all who know Jesus as their Savoir.
The Rapture Will Signify Freedom from the Presence of Sin
The Rapture will signify the start of an eternal existence where I will be free from the presence of sin. We all have weaknesses, as I know I surely do, some of which I might even be unaware. But a glorious day is coming when those things will all be part of my past, and I will no longer sin but fully experience the righteousness of Christ that God has already imputed to me. I can hardly wait for that day!
Revelation 21:4 explains what this freedom from sin will mean for all eternity:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I can scarcely imagine the blessedness of the time when all the promises of this verse come true for me. The Rapture just marks the beginning of a joyous adventure in which all things listed in Revelation 21:4 will come true for me, along with all those who know the Savior.
Why wouldn’t I be excited about Jesus’ return to take me home in light of what lies ahead for me in eternity?
The Rapture Will Bring Inner Wholeness
Along with the freedom from sin will come an inner wholeness such as I have never experienced in my lifetime. I long for this with all my heart.
In his book All Things New, author and counselor John Eldredge wrote this:
We are all traumatized and fragmented; no one passes through this vale of tears without it. And our Healer will make us whole again…. Think of it—to be wholehearted. To be filled with goodness from head to toe. To have an inner glory that matches the glory of your new body…” [i]
The Lord has healed so many of the searing wounds from my past. However, I still yearn for the total inner wholeness about which John Eldredge writes. I continue to feel “traumatized and fragmented” in some ways, which causes me to yearn all the more for the time of Jesus’ upward call and the time of inner wholeness that will envelop my entire being as I experience the promises of Revelation 21:4.
My scars, both emotional and physical, remind me that a much better day lies just ahead!
Jesus Is Preparing a Place for Me
I treasure the Lord’s promise in John 14:2-3:
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
What will it be like to see the place that Jesus has prepared for His bride? This promise is for all true New Testament saints, but there’s also a personal element to it as well. Jesus is preparing a special place for me and for you.
I often wonder about what my “place” will look like. I know it will be much more wonderful than I can imagine, as will everything else be in heaven.
The Rapture Marks the Time of Seeing Dear Family Members and Friends who are Already with Jesus
There’s also my hope I will see dear family members, my parents, and my friends already with Jesus in heaven. My dad died when I was ten, and it was then that I first experienced the hope that I possess in the future meeting in the air that Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. I also look forward to seeing family members and friends who are still alive in glory with their imperishable bodies.
I recognize that this aspect of our hope comes with sorrow for many, as it does to me, because of offspring or family members who reject Jesus and His saving message. I live with this sadness every day and pray that once the Rapture happens, if not before, my children will turn to the true Jesus of the Bible.
The Rapture Marks Beginning of the Lord Judging the Wickedness that has Become so Prevalent
Like many of you, the evil, injustice, and violence of our time trouble me at times. There’s coming a time, however, when the Lord will judge all these things in perfect righteousness. Psalm 37:1-20 brings me back to reality and calms my heart amid the turmoil and sickness of this world. Justice will someday prevail through the earth!
The Rapture marks the beginning of the day of the Lord, which includes all of the Tribulation when Jesus will justly deal with the wickedness and wild deception of our world. It only appears as though many are getting away with their vile schemes; the Lord will hold them accountable someday.
The Rapture is my precious hope because it’s the beginning of an exciting and joyous adventure that will never end. I long for the day I see Jesus, and as long as I have breath, I will continue to defend what Scripture teaches about this glorious hope.
The above reasons reveal why my hope is so dear to me; it’s so much more than just sound theology, although it’s all that as well.
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My new book, The Triumph of the Redeemed-An eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times, is now available on Amazon.
Jonathan C. Brentner
Website: Our Journey Home
[i] John Eldredge, All Things New, pp. 93–94.