Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18,
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep [dead], that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the Trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” (ESV – all emphasis mine)
One would guess that all the action above would take quite some time to accomplish. However, As Jeremiah 32:17, Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:37, and a lot of other Bible verses state, there is nothing that is impossible for our Heavenly Father.
With this in mind, Paul also states in 1 Corinthians 15:52, “in a moment, in the twinkling of any eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
This body change will take place very fast. However, most likely, the entire Rapture process may take just a bit longer. Could be minutes, not hours or days.
No matter whether it is an instant, or a minute or two, those who remain here will no doubt be shocked at just how quickly people will disappear. Also, it’s very possible that cemeteries everywhere will appear to have been hit by “grave robbers” when actually it will be the action of a “Soul-Saver.” Even if only a molecule or two is left, God knows where they are.
The dead, no matter what condition the remains are in or even how much is left, will be taken up to meet the Savior in the air. Jesus will be coming with all the believers’ souls that have been waiting to reunite with their earthly remains. At the instant the body and soul meet, that person will be immediately converted into their brand new forever immortal body. All who are taken up while still alive will be converted on the way up to meet Jesus. None of the Shepherd’s flock will ever suffer pain or death again.
When God created this earth and then man and woman, they were supposed to be immortal, as we will be when we are with Jesus. However, because of the sin in the Garden of Eden, humans were made perishable and mortal, with only their souls not subject to total destruction.
God loves every one of us, even those who are most evil. He gives all fair notice to allow everyone the chance to repent of past sins, call out and ask Jesus to forgive them, and for Him to be their Savior forever. All who truly do this and call out to Jesus will be saved (Romans 10:13). Jesus’ blood was shed for all sin, but it only applies to those who become one of His flock. All who refuse will be liable for every sinful act they will commit on this earth.
From the very beginning, our Father has allowed us the ability to make our own choices. All who chose to follow God’s will prior to Calvary will have eternal life with Him. From Calvary to the end of the Millennial Reign of Jesus on this earth, all who will have received and accepted the Savior’s free gift will be saved. That’s a promise from God, and He cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
God also allowed people to choose not to follow His will or receive and accept His Son, as He will force no one to do so. He is a very loving Creator and fair beyond anything or anyone else we could possibly find. With all who follow this sinful course to their last breath on this earth, He will assign them a place in that long line at the Great White Throne. There, they will find out what their eternal punishment will be. There will be no one pardoned or given limited time in the Lake of Fire. It’s also forever.
Jesus knew from the very beginning that there would be more souls going to hell than would be with Him in paradise (Matthew 7:13-14). First and foremost, Jesus was not just a good human that happened to be a prophet. He became fully human for our sakes to give us something we could never get for ourselves – forgiveness for our sins through a perfect, sinless sacrifice. He is the only “human” to have lived a sin-free life, and His human blood met God’s requirement for perfection. Though He was always fully God (John 10:30), He allowed Himself to become lower than the angels while He was here (Hebrews 2:7, 9).
Once we have received and accepted the Heavenly gift that Jesus gave us, we must remember that this makes us forgiven, not sin-free. We will still slip and sin as long as we are here in these human bodies (Romans 3:10; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). Only when we have our new bodies with a mindset that cannot be tempted by Satan will we truly be sin-free.
Meanwhile, the Father gave us a pathway to forgiveness. For all believers, we have 1 John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to ever call my Creator, My Heavenly Father, the Lord God Jehovah, a liar. That would be worse than having an ingrown toenail and cutting off your foot to fix it.
Before the graves “bust open,” before anyone is pulled up into the air to meet Jesus in the clouds, it would be a good thing to make sure your soul is right with Him. Once the Rapture starts, if you are not already truly saved, you will not be taken with those who are. This is where “pre-maintenance” is critical.
First, if you have not made a practice of reading God’s word every day, this would be a great time to start. Begin with John 3:16-18, then John 14:6; Acts 2:21, Acts 4:12, and then Romans 10:9-13. It may seem like a lot, but how much time is worth investing in your eternal life?
Also, the “Round-2-its” will be the ones that find themselves here when we’re gone. Always meaning to get around to it, but never really do. Jesus is always ready for you to call out to Him to be saved. No special word, no works to be done, no money to pay; just something like, “Jesus, I’m a sinner needing a Savior. Please forgive me and come into my heart forever.” This is just an example; you can ask however you wish. Just make sure you truly mean it, as God will not be mocked.
At this point, you are Rapture Ready. Keep reading God’s word daily; talk to Him regularly; believe that you have received the gift. Also, read Ephesians 2:8-9 to let you know that you’re saved by grace through faith – not works.
Those who believe this is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18) will find out just how wrong they have been, only too late. The empty graves will be their sign that the Great White Throne is their future.
We don’t know the day or hour, but all the signs are here right now. The only major prophecies left are the Rapture and the Tribulation. Somewhere in there, Israel will be attacked in what’s called the Ezekiel 38 war. This could happen just before the Rapture or shortly after that.
No matter what, be ready when the call comes. You will be eternally grateful that you did.
Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus!