The Bible predicts a remarkable event will take place during the end times and just before a series of disasters overtake the earth in a period of intense Tribulation. The Scriptures declare that one second we will be living our ordinary lives and in the next, the Lord Jesus will seize us to meet Him in the air! We will be saved from the nightmare of the Tribulation period, which is a season of seven years of judgment to lead the world to repent or be punished for its sin. Jesus explained the Rapture in these words:
Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming– Matthew 24:40-42
When Paul describes the Rapture in his letter to the Thessalonians, he uses the ancient Greek word ‘harpazo’ (ἁρπάζω), meaning ‘to snatch away’ or ‘to seize.’ Christ will come for His active Church and snatch us away from the troubles taking place. This is the preliminary return of Christ before His Second Coming to defeat Satan at Armageddon, laying the foundation for the Millennial Reign. Thus, the Rapture and the Second Coming are separate events described in the Book of Revelation and Thessalonians. This is how Paul explains the Rapture:
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– 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
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We’ve recently published a book about the end of the age, which has taken eight years to research and write. It’s available now, The End Times, The Book of Revelation by Paul Backholer. Also available is the prequel, Heaven, Paradise is Real by Paul Backholer.
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 Thessalonians 1:10