In my previous article, I laid the foundation for the topic, the rapture, by discussing the end time signs. I highlighted the signs that will culminate into the glorious translation of the saints of God.
Jesus said in verse 40 of Matthew Chapter 24 that one out of two in the field will be taken. I believe Jesus is referring to people in this statement unlike the days of Noah where animals went into the ark. Though the term rapture is not written in the Bible, it is used to describe the events of Phase one of Jesus’ second coming. The rapture is the sudden and unannounced descent of Jesus Christ from Heaven to receive to Himself His church. Believers will be translated from mortality to immortality in the air.
In line with Biblical teachings, the second phase of Jesus’ second coming will happen when He descends from Heaven with the saints of God after the rapture to reign on a new earth for a thousand years – the millennial reign as explained in the book of Revelations 20:6.
One may ask, who is taking God’s people away? Where will God’s people be taken to? Why will one person be taken and the other left? Concerning the first question, Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 explains,
“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 prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”
This reveals that Jesus Christ is coming to the take the saints of God to be with Him. He will present His church to the Father (Ephesians 5:27). In verse 17, Paul further explains that,
“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.”
Hallelujah! I and everyone who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ will be with Jesus in the clouds, where we will continue living as citizens of Heaven. The dead in Christ shall rise first and be transformed by putting on immortal bodies. In 1 Corinthians 15:50, the Bible says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, so the power of God shall make the bodies of saints immortal (Philip 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:51-52).
Jesus revealed the Heavenly home to His saints in John 14:1-3 where He said,
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 pace for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Paul had a deep understanding of Jesus’ revelation when he said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. It is expedient that every Christian expects Jesus’ second coming and live ready as no one knows the hour because He will come like a thief in the night. The rapture is a great event that every Christian must prepare for.
Those who yet to surrender their lives to Christ will be left behind to face tribulation (2 Thes 2:12). As no one knows the hour the rapture will happen, Jesus admonishes us to watch. God is not willing that anyone should be left behind to face tribulation (2 Peter 3:9). One of the reasons one person will be left behind is unfaithfulness as Jesus advises in Matthew 24:45. This means that in a gathering of more than two, it is possible that everyone will be left behind and everyone is taken as well.
In the next article I will discuss the need to be a faithful servant in God’s kingdom. Being God’s faithful servant starts with totally surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You and I do not know when Jesus will come again. If you are yet to receive Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior, you can do so now by saying this prayer of salvation. If you said that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God.