Maybe this comes as a surprise to many of you, but I do not believe in the “rapture” as portrayed in many movies and recent books. I believe that the “rapture” and the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) are one and the same. Let’s just consider Scripture:
THE COMING OF THE LORD
SCRIPTURE: “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 [died]. 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
LORD RETURNS WITH TRUMPET BLAST
DEAD IN CHRIST RISE
THEN OTHER BELIEVERS RISE
SCRIPTURE: “But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him.” (1 Cor 15:23)
THIS, IN CONTEXT, IS RESURRECTION!
BELIEVERS RISE (resurrected)
SCRIPTURE: “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.“ (1 Cor 15:52)
DEAD IN CHRIST RISE,
THEN OTHER BELIEVERS RISE (“be changed”/”rapture”/resurrected!)
SCRIPTURE: “1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thess 2)
REBELLION, (I believe this rebellion is in the process: lawlessness)
MAN OF LAWLESSNESS REVEALED (abomination of desolation),
THEN CHRIST RETURNS AND THE GATHERING TOGETHER OF THE SAINTS.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 24
ORDER: Tribulation (v.9), MAN OF LAWLESSNESS REVEALED (abomination of desolation) (v. 15) THEN GREAT TRIBULATION (v. 21), THEN CHRIST RETURNS (v.30) THEN THE GATHERING TOGETHER OF HIS ELECT (v. 31)
Putting all these Scripture together, this is what seems plain:
antichrist revealed (abomination of desolation) THEN
great tribulation THEN
Christ returns with trumpet blast THEN
the dead in christ THEN
we who are alive THEN
So shall we ever be with the LORD! HalleluYAH!
Now there are those Scriptures that say flatly that we are not “appointed to wrath” but it could be that we are protected while in the earth OR it could mean that these saints die (sleep).
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. (1 Thessalonians 5)
To the Church in Philadelphia, one of two that did not get a rebuke, the LORD conveys:
10Because you have kept* My command [word/logos G3056] 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. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! (Revelation 3) (*Same root word! G5083)
I pray that we are all faithful to the LORD no matter what happens!