Daily Reading: (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17):
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
What is the Rapture? The Rapture is the time when the Lord will come down from Heaven and a trumpet call will precede the rise of “the dead in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Thereafter, “we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
The term “Rapture” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible. But don’t get hung up on this fact as some denominations have. “Rapture” the term, was created to describe this future event that Paul writes about that will happen in the last days written about in 1 Thessalonians 4. You can call this event what you’d like, the grand meeting in the sky, the Rapture, just don’t get hung up on the term itself.
“For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven”, many have referred to this as the Second Coming of Christ. It is clear Jesus doesn’t return to Earth, “we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”
This is not the Second Coming, this is the Rapture. The Second Coming is a different event written about in Revelation 19.
So to find out why we are Raptured and what happens next we have to go to the book of Revelation chapter 19:
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people). Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God” [Revelation 19:6-9].
The reason for the Rapture is because Jesus is taking His bride (the church) and the friends of the bridegroom (Old Testament Saints) to the wedding.
Now Jesus Second Coming is not to welcome the bride because the bride is already with Him. Jesus is coming back to wage war on evil wickedness on the earth.
Revelation 19:11-14: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. This is the bride of Christ the church already with Jesus. Revelation 19:8 just before this tells us so: Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
The wedding feast happens first and then we return with Christ at His Second Coming (Revelation 19:11-14).
Jesus said in Matthew 24:30, speaking of His Second Coming- “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).
Why would all the nations mourn? If believers were here on the earth waiting for Jesus’ return wouldn’t this be a mixed reaction? Happiness, joy, excitement for believers and mourning for those who are not believers? There would be only one reaction if the believers were already taken before Jesus’ Second Coming.