Tag Archive: Church

When Will the Church Be Raptured?

When will the church be raptured? The church, rapture, and end times are hotly debated issues. We have just seen the abuse of the rapture doctrine in the Camping fiasco, and this failed prophecy stresses the need to study the Scriptures for ourselves if we want to examine the true timing of the church’s rapture. To know when the Rapture occurs, we must carefully examine the Biblical timeline of the end. This timing, I believe, is indicated by passages in Matthew, Paul’s letters, and Revelation:

First, here are two rapture verses that are foundational to the discussion:

1 Cor. 15:52: “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible.”

1 Thess 4:16-17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven … with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

Notice how this description of the rapture is strikingly similar to what we find in Matthew 24 in Jesus’ description of the end times. When the Son of Man appears in the sky (Mat. 24:30), “He will send forth His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (v. 31). Interestingly, Jesus mentions that just before these events, there will be a tribulation of believers and that His people must flee (vv. 16, 21), and then the sun, moon, and stars will turn black (v. 29). So the sequence is tribulation → sun, moon, stars go black → Son of Man in sky → trumpet → gathering of elect in rapture

This same pattern unfolds in Revelation 6, where the fifth seal reveals that there are martyrs in Heaven, “those who had been slain because of the Word of God” (v. 9). They are crying for God’s justice and God says that they must wait until the rest of their brethren are killed in tribulation before He would enact justice. Immediately following this event, the sixth seal is broken and “the sun became black … and the moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth” (vv. 12-13). Following this event, the sky splits open and people cry out for the mountains to “hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne” (v. 16). Clearly, these frightened unbelievers have seen “the sign of the Son of Man … in the sky” (Matt. 24:30) and “the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:17).

Following this event, in the very next chapter of Revelation, we are told of “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation” (7:9). Tracing the breadcrumb of end-times events, we can see that this great crowd can easily be the great masses of the “elect” (Mat. 24:31) that has “[met] the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:17) after the transformation of the sun and moon and stars.

Interestingly, this crowd of believers is described a few verses later as “the ones who come out of the great tribulation” (7:14). Thus, Revelation 6-7 lines up perfectly with the established sequence of tribulation → sun, moon, stars go black → Son of Man in sky → trumpet → gathering of elect in rapture. And it lines up perfectly with the previous statement of the martyrs in Revelation 6, who asked God, “How long … will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (6:10), the martyrs who had to wait “until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed … would be completed” (6:11). If Revelation 6 were God’s wrath, then He would be pouring out His great and final judgements upon believers, His people. But what if Revelation 6 and previous chapters were the manifestation that “the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time” (Rev. 12:12). What if the tribulation described in Revelation 6 is the devil’s (the Antichrist) “great wrath” in the final countdown to the end of the world?

The wrath of God occurs after the rapture of the Church in Revelation 6, as displayed in the trumpet and bowl judgments. It is at the end of Revelation 6 that the people will recognize this and plead for the rocks to “hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17).

We will have signs before the rapture, since we “are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light … We are not of night” (1 Thess 5:4-5). We won’t know the exact day and hour, but we’ll have some prior warning since we are children of God. (These warnings are the tribulation and sun-moon-stars signs.) We won’t go through God’s wrath, but only the final persecution of the evil one.

P.S. — written with the superb editing help of inhonoredglory


Christ, the Church, Adam, and Eve

by inhonoredglory

The Bible is a book filled with parallels. The vineyards in the New Testament represent the kingdom in the Old. The flocks of Jesus’ parables remind us of the Church chosen by God.

But one parallel should strike us lovingly, and that is the comparison of the first Adam and the second Adam. It seems basic enough – two unique individuals in history, one a man who fell away, and the other the God-man Who died for sinners. But there is more than meets the eye here; the immense love and grace of God can yet be seen in this example.

In the beginning, God created the universe. He created the beautiful garden of Eden, and placed in this paradise the first man, Adam. God then formed Eve, who was wife and helper of Adam. But as we know, in Genesis 3, Eve took of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and sin first entered the world. It is interesting to note that the Church can parallel Eve in this regard; we were the ones who sinned against God; we took of the fruit in our lives with our unregenerate hearts.

But of more importance than this is Adam’s taking the blame for the sin of future generations. We find many passages pointing to Adam, not Eve, as the progenitor of innate sin: “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,”1 “by one man’s offense death reigned by one,”2 and “in Adam all die.”3 But wasn’t it Eve who first gave in to the serpent? Therein lies the beautiful grace of God. Even as Eve sinned but Adam takes the blame, so have Christians sinned, but the Saviour took our place.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,

while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.4

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.5

We deserved destruction, but God in his amazing love, took our debt and paid it in full with His death on the cross. To what can we compare the love of God?

In Genesis 4, we read of Eve bearing the first children, Cain and Abel. These births inaugurate the generations that would populate the globe. It is interesting to note that the Bible – and most of history for that matter – identify children by their father’s name: for example, “James the son of Zebedee.”6 From this we can conclude that even though a woman bears a child, he is known through his father. We can parallel this to our relationship with humankind and Christ. Though we are born to mortals and sinful man, through Christ we have become the children of God.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,

that we should be called the sons of God:7

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.8

Christians should joy in the assurance that God considers us His children. As an earthly father cares for his children, so does our heavenly Father care for us. Who can vanquish the love of a father?

Another attribute of the descendants of Adam is their innate depravity. The Psalmist declares that we are “brought forth in iniquity” and “in sin” are conceived.9 All men are “by nature the children of wrath”10 From Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden all men have fallen under the shroud of sin and death: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”11

All of Adam’s sons are born unto death. But what joy it is to find that all of God’s children are born unto life!

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is

eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.12

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.13

The children of the first Adam die in spiritual sin, but the children of the second Adam live in spiritual hope. What a glorious contrast to the merciful love of God!

Christians should rejoice in knowing that God has paid our price, that He makes us His children, that He has destined us to life. Let us be comforted in the knowledge of God’s unfailing love, in His unconditional care, and His gift of hope and life. Let us be thankful for the first man’s bearing of us unto earthly life, and the second Man’s cleansing, choosing, and rendering us unto eternal life. Let us always be driven to discover His promises and attributes. Let us joy in Christ Who took our place. Let us praise our God Who is our Father. Let us rest in the peace that comes with eternal hope and delight. Let us never forget the love of God Who saved us.

The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.14

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.15

In this was manifested the love of God toward us,

because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,

that we might live through him.16

1 Romans 5:19

Punch Bowl Falls

2 Romans 8:17

3 I Corinthians 15:22

4 Romans 5:8

5 I Corinthians 15:21-22

6 Matthew 4:21

7 John 3:1a

8 Galatians 3:26

9 Psalm 51:5

10 Ephesians 2:3

11 Romans 8:12

12 Romans 6:23

13 I Corinthians 15:22

14 I Corinthians 15:47

15 Romans 8:39

16 I John 4:9