The Hope of the Rapture

September 1, 2014 | Tags: , ,

While we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

-Titus 2:13

In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he teaches the church about what he calls in his letter to Titus “the blessed hope.” The blessed hope is the encouragement to the church that we who have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation will indeed be snatched away before the judgment of the unrighteous during the tribulation. Paul explains in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

In the Greek, the translation of “caught up” is the word harpazo. It means catch up, take by force, catch away, pluck, seize, and to snatch out or away. Before Jesus returns bodily to the earth to rule and reign as King, God will allow a time period of seven years where the earth will be filled with the wrath of God. But the wrath of God is not for the church. Why would God pour out wrath on those who belong to Him and have already been saved? Scripture supports this in Revelation 3:10–“Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” Paul also states this in 1 Thessalonians 5:9–“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

While we see some frightening things happening around us lately, we can rest assured that those who belong to Jesus Christ will be rescued before the world gets worse. While we don’t know when the rapture will occur, we do know that God’s word teaches it’s imminence, meaning it can happen at any time. We need to take comfort that Jesus is coming to bring His church home to Him. If we know Jesus personally, we will be caught up too.

If you are not sure of your salvation, why not take the opportunity now to seek God? You can read more through our Knowing Christ page. If you do know Jesus, why not take the time to share Him with those around you? We need to always be ready because our blessed hope is coming. Be encouraged today.

By Courtney Silberman

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