Eschatology: The rapture
Developments around us tell us the end is near. In fact, end time prophecies are being fulfilled in our days. It, therefore, behooves every believer to keep him/herself pure for the rapture – the catching up of true believers to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in the air.
The rapture, billed for a “twinkling of an eye”, will occur when Christ comes for the saints, while the second advent or coming of Christ refers to when Jesus will come with the saints to the earth.
At rapture, Christ will appear in the air to resurrect those who have slept in the Lord and change the living saints and catch them up to meet Him in the air. It is not a visible appearance to all men on the earth. The rapture will enable true believers, like Enoch and Elijah, to be translated to meet the Lord in the air without seeing death. They will not partake of the great tribulations to come.
Purpose of rapture – The rapture will be a fulfillment of the scriptures. It is designed to:
- Raise the dead in Christ,
- Translate all living saints,
- Enable the saints escape the great tribulations that will follow the rapture, and
- Enable the saints to meet the Lord, partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb and receive their rewards.
Time up – The rapture is just waiting to happen as most end time prophecies are being fulfilled in our days. Since the apostles and first century believers expected the rapture in their time, it behooves every believer now to keep himself/herself spotless for rapture. Jesus Himself warned that it could be any time, so be ready. Many people are awaiting the second advent of Christ, but the rapture will precede this by seven years. Be ready!
The rapture for who? – Since the rapture will determine the fate of every believer, it is, therefore, pertinent to know what then qualifies one to make eternity with God.
- You must be truly born again and keep yourself pure,
- Maintain regular fellowship with the brethren where the word is being preached undiluted,
- Watch and pray because the days are evil, and
- You must serve God acceptably.
The church after rapture – After the rapture, believers will be examined before the judgement seat of Christ. The Greek word translated judgement seat is ”Bema,” meaning reward seat. Each believer’s work shall be tested by fire, while some will suffer loss, others will earn all or any of these rewards:
- The overcomer’s incorruptible crown,
- The crown of victory in the spirit,
- Crown of life for the tried and triumphant saints,
- Crown of righteousness for loving His appearance, and
- Crown of glory for supplying the flock of God food.
The marriage of the Lamb – The rapture will also herald the wedding of our Lord Jesus Christ with the saints that have kept themselves spotless. Then they will be hosted at a grand reception tagged the marriage supper of the Lamb. It shall be a glorious time before the Lord.
Challenge – The time is short. Keep yourself pure and invite others to partake of this glory and escape the judgement to come. When your work is tried by fire, will it end up in flames or come forth as gold? How you live from now will determine your fate.