7-Rapture is real – Saints are Changed
Biblical Rules of Death, Part 7
Rule #7: The Rapture is real – The Saints are Changed (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Paul (in the New Testament era) said that he visited Paradise (2 Corinthians 12:4). However, the place he visited was “under the altar” – in God’s heaven. The Bible describes an event during the Great Tribulation when people are kept there (Revelations 6:9). Although that is a future event, the place is performing the same function today and holds millions (billions?) of Christians who died “in Christ.”
During the Great Tribulation, the souls “under the altar” cry out to the Lord for judgment and blood. These are saints who died during the tribulations. They cry out for blood, not because they are blood thirsty (not a Christ-like attribute), but because such bloodshed leads to the end of Great Tribulation and a resurrection at time is when they will receive their glorified bodies (Rev 6:10) and be complete for all eternity.
Today, the souls of the righteous are taken to Heaven when they die. They, like those during the tribulation, are not yet resurrected and do not have their glorified bodies. They await the future “rapture” or catching away of the church.
Notice, the word “rapture” is not in any version of the Bible that I know of. Instead, the word is representative of the “rapturous” event that the Bible describes as “changed.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-54 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Several other Scripture verses support the idea of “changed” or “rapture.” In the early days of the Christian church, some believers were concerned about what happened to their dead loved ones (still true today). So Paul encouraged the Thessalonians that those who died “in Christ” would be brought back to the earth at the time of the “rapture” and have their bodies resurrected.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death,so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Likewise, the Christians who are alive at that time will be “changed.” Then, both groups will have glorified, imperishable (immortal) bodies united with their souls. This is the complete state that readies one for eternal life! We will consider that further in the article on “Judgment at Rapture.”
Please make your preparation for death! The Bible states clearly states that “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
“What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). “They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.'” (Acts 16:31). It is a simple thing but it requires sincerity and commitment. You must be sincere in your trust that Jesus died on the cross to redeem you from your sins. You must be committed to allow Jesus to be Lord and Master of your heart for the rest of your life!
Pray a simple sinner’s prayer. It does not have to be fancy or even a repeat of some printed prayer. But, from the depths of your heart, just ask Jesus to forgive you and lead you out of sin and temptation. When you do, you will be welcomed into the family of God! Welcome!
1 – List a Scripture verse where the Rapture is mentioned.
2 – Which will receive their glorified body first: Alive and changed, or resurrected dead?
This is the last article in the “Rules of Death” series. Click here to return to the home page.