J3 – Judgment at RAPTURE

Clouds and rainbow

Judgment at Rapture

The judgment of Death is the point where a person is either allowed entry into heaven, or condemned to hell. The basis of that judgment is the blood of Jesus Christ. If (by grace) all your sins are under the blood of Jesus when you die, you are taken to heaven. But at the rapture of the church, the living must be judged – individually – to determine if they are eligible to be caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air (1Th 4:17). What is the basis of that judgment?

(For additional facts about the rapture, visit our article here.)

What is required to go in the rapture?

The entire concept of a rapture is based upon the catching away of Christian saints. The question is, who qualifies and what is the basis of that selection? Some theologians teach that every living Christian will go in the rapture. Others say that one must be “filled” with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). Different teachers may also add other requirements. But, each theory assumes a judgment to determine who is validated to go.

It is not logical that someone could be raptured if they were not born again, so the first requirement would certainly the same as at the Judgment of death. But there may be some additional requirements. Consider these Scriptures and see if they pertain to the rapture qualifications. (Click on the links to learn more about a particular issue or Bible reference.)

  • Prayerful:Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.Luke 21:36
  • Without spiritual blemish:to present [the church] to himself (Christ) as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.Eph 5:27
  • Belong to Christ: “But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” 1Co 15:23
  • Spirit of Christ in you: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:11
  • Holiness: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

These may be requirements of simply being a Christian – but I doubt it. They seem to suggest something MORE that is available to the child of God. Some of these requirements may overlap while others are quite unique. The first three are commonly accepted. The last two are more controversial and I have written articles on each to deal with them further. (Spirit of Christ  and Holiness)

The idea of God requiring holiness to go in the rapture is a significant issue. The Scripture at Hebrews 12:14 speaks of seeing the Lord but everyone will see him at some point in time (Romans 14:11 and Rev 1:11). So, this must refer to a different “see the Lord.” I believe that it refers to when He comes in the clouds to receive His church (1Th 4:17). Only those who are resurrected and the living saints who are raptured will see Him at that time. To all the world, this coming in the air (and all it entails) is invisible. Likely the only thing those left behind will see is the ABSENCE of someone who is taken.

The final issue concerning the rapture judgment seems to be, “Will the innocent children be taken?” I plan to offer my ideas in a separate post. But let me be clear, I do NOT believe that God will ultimately condemn those who (because of young age, mental limitations, or other such reasons) are not accountable for their actions.

Let me try to summarize the Judgment at Rapture… There may be some born again believers left behind. There are additional requirements (beyond being born again) that may Christ may impose upon those who will make up his bride.

Also see our articles “Prophetic Timeline of Future Events” and “Rapture is real – Saints are Changed

Facts about the Rapture, Caught Up

facts

Just the facts Ma’am

Before we attempt to explain the Judgment at Rapture, we first need to establish some facts about the rapture. The word “rapture” is not found in any common version of the Bible. However, almost everyone in the modern world recognizes that it describes a time when Christians are  caught up in the air to meet Jesus.

Regardless of the name, the rapture of the church is a part of a larger event, “the first resurrection” (c.f., Rev 20:4,5 & 1Co 15:23 ). The first resurrection is a kind of “harvest” of God’s children. Like harvests of old, it consists of three parts:

  • Christ’s resurrection was the “first fruits”(1Co 15:23)
  • The “harvest” is at the appearing of Christ in the air (Matt 13:8,23)
  • The “gleaning” (cf. Lev 19:9) will occur after the period of great tribulations on earth.

It will happen soon: Many good Christian teachers maintain that “the rapture of the church is the next event on the prophetic calendar.” Generally speaking, that may be true. But, according to the Bible, it is not entirely accurate.  The appearance of Christ in the clouds is what triggers the resurrection of the dead saints AND the event when the living church is caught up to meet Jesus in the air – regardless of the timing.

I will deal with the issue of timing further in a later article. For the present, just understand that there are at least three major theories about the timing of the rapture: That it will occur before the tribulation (Pre-trib), during the tribulation (Mid-trib), or after the tribulation (Post-trib).

Also see our articles “Judgment at RAPTURE” and “Prophetic Timeline of Future Events

05 – One Judgment by God? Or, multiple?

Only One Judgment?

Will There Be Only One Judgment?

Many people believe that, after death, there is just one judgment – the Great White Throne Judgment mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15. They believe that everyone (in either body or soul) is gathered together at that time and God chooses those that can go to heaven and sends the rest to hell (or the lake of fire). Is that Biblical? Or, are there multiple judgments by God?

As I mentioned in a previous post (What Happens When I Die?), people at funerals frequently assume that the deceased is “in a better place.” But, if the Great White Throne Judgment (GWTJ) does not occur until at least 1000 years later, how can that be? Read more

7-Rapture is real – Saints are Changed

Rapture is real

Biblical Rules of Death, Part 7

The Biblical Rules of Death: Who, What, Where, & Why we have to die

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. Read more

0 – Biblical Rules of Death

rules of death

Biblical Rules of Death

The Biblical Rules of Death: Who, What, Where, & Why we have to die.

This is a summary list of the articles in the “Biblical Rules of Death” series. Click the link for an article to read it.


Rule #1: Everyone has an appointment with death (Heb 9:27)

Published Oct 20, 2015


Rule #2: God cannot look on sin (Hab 1:13)

Published Oct 21, 2015


Rule #3: There is no forgiveness without blood (Heb 9:22)

Published Oct 22, 2015


Rule #4: Satan claims the souls who sin (Hebrews 2:14,15)

Published Oct 23, 2015


Rule #5: Everyone will go to either Heaven or Hell (Matthew 25:46)

Published Oct 24, 2015


Rule #6: Paradise is temporary (Matthew 27:53)

Published Oct 25, 2015


Rule #7: Rapture is real (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Published Oct 26, 2015


 

Why Study End-Time Prophecy?

Why Study End Time Prophecy?

There are some significant issues related to end time prophecy  – both positive and negative. Here are some such issues that will illustrate the point:

Issues that may not be appropriate reasons to study prophecy:

  • Idle curiosity: Scripture is not written to satisfy our curiosity (Acts 17:21-23 & Is 55:5-11)
  • Test of fellowship: If a questionable doctrine must be accepted in order to belong .
  • Spiritual pride: Some act like “professional prophecy teachers” who claim to know everything about the future (2Pe 1:20,21)
  • Absolute symbols: Don’t look for a “concrete” definition of every symbol. Symbols in the Bible are intentionally vague so as to apply in varied situations and over a long period of time. (Symbolism in Revelation)

Reasons why we SHOULD study prophecy: Read more