A very common question. What exactly is the rapture and what does the Bible say about it?
Lets start by looking at some Scripture about the Rapture:
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
What is the rapture? Well it is a description of an event that will occur when God removes His Church supernaturally from the earth. People will literally disappear as they are called up to the clouds to meed the Lord in the air. There will be one generation that will not know physical death but will be instantly translated into the very presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time each Christian will also be transformed and receive their resurrection body.
The rapture is the blessed hope for the Spirit-reborn Christian. It is something to look forward to. Imagine being part of the generation that will not know physical death but rather will be taken up to heaven.
The rapture can happen at any time. There is no prophetic event that must occur before the rapture happens. Although we don't know when the rapture will occur we do know it will occur before the anti-Christ rises to power.
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
[Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10)
Notice above that something is restraining (letteth) the mystery of iniquity and preventing the Wicked (anti-Christ) from rising to power.
When the Church (Spirit reborn believers in the Lord Jesus) is removed, the restraining influence will be removed allowing the anti-Christ to come to power. The Holy Spirit will still be present in the world after the rapture but the Church will be removed. At this time the anti-Christ will be ready to rise to power.
But first lets look at various Biblical points around the rapture...
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