In the last post, I introduced what is known as "the doctrine of the rapture", or what is sometimes called "The Lord's return for His Church". For readers interested in the last post, simply click on the following link here http://www.growingchristianresources.com/2023/03/introducing-christs-return-for-his.html.
In today's post I want to lay out the major passages in the New Testament that touch upon this doctrine. At this point I'm not going to expound on where the rapture fits in relationship to other future events. Such considerations have their place and importance. Instead, it is vital that we first have all the Biblical data, considered in each passage's context.
The overwhelming themes of the New Testament's teaching on the rapture of the church is three-fold: comfort, hope, and expectation. On several occasions we find the theme of comfort in passages that teach about the rapture of the church (see for instance 1 Thessalonians 4:18). We can also reference the theme of hope, that is, hope in the Lord Jesus Christ for those who are living day by day in light of His soon return (see Titus 2:13 for example). Then thirdly, the theme of expectation resonates through the texts below, since the rapture is an "imminent" future event, that is, it could happen at any time with no preceeding signs heralding its arrival (see 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
The passages below are culled from studies, various Bible teachers, and books I've read over the years. It is hoped that in assembling these texts, fruitful study on this vital truth can be done by those so interested.
Main Testament passages that refer to the rapture of the church.
1. John 14:1-3 - “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
2. 1 Corinthians 1:7-9 "so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
3. 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
4. Philippians 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
5. Philippians 1:10 "so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ."
6. Philippians 2:16 "holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain."
7. Philippians 3:20 "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
8. Colossians 3:4 "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ".
9. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 "For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come."
10. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words."
11. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 "Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ".
12. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7 "Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way."
13. 1 Timothy 6:14 "that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ".
14. Titus 2:13 "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus".
15. Hebrews 10:37 "For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay."
16. James 5:8 "For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay."
17. 1 John 2:28-3:3 "Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
18. (Possible passage about the rapture) Revelation 3:10 "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."
Passages that can illustrate what the rapture is like.
1. Genesis 5:24 "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."
2. 2 Kings 2:9-12 "When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 He said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” 11 As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. 12 Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw Elijah no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces."
3. Acts 1:11 "They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
4. Acts 8:39 "When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing."
5. Revelation 12:5 "And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne."
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Sunday, March 12, 2023
The Major Bible Passages On The Rapture Of The Church
Labels: Eschatology, Rapture
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