The Rapture on the Last Day
The Rapture - No One Will Be Left Behind
The timing of the Rapture is a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51). It is still a mystery to those who preach ear-tickling fiction.
God’s schedule for the Rapture (Evacuation) is as simple as a grammar-school test to fill in the blank and timing in a sequence of A, B, C, and D. First, fill in the blank.
Revelation 20:7-10 - When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. __________. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. (And then the Last Judgment)
“God’s people” is also translated “saints” for those set apart by and for God, or holy.
What happens to the Saints being attacked by the armies of Gog and Magog? Pick a possibility:
1 – The Saints are all killed by the bad guys.
2 – The Saints are all burnt up with the bad guys.
3 – The living Saints are rescued by God, the Evacuation. (Hint: pick this one)
Let’s review the timing of all the scriptures that suggest that the Rapture occurs on the Last Day. The Rapture passages all have the same sequence of events, in part or in whole.
A – Great Tribulation.
B – The visible Second Coming of Jesus (required in these scriptures).
C – Dead in Christ Raised (First Resurrection),
D – Rapture (Evacuation).
This timing Sequence is found in the Revelation:
A - Great Tribulation – Rev. 9 to 18, the 3 Woes and Bowls of Wrath.
B - Jesus returns for all to see – Rev. 19:11-16.
C - Dead in Christ rise in the First Resurrection during “1,000 years” – Rev. 20:4-6.
D – Rapture or Evacuation – Rev. 20:9.
Jesus laid out the same sequence:
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened A … Immediately after the distress of those days… Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.B And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other… C That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. D (Matthew 24:21-22, 29-31, 39-41)
Sequence: A - Great Tribulation, B - Jesus returns for all to see, C - Angels gather the dead in Christ for First Resurrection, D - Rapture of “half” of the living.
In A, notice that the “elect” are in the Great Tribulation. There is no indication that any elect were taken up to Heaven in a previous secret (fill in the blank) appearance of Jesus.
In D, Jesus continued his discourse with the parable of the 10 Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) where half are taken into the Kingdom of Heaven, but the others Jesus will not know.
My Father’s house has many rooms (mansions); if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3)
Sequence: B - Jesus comes back, then C & D - Jesus takes us with Him.
But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him… Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 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. (1 Corinthians 15:23, 51-52)
Sequence: B - Jesus comes, C - The dead in Christ will be raised, D - then the living Christians (Rapture).
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Sequence: B - Jesus’ noisy return, C - dead in Christ rise, D - Rapture of the living faithful.
When does this happen? When Lazarus’ sister Martha lamented that if Jesus had been there her brother would not have died: Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:23-24) Jesus does not correct Martha. We might have seen Him smile and nod acceptance. Her statement stands that the dead in Christ will be raised on the Last Day.
Faithful Jews are included in the First Resurrection. “As for you [Daniel], go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” (Daniel 12:13)
Scripture usually indicates death as sleep. Scripture also indicates, as in the above passages, that we will not enter Heaven until after the visible return of Jesus. Has our belief in what happens when we die been affected by all those paintings on the ceilings of Medieval Churches?
Also, the “1,000 years” has been misnamed the “Millennium.” It is the grossest example of filling in multiple blanks, and entire books. The First Resurrection will take place in Heaven, and there is no indication that those raised from the grave return to the earth.
We have been warned that the period may be brief: A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4) And, in the context of End Times, “the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:7-8) Also, the following war of Gog and Magog up to the destruction of the earth by fire might be guessed as a short period.
One Rapture is described in scripture, that event always in sequence at the end of days. There is only one place in scripture when this must occur. Can you hear that “last trumpet” with the Evacuation of Saints just before the old earth is destroyed by fire? No one will be Left Behind.
Last update: October 1, 2015