We as Christians will have a future physical resurrection and/or ascension like Jesus. This event is referred to as the “Rapture” of the Church. This word describes the moment when the Lord Jesus will come and take the saints with Him to Heaven. It’s actually the first stage of His coming again which is “for us,” the Church, where we’ll meet Him in the air. It’s the event where:
- The saints who have died before His coming will be reunited with their bodies which will be resurrected from the dead ‑ to get an incorruptible, immortal, spiritual body.
- The saints who are living at His coming will have their bodies instantly transformed or changed to get an incorruptible, immortal, spiritual body.
The word “rapture” is borrowed from the Latin Vulgate Bible, but the specific word “rapture” DOESN’T really appear in the Bible. The event that the word rapture describes IS in the Bible. The New Testament in 1 Thessalonians 4:13‑18 describes this as being “caught up.”
The Bible also describes this event as the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13), a purifying hope (1 John 3:3), and one that takes place instantly (in an atom of time, or uncut time, that cannot be further divided, 1 Corinthians 15:52). It also has no precursor signs indicating that it is coming but it is an imminent event.
First John 3:2, 3 says “That every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” The believer who looks forward with expectation and eager anticipation for this event is self motivated to purify his own life. Why would this hope be a purifying force? It is because when we are taken or “caught up” we will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account for the deeds we’ve done while on Earth in our mortal body and our works (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15). We cannot plan for when an imminent event will occur so we should be living right and ready at all times. We should always and already be living our life with this hope near our thoughts. It is not something that we have a sudden thought about, while we are living wrong and loose, and then change all we can before our time runs out. If the sudden thought of the Rapture makes you spasmodically rush to change everything you can about your life, what does that say about the way you’ve been living? We should purify ourselves always, be zealous of good works, get busy preaching the Gospel, making disciples, healing the sick, and casting out devils.