Friday, October 20, 2023

Will It Be Us?

Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:17 NLT)

It’s a question that often arises: Are we the generation that will experience the Rapture?

We could be. But no one can say with complete certainty whether the Lord will return in our lifetime.

Of course, some people like to point out that the word rapture isn’t in the Bible. That all depends. If you have a Latin translation, then it is. The term “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is the Latin word rapturus, from which the English word rapture originates.

You can call it something else if you’re uncomfortable with the term. But it speaks of the event when believers, who are alive, suddenly will enter the presence of God Almighty.

The apostle Paul described it for us: “We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 NLT).

Paul continued, “Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever” (verse 17 NLT).

The Greek word Paul used for “meet” carries the idea of meeting royalty or someone of great importance. And when Christ calls us to Himself, we will meet the ultimate royal: the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Do we find a mention of the Rapture any other place in Scripture? Yes. Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 24, where He said, “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming” (verses 40-42 NLT). 

Practically speaking, the Rapture means no death. However, it doesn’t mean that some won’t die. But it does mean there is a generation that will not die, a generation that will experience the Rapture.

But if the Lord doesn’t return in our lifetime, we shouldn’t be disappointed. That’s because our hope is not in the coming of the Lord. Rather, our hope is in the Lord who is coming.

What should be exciting to us as believers is not how we get there as much as where we are going. We have that hope.

The Bible says of Jesus’ return, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Peter 3:9 NLT).

We need to be ready to meet the Lord, because we don’t know what will happen next. But one way or another, we will stand before God one day.

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