I Thessalonians 4:13-18


The Christians at Thessalonica expected the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in their lifetimes. But then some died, and they worried—Where is Jesus? Will our loved ones miss their part in the kingdom?

Paul wrote to answer their questions and give them comfort.

What Is the Rapture?

One day, Jesus Christ will shout, “Come forth!” The earth will give up its dead. (See Revelation 20:13.) After this will come the rapture, when “we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17a).

“We shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51b-52).

Who Will Be Raptured?


There is a first and a second resurrection. (See Revelation 20:4-5.)  “The dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16b). At the Rapture, only the dead in Christ will be raised, and only we who remain in the Church will be caught up.[RH1] 

Paul said, “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). The resurrection of Christ is the proof of our resurrection.


When Will the Rapture Happen? 


“Little children, it is the last hour…” (1 John 2:18a). Christians are always living on the edge of eternity.

If anyone sets a date, you have a right to say he is a heretic. Jesus Christ said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only…Therefore you also be ready” (Matthew 24:36,44a). Are you ready?


Why Will There Be a Rapture?


First, the Rapture of the Church will be a rescue. Terrible things will take place in the Great Tribulation, the "Day of the Lord," but Jesus will take His Church out first. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:9, also Revelation 3:10).

Second, the Rapture will be a reunion. Loved ones in the Church who have died will be raised at the second coming of Christ, and together we will meet the Lord. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.)

Third, the Rapture will be a reception. Our Lord who said, “I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2b-3b).


Where Will the Rapture Happen?


Christ will not come down to Earth at the Rapture; He is going to snatch His Bride away. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says we will “meet the Lord in the air.”

In Bible times, a groom and a bride would pledge themselves to one another, and then the groom would go and build a place for them. At the precise time—set by the groom and his father—he returned. She would meet him, and He would carry her away to consummate the marriage.

Christ is coming back in power and glory, but the Rapture will be secret and secluded.


Take Comfort:


“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). If you want something that will give you comfort and consolation…

Learn about the coming of the Lord. 

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren…” (1 Thessalonians 4:13a).

Live for His coming. 

You don't want to be ashamed when Jesus returns.

Look for His coming. 

He may come at any moment.

Long for His coming. 

“My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away’” (Song of Solomon 2:10).