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Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Is the Rapture Real - Part 2

Resurrection and change at the last trumpet

The third passage we'll look at is also written by the apostle Paul–1 Corinthians 15:50-53:

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but 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. For this corruptible must pu on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

Notice that this occurs at the last trumpet. The pieces of the puzzle are beginning to fit together. The three passages of Scripture we've read (in 1 Thessalonians, Matthew and 1 Corinthians) are all describing the same event–what happens at the last trumpet! We have one more passage to add to the picture.

The resurrection follows the seven trumpets of Revelation

Just as Matthew 24 showed that ominous heavenly signs would follow the Tribulation, so does the book of Revelation (compare Revelation 6:9-14). And Revelation further shows that this introduces the great day of God's wrath (verse 17), elsewhere referred to as the Day of the Lord, which will add another year to the preceding calamity (see Isaiah 34:8).

Revelation 8 and 9 then describe six major events that will happen during the Day of the Lord–followed by a seventh in Revelation 11:15. As mentioned earlier, these events are heralded by the blowing of seven trumpets. At the last, or seventh trumpet, Christ is proclaimed the world's new ruler and returns to resurrect and meet His followers.

Here is what the apostle John was inspired to write in Revelation 2-:4-6 about those raised at the time of Christ’s return:

"I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years" (New International Version).

Note that the first resurrection, which is only one resurrection, includes all of Christ's followers from the past as well as those who are martyred at the time of the Great Tribulation. The end-time rising of believers does not occur at both ends of the final Tribulation and Day of the Lord period–it occurs only afterward.

All of the passages we've examined are describing the same events. Those who are caught up to meet Christ in the air in 1 Thessalonians 4 cannot precede those who are dead, because the dead rise first. The dead are raised at the sound of the seventh trumpet when Christ returns after the Tribulation period–and those alive in Christ are changed in the next moment to be part of the same resurrection.

The biblical conclusion

When we look at these scriptures, it is plain that there is no real biblical support of the pre-tribulation Rapture. The followers of Jesus Christ will be caught up to meet Him, but this will be after the Tribulation and the trumpets of the Day of the Lord, at the sound of the last, or seventh trumpet, when all true Christians who've died or are still alive are changed together.

The supernatural trumpet supplies a key to understanding the events leading to Christ's return to establish God's Kingdom on the earth.

The dead in Christ will be resurrected, and His followers who are alive will be changed and "caught up together in the clouds." However, they will not stay in the clouds–or return permanently to heaven to dwell, as some imagine. Jesus Christ is coming to earth to save humanity and establish God's Kingdom over all nations. This is the hope for all those who anticipate His return!

If you are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ, it's important that you understand the great steps in God's plan of salvation, including the resurrection of believers at Christ's second coming. Then you will not be devastated when you and others are not raptured. Don't let an unbiblical teaching undermine your entire faith and belief in God!

Thankfully there are many scriptures that, on careful study, show that God does provide protection for His people and will do so in the calamitous last days (Matthew 24:13; Luke 21:36; Revelation 12:14)–but that protection will be here on the earth, as we await the joyful rising to meet our Savior that will come at the end of that terrible time!

Many people are confused about exactly what will happen in the time leading up to Jesus Christ's return. But you don't need to be! Download or request your free copy of The Book of Revelation Unveiled today to understand what the Bible reveals!

- Gary Petty

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