Christians Wanted --
Dead or Alive
(The Rapture)

"What is The Rapture?"

The Second Coming of Christ will occur  in stages.  First, He will remove all Christians from the Earth, to protect them.  This is called "The Rapture."  The term comes from the Latin verb raptare, and the Greek word harpizo, both meaning "to be caught up" or "to be snatched up."  Jesus will "snatch us" out of harm's way.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 [15] According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. [16] 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. [17] 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.

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 [51] Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed -- [52] 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. [53] For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. [54] When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." [55] "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

Job 19:26-27 [26] And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; [27] I myself will see him with my own eyes -- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

For an excellent discussion of the Rapture see Lindsay, Hal. The Rapture New York, Bantam Books, 1985.

Also, the Rapture is analogous to first-century Jewish marriage customs and is a prelude to The Marriage of Jesus Christ and The Elect.

"What takes place after the Rapture?"

After The Rapture, God will begin executing judgments against unbelievers, during a period called the Tribulation.  At the end of the Tribulation all nations will attack Israel, and Jesus Christ will physically return, leading the armies of heaven.   At the Battle of Armeggedon they will destroy everyone who is not a believer. Then Satan will be bound, and Jesus will set up the Millennial Kingdom, headquartered in Jerusalem. Jesus and the saints will rule over the nations of the Earth for a thousand years.  During this period there will be people born who are not loyal to Christ. However, it usually will not be obvious.  Therefore, at the end of the thousand-year period, God will release Satan and let him tempt those who inhabit the Earth.  A large group will take up arms against the Lord and be defeated.  Then, Christ will judge all who have ever lived, giving rewards to some and punishment to others.  Those who were "destroyed" will be cast into the Lake of Fire, i.e., Hell.  After that, God will recreate heaven and Earth and rule forever.


(c) 1999 by Christian Chapel CME Church
Dallas, Texas USA
Bible quotes from New International Version