Rapture is a future event that is prophesied in the Bible – when Jesus returns to take His Church. Rapture is not a one-time event. It has happened in a few instances in the Bible: the rapture of Enoch (Genesis 5:24). Elijah (2 Kings 2:1,11) and the ascension of Jesus to heaven after His resurrection from death (Acts 1:9-11)
Rapture of the Church occurs in a series of process as written in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Why does rapture happen and who will be raptured? In Revelation3 3:7-13, we see that the Lord will protect the church in Philadelphia from the trials that will fall upon the world. The word “trial” comes from the Greek word “Peirasmos” which means “tribulation, trial, disaster, and suffering.” The trials and tribulations that are to occur will exceed the great trials occurring these days. In that time, God’s wrath will be fallen upon the people of the earth who are rebellious toward God (Revelation 6:16-17).
The church in Philadelphia was a church that was pleasing to the Lord – the Lord did not rebuke any aspect of their lives. This church is an illustration of the Church that will be protected from trials and tribulations through rapture. People who are pleasing before the Lord, like the church in Philadelphia, are those who: obey God’s Word, do not deny the Lord’s name, are diligent in waiting upon the Lord, hold their faith fast in the Lord, and are conquerors.
The Lord has prepared a place for us so that we can be together with Him in heaven, not on this earth. Those who are raptured will not experience the great tribulation, which serves as God’s judgement for those who reject Him. We will not be hit by God’s wrath as long as our lives are pleasing to Him, like the church in Philadelphia.
When does rapture occur? At the time God’s people are ready – it will happen imminently. The concept of imminence means there no sure sign of what will take place before rapture, except the shout of the angels that are not even a “sign” because rapture will happen in the blink of an eye immediately after the sound of the trumpet is heard. This is what Jesus said himself that “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
We do not know when He will return. Therefore, He commands and reminds us to always BE WATCHFUL. Be watchful so that our lives are always according to what the Lord wants. Those who understand will be given a reward – which the crown of life – and live together with the Lord Jesus in kingdom of heaven. “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10) Amen. God bless.
Source: Article from GBI Gatot Subroto, Jakarta