As Christians we are all anticipating the return of Jesus Christ. We may call it the gathering together, or the rapture, going home, or going to heaven to be with the Lord. But we want to know the whole story on the rapture – not just bits and pieces.
We all have been taught different things. When will we depart this world to be with the Lord Jesus? When will we receive our new bodies? Will it really be like his resurrected body? You may have heard he will come to earth on a white horse. You may have heard we will meet him in the clouds. What is the truth?
In this blog, we want to find our answers in the Scriptures. We want to know the whole story. Two sections of Scripture are quoted the most on this subject.
Two Main Sections of Scripture
I Thessalonians 4:15-18
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
We and our loved ones will be reunited in the clouds. What a joy that will be! We will be with the Lord Jesus, who gave himself for us and brought such light into our lives. And we will be with him for ever!
I Corinthians 15:51-54
Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Whether dead or alive, we shall all receive new bodies. What a comfort!
One Event – The Gathering Together
These verses are both speaking of the same event. The trumpet and the dead in Christ being raised are mentioned in both. But how do they fit together?
When do we receive our new bodies? Before or after we are caught up in the clouds? What will the angel be saying? And what about the trumpet? What will that sound like?
Once we know the whole story these questions will be answered. One thing we can count on, there can be no contradictions here. If two sections of the Bible speak about the same event, and seem to contradict each other, perhaps we need to take a closer look. That is what we will do.
The first step is finding a timeline for this event.