The Blessed Hope

It’s been on my heart to share why the Rapture is such a deep source of hope – for me and for everyone who believes Jesus Christ, who trusts in His death and resurrection to be made right with God.

I’ll start with the clearest teaching on the rapture found in God’s word, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Not only are these words comforting, but exciting! Even in the darkest hours, this promise gives hope.

Because I could not carry on without hope. Who can? How can we face the reality of suffering, from the everyday unkindness we encounter, to the heavy sorrow of death, unless there’s a purpose and an ending to it all?

Also, who would choose to experience the wrath of God which He promises will be poured out on this earth, when there’s a way to escape it? Yet so many choose to.

This post is about the one thing that offers hope and escape for all of us: The Rapture.

When my life gets stormy, I need an anchor – don’t we all? An anchor of hope that the storm will pass and I’ll make it through. And the waves have been pretty choppy lately. Sometimes I don’t know which is harder to bear: the personal struggles that touch every part of me on a daily basis or the need and strife of the entire world and every person that I feel so powerless to alleviate.

But not just any anchor will keep me secure. Only one which cannot be moved by anything will do that – one which no force can budge, no time erode, no person change. The only power like this, which has no power greater than itself, is God – and to make it personal, His promises concerning His church.

When boat-toppling waves seem to keep coming over my boat, I never quite despair because I know God will never let my anchor be shaken loose – His promise to take me home will always stand. I can never be lost in the sea of life, and I know will still be there when all the storms stop and He sails me home.

And He will bring me home: that’s the blessed hope.

That term comes from this passage in Titus:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14

Jesus Christ, my Savior, is coming back for me and for all of His church!

Why must the Rapture happen?

Jesus said He would come back, and for definite, specific reasons:

  1. To receive us to Himself:
    1. “And if I go and 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
  2. To deliver His own from His and the Father’s wrath coming in the tribulation described in Revelation:
    1. “…even Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come” 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  3. To complete our salvation and redeem our physical bodies:
    1. “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 put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
  4. Because He is the Bridegroom, and He has a wedding to bring His bride to! (It’s Jewish tradition for the groom to come get his bride for the wedding ceremony at an unspecified time):
    1. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7

These are reasons why the rapture is happening – because of the promises God made.

Why does the rapture give me hope?

Because it’s a sign-less event – a prophecy which could come to pass at any time… any time.

  • Any time… I will be leaving the difficulties of this world.
  • Any time… I will be in the perfect presence of God.
  • Any time… my Savior and Bridegroom will be keeping His promise to come for me!

You see, a sign-less prophetic event means that there is nothing that God’s word tells us must happen before the specific event can happen. It’s always been that way with the Rapture. That’s why Paul, in that letter to the Thessalonians refers to “we” – he was expecting Jesus Christ to return in his lifetime.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The fact that Christ hasn’t come back yet, doesn’t mean the Bible has been proved wrong. Peter tells us that He’s waiting. He’s waiting for more people to be saved. Peter wrote: “The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (Amplified translation).

Why the word rapture? | In 1 Thessalonians 4:18, the original Greek word is: harpazo, then translated to Latin: rapturo, then to English as caught up – hence calling this teaching “rapture”; and it means ‘to snatch away.’ The extended definition in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon is: “used of divine power transferring a person marvellously and swiftly from one place to another, to snatch or catch away.” (In case you’re wondering where the term ‘rapture’ comes from)

So, the fact that this is a sign-less event gives me hope in knowing I could be taken out of here at any time.

Because it’s a rescuing event – Jesus is coming for His bride before the Father pours out His judgments on the earth.

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10

Some people object to the rapture because it seems like wishful thinking, like an escape made up by some Christians who want to find a way out of God’s judgments during the Tribulation.

But if you look at the Bible literally no one needs to make up a miraculous escape! It’s right there! Is it so far-fetched to believe that God would spare His children and Christ’s bride from His own wrath? There is no greater wrath than this. And it’s totally different from the tribulations the church has gone through for the past 2,000 years – i.e. much worse.

Then on the flip side of wrath, there is the anticipation of Christ’s return. There are two parts to the future coming of Jesus that Paul talks about, part one is for the church, and part two is with the church (both are a part of the teaching which people term “The Second Coming”):

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then 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 4:16-17 {Part one}

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war… He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Revelation 19:11, 13-14 {Part two}

Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,

As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two
… Zechariah 14:3-4 {Part two}

There must be two parts, because in the first, Jesus stays in the air, and in the second He comes to stand on the earth. Also, if the saints are behind Him on white horses when He stands on the earth, how can they be caught up at the same time?

I’m counting on this rescue because 1) Jesus tells us that He’s returning to bring believers back with Him to His Father’s house, (not to judge the world, but rescue believers) and 2) He also told us that He’ll keep the church from the hour of trial that’s coming on the whole world (in John 14 and Revelation 3, respectively). He’s taking the church off-world, that’s clear from these passages. 1 Thessalonians 4 makes that especially clear: there’s a meeting in the air coming!

When I read all of these passages together, and take them literally, there’s only one point in the future when a rapture could happen: before the tribulation coming upon the whole world.

I won’t go on, as this isn’t a dissertation on a pre-tribulation rapture. But I couldn’t keep from touching on the subject, because it’s part of the greatness of the hope to be found in the promise of the Rapture.

It’s a personal event – The greatest hope for me is that it’s an act of love by my Savior – it’s personal. Jesus promised He would come back for the church and bring her back home to be with Him.

At any moment I could be face to face with the One who loves me perfectly. I’ll be away from struggle, illness, decay, and evil, and surrounded by love, justice, peace, joy, wholeness, and life!

But the greatest part is that I’ll be with Him, and there is no one like Him, my Yeshua, the Messiah. No person, no experience can compare to Him. He is the very definition of perfection, and He loves me! It’s humbling – and what joy! Just imagining it gives me the deepest, most satisfying joy I’ve ever known.

Knowing this, being absolutely sure that it could happen to me, lifts my heart and gives me joy no matter how dark life becomes. It’s amazing how nothing has ever stamped out that joy.

So, why even talk about the Rapture?

Well, who doesn’t want to think about the greatest joy possible? That’s why I talk about it! I love to think about it, and when it gives such joy, how can I keep it to myself? This hope, this joy, is available to everyone – yet so often people throw it away, or don’t even want to look at it. They reject Christ before even listening to what He has to say in His word (a.k.a. the Bible). Why?

What else have you – has any one ever – found which offers such hope and that’s based on what the actual God of the universe has revealed to us in written form?

Read it, I implore you! I implore all of us, those who know Jesus and those who don’t, to examine (or re-examine) His beautiful, unchanging words. Ask God the hard questions and listen to what He has to say through the promises already given to us in that best-selling book, the Bible. The answers are all right there, and He wants to reveal Himself to you!

That’s the best part about studying all the end times prophecies: they reveal so much about God.

Oh, the depth and the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! He did not leave His church as orphans in the 1st century, and He is still the same – He promised the Helper (the Holy Spirit) then, as He redeemed them and us spiritually, and now He promises to bring us to Him. They counted on Him then and He came through. We can count on Him with equal certainty now to do what He said.

“‘I will come again and receive you to myself…’ For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout… Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” John 14 and 1 Thessalonians 4.

I hope these words bring you comfort and hope.

And I’ll say it again: read His words. Mine have no power – His are power. They’re just amazing, so read them!

Thanks for reading! And as always, you can find this post in audio/video format on Spotify, Anchor, Rumble and YouTube, and find me on Instagram and Telegram.

Published by ambassadoranna

My grandpa went to be with the Lord – My family's always been interested in Bible prophecy – So we all looked for hope in the rapture of the church, when we would see him again. And, boy, do world events seem to be lining up with Bible prophecy more than ever before! (Except when Jesus came the first time, 2,000 years ago.) It was always my mom who was interested in Bible prophecy and Israel and the events of Revelation and Daniel. In my Bible study, I've always focused almost exclusively on the New Testament truths of how free is our salvation through faith in Christ alone, and the unshakable identity we receive in Him. And, honestly, other things have claimed my attention throughout most of my Christian life... But now! The future promises of God to Israel, the Church and the world are MIND BLOWING – and they are just on the verge of HAPPENING! I can't get enough of Middle East news and what the Bible says about it, and what God tells us about His chosen witnesses: Israel and the Church. The "last hour" of 1 John looks like it is in it's last few minutes... Are we ready?

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