The concept of the saints being raptured is indeed Biblical, however, not in the popular understanding of the topic. The word rapture means the transporting of someone from one place to another, especially to heaven. This will indeed happen but not as a “secret rapture” like the popular belief suggests.
When Will God’s People Be Raptured?
When studying Christ’s second coming, it is always beneficial to study it as a whole. When Christ comes again, the dead in Christ shall rise first, along with the saints who are alive, and will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). The wicked dead and the wicked alive, who die at the second coming of Christ, will not live until after 1000 years during which Satan is bound on earth.
After the 1000 years, the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, will come down from heaven to earth with the righteous in it, then the evil dead will be raised and Satan will lead an attempt to take the holy city. Fire will then rain down on the evil ones and the earth will be purged from sin forever. The following is an outline for these events:
The Events at the Beginning of the 1,000 Years:
- Devastating earthquake and hailstorm (Revelation 16:18-21; Revelation 6:14-17).
- Second coming of Jesus for His saints (Mathew 24:30, 31).
- Righteous dead rise to life (1Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
- Righteous given immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
- Righteous given bodies like Jesus (1 John 3:2, Philippians 3:21).
- All righteous caught up into the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
- Living wicked slain by the breath of the Lord’s mouth (Isaiah 11:4).
- Wicked in graves remain dead until the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:5).
- Jesus takes righteous to heaven (John13:33, 36; 14:1- 3).
- Satan bound on earth (Revelation 20:1-3).
The Events During the 1,000 Years:
- Earth in battered condition from huge hailstones and devastating earthquake (Revelation 16:18-21).
- Earth in total blackout-bottomless pit (Jeremiah 4:23, 28).
- Satan and his angels forced to stay on the earth-bound (Revelation 20:1-3).
- Righteous in heaven participating in the judgment (Revelation 20:4).
- Wicked are all dead (Jeremiah 4:25; Isaiah 11:4).
The Events at the Close of the 1,000 Years:
- Third coming of Jesus with His saints (Zechariah 14:5).
- Holy city settles on Mount of Olives, which becomes a great Plain (Zechariah 14:4, 10).
- The Father, angels, and all of the righteous come with Jesus (Revelation 21:1-3; Matthew 25:31; Zechariah 14:5).
- Wicked dead raised; Satan loosed (Revelation 20:5, 7).
- Satan deceives entire world (Revelation 20:8).
- Wicked surround the holy city (Revelation 20:9).
- Wicked destroyed by fire (Revelation 20:9).
- New heavens and earth created (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
- God’s people enjoy eternity with Christ on the new earth (Revelation 21:2-4).
In His service,
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