WHAT IS THE RAPTURE?
TTBF’s beliefs about the Rapture are based upon the Scriptures. In the simplest of terms, the Rapture is the description of a promise made by Jesus that one day He would call those who have accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior to join Him in Heaven. Thus one day the Lord Jesus Christ will, with a loud command, call for us. Upon this happening, in a flash, in the twinkling of the eye (thus immediately), those who have already died, and who prior to that time had accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, will have their bodies resurrected (raised) from the grave and they will meet Jesus in the clouds. Then those of us, who at that time, are the true Believers in Jesus Christ, and who are alive, we too will be changed in the twinkling of the eye, and our bodies will be changed, and we also will be taken up to the clouds to meet Jesus, and we will forever be with Him! While the word “rapture” is not a literal word in the Bible, the actual Greek term used in I Thess. 4:17 “rapturo” is, and it is translated “caught up,” “snatched away,” “taken away” or “raptured.” The clearest presentation of these concepts are found in I Thess. 4:13-17 and I Cor. 15:50-58.
CAN CHRISTIANS MISS THE RAPTURE?
Why take a chance? The Bible teaches that not everyone who “says” Jesus is their Lord, will actually be people who have Jesus as their Lord and Savior! No one can judge the heart of another person, but God Himself judges!! Don’t put yourself in the position of saying to Jesus “Lord, Lord” and hear Him respond, “depart from me, I never knew you!” (Matthew 7:21-23). The test is not “what you say” but “what you have confessed and believed in your heart” (Romans 10:9-10) and after you truly believed in and confessed Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, what types of behaviors you have shown and what works for God (or against Him and his teachings) you have done during your life. (James 4:14-25).
There is a parable (story) in the Bible found in Matthew chapter 25. It is called the Parable of the Ten Virgins. It teaches that when the Bridegroom came to get his bride, there were 10 virgins waiting for him but they were all asleep. At least they woke up, but then only 5 of them had lived in such a way that they were actually prepared and were ready to go with him when he came! All 10 appeared to be eligible to go with him but only 5 were ready and thus taken with him. Jesus is called the “Bridegroom” of those who truly belong to Him, and those who truly belong to Him and are prepared to go to Heaven are called “His Bride.” Keep yourself ready to go with Jesus as the Bridegroom! (read Matthew 25:1-13). Be true to yourself and search your heart to see what is in it. Confess your sins, repent (have a change of mind/turn from them), and pray to the Lord that you will be found worthy and ready to go when He comes to meet His people in the clouds. I John 1:9 states that if you confess your sins, the Lord is faithful and just not only to forgive you of your sins, but to cleanse you from your unrighteousness. This is good news!
THE RAPTURE IS NOT THE SECOND COMING!!!
At TTBF we believe that the Scriptures teach that the Rapture will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ by seven years and are two separate events. During the Rapture, Jesus does not come “down to the earth” but rather He comes from Heaven but stops in the clouds and the Believers that He calls up to Him meet Him in the clouds. In contrast, the Bible teaches, and Jesus promised, that one day He would return to the earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will physically be on planet earth then and rule and reign for 1000 years. Read Revelation 19:11-16.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU MISS THE RAPTURE?
1) Immediately pray to accept Jesus Chris as Your Personal Savior and Lord. To do this, as taught in Romans 10:9-10, you must first believe in Jesus Christ in your heart! You need to believe that as taught in the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for your sins. You must believe that He was crucified, died, and was buried, and on the third day He arose from the grave. If you believe this in your heart, confess it! That simply means tell it to God the Father! You can do it in the form of a prayer. Here is a short one you can pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died for my sins. I believe that He was crucified, died, was buried, and on the third day arose from the grave according to the Scriptures. I want to receive His free gift of eternal life right now! Jesus, please come into my heart and be my personal Savior and Lord. Thank you Lord for saving me! In Jesus name I pray, Amen!
According to the Bible, if you believed in your heart the content of that prayer, you have been saved and granted eternal life! You might not feel or look any differently but things “ARE NEW AND DIFFERENT IN YOUR SPIRIT!!!” You now belong to God and His Kingdom!!!! Romans 10:9-11.
2) Do not take the Mark of the Beast or Worship his Image! The Bible teaches that at the time after the Rapture, the world will be under the control of an evil 3-some: the Antichrist, False Prophet, and “the Beast.” Rev. 13. Notwithstanding, there is only one true and living God who exists in three persons: God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit. You should not worship anyone or anything except for the true and living God and have no other gods! This is even in the 10 Commandments! Exodus 20:1-4. Thus a person “should not” take the “Mark of the Beast” or worship his image, even if that evil 3-some demands it or it means one’s death! Rev. 13:11-18. The Bible does not explain in detail what the Mark of the Beast will actually be or look like, except that it will be a mark on one’s right hand or forehead. But a time is coming on planet earth when those without the Mark of the Beast will not be able to buy or sell things. Revelation 13: 15-18. Of course this sounds alarming but you must trust that God will take care of you and provide you with the things you need. Do not take that mark nor worship his image!!! Rev. 14:9 says it directly: “do not take the mark!” Those who do will receive God’s wrath and be thrown into the Lake of Fire! Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will not take the mark! This means “true Believers” won’t take the mark but will be persecuted by the evil 3-some. This will call for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people! Rev. 13:10.
The earth will be a perilous place to be after Jesus Raptures His true Believers from it. Continue to trust in the Lord! Help lead others to Christ! Know that this total time period will be for seven years. The first three and one half years are called “the Tribulation” and the last three and one half, “the Great Tribulation.” Read the entire Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ (the last book in the Bible) for a better understanding of these events. Also read Matthew Chapter 24 and the Book of Daniel Chapter 12, which are also in the Bible. They will only make sense to people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Pray for understanding and wisdom!
There is a lot of information on the Internet and Christian Book Stores about these events. In all you get, attempt to get a better understanding. Keep your faith in God! Pray to be protected during this time period and to escape the wrath that remains to be poured out during “the Great Tribulation.”
HOW TO READ THE BIBLE
*The information above is supported by Scriptures from the Bible. Go and look them up in a Bible. Use the Table of Contents in your Bible to find the page number for the referenced chapter such as I Cor.= I Corinthians; Revelation; 2 Thess.= 2 Thessalonians, etc. The first number given is the Chapter number and the second one the verse. So for example Rev. 13:15-17 means go to the Book of Revelation, chapter 13, and read verses 15 through 17.
MAY THE GRACE OF OUR GOD AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND PROTECTION OF THEIR HOLY ANGELS BE WITH US ALL!
Thanksgiving Tabernacle Bible Fellowship
“Building Unto Our God a Kingdom of Priests”