RAPTURE AND THE RESSURECTION
While traveling out of town with two of my friends, I overheard the one asking the other about the rapture and the resurrection of the saints. He was concerned as to how those who had died and were buried would be able to come out of those graves of soil, concrete or marble. And what about our bodies? Just when do we get our new bodies? Those questions really stuck with me and I began thinking about how many others were asking the same questions.
I honestly had not thought to how it would take place but just believed the Bible, the Word of God teaches it will take place and so it will. Godís Word does not lie.
I guess Iím one of those people who just loves to sit back reading my Bible, singing or listening to gospel music and just letting my mind ponder over the various scriptures that Iíve read. I get so excited when the Holy Spirit brings to my remembrance scriptures that Iíve read or heard sermons on. At some point in time I convinced myself that I simply could not remember what I had read so what was the point in even trying. But you see, I had forgotten one important scripture that is found in the book of Matthew 19:26 which reads,
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them,Ē With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.Ē
And in the book of John 14:26 we read these words,
But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever things I have said unto you.
And surely he has been doing just that for me for on my own I wouldnít even know how to begin writing. So in the past, present or future, no matter if itís the song lyrics I write or these little sermonettes or whatever cateragory they fit in, I am careful to give God the thanks for answering a prayer in which I asked him to give me something I could do that would fulfill my heart the way crocheting, crafts, etc. fulfilled other women I knew. Not long after the words began come and what a joy it is each time I finish whatever Iím writing. But letís get back to our discussion about the rapture and the resurrection.
Now, Iím no authority on these subjects but I believe what God tells us in his Word is true and all things will come to pass just as he says it will. So letís begin with what I Thessalonians 4:13-17 has to say.
13. But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14.For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15. 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 asleep16. 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.
17. 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.
Now it doesnít give us step by step information as to how this all is going to take place, or maybe I should say itdoesnít demonstrate it for us with pictures, etc. But it does tell us in the Holy Bible, the Word of God that it going to happen. And if we believe that the Bible is the true and infallible Word of God then we must also believe the coming of the Lord is going to take place. After all, in the story of Lazarus, when Jesus got to the tomb where Lazarus had been buried four days, all Jesus had to do was call him by name and say Lazarus, come forth. Lazarus, still wrapped in grave clothe, heard the Masterís voice call out to him and he awoke from deathís sleep and came forth. Now, if we believe in our hearts that Jesus is still the same as he was yesterday, today and will be tomorrow, we must believe that just as he called out to Lazarus to come forth from his grave and he did, so must we believe that on that day we too will arise from deathís sleep and come forth from our graves. No matter what our grave may be, under the soil, cement, or marble or whether out of the ashes or the depths of the seas, when the call rings out from the Masterís voice we too will arise and come forth.
Iím sure that you, like me, canít help but trying to picture it in your minds. Just think we may all be going about our lives as usual when suddenly, the eastern sky will roll back, the trumpet will sound and Jesus will appear in the clouds. John 5:28-29 tells us,
28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29. and shall come forth: they that have done good unto the resurrection of life.
No matter what type of grave it is, when we hear his call we will arise.
Next is the question of just how and when will our bodies be changed for heavenly bodies. For the answer to that, letís read what I Corinthians 15:35-38 has to say to us.
15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?
36. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37. And that thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain:
38. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
Then starting in verse 44 we read,
44.It is sowna natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and a spiritual body.
50.Now, this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52. 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.
53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55. O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING? O GRAVE, WHERE IS THY STING?
As I began to read these scriptures, the same ones Iíve read over and over again, suddenly they became so real to me. I began to really understand what they were saying to me. I thought of the cornstalk that has already grown to maturity, produced itís fruit, and now lies dead on the ground in itís corruption leaving behind kernels of dried, corn.
But, then comes spring and the farmer has prepared the soil to receive those kernels of corn that at this point are lifeless. He takes the corn and plants it beneath the prepared soil and covers it over with the soil to rest there awhile. Then at the appointed time, the farmer goes out to his field and somehow, there before his eyes, he sees tiny, tender leaves coming forth out of the ground that has been dried and hard. Before long it will be a beautiful, strong, cornstalk ready to do the job it is meant to do. How? God asked the children of Israel, Is anything too hard for me?Ē The answer of course is no. So will the dead in Christ rise again They will arise with new bodies, bodies that will be pleasing to God and suitable fot that eternal life. And they will rise up to meet Jesus first. Then those of us that remain that belong to Christ, will follow. Then in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall all be changed. These earthly bodies that were susceptible to corruption, bodies that were wracked with pain, disease, and deformity, will in that moment be changed to new, glorified bodies.
Can our minds even begin to grasp it all? No more sickness, no pain, no diseases, no hunger, no worries or cares, no evilness, nothing that is displeasing to God. Blinded eyes will see the beauty around them, some for the first time. The lame and crippled will be able to walk and leap all throughout heaven. The deaf will be able to hear the singing of the birds singing in the trees, the ripple of the water in the river of life, and the beautiful music of the angelic chorus. And this is the part I really like to imagine, the dumb or mute, will at last be able toopen their mouths and for the first time for some, be able to hear their own voices. I can almost hear them as they break forth in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. I can almost hear as they burst into song with voices so pure and clear, and sweet that the angelic choir falls into a hush as they listen.
What an awesome day this will be. But none of this would be possible, had it not been for the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What a wonderful God we serve. A God that loved us so much that he would send his only begotten Son to die on the cross for sinful man that we might have forgiveness of our sins and be able to walk into heavenís portals with glorified bodies. No longer mortal, corruptible bodies, but bodies suited for eternal life with Christ Jesus. Thank you Lord!