Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: Gone in a Snap
By Randy Foncree
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There has been much debate in the body of Christ concerning the coming of our Lord. Much of the controversy has centered on what many Christians call “THE RAPTURE.” Some say there’s going to be no rapture because you can’t find it in scripture. Others believe that the coming of our Lord happens all at once when Jesus comes to set up his kingdom. The goal of this piece is not to widen the division on this issue, but to bring to believers a clearer understanding as to why there is going to be a rapture of the church, and why we need to be ready for it.
Let’s tackle the argument that says the rapture isn’t in the Bible. The truth is, it’s not, but the concept is. I study primarily from the King James Version of the Bible because it’s what I’m used too. In the King James Version of the Bible you also won’t find the words demon, trinity, or millennial reign, but most Christians believe in all three. The word devil that is used, and means demonize in the Greek language. You can read all through the scriptures about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That’s the concept of the trinity without using the word itself. Lastly, Revelation 20 speaks of Jesus ruling and reigning on the earth for 1000 years, which describes a millennial reign without using the word. I believe in a careful study of the Word that the rapture, and Jesus coming to the earth to rule and reign are two separate events.
I won’t bog you down with the Greek and Latin words associated with this, but you can look the meaning up using a good Greek lexicon. When the great Apostle Paul gives the revelation of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and says, “We which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP…” one needs to examine what it means to be caught up. Caught up is taken from a Latin word, rather than using the original Hebrew word. The Latin form of the word can literally mean RAPTURE. It means to be snatched out suddenly. One commentator describes it this way, “You’re walking along talking with someone, and you look over and suddenly that person you’re talking too vanishes.” In other words, when Jesus comes back, every Christian will be GONE IN A SNAP. In the twinkling of an eye is measured at 1/100th of a second. Now you see me; now you don’t. That’s the kind of situation the Apostle Paul is speaking of here.
That’s why the scriptures warn us to be ready for that day, because none of us knows the exact day or hour that this great event is going to occur. We are warned in some scriptures to not be found sleeping. That’s referring to spiritually of course. Some scriptures refer to Jesus coming as a thief in the night, much as a bridegroom comes in the middle of the night to take his bride home with him. How does someone become ready for this great event called the rapture? The first thing is to realize that we can’t save ourselves and need a Savior. That Savior was provided 2000 years ago on the cross. Jesus died and rose again so we wouldn’t have to miss the rapture. He desires to take every person home to be with Him. That’s not going to happen because most in the world reject Him. Most of the world will be left behind to face the antichrist in a seven-year tribulation period referred to by Daniel as the time of Jacobs’s trouble. If you want to be ready for that day and be gone in a snap, just give your heart to Jesus and be made ready to some day go home, and ever be with the Lord. That promise and blessed hope is there if you just open your heart to receive it.
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