BIBLE MEDITATION: 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. 1 Thessalonians 4:16
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: A time of great trouble is coming upon the world. In Matthew 24:21, Jesus called it “great tribulation.” This terrible period will last seven years and comes just before Jesus’s return to earth to reign. It will be a time of tyranny and persecution. All nature will be out of joint, demon spirits will infest the world, and the Anti-Christ will rule.
But before the Tribulation, the Church will be raptured out. What about that word, “rapture”?
Did you know the word “rapture” isn’t in the English translation of the Bible? But the word “caught up” is, and that’s what “rapture” means. Rapio or rapturo are Latin words describing the “catching away” of the Church on earth just before the Tribulation. The Greek word is harpazo (“to snatch or take away”). It’s used other places in the Bible. For example, Luke used it to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip and took him to Caesarea (Acts 8:30). Paul used it to describe being “caught up” into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4).
Paul says we who are alive at the time will 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” (1 Thess. 4:17). It’s clear he means actual “catching up” or removing people from earth to Heaven.
ACTION POINT: Do you look for His coming? Long for His coming? Do your loved ones know what “the rapture” means? Why not ask them what they think this next week and open the door for a candid discussion about the future?
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