This is a Bible study on the Caught Up - Rapture. Click here for a printable Bible Study Guide.
Scripture shows us that very soon all believers of Christ Jesus will be "caught up" in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air, and so shall we ever be with the LORD. Hallelujah!! Are you ready?
An event in the last days, in where Jesus descends from Heaven, to claim His people on earth, who are "caught up" in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, is what is referred to as "caught up", or "the Rapture".
The last days will continue with the unexpected return of Jesus Christ coming in the clouds to claim and gather His own to Himself.
Please note two things here: 1) Unexpected return and 2) coming in the clouds. This event is separate from the Second Coming, as the Second Coming of Christ Jesus is expected and He will come to earth. The 'caught up' or rapture of the Church and the Second Coming are two separate events.
All people of the earth who believe in Christ to salvation will be "caught up" together with Jesus in the clouds, along with the resurrected saints, together in the air to ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
This is a most joyous and anticipated event in the life of every believer in Christ Jesus.
There will be rejoicing to the extreme, when our Lord God and Saviour comes through the clouds from Heaven with a shout and calls us home to Him.
Jesus Christ Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout!
With a shout, God will call us home to Him.
Our earthly bodies will be immediately transformed into Heavenly bodies like His own.
We will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air!
We will actually meet face to face our Creator Lord God in the air, with all the departed in Christ themselves in new resurrected Heavenly bodies, together all believers, one heart, one mind, one spirit, one faith, together forever to be with the LORD!! Alleluia!! Praise the Lord God Almighty!! He reigns!!
And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
All believers who are 'caught up' with Jesus in the air, will be and remain with Christ Jesus forever.
Imagine being with the Lord forever, to be with Him, right next to Him, praising Him forever, being with Him, walking with Him, being at His throne, seeing His face, feeling the glory of God on our face, wrapping in the light and warmth from His glory forever!!!
It is hard to imagine what this will be like.
Will we sit and just look into the eyes of Jesus for the first 10,000 years? Will we be able to move? Will we be able to utter any words in the presence of our Eternal King? Will we run to Him and fall on our face, praising His name? Will we dance and sing and cry tears of joy?
Oh, what a day that will be, when we see Jesus!!
Being "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air is often called the Rapture, because the words "caught up" are translated as "rapture".
The event where all believers alive on the earth will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air, is called the Rapture, the caught up.
Some people may argue that since the word "rapture" is not in the bible that it should not be used.
Please note that just because the words "caught up" have been translated into "the Rapture" does not make the event less valid, simply because the word "rapture" is not in your bible. Just like the word "book" being translated, does not make the word "bible" invalid, even though the word "bible" is not found in the bible.
If you feel more comfortable calling this event "the caught up" instead of "the rapture", please use the words "caught up", but know that it does not take away from the fact that they have the same meaning.
Many people find that "the Rapture" is easier to say than "the caught up".
God says that no one knows when this event will occur, it will be sudden, unexpected and surprising.
If someone says that they know the date, the hour, the day, the time, God calls them a liar, because no one on this earth knows when this event will occur.
What we are told, is that this event is imminent, that it could happen at any day.
This event could occur this year, this month, this day, or even right now, while you are reading this.
There are no events that must occur before the Lord descends from Heaven and the believers in Christ are "caught up" in the air to be forever with the Lord.
The word of God reads that the day is at hand, the Lord will come at any time. Jesus could come today! Are you ready?
And how do we know this event has not already occurred?
The whole world will know when believers are "caught up" to ever be with the Lord, because we will be gone.
The believers in Christ will be "caught up" in the air - we will leave the earth all at once - millions of people will be gone in an instant.
Every believer in Christ will vanish from the earth, there will be no trace of them anywhere, even their bodies will be gone.
Believers in Christ are in every legitimate profession on earth. We are male and female of all ages, children and adults, wives and husbands, mothers and dads, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, cousins, uncles and aunts, and grandmothers and grandfathers.
We are teachers and students, employers and employees, guards and prisoners, doctors and nurses, pilots and passengers, construction workers, businessmen and women, clerks, assembly workers, bankers, astronauts, engineers, truck drivers, waiters and waitresses, cooks, maids, stockbrokers, housewives, and every other legitimate profession.
At the writing of this, since millions of people have not vanished from the earth, we know this event has not occurred. But, if you are reading this, and millions of people have vanished from the earth, then the rapture has occurred and you need the salvation of God immediately.
Salvation after the rapture
If by chance, you are reading this and millions of people have vanished from the earth (with me being one of them), well then, the rapture has occurred.
If you are left behind after the rapture of the church, please know that it is NOT too late for you to be saved.
We all receive salvation the exact same way, which is by faith in Jesus Christ. If you believe Jesus died for your sins and rose from His grave to new life, and that He will forgive you of all your sins, you can be saved, by confessing and repenting from sin, and asking Christ Jesus into your heart, to become the Lord and Saviour over your life, YOU CAN BE SAVED. By giving your life to Him forever, Jesus will give you His salvation and eternal life.
Unbelief separates anyone from God, we must have faith in Christ Jesus to receive the salvation of God and become a child of God.
Salvation is open to anyone who is still alive. After death there is no chance for an unbeliever to receive salvation.
Many events happen during "the caught up":
After all believers are "caught up" in the air to meet the Lord, and to ever be with the Lord, Jesus will take us all to Heaven, as promised to us in John 14:1-3.
In Heaven we will all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, to receive our judgment and rewards. (While we are being judged in Heaven, the seven year Tribulation will be occurring on earth.)
After everyone has received their judgment and rewards, we will partake in the Marriage of the Lamb.
After the Marriage of the Lamb, we will return with Christ to earth, to participate in the Second Coming of Christ.
Believers in Christ will all be changed.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, we see that the dead in Christ which He brings with Him will receive their resurrected bodies, and then the believers in Christ who are alive and remain on this earth will be "caught up" into the heavens to meet the Lord in the air.
Before we can be "caught up" into the air, before we can enter the Kingdom of God, our earthly bodies must be changed into Heavenly bodies, because God said our earthly flesh and bones bodies cannot enter Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50).
This transformation of our bodies happens in an instant, in a "twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52).
The bodies of the dead in Christ who have gone before us will be resurrected, and then the bodies of all in Christ who are alive and remain will be changed and receive new heavenly bodies. All the believers of Christ will have new heavenly bodies before we can go into Heaven with Jesus, to ever be with the Lord.
The word of God reads that we will NOT all die at the rapture, NOT all believers of Christ will die on this earth, but we will ALL be changed (1 Corinthians 15:52).
Our earthly bodies are not capable to last for eternity in Heaven, so we will all receive heavenly bodies, like King Jesus did at His earthly bodily resurrection.
The Scriptures say that we will know others and be known by others in Heaven, so I believe that our earthly features that God gave us to make us unique when He created us will be seen within our heavenly bodies. Our heavenly bodies will be free from disease, will never decay, will be righteous, incorruptible, will be pain free, and be able to live forevermore with the Lord.
When all believers of Christ are together and meet the Lord in the air, we will be forever with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Wherever Christ Jesus is, that is where we will be. We will be with Jesus forever. We are His own and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Christ the Lord will receive us to Himself and take us to His Father's house in Heaven.
Jesus promised that all believers of Christ will be received unto Him and taken to His Father's house, that where He is we may be also.
Will we remain in Heaven with Christ our Lord forever? No, because the scriptures say that Christ will bring us with Him to earth at His glorious appearing, the Second Coming of the Lord.
What will happen to all the believers who are "caught up" with the Lord in the Air?
After all believers are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, we will go to Heaven. John 14:1-3 will be fulfilled.
There will be a family reunion of gigantic proportion, with praise and worship of the Lord God Almighty.
There are several events that will occur with the raptured and resurrected saints in Christ:
The Judgment Seat of Christ
All the saints will appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Jesus will judge each believer (John 5:27).
The judgment seat of Christ will NOT determine if we are saved or can enter Heaven, because only the saved in Christ will appear before the judgment seat of Christ and are already in Heaven.
As each believer stands before the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus will confirm their salvation in Him, blessed assurance in Christ, and determine each believer's eternal rewards.
Our sins will NOT be judged (Hebrews 10:17). We will not be condemned for our sins, because all our sins have been washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus. (Romans 5:1). We are forgiven through salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. Our sins are removed from us, as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
The punishment we deserve was accepted and taken by Jesus at the cross. Christ put on our sins, shed His blood on the cross, died for all our iniquities, so that we could be forgiven, and through His resurrection be given eternal life. We are made worthy in Christ to inherit the Kingdom of God. We are made righteous in Christ to enter the gates of Heaven.
No believer will escape appearing before the judgment seat of Christ. God has time to see everyone, no one will be exempt, and no one will be excused.
Are you ready to stand before the judgment seat of Christ?
When will unbelievers be judged? The judgment of all unbelievers will occur after the millennium, the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth, at the Great White Throne of judgment (Revelation 20:15).
The Marriage of the Lamb
After every believer has stood before the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Marriage of the Lamb will occur. The church, all believers are made ready.
All believers of Christ are the church, His bride, and Christ is the groom (Ephesians 5:25).
The Marriage Supper will occur on earth, when Christ returns to earth with His bride. The Millennium occurs after the celebration supper begins (Revelation 19-20). The bride will never die (John 11:26), nor will the bridegroom (Revelation 1:18).
What will happen in the world, when ALL the believers in Christ are "caught up to meet the Lord in the air"?
Can you even imagine what this will be like?
A world of unbelievers
When Christ calls all His own, to Himself, to meet Him in the air, all believers will be removed from the earth.
Can you imagine a world full of unbelievers? This Christ-rejecting world will face the wrath of God.
All believers in Christ vanish
I doubt that this will be the headline news, because there will be mass denial, speculation, and cover-up by the government and the media, relating to the events that occurred.
With millions of people, male and female of all ages, gone in an instant, being "caught up to meet the Lord in the air", and the world will be in chaos.
Every profession, every business, every family, every person in the world will be affected.
The economy will be turned upside down. Banks and businesses will be shut down. Utilities will fail, because they will lack certain key saved employees.
Entire households will have vanished, leaving empty homes and business that will be looted and destroyed.
Many government, police and firefighters will be gone, and there will not be enough armies to keep control of the mobs.
There will be mass hysteria like the world has never seen before.
Some people will know the truth, and be saved
Many people will know the rapture of the church has indeed occurred, just as the word of God said, while others will not have a clue.
Immediately following the rapture of the church from the earth, there will be thousands of people, who now realize the truth of God - Jesus Christ is Lord - will immediately fall on their face and accept the salvation of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There will be thousands saved in the world immediately following the rapture of the Church, because now they believe the truth and can be saved.
These new believers will have a most difficult time during the tribulation, because unlike now, they will be the only saved people on earth.
The faithful in Christ Jesus will be "caught up". All believers in Christ, who abide in Christ will be "caught up".
All believers of Christ on earth will be "caught up" into the clouds - to meet the Lord in the air - and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The believers who are alive at the time of Jesus' return from Heaven do no need to be resurrected, because we have not died, but our bodies will be changed, to enable us to be forever with the Lord.
Jesus promised to return to earth to receive us to Himself, so that where He is we can be also.
Jesus will come to gather up His own, receive His own to Himself, so that where He is, we can be also.
Unbelievers will NOT be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
All who are NOT in Christ, all people who are NOT saved by the blood of the Lamb, will NOT be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air.
All people who do NOT have a current personal relationship with Christ Jesus will NOT meet Him in the air.
All people who have denied Christ will not meet Him in the air.
All people who have NOT allowed Jesus into their heart, accepted the salvation of God through faith in Christ Jesus will NOT be "caught up" with the Lord in the air.
We are saved and become the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). There is no other way to be saved, apart from faith in Christ Jesus (John 14:6). We must come unto God by Him, by Jesus (Hebrews 7:25). There is no other name by which we are saved, but Jesus (Acts 4:12).
All people who have placed their trust and faith to salvation in anyone or anything else will NOT be "caught up".
All people who profess to be a Christian, profess to know Jesus, but in their heart they deny Him, the people will NOT be "caught up".
There are many differences between "the caught up" and "the Second Coming of Christ".
The caught up of all believers in Christ is unexpected, can happen at any moment, nothing needs to occur before this event can happen, Jesus does not return to earth, but stays in Heaven, and the saints of God are "caught up" to Him in the air, to be with Him forever.
The glorious appearing, or the Second Coming of Christ is expected, certain expected events must happen and must be fulfilled before His return, and Jesus returns to earth and establishes bodily rule on earth.
We have just covered many differences between the two events in the previous discussion, which show us why these two events are not the same event, but let's go a little deeper.
In actuality, these are the same event, the coming of Christ but separated into two phases - the Blessed Hope and the Glorious appearing, as described in Titus 2:13.
There are numerous Scriptures that conclude that the second coming of Christ is defined in two parts, separating the "caught up" of God's people from the "Glorious appearing" of Christ to reign on earth.
There are many Scriptures stating that believers in Christ escape the wrath of God, are delivered from the wrath to come, we are not appointed to wrath, we will be kept from the hour of temptation that will come upon all the world (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9; Luke 21:36; Revelation 3:10-11). Believers in Christ are indeed saved from wrath through Him (Romans 5:9).
There are no Scriptures warning believers in Christ to prepare for entering and enduring the Tribulation, described in Revelation 6-18.
The church is not mentioned on earth during the Tribulation, described in Revelation 4-18.
At the end of the seven year Tribulation the Lord comes to earth to establish rule and reign for 1,000 years, and He comes with His bride, believers of Christ are His bride, so then the rapture of the church must have already taken place?
At the glorious appearing of the Lord, the angels separate the sheep from the goats, if the rapture of the church and the second coming are one event, why is the separation needed, because the rapture already separates the saved from the lost.
Prior to the Millennium reign of Christ Jesus, the people of the earth, all who survived the Tribulation, will be divided, the believers in Christ will be separated from the unbelievers. The unbelievers are cast into hell. (Matthew 25:32-34,41,46). If the rapture occurs with the Second Coming of Christ, no one would be left to populate the world during the millennium reign.
Why is "a rapture" needed? What is the purpose of the rapture? The deliverance of believers from the wrath to come, was promised to us by God, and we know that all Scripture of God will be fulfilled.
To Deliver the saints from the wrath to come
All believers who are "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air are delivered from the wrath to come - the tribulation.
All believers in Christ must be removed from the earth before the Tribulation in order to be delivered from the wrath to come.
Through salvation by faith in Christ Jesus we become the children of God (Galatians 3:26). We are made worth to escape all these things that shall come to pass, though faith in Christ Jesus.
All who by faith believe in Christ Jesus to salvation will escape the wrath of God, the tribulation. (John 3:36; Romans 1:18; 2:8-11).
God has NOT appointed His children to wrath
Why is there a rapture? Because we are the children of God and God has not appointed us to wrath, we must be out of the way before the Tribulation begins.
The wrath of God is reserved for the ungodly, the wicked, the unbelieving. The wrath of God is delivered in the Tribulation.
The wrath of God is coming to the whole world
All them that dwell on the earth will face the wrath of God.
The wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness men.
The wrath of God is on the children of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6).
Believers in Christ will be saved from wrath through Him
We are saved from wrath through faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus delivers all believers from the wrath of God to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
The "wrath to come", the Tribulation follows "the caught up" or the rapture of the church.