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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Ask the Pastor
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes Do you believe in the Rapture?

You may click on verses to reveal pop-up Scripture

clear.gif - 808 Bytes Yes, I absolutely believe in the rapture, because the Bible teaches it. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 reads:

 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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 asleep. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

 If a person has received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, the Bible says that Jesus will come back for him. According to these verses, the Lord will come back in the air. He will bring with Him the souls of those Christians who have already died and who's bodies lie in the grave. The bodies of these saints will rise from the dead, and their bodies and souls will be re-united. Immediately thereafter, those believers who are still alive will be caught up, body and soul, to meet the Lord in the air, and all the believers will forever be with each other and with the Lord.

 I Corinthians 15:51-52 teaches the same thing. It reads,

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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."
In John 14, Jesus promised to return for His followers. Verses 1-4 state,
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

 No one knows when the rapture will take place. It could happen today, or next week, or 100 years from now. Thus, we must always be ready for it. The verse we have quoted above are given to us to encourage us with the knowledge that Jesus is coming back, but this also serves as a motivator, for we want the Lord to be please with us when He returns. Luke 12:37 says,

"Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching."

 Please note that this is NOT the same event as the Second Coming of Christ following the Tribulation period. At that point Jesus will come back to earth (Zechariah 14:4). At the rapture He will come in the air and return to Heaven without coming the whole way to the earth. According to II Thessalonians 2:7-9, the Antichrist will not be revealed until after the believers are taken out of the earth. Since we know that Christ's return to earth as King takes place at the end of the Antichrist's rule, there must be two separate comings; one before the Tribulation (in the air), and one at the end of the Tribulation (to earth). Incidentally, if the passages in John 14 and I Thessalonians 4 were not speaking of the rapture, but only of the second coming, they would not contain much comfort or hope, because we know that the second coming occurs only after the 7 years of tribulation. Since these verses were obviously written to believers before the tribulation period (which has not yet begun), in order to get to the events mentioned here these people would have had to go through seven years of the worst punishment that the world has ever seen. That doesn't sound very comforting to me.

Hope this helps.

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Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
Email: Ask the Pastor
Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209

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