The Exit: Leaving this World

Note:Will there be a rapture of the church prior to a time of great distress? The Second Coming of Christ, the end times and the view of a "rapture" are controversial. Faithful, dedicated believers can be found on both sides of the question--many believe there will be an "escape"; many others believe not. This author believes there will be a rapture.

In the interest of balance, we also include a link to an article on the opposite view; please read Bible Information Online's page regarding the non-rapture and Second Coming of Christ.

The Rapture is a promise of hope and comfort to the Church, that someday very soon, at the blowing of a trumpet and the shout of an archangel, Jesus will appear in the sky and take His Church, both living and dead, to Heaven. It was an event the first century Christians were looking for; some had thought they had missed what Paul calls the day of Christ (2 Thess. 2:3). This event then, was and is, imminent, and without preceding signs, particularly the signs Jesus said would precede His second coming (Matt. 24:40-44). The second coming is when He returns with His saints, who are already in heaven, to stand on Mt. Olives, to do battle and to pass judgement (Zech. 14, Joel 3:12-16, Rev 19:11-21, Mal 4:5).

The term, Rapture, comes from a Latin word that means to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out. It is a Biblical word that comes right out of the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. The word is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. In the New American Standard Version, the English phrase, "caught up," is used. The same phrase is used in the King James and New International Versions.

The most detailed revelation of the actual events related to the Rapture is given by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. He says that when Jesus appears, the dead in Christ (Church age saints) will be resurrected and caught up first. Then, those of us who are alive in Christ will be translated "to meet the Lord in the air." Paul then exhorts us to "comfort one another with these words."

There are several views concerning the rapture, or catching up, of the church as the Bride of Christ. All proponents of the various viewpoints are in agreement concerning one point: whether pre-, mid- or post-tribulation rapture, the rapture of the church is imminent!

Scriptures which specifically address the rapture of the church are presented here. You strongly are urged to review these references yourself within the context of each scriptural presentation so that you may have a basis for examining the respective viewpoints. The Bible cautions us to "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.",

The Rapture and End Times on the Web

Following is a list of Web sites that we have visited and find interesting. We do not endorse one proponent over another, but list them here as worth your time to investigate.


    Remember that our conviction in reference to the Rapture does not determine the status of our salvation and forgiveness of our sins. We are saved ALONE through our belief in the substitutional death of Jesus Christ on the cross who died for our sins as we accept this sacrifice in faith, believing that His shed blood covers all of our personal sins.


    Receive great comfort in this belief, knowing that since our sins have been forgiven we are brought back into the family of God as beloved children. God is our FATHER. God is LOVE. God will provide for us and ultimately bring us to Himself as His beloved children. Jesus promised us that He has sent the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us at all times and that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

    Until our catching away to Himself we are in the world which currently is swayed by Satan as he attempts to wrench souls into his grasp. Our human propensity to sin brings us all under his control until we make it into the family of God through forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ as we believe in Him. Remember that those Christians who currently giving their lives for their testimony in the Sudan, in China and other regions of the world are going through their own private "tribulation" which is no worse for them than the coming great tribulation which will come upon the whole world in the Antichrist's reign of terror, shortly to be unveiled.

    Irrespective of the true rapture date(s) it is important that as Christians awaiting the rapture we keep our robes spotless, uncontaminated by the cares and temptations of this world, washed white in the blood of the lamb through confession of sins as they are committed. We should remember I John 1:6-10, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrightousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."

    We need to believe God to make us strong in the face of temptation so that we do not succumb to the urge to do, speak or neglect to perform according to His perfect will. The rapture will occur on our way to the marriage of the Lamb of God (Jesus) with His bride (the church or body of Christ). It is to be expected that the bride will present herself in purity of thought, word and deed. This can only happen as we present our failings in confession to God the Father through the blood of Jesus. God is just waiting for us to confess our sins in repentence before Him.

    Remember that He will not be surprised to learn of our sins as we confess them. He knows all about them all along. The decision to confess and repent, however, rests with us as free-will agents. As a just God, He ALWAYS will forgive at our request, according to His promise. However, as a just God, our refusal to acknowledge our failings, as rebellious children, will result in diminishment of rewards in Heaven, even though we maintain our basic salvation from eternal banishment from His presence (Hell).

    If some of the rapture theorists are correct, this willingness to walk closely with the Lord according to His expressed will in the Bible will impact upon our selection as to which rapture we access - if there is, in fact, more than one rapture. No one can deny, on the other hand, that a close spiritual walk with God is greatly to be desired.

    Finally, despite all of the "sturm und drang" re the rapture, it WILL occur on the date that our Father God already has determined.

    God be with you; the Holy Spirit guide you, in your review. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20.


    Jean Kincaid