25th March, 2019
IPR DAILY DEVOTION
Topic: THE RAPTURE
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NKJV)
 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Although the word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible, it is popularly used in Christendom to describe how believers in Christ will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The coming of the Lord in the air is different from His coming to reign on earth for one thousand years. We will discuss the coming of the Lord to the earth in subsequent devotions.
The verse 15 of our theme Scripture reveals that believers who are alive and remain in Christ, will by no means be caught up, ahead of those who are dead in Christ, to meet the Lord in the air. Rather, the verse 16 says, the Lord shall descend from heaven, not to the earth, but in the air, with the commanding shout of an archangel, accompanied with the sound of a trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, at the first trumpet sound. According to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, believers who are alive and remain in Christ will be changed, within a twinkling of an eye, from mortality to immortality, at the last trumpet sound. After this change has occurred, the verse 17 of our theme Scripture further reveals that, together with those who will rise from the dead, we shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, hallelujah!
The phrase “caught up” is from the Greek word, “harpazo” which means, “To carry off by force” or “To snatch away.” This is what has been popular termed, “The rapture.” Meeting the Lord in the air will not require any effort from those who will be caught up; believers, both dead and alive, will be caught up by a force greater than the force of gravity. There’s no force in the universe that can resist or prevent this event from taking place. That day is fast approaching, and believers all over the world are to be hopeful of that great day. It’s a day when death shall be swallowed up in victory. It’s a day of victory over death! It’s a day when the family of God in heaven and on earth shall be united again.
The last line of the verse 17 says, “And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” In other words, wherever the Lord will go, we shall go with Him. When He comes to the earth to reign for a thousand years, we shall come and reign with Him. When the Tabernacle of God shall be with men in the world to come, we shall be with Christ in that Tabernacle forever and ever! Glory be to God.