by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
The Jewish feast called The Feast of Trumpets foreshadows several future events, not the least of which is the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture is distinctly Church material, while many of the other issues are directly related to national Israel.
I find it extraordinary that there are a host of people who consider themselves churched who have no idea at all what the concept of the Rapture is. Personally, I would have a hard time even considering a religious organization a church if it didn't teach its people about their part in the coming of Jesus for them at the Rapture. My reasons for this are these:
the Rapture is what the Scriptures teach as the premiere hope of Christians (thus, I would think that churches would be teaching its content to their people);
Jesus said that we are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (thus, since the Rapture is taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51 - 52 -- "we shall not all die, but we all shall be instantaneously changed...", I would think the churches would be teaching their people these words of God); and
no church is a part of Jesus' Church just because it claims to be (the Church is a hidden invisible reality within the visible religious scene, so the only way to tell if a particular church is part of His Church is by the teaching, or lack of it, that goes on at the visible level).
So, what are the characteristics of the Rapture as taught in the Word of God? They are several, among which are these:
a resurrection of the bodies of dead believers in Christ at the blowing of God's Trumpet (a real event prophesied to happen in space/time history);
an instantaneous alteration of the bodies of living believers so that the mortal body is made immortal (an alteration that enables them to escape death altogether);
a catching up (this is what the word Rapture means) of the resurrected bodies of the dead believers to meet the soul-spirit person who has been with Jesus since the day of physical death;
a catching up of the transformed, immortal believers who are in the generation of the living in the day that this prophecy becomes history so that they may be with the resurrected dead and their Lord forever more; and
several other events that include the descent of Jesus from heaven, the heavenly shout that raises both the dead and the living, the utterance of the Archangel Michael, the sounding of the Trumpet of God, the instantaneous disappearance of all believers from the visible earth scene, etc.
We will look into these issues in future articles. The issue at stake today, however, is: are you prepared? Do you attend a church where these issues have been made clear through its teaching ministry? If not, you are simply being misled by religion and are being kept from the greatest emotional boost known to Christians anywhere. Do you know how you can be ready if Jesus is suddenly, today, sent by the Father into our atmospheric heavens in order to catch us up to our eternal inheritance? Do you know that most churched people think that heaven is a reward for faithfulness in this world, and it is not? Jesus is going to come again. You will either benefit from His coming, or you will be plunged into disaster and judgment. Which will it be?