The Jewish feast called The Feast of Trumpets foreshadows the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture is an event revealed by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18. It is called The Rapture because the word the apostle used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ("...we...shall be caught up together with them...") for caught up was translated in the Latin Vulgate by a variation of the word rapturo (Latin for catch up). The word Rapture is just a transliteration of that word, coined to indicate the teaching of the apostle.
Our intent in this series of articles is to explain what the apostle taught. We shall begin with 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. In that text the apostle is dealing with the question of how resurrection will impact the generations alive at the time when God decides to bring the present earth-age to an end. This means that we have to have some grasp of what the Bible says about resurrection.
So, let's begin there. The Bible emphatically declares that once we begin to exist as a person, we never cease to exist with at least some of the capabilities of a person. This is an awesome thought, and one not well considered by most of us. It means that we are destined to exist forever.
God created us, so we have a beginning. But He has said that we shall never cease to be, so we will have no end. This is a mind boggling thing. If true, it means that we cannot get out of our existence. Suicide will not stop our experience. Death of any kind will not kill our ability to continue to experience.
This has always been the teaching of those who use the Bible as the Source Book for Truth. Roman Catholicism teaches this by way of a teaching that they freely admit is not taught in the Bible: Purgatory. Protestants insist that the Bible says "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8)--thus, no purgatory. My point is, however, that both strains of modern American Christianity insist that there is no end for man. Think about that the next time you want to kill yourself in order to escape some unpleasant thing in this world. Or the next time you hear that someone has done such a thing. God has made us so that we cannot stop being. We can make our next stop Hell, but we cannot stop experiencing whatever it is that we face. A happier thought is that we can also make our next stop Heaven--if we are willing to trust in Jesus Christ.
This teaching that we have no ability to stop existing is the root of the Bible's teaching about resurrection. When our bodies die, we are reduced as human beings to some degree, but it is not a total reduction and it is no end at all to our experience of reality (Heaven, Hell, God, and the devil). But the resurrection brings our bodies back to life and we are once again made complete (body, soul, and spirit).
The Rapture is one aspect of the general concept of our unending existence. It is a concept that addresses what happens to living believers when the resurrection of dead believers occurs. Are you ready for it?