1 Thessalonians 4
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.
The second coming of the Lord, which is theologically known as the second advent, will take place in two stages.
In this chapter, Paul is talking about the first stage. In this first stage, our Blessed Lord does not come all the way to the earth, but rather is suspended in the heavens. And there He stands in the heavens. We are not sure if He will be visible to all at this time. But surely, He will be visible to all Believers.
This first stage is popularly called the rapture. The word “rapture” entered the church vocabulary through Saint Jerome’s Latin Vulgate translation of the bible. Jerome translated the Greek Word “Harpazo” as “rapere ”, meaning rapture. The king James bible translated it as “caught up.”
Before our Blessed Lord, ascended into heaven, He promised to come back and take us to be with Him. That promise will be fulfilled on the day of rapture.
Paul says on that day, “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:”
Notice there will be three things on that day: the shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.
Many have wondered if these three “sounds” will be audible to all of humanity.
We can only speculate here!
Some have speculated they will be audible only to the Believers in Christ since it is their summons.
This Writer thinks the “sounds” will be audible to all, just like in the book of John when the Father spoke out of heaven when some Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Every one heard the sound but only Jesus understood it. John 12:29 “The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
This Writer speculates that all of humanity will hear these “sounds” but only Believers will understand them as their summons to be with their Lord forever.
Notice also the order of the rapture or the sequence of our catching away. When these “sounds” are heard, first, the dead in Christ shall rise. That means the saints that have gone on and slept in the Lord will rise from the dead, wearing their promised NEW BODIES, just like our Blessed Lord Jesus has. Their bodies will be exactly the type our Blessed Lord received when He rose from the dead. When these “sounds” come the saints will rise from the dead, wearing their new bodies.
The second thing that will happen is that after the resurrection of the saints, then those of us that are alive and remain shall be changed physically and then caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Those that will be alive then shall be changed physically first and be given brand new bodies just as the Lord has. This is why John said, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him. He was talking about being like Him Physically. 1John_3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
This is the blessed hope of the Believer.
Jesus is coming back for us. We must always lookout for Him.
His coming is closer than we think.
Notice that Paul says to comfort one another with this. He didn’t say to scare one another with it.
If you are reading this, and you have not received Jesus into your heart, now is the time to welcome Him into your life.
For after this rapture, the Son of perdition, the AntiChrist will be revealed and he will do great wickedness in the lives of most that are left behind.
Now is the time!
If you already know the Master, preach Him to others.
We have little time left.
Maranatha! Come Blessed Lord Jesus!
To the ends of the earth!
God bless you richly with great grace and many blessings!