"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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess. 4:16-18)
The Latin word RAPTURE is the commonly used word referring to the biblical Greek word "ARPAGESOMETHA" meaning "we shall be snatched or caught up suddenly"!
With the many Bible references to the RAPTURE, one of the most OVERLOOKED, yet commonly read verses, is where Jesus said that his coming would be just "AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH AND LOT"!
So let's take a look at these verses!
Luke 17: 26-29 says; "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage; UNTIL THE DAY THAT NOAH ENTERED INTO THE ARK and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
LIKEWISE also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the SAME DAY THAT LOT WENT OUT OF SODOM it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all."
• NOTICE THAT THE DESTRUCTION DID NOT HAPPEN "UNTIL GOD TOOK HIS PEOPLE OUT"!
Furthermore, when the ANGEL told LOT that he was going to destroy the city of Sodom, the ANGEL said; "Haste thee, escape thither; for I CANNOT DO ANYTHING till thou be come thither..." (Genesis 19: 22-24).
So LIKEWISE...at the "GREAT TRIBULATION"... God will "take out" all of HIS PEOPLE who have accepted the salvation offered "freely" through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 15: 51-53 shows the IMMORTAL CHANGE that will happen INSTANTLY to God's people at the RAPTURE!
Romans 11:25 says that "blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." (This is because the Jews, for the most part, rejected Jesus at His 1st coming, and crucified Him.)
One of the MAIN reasons that some people are CONFUSED about the RAPTURE is because the book of Revelation says that "saints will be martyred in the Tribulation"! The saints that will be martyred in the Tribulation are Jews, whose eyes were spiritually blinded until the "FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES WOULD COME IN, AND BE TAKEN OUT"!
The Bible says that "the first would be last, and the last would be first"! Jesus was meaning that the Jews, who were called first, would come in last, and the Gentiles, who were called last, would come in first!
The TRIBULATION is called "the time of JACOB'S (Israel's) TROUBLE"! "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of JACOB'S TROUBLE; but he shall be saved out of it."! (Jer. 30:7)
God will open the eyes of the Jews when He sends His 2 Jewish witnesses to preach to them in the Tribulation! (Rev. 11: 3-11) And all Jews who believe will be saved, even if they have to die for their faith in Jesus! But this is the MAIN area of confusion to some people concerning the RAPTURE! It is not that most don't see the clear teachings of the RAPTURE, but some have gotten confused seeing that "saints will be martyred in the Tribulation", and they have not properly understood the clear PROPHECIES ABOUT ISRAEL!
So be assured! Jesus WILL snatch up "His Bride" BEFORE the Great Tribulation, which shall come upon all the world---just as God took out Noah and Lot from the "destruction"! IT'S A PROMISE!
Revelation 3:10 says; "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will KEEP THEE FROM the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (The word "hour" is mentioned in the book of Revelation as meaning the "Tribulation"! See Rev. 3:10, 14:7, 17:12)
So, "Lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh"!
Original article: WebTV.net