Religion column by Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey: Will you be leaving with the believing?

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey
Posted 6/12/24

Will you be left behind or will you be leaving with the believing? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is the classic passage on the Rapture of the church. The term translated rapture comes from the Greek word …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get the gift of local news. All subscriptions 50% off for a limited time!

You can cancel anytime.
 

Please log in to continue

Log in

Religion column by Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey: Will you be leaving with the believing?

Posted

Will you be left behind or will you be leaving with the believing? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is the classic passage on the Rapture of the church. The term translated rapture comes from the Greek word harpazo which means "caught up." Adrian Rogers explains, "If you have the same nature as Jesus Christ when He comes again, you're the one going up, whether you're beneath the ground or on top of the ground. If you've been Heaven-born, you will be Heaven-bound." Paul begins this passage as follows: "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Apparently, the Thessalonian believers were troubled about what will happen to those who had already died before the Lord's promised return. Notice three important points in Paul's response.

First, there is the preparation for the Rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 reads, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus." Paul also writes in 2 Timothy 1:12b, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." Have you genuinely believed on the Lord Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins and for eternal life?

Second, there is the participation in the Rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 reads, "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." Paul also writes in 1 Corinthians 15:23, "But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming."

Third, there is the proclamation of the Rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 reads, "Therefore comfort one another with these words." Paul also writes in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." As Jesus ascended into heaven two angels said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).

Will you be left behind or will you be leaving with the believing?

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, of Robertsdale, is the author of "Don't Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah.