For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18 (New American Standard Bible)
If there is anything I’ve discovered about life on planet earth, it is that it is difficult and, at times, discouraging. I’ve often felt like I’m on some kind of endless treadmill, like trying to find a square corner in a round room. Life can be tedious and mind-numbing. There is little comfort from the words of the world.
Hal Lindsey, the noted author of “The Late Great Planet Earth,” wrote that after he became a Christian he was made aware of the concept of the “Rapture” or the catching away of the body of Christian believers by Christ, both those who had died and those who were still alive at the moment. He said it was one of the most exciting discoveries of his entire life. The thing that excited him was the hope of this coming event. The words “caught up” are from the Greek word “Harpazo” which means to seize with great force or to be snatched up. Every person who was a believer at their death and those still alive will be forcefully and dramatically translated into new bodies by the power and authority of Jesus Christ into His literal presence.
For me, this is one of the greatest blessings and events I will ever experience. Whether I live to see it, or die trying, I will be part of it either way. I believe there is more to my life than a 6 foot hole at the end. The excitement for me is that I serve a Righteous and Almighty Redeemer who will transport me into His presence, whenever that will be. I don’t have to know the day or the time only that through His revelation He will be faithful to do it. There is no greater glory or greater hope for myself or you as a Christian believer. It is indeed something with which I encourage and comfort you. The Harpazo of the Body of Christ is something I anticipate with great joy. It is a blessed hope with respect to the dead in Christ as well as the living. Let us comfort one another with these words. Glorious.