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PAUL: THE RAPTURE AND THE RESURRECTION



The Greeks didn’t believe in the resurrection. They believed that dead was dead and gone. The end. Nothing more.


Jesus believed in life beyond the grave. “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2–3).


Paul also believed and passionately preached the resurrection! “For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me” (1 Corinthians 15:3–8).


Jesus proved that there is life after life and that all doesn’t end in the graveyard. Jesus was raised from the grave, revealed Himself to many, and demonstrated that we too will experience the resurrection.


“But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come?’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:35). To answer his critics, Paul used the example of a seed, like a grain of wheat. The seed is planted in the ground, and when in germinates it becomes a new living thing. “So it is with the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42–44).


John wrote, “Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). At the resurrection, we’ll be like Jesus. We’ll have a new body, and we’ll live together in perfect harmony.


Paul also preached the imminent return of Christ to rapture His beloved bride, the church. “We will not all fall asleep, but we will 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 will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52).


“We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17).


“Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).