7 Raptures in the Bible - Part B
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
Yesterday, you discovered the first three. Today we will look at the last four raptures recorded in the Bible.
- In Acts 1:8-11, Jesus has been with disciples for a period of forty days, teaching and preaching authenticating his deity and physical resurrection. And in a climactic moment Jesus ascends to heaven, simply is raptured right in front of their eyes. He leaves earth and flys up into heaven and disappears into the clouds. The disciples are stunned and shocked but finally get it, and move forward to start planting churches and preach the gospel!
- A first-century evangelist, who loved to share with people about Jesus. In Acts 8:39–40, we see he’s raptured. Instantly carried away by the spirit after a baptism of an African politician in a puddle of water! What’s unique about this rapture is that he is not transported from earth to heaven but from point a to b on earth. He is not mentioned again in scripture for some 20 years, when he’s seen in Caesarea (Acts 21:8) when Paul and his ministry partners are on their way to Jerusalem, and then he disappears from the pages of history. He again is one who cheated death. Lived on this earth and then was taken into God’s presence.
- The Apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 12:1-4, Paul describes and being caught up (raptured) to a third haven and receives visions from God. Its description looks much like Isiah’s experience. (Isaiah 6:1-13) In this event, Paul receives a word from God and a calling to do something with it. He’s to give special instruction to the church. (Ephesians 3:5). Ice notes… Apparently, Paul’s heavenly visit was such a heady experience, the Lord gave him “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me—to keep me from exalting myself! (2 Corinthians 12:7).
- The church. It’s clear within the pages of scriptures that there is a rapture to preserve the church from the coming judgment. It’s a rescue operation from the trials and tribulations that are to come. As Paul said to the church in Thessalonica
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:8–11).
The Apostle Paul would not have offered so much hope and reassurance if the rapture wasn’t a real offer for these believers. This rapture promise still stands. God’s promise is to rescue us from the coming wrath. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul first said in his introduction to his first letter to the church.
Wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
God gives us prophecy to prepare us, not to scare us. How does this knowledge about God’s word about past and future events change your outlook?
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