“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“
shall be caught up
The words “caught up” mean to seize, snatch away, carry off by force. This is the idea of rapture. We get the English word “rapture” from the Latin rapturo — to catch up.
Jesus will take the church away from earth suddenly and by force in the Rapture. This is a signless and timeless event. Note the use of the Greek word for “caught up” in the following verses: Matthew 11:12; 12:29; 13:19; John 6:15; 10:12, 28,29; Acts 8:39-40,40; 23:10; 2 Corinthians 12:2,4; Jude 23; Revelation 12:5.
The word “together” marks a link in place and time. Living Christians associate with the resurrected bodies of past saints in the Rapture. The Rapture of the church into Heaven is the next event on God’s prophetic timetable.
Christians will accompany Christ back to Heaven. He will take us by force. He will suddenly seize us and carry us off in order to claim us for Himself.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also’” (John 14:1-3).
The Rapture is a signless, timeless event whereby we will accompany Christ to heaven, body and soul.
No prophetic event needs to occur before the Rapture. The church does not need to enter the final apostasy. Israel does not have to possess fully the land of Palestine from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt. The church does not have to evangelize the world before the Lord comes for her. None of these things need happen before the Rapture. However, all these things must occur before the Second Coming. It is crucial to distinguish between the Rapture and the Second Coming to keep a proper prophetic perspective.
The Rapture is a signless, timeless event. No one knows the time. Therefore, we must live in the light of His unannounced coming.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).