Every Bible student is thrilled to be able to read about events that are still in the future. Only in the Bible is the future revealed. Let’s consider some of these events in the order in which they will happen.
The next event to occur on God’s calendar is the coming of Christ to take His people home to heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. 17 Then we who are still alive 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
This is known as the “Rapture” of the Church. Christ will descend from heaven, the trumpet will sound and the bodies of believers who have died will be raised. Then, living believers will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. It will happen in the “twinkling” of an eye.” Th1s passage of Scripture is the play-by-play account of this event. Read it slowly and carefully, because it is about you if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior today.
1 Corinthians 15:51-58
51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery:
We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed,
52 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.
53 Because this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility,
and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.
54 Now when this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility,
and this mortal is clothed with immortality,
then the saying that is written will take place:
Death has been swallowed up in victory.
55 O Death, where is your victory?
O Death, where is your sting?
56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!
58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Note the following facts about the coming of Christ.
A. It may happen at any moment. Revelation 22:7
B. Only those who are truly saved will participate. 1 Corinthians 15:23
C. Not all believers will die but all will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51
D. They shall be like Christ. 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:16-25
16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to futility —not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it —in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. 23 And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits —we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.