Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
There's a Change Coming
“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, 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 imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). A friend of mine mused recently, “There’s a change coming.” I could not agree more. However, I suspect the change he has in mind and the change I have in mind are not one and the same. As I study the Bible and Bible prophecy, I am amazed at just how relevant and true the Bible really is. I wonder just how in the world anyone of any intelligence could fail to put two and two together and see that the Bible really is true and its prophecies are rapidly staging for final fulfillment. Sadly, many continue their mockery of Scripture—they are content to embrace the passing pleasures of sin and the promise of eternal separation from God. But despite the mockery, the Bible is clear—we are in fact living in the last days of world history—there’s a change coming! It is a change that will affect both believers and unbelievers. This change, known as the Rapture of the Church, will occur at any moment. It will involve the snatching away from this world all true believers in Christ while leaving unbelievers behind for the cataclysmic judgments of God’s wrath.
In his first letter to the Corinthian believers, Paul describes the Rapture of the Church as a mystery. In Scripture, this term always refers to truth hidden in the past but now revealed in the New Testament. In other words, a mystery in the Bible is not some Hardy Boys style story where we are trying to uncover some mystery. It means truth that is hidden until God chooses to reveal it. Such is the case with the Rapture of the Church. You will not find any mention of the Rapture in the Old Testament. Perhaps this is because the Old Testament prophecies primarily deal with God’s plan for Israel. Its first mention is in John 14:1-3, where Jesus promises to return for His Church after an undetermined period of time. The event itself is specifically explained and detailed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. In 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Paul focuses in on the mystery of the resurrection—“we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.” This change will happen “in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” Many confuse this trumpet as the last of the seven trumpet judgments of Revelation 11:15. However, unlike the Revelation trumpets, this is not a trumpet judgment. This is the last trumpet of the church-age, when all true Christians will be removed from the earth. It will happen quickly—“in the twinkling of an eye”—a phrase Paul uses to capture just how rapidly this event will take place. It is the time it takes for light to travel through the front of the eye, be reflected off the retina, and then exit the eye. This equates to an infinitesimally small fraction of a second—10 to the negative 43 to be exact—as far as the division of time can be measured. So, this change that is coming will happen very quickly. In less than the time it takes to blink, all true believers will be taken off this earth to heaven—changed from mortal to immortal, “For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:53). I don’t know about you, but I am praying for and looking forward to this change with great anticipation! I believe it will happen very soon.
But what about the rest of the world—those who are left behind? There’s a change coming for them too, as the Rapture changes everything for the unbeliever as well. “Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe the lie, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:8-12). With Christians out of the way, Satan will be able to move in with his program of complete deception. And for those who rejected the truth, judgment will follow. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can escape all these things by simply forsaking your sin and embracing the free gift of eternal life Christ offers. “It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:14).
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