The rapture, though not a word found in the Bible, is certainly an event eluded to in Scripture, and much anticipated by the believer. We longingly await the day when Christ will return to physically gather His elect and take them bodily to be with Him forevermore. I believe the Bible tells us this will happen on the last day.
1Co. 15:51-53 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
These verses teach us that not all will die before His Second Coming. Every believer will receive their immortal bodies, incorruptible. This occurs at the ‘last trump.’ When does this last trump occur?
Rev. 11:15-18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
This is an outline of events that follow the ‘last trump.’ The dead will be judged and the saints are rewarded. This is speaking of Judgment Day.
1 Th. 4:14-17 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The rapture, or being caught up together with Christ in the clouds, is of the body. Christ brings with Him all those saints who have already died, and are reigning with Him in spirit essence (2 Co. 5:8). The graves are opened and all the bodies are resurrected. When will these bodies be resurrected? John 6 tells us four times that the resurrection of believers occurs on the last day, Judgment Day.
John 6:39,40,44,54 – And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
The phrase ‘the last day’ is found eight times in the Bible. In John 11:24 it is used to show that Martha understands well what ‘the last day’ implies. In John 12:48 it is showing that Judgment Day is ‘the last day.’ Also in John 7:37 & Neh. 8:18 makes reference to the Feast of Tabernacles in ‘the last day.’
Rev. 20:13 – And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Both the saved and the unsaved are resurrected on the ‘last day.’ There is only one Judgment Day. The Bible does not point to a time beyond this final Judgment, where some will have another opportunity to come to Christ.
John 5:28,29 – Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Everyone will be resurrected at the same time, ‘the last day,’ Judgment Day. All hear His voice. Some have done good and some have done evil. Judgment Day and the rapture of believers occur on ‘the last day.’
In Luke 17:28-37 God tells us about the days of Lot. In vs. 34 God gives us a picture of one being saved, and the other being left for judgment. This example is pointing to the ‘last day’ when God will save His own, and at the same moment bring swift destruction on all unbelievers. Another example like this is found in Matthew 24:37-41. Noah and the judgment of the flood is also a picture pointing to the ‘last day.’ God saved Noah and his family on the Ark, and at the same moment He brought swift judgment against all the rest of mankind. In both of these examples life was going on as usual when swift, unexpected judgment came.
2 Pet. 3:3-7 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
So, too it shall be in the ‘last day.’ It will be life as usual when final, swift destruction and Judgment will come upon all unbelievers on ‘the last day.’
1 Th. 5:1-3 – But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
But for true believers we have God’s promise that this ‘last day’ will not overtake us unawares.
1 Th. 5:4,9 – But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Many teach that the Rapture of believers will occur prior to the Great Tribulation spoken of in Daniel, “Seventieth Week of Daniel.” But I believe that the overwhelming evidence in the Bible shows that the Rapture of believers will occur on the ‘last and final day,’ the Day of Judgment.