The Rapture Comes Next
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing
of the great God and our Savior,
Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
If you are a believer today and are trusting Christ, you are next
on the program of God - as far as prophecy is concerned. I believe
it is tissue-thin between where we stand today and the Rapture of
the church. There are no signs, no Tribulation, no anything to be
fulfilled before Jesus takes the church out of the world. This does
not mean we know when He is coming, because that is something
that the Scriptures absolutely do not reveal. We cannot know the
day, the hour, the minute, or the "twinkling of an eye" when this
event will take place (1 Corinthians 15:52). But our attitude should
be that of "looking for that blessed hope" (Titus 2:13). The phrase
"looking for" is from a Greek word meaning "entertaining." It is
a glorious and delightful future prospect to which one would
What do I mean by Rapture? To define the word very briefly,
the Rapture is the moment when Christ takes believers, which I
shall call "the church," out of the world. And that fits into a time
program that God has put down, because He moves in a very orderly
manner. I believe that next on the program of God comes the
Rapture when He will take the church out of the world. Then after
that I believe there will be a time of Great Tribulation, which is
concluded with the return of Christ to the earth to set up His kingdom.
This has been labeled "the Revelation" - and I feel accurately
so, because the Book of Revelation deals with the Great Tribulation
and the coming of Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation to
establish His kingdom. You can see that this is a very orderly program
that God is following.
There are those today who deny the Rapture because they say it
is a term that is not used in the Bible. Their argument is that the
Bible, therefore, does not teach the Rapture. Well, I must categorically
deny that, because in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Paul says:
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Now let's make a comparison. At Christmastime we celebrate
the birth of Christ. At Easter we commemorate the death and
resurrection of Christ. At the incarnation the emphasis is put
upon a baby. The Israelites hadn't been looking for Him to come
that way. As George MacDonald put it, "They were looking for
a king to lift them high./He came a little baby thing that made a
woman cry." Christ came into the world as a baby. After Jesus'
birth, Scripture is silent. Except for one isolated reference that
Dr. Luke gives us, we have no other report until about thirty years
later. That period of thirty years we call the silent years in the life
of Christ. That is a very important period, yet we are told almost
nothing about it. Then Jesus steps out into public view. For thirty
years He had lived a life of obscurity in that little town of Nazareth.
Now He moves out and teaches publicly f ...
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