C. A. Ford The author was born and raised in Utah. He left the Mormon Church to become a Christian in 1979. He has written and lectured on Mormonism, the Cults, and Comparative Religion. He has taught in Church Schools on these subjects also. He now lives in the San Diego area with his wife, 4 children, and eleven grandchildren.
Rapture or Resurrection
Which Should We Be Looking For?
by C. A. Ford
Rapture or Resurrection
Which Should We Be Looking For?
by C. A. Ford
Published Feb 20, 2012
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Theology / Ecclesiology
Is the Resurrection Related to the Rapture?
The resurrection of the righteous is also called in Scripture the resurrection of life, or the first resurrection. It is when the believer will receive their glorified body. How much do we know about it? • How is the resurrection connected to the rapture? • Will any saint miss the rapture? • Will we receive our resurrection body after we get to heaven? • Is the resurrection mysterious and invisible? • Does any part of the resurrection happen on Earth? • Is there any end-times significance to the resurrection? The Bible answers these questions for us and describes how the resurrection of the saints will play an important role in the end-times events.
The end of this current age will come with such cataclysmic events as have not occurred since the flood came and took away all the wicked in judgment. The event of the flood left only eight souls being delivered in righteousness. Many have speculated as to what will happen in the final years before the Lord returns in fiery judgment, and what current events will usher in the Millennial Age. This current age we are in will end in fiery judgment on the wicked, when the King of Kings comes in flaming fire. He puts an end to the rule of wickedness, and to the Serpent who attempts to establish forever his unrighteous rule over this world. The flood ended an age of history. The Bible tells us that some things were different in that age: men lived longer, they all spoke the same language, etc. The flood changed everything; it destroyed the old and started things new, as well as different. The Millennial Age will begin the earthly rule and reign of our Lord and King: Jesus Christ. The transition from this current age to the Millennium will also destroy the old and make things new and different. The post-flood age we now live in has lasted a long time, and has had many eternally significant events take place, such as the nation of Israel; Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection; and the establishment of the church, to name a few. This current age is coming to a close. The years leading up to the final conflict between the Lamb and the Beast will be some of the worst days of trouble mankind will ever have to face. Woe to those who must live through those days, for they will have to face either the persecution of the Antichrist and his false prophet, or submit to the rule of evil and endure the wrath of God. There will be no middle ground; there will be no place where men can find safety. It says in Isaiah, when the judgment of God is finished, a mortal man will be more rare than fine gold. (Isa. 13: 12) At some point in time this will all begin; those who are alive, and who have been appointed to live through this time, will be unwillingly thrown into this time of testing that will come upon the world. Many in the church believe they will be delivered before any of this trouble starts. If they are right, there is no need for them to worry. Those of the world who do not believe will not worry about it either. So who should worry? Just as the flood came and took away the wicked, so will the final judgment come on the unsuspecting of this age. None were prepared, except Noah and his family, who believed God's warning, and in obedience made preparation for that day. I believe the Bible teaches us there will be one catastrophic event that will be the turning point which will end this age; then God’s wrath and judgment will begin. I believe the Bible has much to say about this event, which is the resurrection of the saints. This book is not about speculation on current events to forecast the times; it is not about how to save food and build shelters, and it is not about how to determine the time of the rapture. It is about the importance and significance of the resurrection of the righteous in end-times events. There has been much written on the rapture and each position, whether pre-trib., mid-trib., pre-wrath, or post trib., has its supporters. Each position believes their view for good reasons, and each view has support from Scripture. The authors of these views have done an excellent job of teaching the reasons for their positions. I do not want to duplicate their work or convince you of any particular view. What I believe is that the rapture has received so much attention that the resurrection of the righteous has been relegated to a lesser position of importance. It is a classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. If you are focused on the bark of one particular tree, you may be aware of other trees behind it, but you cannot possibly see the entire forest beyond. I believe the rapture is the bark of the tree, and the resurrection of the righteous is the forest. I am not going to focus on or support any particular view of the rapture; rather, I want to focus on the big picture, which is what Scripture has to tell us about the resurrection of the righteous.Just as the flood ended one age and began another, I believe the resurrection of the saints will be the event that will end this age and usher in the Millennium. I believe when Jesus returns, He will descend from heaven bringing with him all His saints. He will set foot on the Mount of Olives, and the mount will split in two; setting off a chain reaction of earthquakes around the globe as all the saints who have been buried since Adam and Eve, will be physically resurrected from the earth and sea. It says in Revelation that every mountain and Island will be moved out of its place. These resurrected bodies will be instantly inhabited by all the saints of God who returned with Him. Those few saints who are alive and remain will be instantly changed into their resurrection bodies. Then all the saints of God will stand on the earth in their resurrected bodies, just as Jesus walked the earth after His resurrection, and before His ascension. All around the world the resurrected saints of God will stand as witnesses to God, and His righteousness, just before His judgment on all unrighteousness is released. This will be the last chance for anyone to call upon the Lord and be saved, transformed, and delivered; before the judgment is released on all the wicked left on earth. Then all the righteous saints in their resurrection bodies will be summoned and gathered from the four winds and will ascend to meet the Lord in the air. We will then ascend together with the Lord to the marriage supper of the Lamb, while His judgments are poured out on this wicked world. I believe in this order of events because of these five reasons. 1st: Because I believe in the literal interpretation of Scripture. Not a hyper-literal, but a plain language literal interpretation. 2nd: Because of the nature of salvation; that down through the ages God has sought to have a personal relationship with all His saints, in spite of our sin; from Adam until now. 3rd: Because of Christ’s atonement; while His atonement is individually applied, it is universally effective, and is effective from before the “foundation of the world”. (Rev. 13:8) 4th: Because of the example of Christ’s resurrection as physical; in that after His resurrection He walked on the earth for 40 days prior to His ascension; that our resurrection is to be just like Christ’s resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:20-23) 5th: Because there are signs given in Scripture that will happen just prior to the resurrection. We have been told to watch for these signs, and these signs are specific, unmistakable, and consequential.