For 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: Then 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Hebrews 9:28 says “Christ will appear a second time”, when we were talking about the return of Jesus Christ, we were not talking about multiple returns. When Jesus returns, it will be his second and final time. With that said, the Rapture and the Return of Christ are essentially the same event. When Jesus Christ returns , raises the dead and raptures the Church, this is the beginning of judgment on the world. Many people try to treat the Rapture and the Return of Christ as separate events, this does not coincide with scripture
Now for those who say “The Rapture” doctrine is man-made, the word Rapture is derived from the Latin word Rapturo, which simply means “caught up”. The Rapture is Biblical and not a man- made doctrine, this is what Paul was teaching here to the Church of Thessalonica, what is man-made are the additions that people add on to the teaching, such as the timing of the Rapture and when Christ will return
Paul lays this out very simply, The Lord (Jesus) himself shall descend from heaven. This is simply the return of Christ. The dead will rise first, all the Born Again Christians who died before the return of Christ will be resurrected at this moment. Those Born Again Christians who are still alive will be Raptured with Christ in the air. So at this moment the Church, past and present, are now with Jesus Christ. There is nothing complicated about this doctrine, it’s only humans who try to greatly confuse this teaching
Then Paul says “So shall we be forever with The Lord” (v17) Once we are Raptured we are with Christ for all eternity. The Apostle Paul tells us “We will reign with Christ” (2 Timothy 2:12) Many false teachers try to complicate the Rapture and Seconding coming of Christ teachings to sell books , but it’s not complicated, read your Bible, not false teachers
While many Christians argue and fight over the timing of the Rapture and the return of Christ, this was actually the opposite reason Paul taught us this doctrine. Paul says “Encourage one another with these words” (v18) how many people are we encouraging with the promise of the Rapture? Mostly Christians argue with each other over the rapture, some I see even disown one another as brothers and sisters. This is not conduct being led by the Holy Spirit, this is fleshly , ego driven carnal attitudes, it’s not from God
Encourage one another with the good news, Christ is coming back for his Church, when the trumpet sounds we will all be raised immortal and reign with our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen!