Q. What do we mean by the Rapture of the Church?
A. By the Rapture of the Church we mean that event in which the Church will be caught up to meet Christ in the air when He comes for His saints. Concerning this, the Scripture says, 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 (I Thess. 4:16-18).
We can therefore promise that there is a generation of Christians that will not die. Rather, they will be caught up in their living bodies to be with Christ. The Scripture says, Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In 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 (I Cor. 15:51,52).
Here the Apostle Paul draws a distinction between the saints who have died and those who are still alive. The first shall be raised and the second shall be changed.
Q. When will the Rapture take place?
A. The Rapture will take place at the end of this Church Age, this day of grace. Christ will come for His Church and then later, at the end of the Tribulation, He will come with all His saints (I Thess. 3:13). Christ will come before the beginning of a period of time called the day of the Lord. In I Thess. 2:2, the evidence that the day of the Lord had not yet come is that the Rapture had not yet taken place. The Rapture will complete the Body of Christ, after which the program of God will turn once again to the cleansing and regeneration of Israel.
Q. Will there be a world government?
A. Yes, there will. Speaking of the Antichrist, the Scripture says, The dragon (the Devil) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority (Rev. 13:2). The world government will be set up in connection with a humanistic and cruel religion that will require all the people of the world to worship the Antichrist. The penalty for non-worship is death (Rev. 13:15). It is good to remember that we learn from the Word that international political systems are not the will of God. Large political systems inevitably turn against God and become a law unto themselves.
Q. What is the Tribulation?
A. The Tribulation will be a time of the special dealing of God with the nation of Israel and with a rebellious world. Describing this time, our Lord Jesus said, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened (Matt. 24:21,22). At the beginning of the Tribulation, Israel will make a covenant with the Antichrist which he will break in the midst of that seven year period (Dan. 9:27). This will bring to pass that special time of trouble called the Great Tribulation.
Q. Can people be saved during the Tribulation?
A. Yes. Great numbers will be saved, including more than 144,000 of the nation of Israel (Rev. 7:4). Those converted will also include a great multitude of Gentiles which no man can number (Rev. 7:9). Remember, however, that people are saved in the Tribulation by believing the gospel of the kingdom which announces that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Those who believe will be saved unto participation on earth in the eternal Davidic Kingdom. The Church, saved by Grace during this period of time, inherits the universe (I Cor. 3:21-23).
Q. What is the Millennium?
A. The Scripture says concerning believers, And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (Rev. 20:4). Concerning the Devil, the Scripture says that a mighty angel laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years (Rev. 20:2). The Millennium is therefore a time in which Christ will set up His kingdom in this world for a thousand years during which time the Devil will be kept in chains. Concerning that totally wonderful era, the Scripture says, And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one (Zech. 14:8,9).
Q. Will we remember earth?
A. Yes. How could it be otherwise?