Derek Prince - What Will Happen When The Rapture Comes?
Now, let’s go on to the events that are associated with the return of Jesus. I’ll give you a little list of events, not necessarily in the correct order. Do you know why? Because I don’t really know what the correct order is. I’ve met some Bible scholars that believe that they did know the correct order. The trouble is they didn’t agree with one another so they couldn’t both be right. I’m prepared to leave it with the Lord. See? I’m not a busybody; I don’t badger God for answers. David said at one point, My soul is like a weaned child within me. Let Israel hope in the Lord. He said other things I can’t solve. This is so vivid to me; I hope you won’t think I’m vulgar. But years ago I used to preach regularly to large audiences of Africans. The front two rows would be occupied by nursing mothers and whenever the baby started to squawk the mother would begin to nurse it right there in front of me.
So, I learned to look over the first two rows. But you know what I noticed? An unweaned child just makes a fuss when it wants food, but a weaned child waits for the mother to prepare it. David said, My soul is like a weaned child. I don’t badger God with my problems. I just let Him show me the things He wants to show me. The key to understanding biblical prophecy is to let the Holy Spirit focus your attention on the things He wants to show you at any given time. Don’t be an unweaned child.
All right. Now here are some of the events. The resurrection and judgment of true Christians. First of all, the rapture. How do you feel about the rapture? 1 Thessalonians 4. Some Christian scholars will tell you the word rapture isn't found in the New Testament. That’s rather a naive statement because it depends on what translation you use. I could use a translation that contains the word rapture; it would be a perfectly accurate translation. This is what the Lord says through the apostle Paul.
1 Thessalonians 4:15: For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep, those who have died. In other words, the fact that we're alive when the Lord comes will not mean that we get there sooner than the ones who’ve died. On the contrary, Paul says: For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. I don’t know how people believe in a secret rapture. To me it is nothing is more public than something that’s announced from heaven with a shout, the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. I mean, what secrecy is left at the end of that? And the dead in Christ will rise first. Before we who are alive are changed. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them.
Now ‘caught up’ could perfectly well be translated ‘raptured.’ The word rapture comes from a Latin word which means ‘to seize something forcibly.’ And in the Greek it’s used of a thief entering a house and stealing something. It’s used of a wolf coming amongst sheep and taking a sheep from the flock. It basically indicates a sudden, forceful grab. That’s what the rapture will be like. Jesus will grab us. He’ll reach down and take us suddenly, forcefully. There’s just one difference between Jesus and the thief. Do you know what that is? The thief takes what doesn’t belong to him. Jesus will only take those who belong to Him, those who are His at His coming. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up. And Paul says elsewhere we’ll be changed in a moment, in the blink of an eye.
This is very exciting to me. If you don’t get excited, that’s your problem. Here we are, we’re sitting in this meeting, looking at one another. Warren is looking at my wife and he blinks. Suddenly she’s totally changed. She’s a glorious, gorgeous, shining creature. He’s changed, too. She looks at him in amazement. It doesn’t take a long time. In a moment, the twinkling of an eye, we shall be totally transformed. Do you believe God can do that? I do. I think it’s exciting. If you don’t get excited I don’t really know what’s wrong with you.