Continuing our look into Rapture Passages, which are claimed to be in support of the pre-Trib Rapture.
Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven–and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself. (NET)
The conclusion reached based upon this passage and other verses is that ours is a heavenly home for all of eternity; and that is true. This coupled with the fact that ours as the church is
“Just” a heavenly home because Jesus has promised to create for us a place (which was discussed in part 1 of this ongoing series), is not True. Their thinking is that the Jews of Israel (the nation) have or has earthly promises and we have only heavenly ones. This is far from the truths which are taught in scripture. Remember that David, who is to play a significant role in the Earthly millennium, stated in Psalm 23, that he shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. His eternity also is in heaven as is ours. But the beginning of our eternity and Israel’s is with Jesus on this earth as rulers with Him; and David is also present with us, and his part is also one of ruling. Again a pre-trib argument falls apart in light of scriptures truth.
Philippians 4:5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! (NET)
Although this could imply near as coming, the real emphasis is on our actions on this earth in this life, because God is always with us and watching those actions. This verse is one that according to dispensational scholars implies the imminence of Messiahs return. But this verse has been with the body throughout the ages and thus reason from scripture would imply that this is not its meaning. Any implication that Jesus coming always has been imminent is wrong. For Jesus attached signs to His coming in Matt.24 and elsewhere; and Paul told us in 1 Thess. 5 that we are to know the times and seasons of His Day of the Lord. Jesus even told us that the Father knows the exact day and hour. His physical nearness therefore is not imminent until the signs are all present.
Colossians 3:4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. (NET)
Obviously we in our new glorified bodies will appear with Him when He appears. But why is an appearance different than A Coming, and it is His Coming for which the signs are given. It is in Him that this resurrection to new glorified bodies is made possible. And all who are dead in Him are raised before any who are alive and remain are changed and caught up to be with Him in the Rapture. No one can die in Him after the resurrection, because Paul says that all who are in Him are resurrected prior to Rapture. I am skipping the first two 1Thessalonian verses because the following helps make our point.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. (NET)
Paul is clear. Those in Him who are dead are caught up before those in Him who are alive. No more really needs be said concerning this passage other than this:
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (KJV)
part 4 will begin with 1 Thessalonians 1:10