Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
( 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)
The apostle Paul is trying to comfort a new church, which had received supposed correspondence from Paul, saying that they were already experiencing the “Day of Christ”. It all seemed plausible to them, because they had endured an intense persecution from the very beginning of the church’s existence.
Paul appeals to the coming of Jesus, and “Our gathering together unto him”, in telling them not to be so shaken by this “fake news”.
The expression, “Our gathering together unto Him” is an interesting word in the Greek text, “Episunagogue”. You may recognize within it the word Synagogue, which is a gathering. The prefix “Epi” means “Above”. The Apostle Paul is referring to the Rapture here.
It struck me, in answering to an inquiry by a friend, the question, “What is the Rapture”?, that this is a perfect answer. The Rapture is an appointed gathering above, for the Saints of God.
Before He went to the cross, Jesus spoke to the 12 disciples, (and to us) …
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. ( John 14:1-3)
In this world we shall all have much tribulation. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But Jesus doesn’t want his “little flock” to be troubled by this.
Our Lord was making a similar promise to the young Jewish groom of the first century would make to a prospective bride. The Father had already been spoken to the preparations had to be made, a place had to be prepared for the Bride to come to live, and then, when all things were ready, the groom would come to receive the Bride unto himself and take her to the wedding feast and her new home.
Jesus is the original groom. The Father sent him here to gain a bride for himself among all of sinful humanity. The Preparation which had to be made, was the work of the cross. When Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you”, he was speaking of going to the cross, to die as a satisfaction for our sins.
“… I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also…”
What remains is that Jesus must come again, to take us unto Himself. This is the rapture, the gathering in the sky, the Harpazo, the snatching away, to be with him, as I Thessalonians 4 tells us, “… So shall we ever be with the LORD…”.
Not everyone wants to be with the LORD. there are many who “love this present World” too much to ever want to leave it. The Ironic thing is that we will all leave it anyway. Through physical death billions have come into this world and gone, out of the World, and even if they lived a ripe old age, their whole life was but a vapor.
Many have found out too late that this world is but a probation for the next world. It is the next world that counts, forever. Daniel the Prophet is very eloquent here,
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2-3)
Some wake up to everlasting life … Others to everlasting shame and contempt …
But there are also some who will not die, they will go up in the Rapture at the time of the Second Coming of the LORD.
Get yourself ready it won’t be long now …
More to come …