As not all Christians will be raptured to be with the Lord before the Great Day of God’s Wrath, it is important to see what the Scripture says about the time and the location of the rapture.
RAPTURE TO THE THRONE OF GOD
BEFORE THE GREAT DAY OF GOD’S WRATH
Revelation 12 reveals that the first group to be raptured is a very small portion of God’s faithful people who have passed away called the MALE-CHILD (v. 12:5) or the overcomers (v. 12:11). All of God’s people who have passed away are resurrected, but only the portion of the male child is directly “caught up to God and His throne” (v. 12:5). Revelation 14 describes the second group to be raptured: the faithful Christians living on the earth who have matured early; they are called the FIRSTFRUITS (v. 14:4). They are “standing on Mount Zion” (v. 14:1), which is also before the throne of God (v. 14:5). Both the male-child (overcomers) and the firstfruits are raptured prior to the start of the 3½ years of the Great Day of God’s Wrath. Revelation 15 shows one other group who are standing on the “sea of glass mingled with fire” (v. 15:2) which is also before the throne of God (v. 4:6). These had the “victory over the beast…” (v. 15:2) and were beheaded “for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image…” (v. 20:4). These are the ones who are martyred during the 3½ years of the Great Day of God’s Wrath.
THE FINAL RAPTURE
In Revelation 14, after the rapture of the firstfruits (vv. 1-5), the Son of Man – Christ, will come to the air on the cloud to reap the harvest from the earth (vv. 14-16). It is the final rapture of God’s people who are still alive on the earth near the end of the Great Day of God’s Wrath. As firstfruits are reaped early in the season and the majority of the harvest is reaped near the end of the season, so it will be with the vast majority of the Christians.
The time and location of the final rapture is written in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
The time is at the sound of the trumpet, and the location is to the air.
When: The Last Trumpet
After the 6th seal is opened and the Great Day of God’s Wrath has come (Rev. 6:17), the 7th seal is opened in Revelation 8:1 and “there was silence in heaven for about half an hour” to prepare for the severity of each of God’s judgment at the blowing of 7 trumpets. The first six trumpets will unleash God’s judgment on nature and on man. However, with the last trumpet, God will release His judgment on the beast, the Antichrist, his armies, and all those who worship and follow the beast. It is near the end of the 3½ years, when the 7th and last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:52) is sounded, and the final rapture takes place.
Where – In the Air
The Lord will descend from heaven (1 Thess. 4:16) and the remaining Christians on the earth in the final rapture will be caught up in the clouds and in the air to meet the Lord. This is not the same rapture to the throne of God as described in Revelation 12, 14 and 15.
All of God’s people will be gathered there in the air to stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10-11; Rom. 14:10).
Up Next: God’s People Will All Appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ – click HERE.