Dr. Renald Showers has been a guest several times on our programs.
His complete lecture is available from The John Ankerberg Show. The following excerpt is
from a transcript entitled, Dr. Renald Showers Answers 35 Questions Most Often Asked
Concerning End-Times Events.
There are three different passages in the New Testament which are
the basic foundational passages for the whole doctrine of the Rapture of the Church.
passages teach the doctrine of the Rapture?
Dr. Renald Showers: Well, John, really three different
passages in the New Testament, which are the basic foundational passages for the whole
doctrine of the Rapture of the Church. The first one is in John 14, vv. 1-3, Jesus has
gathered with His disciples in the Upper Room. It's the night before He goes to the cross.
And He had just been warning them at the end of Chapter 13 that He's going to leave them
soon and they were really troubled over that. And He realized that and so He said to them,
"Let not your heart be troubled. You 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, so that where I am there you may be also."
And here Jesus was giving a promise to His believers that even
though He was going to leave them on the day of His ascension, return to the Father's
house in Heaven, that He wasn't going to leave them forever; that the day would come when
He would leave the Father's house in Heaven, He would come down toward the earth where
they are, that He would come for the purpose of removing them from the earth and taking
them back to His Father's house to live in the mansions or dwelling places which He would
be preparing for them while He is away. And it's very significant, John, to see that He's
declaring what the purpose of it is: "so that where I am, there you may be
also." Very personal note here that in that coming, He would come to take His Bride
the Church so that they could be together with Him.
The second key passage is 1 Corinthians Chapter 15, vv. 51 and 52,
where Paul says to his readers, "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." There Paul is emphasizing the fact that there would be an entire generation
of Christians who would never experience physical death and the reason they wouldn't is
because the Lord was going to come and remove them from the earth while they're still
alive before they would experience physical death.
So he's saying not every Christian will die, but everyone will be
changed. And he emphasizes that the change will involve a change in their body, and they
now have a mortal body, which is subject to disease, deformity and death; but when this
change takes place, they will receive an immortal body which will never die again, which
will never be subject to disease and deformity.
Paul's also emphasizing here the extreme rapidity of the change in
the body of Christians when this event takes place. The change in that body will take
place faster than that -- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. So the rapidity of the
change in their bodies. That will happen at the Rapture of the Church.
But the third and really the most extensive passage on the Rapture
is found in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4, vv. 13-18, and I won't take the time to read all of
that but Jesus is indicating there that the day is coming when He will come out of Heaven,
He will bring with Him the souls of those Christians who have already died. When they
died, John, their souls were separated from their bodies; their bodies were buried in the
ground and their souls were ushered immediately into the presence of God in Heaven.
Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 says for the Christian "to be absent
from the body is to be present with the Lord." So when they die, their souls leave
their bodies, their souls to the presence of the Lord in Heaven, and that's where they
stay in Heaven until Christ comes to Rapture the Church. He will bring their souls with
Him out of Heaven down toward the earth. We are told that He will come with the blast of a
trumpet, the trump of God, with the voice of the archangel. Apparently there will be a
great archangel who will accompany Him as an escort from the Father's house in Heaven.
And then Paul says when that happens, some intriguing things will
begin to transpire here on the face of the earth. The bodies of the Christians who have
died will be resurrected from the dead, and the implication is that their descending souls
that are coming down from Heaven with Christ will be reunited with their resurrected
bodies. But then Paul says those Christians who are alive and still being alive on the
earth when the event of the Rapture takes place, that they, together with the resurrected
Christians, will be caught up from the earth to meet the Lord Jesus in the air.
What is the
of the word "Rapture"?
Showers: The whole concept of being snatched up or caught up
from the earth, that's where the concept of the Rapture comes from.
The English word Rapture is derived from a Latin verb form which
means to be snatched or caught up and so the Bride of Christ, the Church, involving the
resurrected believers but those as well who have never died will be caught up from the
earth, Paul says, "together, to meet the Lord Jesus in the air." Another
significant thing about that is, that tells us that in this coming of the Lord He stops in
the air above the earth. He doesn't come the whole way down to the surface of the earth.
As He descends from Heaven from the Father's house, He stops in the air above the earth
and He waits there as His believers are caught up to meet Him in the air, and then Paul
concludes with these words at the end of verse 17, "and so shall we ever be with the
Lord." That's significant because that means once we are raptured to meet Christ in
the air, from that time on we shall never be separated from Him again. Wherever Jesus
goes, we go with Him.
The transcript with Dr. Showers is available for a gift of $39 to
the ministry. Call 1-800-805-3030 for more information.
Further inforrmation on the Rapture is available through our tapings
on "Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy."