|By: Dr. John Walvoord; ©1996|
|Bible Prophecy Questions Answered by Leading Christian Scholars.|
Dr. John Walvoord: In connection with the Rapture of the Church in I Thessalonians 4, he indicates that Christians who are living will be caught up to meet the Lord. And this, of course is taught in I Corinthians Chapter 15. In this chapter he is dealing with the subject of resurrection and he deals with this matter of the Rapture of the Church and he brings out in verses 51 and following these wonderful truths: "Behold I tell 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 at the last trump; for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." Now, those of us who are living as Christians in the world recognize we have some problems. First of all, we have a body that is given to us by our parents and it’s a sinful body. It’s able to sin. In fact, every Christian sins. It’s also a body that grows older, and whether you resist it or not, eventually you grow older. And finally, it’s mortal; that is, it can die.
Now, these three things have to be changed. And I believe when the Rapture of the Church occurs, instantly we are going to be changed and given bodies patterned after the resurrection body of Christ and this will make us suitable for being in the Lord’s presence in heaven. You see, we couldn’t stand it to be in the presence of a holy God in our present bodies. We need an entirely different body and that will be given to us at the Rapture of the Church. So a whole generation of Christians would go to heaven without dying.
In the Old Testament you have the illustration of Enoch and Elijah who went to heaven without dying, but they’re the only exceptions. Everybody else is born, raised, and dies in history. But now here’s a whole generation that’s going to be changed and this is our wonderful prospect. And so whether we’re young Christians or middle age or older, we have this wonderful hope that if Christ comes any day, that we’ll be raptured and our bodies will be instantly changed.