(Note: Every believer in Christ, esp. those who are living in their ‘golden years’ should pay special attention to this message from the Bible. The Rapture is our Blessed Hope! Tit2:13 states ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’.)
The Rapture- Breaking the Adamic Curse of Death
The Legacy of Death
What is the legacy of death? It is the curse of death which Adam passed on to all living beings. But as we approach the last days of mankind, the legacy of death will accelerate signifying that many people, young and old, will experience catastrophic and premature death regardless of age. When asked regarding the end of the world Mt24:3, Jesus said ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’ Mt24:6. All these terrible events will bring a significant increase of horrible, widespread and sudden Death never experienced before in the history of mankind.
This is how the 4th Horseman of the Apocalypse is described: ‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with Death, and with the beasts of the earth’ Re6:8. Suffice to say that Death by cataclysmic destruction- by wars, famines, natural disasters, and diseases, is a major theme found in the book of Revelation. But God has also made an Escape from Death for us through Jesus Christ called the Rapture, which is explained in this paper.
Death- the Adamic Curse
Because of Adam’s original sin in disobeying God, Satan placed a curse upon Adam and on all mankind. This curse is the death penalty for every living person, not unlike any criminal who is sentenced to death for a heinous crime that he had committed. Everyone that ever lived is under this death penalty and will eventually die. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ Ro3:23, and ‘..the wages of sin is Death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ Ro6:23. Paul explained ‘Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and Death by sin; and so Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ Ro5:12.
When Adam broke God’s only law in the Garden of Eden, the death penalty was placed upon Adam and on all of us. We will also see below that Death is the work of Satan, the devil, and how God in the person of Jesus Christ came to ‘..destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. Paul wrote ‘..as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, also (Jesus) himself likewise took part of the same; that through (his) Death he might destroy him that had the power of Death, that is, the devil’ Heb2:14.
Death is an inevitability for everyone! There is no escaping physical and eventual spiritual death except through Jesus Christ. Heb9:27 states ‘..as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’. This means after death, there is a final judgment in the so called after-life.
The Adamic Curse- Physical and Spiritual Death
The Bible speaks of two types of death. It is one thing to experience physical death, but the Bible also speaks of a spiritual death– eternal damnation Mk3:29. Jesus said ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not Perish, but have everlasting life’ Jn3:16. Jesus continued ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God’ Jn3:17,18.
Jesus said anyone not believing on Him and what He did for us on the cross is condemned already to eternal damnation. To be saved means our soul would have everlasting life one day in heaven. To perish means to be condemned to eternal punishment and torment in hell forever. Jesus asked ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ Mt16:26. All the riches and glory of the entire world cannot compare with losing one’s soul in hell. Spiritual death is eternal damnation! But Paul wrote ‘..Christ died for our sins’ 1Co15:3, to save us from spiritual death.
The Garden Scene/the Garden Sin and the Tree of Death
Ge1:1 states God is the creator of all things. God put all the trees and animals, then Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Every tree the LORD God planted was pleasant to sight and good for food Ge2:9. There were two very significant trees in the Garden- the tree of Life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In the the Garden 6000 years ago, the LORD God had only ONE LAW. He commanded Adam ‘..Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ Ge2:16,17. Since God only planted the good trees, how did this beautiful but deadly tree get into the Garden Ge3:6?
Did God allow Satan the serpent, the Devil to plant this evil tree of Death? Re12:9 states ‘the old serpent is the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world’. Mt13:25,39 state ‘the enemy, the devil is the sower of tares, or the planter of the bad seed’. Like God’s good trees, Satan’s evil tree was also beautiful, but deadly for food Ge3:6. Satan deceptively used the evil tree to introduce Death into the world.
A&E lived in the Garden for a while before one day succumbing to the serpent’s temptation. They were carefree, asexual with no children, and in daily communion with God. They had no hunger, no sweat, no sorrow, no pain, no lack, no strife, no bondage, no problems, no violence, no sickness, no disease, no sin, no evil and no death! They ate only fruits until they partook of the Tree of Death. They were healthy and would have lived forever. They were also beautifully clothed with glory, but became naked and cursed upon sinning Ge3:7,17.
Satan, the Author of Death- the Destroyer and Murderer
The Bible states that the serpent (the devil) was very subtil and wise Ge3:1, and perhaps very attractive. The serpent stood upright and could talk like a man. The serpent may have encountered A&E many times. One day, he laid a trap for them, even as he does for all of us. Paul warned us to beware ‘of the snare of the devil’ 2Ti2:26. Jesus said ‘the devil was a murderer from the beginning and is the father of lies’ Jn8:44. The devil, the liar, seeks ‘to steal, and to kill and to destroy us’ Jn10:10.
A&E believed the serpent’s lie about becoming wise as gods; disobeyed and broke God’s only law. A&E became wise, knowing good and evil, and also very perverted and corrupt. Their eyes were opened; they lost their glory clothing, became naked and corrupt Ge3:5-7.
Thus by Adam, sin and death entered into the world and were passed on to every man ever since. The apostle John wrote ‘He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he (Jesus) might destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. By dying on the cross ‘Jesus might destroy the devil that had the power of death Heb2:14. Satan, the devil, is the author of death and has the power of death. Satan is a killer, ‘a murderer from the beginning’.
The Adamic Curse of Death- A Lifetime Bondage
David wrote ‘What man is he that liveth, and shall not see Death? shall (God) deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?’ Ps89:48. Paul stated ‘Through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ Heb2:15. Whether a person lives to 80, 90, 100 or more, Death is often a fearful preoccupation. A common saying is ‘Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die’. But if a person knows his Bible, he should have a better outlook in this matter. Curiously, the Bible speaks of a second death. Re20:14 states ‘And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the SECOND DEATH’.
The Bible also speaks of a coming generation of people living that will not experience physical death. It speaks of an Escape from this cursed lifetime bondage, when Jesus will return, to bodily translate His own alive back into heaven Jn14:3, 1Th4:17. This Escape is known as the Rapture of the Saints, much like how Enoch and Elijah were taken bodily alive into heaven.
Enoch and Elijah- Two Who Broke the Adamic Curse
The Bible states Enoch and Elijah were the only two living that escaped physical Death. Enoch, ‘the seventh from Adam’ Jude14, ‘..walked with God: and he was not; for God took him’ Ge5:24. ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see Death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he PLEASED God’ Heb11:5. Enoch was 365 years old when God took him bodily into heaven.
Likewise, God also took Elijah, the prophet, directly to heaven in a chariot of fire. 2Ki2:11 states ‘And it came to pass.. behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven’. Both Enoch and Elijah were the only two people living before that never died, but were translated or Raptured into heaven.
By His Death, Jesus Defeated Death for Us
Jesus is the only person in history who said He would die and come back alive. Neither Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, or anyone else made this claim, and did return from the dead except for Jesus Christ! The first instance of Jesus telling his disciples of his impending death and resurrection was in Mt16:21: ‘From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day’.
Throughout the four Gospels, Jesus repeatedly spoke of his death and resurrection, though no one believed Him. (See Mt17:22-23,20:17-19, Mk8:31,9:31,10:34, Lk9:22,18:33,24:7,46, Jn2:19). Jesus made this claim, and came back alive for 40 days after his brutal death on the cross Ac1:3. Jesus was seen alive by over 500 people at once, by many of his disciples, adversaries, and contemporaries of his days 1Co15:6, and He was then physically taken up alive into heaven Ac1:9.
Jesus came to earth to defeat death. Heb2:9 states ‘But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man’. By one man Adam, sin and death entered into this world, and by one man Jesus Christ, tasted death for all of us. John the Baptist said ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’; ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him’ Jn1:29,3:36.
The Acts of the Apostles is replete with accounts of the apostles preaching the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! The apostle Paul went all over Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, and Spain Ro15:24, proclaiming the incredible story of Jesus’ crucifixion by the Romans and of His Resurrection; that Jesus was alive, and that everyone must believe in Him in order to be saved from sin, Satan, and Hell, for He died for our sins!
Jesus Christ Declared Himself as the Resurrection and the Life
The Resurrection is not only a historical event, but also a person- Jesus Christ. The Bible revealed that Jesus Christ is God Himself. In his own words Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25-26. Jesus declared himself as the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus claimed to have power over Death and over Life. Jn1:4 states ‘In him (Jesus, the Word of God) was Life; and the Life was the light of men’.
Jesus said ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him’ Jn14:6,7. Know Jesus, know the Father! See Jesus, see the Father! Jesus said ‘I and my Father are One’ Jn10:30! Jesus is the only way to God the Father, and to Heaven!
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ From the Dead- 1 Corinthians Chapter 15
Paul declared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul said ‘For I delivered unto you first of all.. how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once..’ 1Co15:3-6.
Paul said ‘And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.. And if Christ be not raised, your Faith Is Vain; ye are yet in your sins’ 1Co15:14,17. Paul continued, ‘For since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the Dead. For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive’ 1Co15:21,22.
Here the apostle Paul spoke of a future Resurrection of the Dead and then of the Living, when Jesus will return to take us back to heaven. Paul desiring to attain to this Resurrection wrote ‘That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the Resurrection of the Dead’ Php3:10,11. But we look forward to the Resurrection of the Living, our escape from death via the Rapture.
The Coming Rapture- Our Only Escape From the Adamic Curse
Jesus told us how to escape Death one day: ‘And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to Escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36.
Then Paul added ‘How shall we Escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord..’ Heb2:3. Here both Jesus and Paul warned of a need to Escape the terrible things coming to pass upon the earth. The Rapture is our only Escape from physical Death. The Rapture represents ‘the Redemption of our Body’ as spoken of in Ro8:23.
Jesus promised that one day He will return to take us bodily into heaven in the Rapture. Jesus told his disciples ‘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’ Jn14:1-3.
Paul then confirmed what Jesus said: ‘For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the Dead IN CHRIST shall rise first: Then we which are Alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:15-18. Paul wanted us to remember this promise of Jesus, and to comfort us with these words of the coming Rapture!
The Rapture- the Adamic Curse of Death Finally Broken
Death is an enemy of mankind. Death is our enemy. Paul said ‘THE LAST ENEMY THAT SHALL BE DESTROYED IS DEATH’ 1Co15:26. David wrote ‘This shall be written for the generation to come’; God will ‘..loose those that are appointed to death’ Ps102:18,20. Jesus holds ‘the keys of hell and of Death’ Re1:18. The Bible speaks of a generation of people who will not experience physical death because Jesus will loose them that were appointed to die. Jesus promised ‘AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE..’ Jn11:26.
Here Jesus was referring to a future RAPTURE, where a generation of believers living would be loosed from physical death. As Enoch and Elijah who pleased God were taken bodily alive into heaven, ‘.. so shall we ever be with the Lord’ 1Th4:17. But we must be IN CHRIST to be taken in the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17. John the beloved wrote ‘And now, little children, ABIDE IN HIM; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming’ 1Jn2:28. If not, many will be left behind like the 5 foolish virgins Mt25:11,12.
Paul spoke of the Rapture again stating ‘Behold, I shew you a mystery; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP (Die), 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory? ..But Thanks Be To God, Which Giveth Us The Victory Through Our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Co15:51-57.
Our natural body will then be changed into a supernatural, spiritual, and glorious body like Jesus Christ 1Jn3:1-3. The Rapture will be our Reward, our Redemption, our Salvation and Resurrection. Finally, the Rapture will be our only Escape from the Adamic Curse of Death which will finally be broken; we shall never die, but live forever! Praise The Lord! Amen!