by James T. Bartsch
"Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed..." 1 Corinthians 15:51
Looking at Rapture Passages
Transformation – The Amazing Exception to Death! 1 Cor. 15:50-52
The most important chapter in the Bible on Resurrection is 1 Corinthians 15. Right toward the end, the Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Corinth,
“Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:50-52)
Several observations are in order:
(1) There are no signs given that must precede this amazing event! It is presented as an imminent event in prophecy.
(2) It is impossible for our present mortal bodies to inherit the eternal Kingdom of God, where there is no Death, Disease, or Pain.
(3) Believers in Jesus Christ who die can anticipate a glorious resurrection!
(4) But some believers will not have to die. When Jesus returns to retrieve His Church from this earth, living believers will ascend to be with Him without having to die first. We will be "snatched up" (harpázō, 726) with the resurrected believers to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17)!
(5) Our bodies will be transformed into immortal, sinless, bodies instantly. No longer will we be subject to sin, disease, decay, and death!
(6) We call this transformation of mortal bodies into immortal bodies and rising to meet the Lord in the air the Rapture. What a glorious hope we Christians have!