The Bible talks about reading the signs of the times, and Pastor Greg Laurie is doing just that in a new series about the End Times, speaking recently about the mysterious Christian belief called “the rapture”.
In a series titled “The End of the World,” Laurie breaks down what will happen during the rapture and what it will look like when Christ returns.
Laurie, evangelist and the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, boldly stated that there is a rapture and both the Old and New Testament allude to it.
“The Rapture. You probably have heard this term. It is a real event that could happen at any time. Some would say, ‘You can’t even find the word, ‘Rapture’ in the Bible,'” he tweeted. “To the point, you can’t find the word, ‘Bible’ in the Bible! Nor can you find the word, ‘Trinity’ in the Bible. But we as Christians, we believe in both. Fact is, you CAN find the word Rapture in the Bible if you read a Latin translation. The word Rapture comes from the Greek word ‘harpazo’ and it is used many times in Scripture.”
He points to examples like Enoch who was taken up by God and Elijah who was carried up by a whirlwind into Heaven. And finally, Jesus ascended to Heaven after he was crucified and resurrected to illustrate how believers would be taken to their heavenly home.
The Rapture. You probably have heard this term. It is a real event that could happen at any time. Some would say, “You can’t even find the word, ‘Rapture’ in the Bible!”.
To the point, you can’t find the word, ‘Bible’ in the Bible! Nor can you find the word, ‘Trinity’in the… pic.twitter.com/qBzVy2J8aS
— Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) August 22, 2023
“Yes, we will be caught up to meet the Lord,” Laurie shared.
He admitted that it can be hard to understand what terms like “Armageddon”, “Antichrist”, and “Millennium” mean in the book of Revelation or what it is going to look like before Jesus’ second coming.
Armageddon, The Rapture, the Antichrist, the Second coming of Jesus. . .Ever have a hard time figuring out what happens when? Watch this flyover of Prophetic events in their chronological order. Hope it helps you! pic.twitter.com/B3WFJp6URg
— Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) August 21, 2023
However, he offered a timeline of what he believes will happen based on his reading of End Times chronology on big events like Armageddon and the appearance of the Antichrist.
Christian theologians have long debated the timing of the Rapture, with some saying it will happen before a Tribulation period while others say it will happen during or after that period of global suffering.
“In my estimation the next event is the rapture of the Church,” Laurie shared. “First Thessalonians 4:16 says, ‘The Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel. The dead in Christ shall rise first and we which are alive and remaining shall be caught up together with them in the air and so shall we forever with the Lord.”
Laurie noted that after the rapture an evil global ruler called the Antichrist appears.
“The Antichrist inaugurates a seven-year period of tribulation,” he said. “The tribulation period begins peacefully. The Antichrist deceives people because he brings global peace temporarily. In fact, the Bible says, ‘Through peace he will deceive many.'”
Laurie believes everything leads to the final Battle of Armageddon fought in Israel at the end of the Tribulation period.
“And then comes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” he adds.
He notes that there is a distinct difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
“The Rapture is at the beginning. The Second Coming is at the end,” he predicts. “In the Rapture, He comes for His church. In the Second Coming, He returns with His church. In the Rapture, he appears as a thief in the night. In the Second Coming every eye will see Him. In the Rapture, He comes before judgment. In the Second Coming He returns with judgment. Then come the Millennium – the thousand-year reign of Christ.”
“And finally the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth,” he explains.
For decades, Laurie has dedicated his life to preparing people to meet Jesus Christ. And he wants believers to be ready.
“So here’s the deal. The next event is the Rapture,” he says. “It could happen at any moment. You must be ready because He is returning again. So look up. Your redemption is drawing near.”
Laurie also encouraged his congregation that if they are not ready, now is the time to get their hearts right with God.
“I think your very reaction to this idea that Christ could come back is a spiritual barometer as to where you are at,” said Laurie. “If the thought elicits joy, that’s a good sign. If people feel dread, that’s not. We should respond in agreement with John at the end of Revelation when he says, ‘Amen,’ to Jesus’ statement, ‘I am coming soon.'”