Exit Resurrection or Rapture of the Church


  1. Introduction
  2. The Promise of Resurrection
  3. The Immanency of Resurrection.
  4. The Power of Resurrection
  5. Scriptural Documentation
  6. The Big Genuflex
  7. Resurrection and Ultimate Sanctification
  8. The Resurrection as the Basis for Confidence
  9. Order of Events
  10. The Resurrection and Reward
  11. The Two Resurrections

A. Introduction

1. As a result of His victory of the angelic conflict, Jesus Christ has been resurrected and ascended and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

2. As a result of this victory, Jesus Christ was awarded a battlefield royalty.  He is “King of kings, Lord of lords, the Bright and Morning Star.”

3. Because Jesus Christ had no royal family, the Father interrupted the Jewish Age and ushered in the Church Age to call out and provide a royal family of God.

4. The Church Age is that period of human history when the royal family of God is being formed on earth.

5.  Jesus Christ is head of the Church

 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  Ephesians 1:22-23

6. The Church is Christ’s Body:

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.  Colossians 1:24

7. The body of Christ is formed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism…  Ephesians 4:4-5 (NASB)

8. Once the royal family of God is completed, the Church will be resurrected as the body of Christ to become the bride of Christ.

9. The Church will be resurrected after our Lord.

10. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 describes the resurrection of the Church:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 further describes the events leading up to the church’s resurrection:

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. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.  1 Corinthians 15:51-58

11.  Events After the Resurrection of the Church:

  1. The bride will be prepared in heaven by receiving a resurrection body exactly like our Lord’s.
  2. All believers will bow and acknowledge the authority of Christ.
  3. All Church Age believers will evaluated and rewarded at the Evaluation Seat of Christ.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

B. The Promise of Resurrection

Jesus Christ, Himself, promised that the church would be resurrected.

If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself.  John 14:1-3

C. The resurrection of the Church is imminent.

1. An immanent even is impending or threatening to happen immediately.  It does not mean that it will necessarily occur immediately.

2. The next prophecy to occur is the resurrection of the Church, after the last member of the body of Christ is saved.  No prophecy remains to be fulfilled before the resurrection of the Church.

3. The Church Age is the only dispensation in which historical trends are the issue, and not prophecy.

a.      The Church Age began with a prophesied event —the baptism of the Spirit.  Our Lord prophesied this in the Upper Room Discourse and just before He ascended.

b. The Church Age will terminate with its prophesied resurrection.

c. No prophecy separates these two events.

d. This is the dispensation of the mystery doctrine.

4.  The Church’s resurrection is immanent because no prophecy remains to be fulfilled after the baptism of the Spirit and before our resurrection.  It could occur at any time; no one knows the day or the hour.

5. The resurrection of the Church, like our dying, is completely out of our control.  Just as we have no control over the time and manner of our death, so we have no control over the time and manner of the Resurrection of the Church.

6. The resurrection of the Church is totally beyond our control because resurrection is always our Lord’s victory.

Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57

7.      The Church could have been resurrected at the time of James or Paul because no prophecy had to be fulfilled before the resurrection occurs.

8.      Because the immanency of the Church’s resurrection is misunderstood and distorted, instability and foolish explanation or speculation about its time abound; hence, James has given us a warning.

Therefore, brethren, have patience until the coming of the Lord.  The farmer waits with anticipation for the valuable production of the soil, constantly being patient until it has received the early and the latter rains.  Have patience!  Furthermore, all of you become stabilized in your right lobes because the coming of the Lord has approached with the result that it is drawing nearer and nearer.  James 5:7-8

Having patience means applying what you know. Patience is a system of thinking Bible doctrine, a system of concentration which applies doctrine to experience.  The believer who applies doctrine is saying this: “As long as I’m alive, I have control over my life.  I can, because I want to, fulfill the plan God has designed for me, or, by negative volition, be a cosmic believer and be my own worst enemy.”

The farmer invests by sowing seed.  He must break up the soil and sow the seed, and then he must wait.  There’s nothing he can do while waiting; the seed will either come up or not.  Either he will have production or he will not.  In the time of this writing, that depended upon the soil and the rains.  The farmer did not have control over those elements.

Verse 8 goes on to tell us how to have patience.  You cannot have patience without a stabilized mentality.

“Drawing nearer” means to be approaching.  Every day in the Church Age, the resurrection of the Church draws nearer.  As it approaches, as long as you are alive, you still have control over your life.  You decide whether you will win or lose in God’s plan.

9. Because no prophecy had to be fulfilled before the Resurrection of the Church, the early Church anticipated its immanency.  Paul wrote to the Corinthians in.

You should be eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ [resurrection of the Church], who will strengthen you to the end [of the Church Age], blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:7b-8

To be “strengthened to the end” refers, not to the end of their lives, but to the end of the Church Age.  Since believers died before the resurrection of the church every believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the protocol plan of God.

You, as a Church Age believer will receive a resurrection body upon the Church’s resurrection.  We will be “blameless” forever.

10.  Three times in Revelation the phrase, “I am coming soon” occurs. [Rev 22:7, 12, 20.]  To the Lord, a day is a thousand years and a thousand years as a day.  He made this statement in A.D. 96, and this is now A.D. 2000.  So, “soon” connotes immanency, not immediacy.

11.  The resurrection of the Church is the next prophetical event to occur in history.

Waiting with keen anticipation for that blessed hope [the resurrection of the Church], even the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.  Titus 2:13

12. Not every believer will appreciate this doctrine because not every believer understands it or is able to apply it.  Though this doctrine applies to every Church Age believer, only a mature believer can make it a part of his system of faith. This believer will eagerly look forward to the resurrection of the Church because he is so occupied with Christ that he anticipates spending eternity with Him.

13. Only the Trinity knows when the Rapture is going to occur.

D. The Power of the Resurrection

  1. The power that resurrected Jesus will resurrect us.
  2. Resurrection completes both Christ’s mission and the Church’s mission on earth.
  3. Our Lord’s resurrection was the first in history.
  4. The Church’s resurrection will be the first mass resurrection
  5. Between the resurrections is the unique Church Age.

Now God has not only resurrected our Lord, but He will raise us up through His power. 1 Corinthians 6:14

E. Scriptural Documentation

1. The Resurrection of the Church:,

If by any means I might arrive with reference to the exit resurrection, the one from the dead. Philippians 3:11

2. The Believer receives a resurrection body:

Beloved, now we are the children of God, and what we will be He has not yet revealed.  However, we know that if He should appear, we shall be [exactly] like Him because we shall see Him as He is.  And everyone who keeps on having this hope [confidence] in Him purifies Himself even as He is pure [ultimate sanctification in a resurrection body]. 1 John 3:2-3

3. Confidence Associated with Our Lord’s Return

Looking for that blessed hope [the confidence of eternal rewards and blessings] and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Titus 2:13

4. Description of Our Lord’s Return

If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.  For this doctrine we communicate to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God; in fact, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are living who remain on the earth shall be caught up together with them [dead believers] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Therefore, comfort each other with these doctrines. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

5. The Importance of Doctrine

I will be coming soon; seize [grasp, become the master of] what you have [Bible doctrine], so that no one may take away your crown.  Revelation 3:11

You should be learning doctrine in preparation for the resurrection of the Church.

F. The Big Genuflex

1. The entire royal family of God will identify Jesus Christ as the head of the family to the glory of the Father.

2. The Church in resurrection body makes a formal acknowledgment of the Father’s function in the resurrection, ascension and session of Christ.

3. The Big Genuflex occurs after the Rapture and before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

That in the presence of the person of Christ, every knee in heaven shall bow, both the ones on earth [believers alive] and the ones under the earth [dead believers].  And every tongue will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11

G. Resurrection and Ultimate Sanctification,.

1. The royal family of God is purified at the Resurrection of the Church.

2. Both human good and evil are burned and the old sin nature is removed.

…that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:26-27 (NASB)

H. The Rapture: The Basis for Confidence

1. The Rapture is categorized under three kinds of hope.

Living Confidence: By living confidence, I mean this: “are you not sure of the fact of your own impending resurrection?  Do you believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected?  Do you believe the testimony of the disciples and other witnesses.  Jesus Christ is alive after his physical death.  So also, will you after your physical death.

Blessed be the God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

Purifying confidence- This confidence deals with experiential sanctification and the result of confessing sins to God the Father.  If you are occupied with Christ to the degree that you are confident of following in his footsteps of being resurrected, then purifying yourself by rebound will be one of your highest standards.

And everyone who has this confidence fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:3

  1. Blessed Hope

…looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, Titus 2.13

  1. The consistent exposure to, learning and application of the systematic teaching of the Word of God leads to spiritual growth to maturity, which results in occupation with Christ.
  2. The believer who grows spiritually waits with keen anticipation for the Resurrection of the Church.
  3. The Church is Resurrected 1 Cor 15:51-58; 1 Thes 4:13-18.
  4. The Big Genuflex occurs, Phil 2:9-11.
  5. The Judgment Seat of Christ

I. The Order of Events

 For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one of us may be rewarded for the things done through the body face to face with what he has accomplished, whether good or worthless.  2 Corinthians 5:10

1. Bride returns with Christ at the Second Advent, 1 Thes 3:13.

…so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.  1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NASB)

2. The Manifestation of the Bride,

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, at that time [Second Advent], you also will be revealed with Him in glory.  Colossians 3:5

3. Operation Footstool,

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.” 1 Corinthians 15:25 [NASB]

4. The Coronation of Christ

Then I heard…the voice of a great multitude… saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.’ Revelation 19:6 [NASB]

5. The Wedding Supper of the Lamb,

…the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. Rev 19:7b [NASB]

J. Resurrection and Reward

Paul wants to have esprit de corps on the day of Christ as he sees his congregation rewarded.

…so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.  Philippians 2:16 [NASB]

K. The Two Resurrections

The resurrection of the Church is part of the first resurrection.

    1. The Resurrection of Christ
    2. The Resurrection of the Church
    3. The Resurrection of Old Testament Believers and Tribulational Martyrs.
    4. The Resurrection of Millennial Believers.
    5. The Second Resurrection Involves Unbelievers.

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