Wednesday, 15 April 2015
…in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:52
In the previous verse, Paul explained that, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” Now to provide detailed insight into this marvelous event, he says that it will come about “in a moment.” The word he uses is atomos, which is where we get our word “atom” from. It is only used this one time in the New Testament and it comes from the prefix a which means “not,” and temno which means “to cut.” Thus it indicates a moment of time which is indivisible; instant. In explanation of that, he further defines what he means by saying, “in the twinkling of an eye.”
The word used to describe this is also used only once in the New Testament. It is rhipé. It means “a glance, twinkle or flash of the eye; a rush of wind or flame; any rapid movement.” It comes from another word, rhiptó, which indicates “to throw, cast, toss, set down; pass.” It thus is an event which occurs in one combined action, without any delay and nothing to hinder it.
A person can blink their eye five times in a single second. So fast is this that the brain doesn’t always register events which occur so quickly as they flash by. This is the rapidity of the event which is coming. It will be as if a door is opened, we are taken, and then the door is closed before those around us can even perceive what occurred. And the timing of the event is given for us. Nobody can say that “we can’t know when the rapture will occur.” The fact is that we have been told in advance that it will be “at the last trumpet.”
Far too often, this is used by students of prophecy to indicate that this sudden event will occur at the seventh trumpet judgment of Revelation. There is no substantiation for this at all, and it doesn’t fit with a host of other verses in the Bible which indicate that we will be gone before, not during or after, the events of the seven-year tribulation period.
Rather, the word “last” here is described well by Albert Barnes. He says it “does not imply that any trumpet shall have been before sounded at the resurrection, but is a word denoting that this is the consummation or close of things; it will end the economy of this world; it will be connected with the last state of things.”
Understanding this then shows us that even though we know exactly when the rapture will occur – which is at the last trumpet, we will not know when the last trumpet will occur. Instead, all we need to know is that when the trumpet sounds, we are out of here. So keep your ears always ready for that wondrous blast.
When the trump sounds, the blessed hope of the believer in Christ will be realized. “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” The many words Paul has used so far in this chapter to describe our resurrection bodies will be realized in each believer at that moment. All who have called on Christ, from the dead of thousands of years ago all the way to the final sinner who says, “I’m sorry Lord Jesus, I receive you as my Savior” at that last moment before the trump will be caught away together. We shall be changed, never again to see corruption or death.
Life application: We can send an entire movie through the internet in a moment; something that wasn’t even conceived of a short time ago. We can send all of the information of the internet around the world with tinker toys we call computers. If we can do these things, then why should we believe it is impossible that God can do what His word states, just as His word states it? Have faith in God and in His word.
O God, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, there is going to be a change in those who have received Jesus; and we understand the reason why – it’s because He has done all of the work for us. We shall be raised to eternal life, never again to see corruption of any kind. Then will end the burdensome strife; then will come peace and joy to the believer’s mind. Thank You, O God for the comfort Your word provides to us! Thank You for the hope that is found in the Lord Jesus. Hallelujah and Amen.