(Excerpt from “When is the Rapture?”)
In I Corinthians 15:51-53 we read, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, 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.”
In these verses God discusses the fact that not everyone will die (To fall asleep is Biblical language that signifies death.) There will be those who will instantaneously receive their resurrected bodies without first falling asleep. This language is clearly concerned with the rapture because verse 53 speaks about the believers receiving their immortal bodies.
God tells us when this event will occur. He declares that it will be at the sound of the last trump. This is a time clue; God is effectively saying that when the last trumpet sounds the rapture will occur.
If we follow the Biblical principle that the Bible interprets the Bible, we must search the Bible to find language that relates to the sound of the last trump. If such references can be found, perhaps they will tell us when the last trumpet will sound.
In Revelation 11:15-18 we read, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou has taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
In this passage God gives us an outline of the events that will accompany the sound of the seventh and last trump. At that time, the following becomes reality.
a. The time has come for the dead to be judged.
b. The time for the rewarding of the saints has come.
c. The time for destroying the destroyers has come.
In other words, the sounding of the seventh trumpet signals that Judgment Day has come. It signals that the time has come for the believers to receive their reward. It is the time that the forces of evil are to be cast into hell. Therefore, the sounding of the last trumpet must be at the end of time; it is at the end of time that Judgment Day occurs and Satan is thrown into the lake of fire.