Q. I need an answer to a question that could throw off the idea of the Rapture or worse–found an error in the Bible. Perhaps there is already an answer to it, perhaps there’s a misinterpretation somewhere along the line or perhaps some further study needs to go into this.
The bible says – “It is appointed for man to die once, but after that the judgment,” Hebrews (9:27).
How is it then that many believers who are Raptured are alive? Please help with this, have I misunderstood something?
A. Sorry, my brother, you have neither thrown off the Rapture nor found an error in God’s Word. While the general principle is that man dies once and after that faces judgment, a number of people have died more than once.
There are 8 accounts in the Bible of people who were raised from the dead. They are the son of a widow in Zarapeth, raised by Elijah in 1 Kings 17, Jairus’s daughter in Matthew 9, the son of a widow in Nain in Luke 7, Lazarus in John 11, all by Jesus, Tabitha in Acts 9:40 by Peter, and Eutychus by Paul in Acts 20. In addition, although the Bible doesn’t specifically confirm this, I believe both Jonah and and Paul were brought back from death by God. Each one was meant as a demonstration of the Lord’s power, and all of them subsequently died again.
No one knows how many others have been raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit during the Church age. But they are all exceptions to the statement in Hebrews 9:27 that it is given for man to die once and then face judgment, and do not negate the validity of that principle.
And Paul put the issue to rest when he wrote,
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Cor. 15:51-52)
All Christians who are alive at the time of the Rapture will pass directly from this life into the next one with out dying first.