Q. I have been doing a study in the Gospel of John and when I came across John 11:21-26 my curiosity was piqued. Are Jesus’ words to Martha in verses 25-26 hinting at the Rapture?
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
A. Yes. Although Jesus never taught about the rapture, I think He was giving us a hint of it in John 11:25-26. Paul was the first one to clearly disclose the fact that one generation of believers would not see death but would be changed from mortal to immortal and he did so about about 20 years after the resurrection. (In the Greek language, Paul’s comment, “Listen, I tell you a mystery” in 1 Cor. 15:51 means he was revealing a secret, something that had never been disclosed before.)
I don’t think we would suspect that Jesus was referring to the rapture when He spoke to Martha on that day if we didn’t already knew about it. But since we do it certainly seems like He was saying that those who die believing in Him will be resurrected to live again, and believers who are alive at the time will not die but will pass directly from mortal to immortal at the same time. If so, it’s a good summary of what Paul taught in greater detail in 1 Cor. 15:51-53 and 1 Thes. 4:16-17.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thes. 4:16-17).