How many people will go to heaven during the Rapture? (what does the Bible say?)

As a theologian who takes a keen interest in eschatology, I was intrigued by the question of how many people will go to heaven during the Rapture. To gain firsthand insights, I delved into biblical texts and consulted fellow theologians and the local clergy. This topic also became a central discussion in my college classes, where I taught about end-time events. The discussion revolved around the number 144,000 in Revelation. Drawing from my in-depth study and experience in theological education, I confidently shed light on the topic. So, how many people will go to heaven during the Rapture?

According to the Bible, the exact number of people who will go to heaven during the Rapture has not been stated. However, the book of 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 explains that all those believers who are ‘dead in Christ” and believers who are still alive will be taken up to heaven during Rapture.

In this article, I will explore the questions surrounding Rapture and uncover what the Bible says about the Rapture, what will happen during the Rapture, and what will happen to believers after the Rapture, among other topics.

What does the Bible say about Rapture?

Though the term rapture is not directly mentioned in the Bible, the notion is obtained from biblical passages interpreted differently among various Christian denominations. One of the main verses in which the idea of the Rapture is found is in the book of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. These passages assert that there will be a transformation from perishable bodies to imperishable (or immortal) bodies and that the saints will meet Jesus in the air and not in heaven.

The Rapture is just the appearance of Jesus and is not His coming in the sense that Jesus does not come down to Earth but instead meets the church in the air. In Matthew 24:36-41, the Bible also likens the Rapture to the days of Noah, where people went on with their lives refusing to believe that floods were coming. The scripture implies that in the same way, Christ will just appear as no one knows the hour or the day that the Rapture will happen.

When will Rapture happen, according to the Bible?

How many people will go to heaven during the Rapture? 
When will Rapture happen? Image source: Pixabay

Every denomination interprets biblical texts differently, which has led to different beliefs concerning the Rapture. Some Christians believe that Rapture will happen pre-tribulation, which means that believers in Jesus will be raptured before the tribulation period; others hold to a post-tribulation view, which means that believers will go through the tribulation first then will be raptured afterward.

Those who believe in post-tribulation argue that Jesus will not take away the believers before tribulation but rather will protect them through the trials and then take them afterward. They attempt to explain why the Rapture will happen after the tribulation period. On the other hand, those who believe in pre-tribulation believe that Jesus will “rescue” the saints from tribulation and the wrath of the Antichrist.

What does the Bible say will happen at Rapture?

According to the Bible, during Rapture, a series of events will happen suddenly and very fast. The book of 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 explains that first, there will be a sounding of the trumpet, then those who are dead in Christ will rise. They will then catch up with those believers still alive in the clouds and meet with Jesus in the air. Further, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 mentions that the events will be sudden, ‘like a flash’ or ‘in the twinkle of an eye.’

What will happen to believers after Rapture?

Since we have established that the concept of the Rapture is deduced from the interpretation of Bible texts, what will happen after the Rapture is also a matter of interpreting scriptures. Although the Bible does not provide specific information about what will happen to believers after the Rapture, it gives insight into the general idea of what will happen.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, we are told that believers who will be raptured “will be with the Lord forever.” The verse implies that believers caught up in the Rapture will dwell with Christ for eternity. Revelation 20:4-6 also explains that during the Millennial Kingdom, believers who were raptured will reign on Earth with Christ.

Does the Book of Revelation say only 144,000 people will be raptured?

How many people will go to heaven during the Rapture?
Does the Book of Revelation say only 144,000 people will be raptured? Image source: Pixabay

No. the book f Revelation does not say that only 144,000 people will be raptured. Revelation 7:4-8 talks about the 144,000 people being men from the twelve tribes of Israel that were ‘sealed .’It denotes that the 144,000 comprise of 12,000 men from each tribe of Israel. Revelation 14:1-5 talks about them as virgins who did not defile themselves with women and that they followed the ‘Lamb’ wherever He went. They were chosen and made servants with Christ.

While some scholars believe that the number 144,000 is literally the number of Jewish believers recorded, others believe that it is symbolic of all believers since the beginning of the Earth. From the bible scriptures above, we can deduce that the 144,000 are Jews who will receive a special calling to serve with Christ. They will be “sealed,” which means they will have special protection from God. They will be kept from the divine judgments and saved from the wrath of the Antichrist during the tribulation. 

How can one prepare themselves for Rapture according to the Bible?

As highlighted in the book of 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, only those who “are in Christ” will be transformed and taken up to the clouds to meet with Jesus. This, therefore, begs the question of what a person who is Christ should look like. In these ways, one should follow to be in Christ and thus ready for Rapture.

The foundation of every Christian belief is Salvation and Faith. Once you are saved, you get an assurance that you will meet with Jesus when He returns for His saints. The book of John 3:16 states that believing in Jesus is the basis for eternal life.

Another way to prepare yourself for Rapture is to be watchful and ready. The passage in the book of Matthew 25:1-13 narrates the parable of the ten virgins. The wise ones were prepared and witnessed the bridegroom’s arrival. The parable illustrates the importance of readiness for Christ’s return.

Every believer is called to repent and confess their sins to God continuously. All human being is sinful in nature according to Romans 3:23, and must continuously acknowledge wrongdoing, seek forgiveness, and strive to live a life in accordance with God’s teachings as mentioned in 1 John 1:9 and Acts 3:19)

Jesus also taught the importance of loving one another and serving mankind. Believers are encouraged to show compassion, kindness, and generosity to their fellow human beings as they await His coming. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus tells his disciples that love is the greatest of all commandments, while Galatians 5:13-14 teaches about serving one another in love and humility.

Believers are encouraged to be in constant Prayer and Communion with God as they await the Rapture. Regular prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and spending time in God’s Word (Psalm 119:105) strengthen believers spiritually and deepen their relationship with God.

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