One great reason for the religious confusion existing today is the failure to ascertain just what God’s program is in this dispensation of grace. During the present age God is doing one thing, and one thing only. He is bringing into existence, and bringing to completion, the Church which is the Body of Christ. Needless to say, this is not a denominational church, in spite of what many zealous denominationalists may think. God says, “There is ONE body” (Eph. 4:4). Truly it has been the devil’s trick to divide and subdivide the members of the ONE body into innumerable sects and religious groups, thus causing them to lose their testimony and discrediting them with the world.

The one true Bible Church is not an earthly organization, but a divine organism. It is the Body of Christ, and it is composed of every blood-washed, redeemed child of God. Every sinner saved by grace is a member of that body, and some day the last member will be added to the body, and then the body complete will be caught up to meet the Head in glory. We call this “the Rapture” of the church, and just when this wondrous event will take place can not be known.

The church was a mystery, not made known unto the sons or men in other ages. It was hid in the mind and heart of God from a bygone eternity. The prophets knew nothing about this church age, and the Lord did not choose to reveal it while He was here upon the earth. But after His death and resurrection, and His rejection by the nation Israel, He made known His secret purpose in this age through the Apostle Paul.

The present dispensation of the mystery is a signless, timeless, unprophesied period of time. The Rapture, which was also a secret, will end this age of grace. “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51). “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout … and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16, 17).

The coming of the Lord for the members of the Body is to be distinguished from His “Second Coming,” when He comes to bring in the kingdom. The latter coming is the subject of much prophecy; the former of none. When Christ comes for the church, He only comes into midair and the saints are caught up to meet Him. When He comes “in like manner” as He went, He returns to earth and “His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives.” His coming for the church will be a secret coming, unperceived by the world. When He comes to reign, “every eye shall see Him.” His coming for the church precedes the Great Tribulation period. His coming in power and great glory occurs at the close of the Great Tribulation.

When the Lord raptures His church home to glory, there will undoubtedly be many separations. Every saved one will be caught away by the Lord, and every unsaved one, whether father, mother, brother, sister, wife, husband, or child, will be left behind. However we must not confuse this separation with that one spoken of by the Lord in Matthew 24:40, 41. In the so-called Olivet discourse of Mathew 24 and 25, neither the church nor the Rapture of the church are at all in view. Christ was not referring to the Rapture when He said, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

In the above words spoken by the Savior, the one taken is taken away in judgment, and the one is left to enter the glorious millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the secret revealed through Paul, the one taken is not taken in judgment, but is caught away by the Lord into eternal blessedness to be forever with Him in glory, while the other one is left behind to endure the terrors of the Great Tribulation, “because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10).

In closing may we ask if you are prepared for this wondrous event, the catching away of the Body of Christ? Are you a member of that Body? It is not sufficient to have your name on some church roll down here, but is your name written in heaven? If not, just now look by faith to Calvary, believe the gospel that Christ died for your sins, receive Him as your Savior, and God will save you by His grace. Then you too will be “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13).