Some Bible students believe that Philippians 3:10-14 refers to the Rapture of the Body of Christ.
However, after study it seems clear to us that Paul is referring to the desire to attain the high calling (standard) of God, the actual quotation is as follows:
Phil. 3:11 "If (by any means at least) I might attain unto the out resurrection of the dead". Verse 12 goes on to say "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus". Verse 14 reads "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". The subject seems to be Paul's desire to achieve the high standard that he feels Christ requires of him, and the high calling referred to in verse 14 seems to clarify this. In our opinion it does not refer to the Rapture. See: RAPTURE (THE) of Christians and Overcomers and Rapture (The) Those Taken and Those Not.
By this time, (post Acts 28:28), Paul is aware that the Lord's second coming is not imminent, therefore he does not know if he will have died by that time, whereas in 1Thess. 4:15-17 the offer to the Jews was still in place, and if they had accepted Christ as their Messiah His return would have been imminent, and therefore Paul expected to be in that Rapture. See: The position of the Jews in Scripture, Old and New Testaments.
We are of the opinion that the potential Body of Christ commenced at the renting of the veil, therefore all those who put their trust in Christ during the Acts period whether Jew or Gentile, are in the Body, but seem to have a different inheritance than those after Acts 28:28. The former an inheritance on Earth, and the latter in Heaven; this at the stage of the Millennial Reign, as both are drawn together in the "new Heaven and Earth"! (However, there are varying opinions on this). Therefore the 1Thess. 4:15-17 refers to the Body of the Lord. ("For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the cloud, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord").
By the time Paul wrote 2Tim. 4:6-8, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing". Paul is ready to leave this life and is at peace, feeling he has accomplished all that has been asked of him. He is confident that The Lord will accept him and his efforts, bearing in mind that at Paul's confrontation by the risen Lord on the Damascus road, he was told what the Lord wanted him to do initially, and also at a later time. When Paul was before King Agrippa he explained to Agrippa that he was given earlier and later instruction by the Lord, and that they were carried out by him. See: Apostle Paul: and Apostle Paul's Accusers.
Our prayer should be that we too at the end of our life have carried out faithfully our witness to the Salvation of Christ, Acts 4:12.
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