This is my 98th post for Fixing Grace and is one I've been moved, by the Lord to write for a long time. May this be a source of encouragement and comfort for our brothers and sisters waiting for the Bridegroom with as much anticipation as this writer.
In the King James version this reads "The righteous shall never be removed, but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth."
The word "removed" means "separate or remote in space, time or character."
Those arguing a post-millennial viewpoint for the Bible (those glorifying man and not the Lord) use this verse as their "proof" and then use "Jesus is not going to take Christians in some rapture," as the capstone. What we need to understand is that the Bible is about the Lord's relationship with man and is therfore from His point of view, not man's. We all know, or should know as Christians that one day we will see Jesus and live in His presence for all eternity (read Rev. 21) living in a new earth. Therefore, being removed in this case is being removed from Jesus' loving presence first and foremost.
The second part of this verse "but the wicked shall not inhabit the the earth" is also used to argue that the wicked, not the righteous, will be" raptured."
Make no mistake, as the evil one, Satan is well-versed in the "divide and conquer" strategy. When Jesus does come back to take His church, this will be one of the lies perpetrated on a confused and frightened world. There are many references, positve and negative, as this second part of the verse means what it says. Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." For further evidence of this truth, Matthew 25: 31-46. He will separate the sheep (righteous) from the goats (wicked) when He comes to establish His 1000 year reign on earth after defeating the antichrist, false prophet and putting Satan under lock and key (read Rev. 19 and 20). There are more references to this fact, but they do not conflict in any way with the fact that Jesus is still coming to take His bride (the church), or that He will come back with his believers after a seven year foretaste of hell on earth. Are you ready? Are you waiting for His return, or are you letting the cares of this world eclispse the glory of the Lord? The choice is yours.