The Rapture of the Church

Do you believe in the “Rapture,” even though the term, “rapture of the church,” nor the word “rapture” are found in the Bible?

First, to conclude that, neither the word nor the term is found in the Bible would necessarily depend on what translation one uses to draw such conclusion.

Second, based on the qualifications set-forth by the question, the word “grandfather” is not found in the Bible either. In fact, the word “Bible” is not found in the Bible, based on the questions qualifications. Are we to assume, then, that there are in fact no such things as grandfathers or Bibles?

Third, the Greek word, “harpazo” means, “to seize, snatch up, catch away” (1Thes. 4:17; 2Cor. 12:4; Rev. 12:5); and its Latin form, “rapeabo” is the English word, “rapture.”

Therefore, the word rapture is in fact found in the Bible in the sense of its original languages.

Fourth, concerning the “rapture of the church”:

In Revelation 12:5, John the Revelator records that the child born was “caught up” to God in the heavens.

In 2Corinthians, the apostle Paul is explaining how one was “caught up” into the third heaven.

And in 1Thessalonians 4:17 Paul explains how the believers in Christ will be “caught up” into the air with the Lord, and so shall forever be with the Lord.

Therefore, we can conclude that this Greek word necessarily means that the subject or subjects are taken outward and upward.

Thus, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Paul is speaking of this as being done to the church, which is affectionately termed, “The Rapture of the Church” by its proponents.

Fifth, hermeneutics, or the interpretation of Scripture, also must be taken into consideration.

For those who interpret the Book of Revelation as, “The things seen” (chapter 1), “The things that are” (the churches – chapters 2-3), and “the things which must come here after” (chapters 4-22), the rapture of the church is promised in 3:10 when Christ says, “I will keep you from the hour of testing that will come upon the whole world…” The word,”from,” in “keep you from,” is the Greek word, “ek,” meaning “out of.”

If John would have meant that Christ would keep believers safe “through” the time of testing (as the Israelites were kept safe by God through the plagues of Egypt) he would have used the Greek word, “dia.”

But John does not say that Christ will keep them safe “through,” but that Christ will keep them “from” the testing upon the whole world. [This supports a pre-tribulation rapture.]

Also in Revelation, the church is never mentioned again until chapter 22, save for a parenthetic break when Christ repeats the phrase, “let those with an ear hear,” but unlike in chapters 2-3 doesn’t finish the phrase, “… what the Spirit says to the churches” (13:9) because the churches have been raptured.

Sixth, Scripture clearly teaches a bodily resurrection of the dead/rapture of the living church (1Thes. 4:13-18; 1Cor. 15:20, 23, 40, 42-44; 51-55; Phil. 3:21).

Seventh, as in any good New Testament theology there is an Old Testament precedent. God “took” Enoch (Genesis 5:21-24).

The Hebrew word for “took” is, “laqach,” meaning, “to carry away.” This can be easily translated, like the Latin version, “raptured.”

Likewise, in 2 Kings 2:11 Elijah is “taken up” (Hebrew, “alah”) into the heavens.

Eighth, there is, in the Old Testament, an analogy of the rapture of the church (Isaiah 26:19-21).

Ninth, there is, in the Old Testament, an argument from silence for the rapture of the church (Zechariah 15:5).
[How did these holy ones come down from heaven with God if they did not first go up to Him?]

Tenth, we shall not, here, enter into the analogy of the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony, which speaks of the rapture of the church.

And eleventh, likewise, we shall not, here, enter into the mystical hermeneutics of Matthew 17:1; 1 Kings 18:12; Acts 8:39; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4; and Revelation 11:12; 12:5 (but I urge you to look at them again and see them anew).

Therefore, while in some translations the “rapture of the church” is not strictly mentioned, the over-arching ideology of it is all-throughout the Scriptures.

And finally, do not blame this doctrine, as some erroneously do, on Scofield or Darby; for, what I have enumerated here is biblical, etymological, and far more theological than any one person’s doctrine.

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