5 Question 3

Is the word “rapture” found in the Scriptures?  Yes and no.  Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 4:17 – “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.”  In this verse, the Greek word, “harpazo” is translated into two English words: “caught up”.  In the latter part of the 4th century, there was a Latin translation of the Bible produced that is called the Latin Vulgate.  In this translation, the two words, “caught up” are translated “rapio” from which we get the word “rapture.”  So, while the word rapture is not found in our English translation, it was in the Latin translation of the Bible.

The teaching of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians was written to give comfort to those who had lost loved ones to death.  Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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 with 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 clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

This is such an important truth for the Church today.  We live in expectation of the imminent return of the Lord Jesus to take His people home, without going through death.  When we speak of the Lord’s return as ‘imminent’, that means He could come back any second now.  There is no prophecy to be fulfilled before the rapture of the church takes place.  In truth, the Lord could return before this program is over.  This rapture of the church will happen so quickly that the world will not know what happened.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 addresses the church, or those who are truly saved.  It says “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”  This tells us that the rapture will happen in the twinkling of an eye.  Someone has said that the flash of a twinkling in someone’s eye takes about 1/60 of a second.  Incredibly fast.  And for us who are caught up to be with the Lord in the rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:17 tells us that, “so shall we ever be with the Lord.”  Blessed thought.  We will never leave the Lord’s side throughout eternity.

But what of those who are left behind at the rapture?  What happens to the ones who are not saved when the Lord returns to get His church?  2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 says, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  This tells us that all those who had heard the truth, but “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” will believe the lie and be damned.  This is terribly serious.  If the Lord should return today, and you, having heard the Gospel, are living in rejection of the Lord’s salvation, you will believes Satan’s lies and you will be damned.  Some teach today that if the Lord returns and you are left behind, that you will have a second chance to believe in the Lord Jesus.  The verses I just read teach that that is just not true.  If you are left behind because of your unbelief, you will not have another chance to accept the Lord as your savior.

It is so important that you put your trust in the Lord Jesus today…before it’s eternally too late.  The Lord “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”, as we read in 2 Peter 3:9.  The Lord’s desire is that everyone should be saved, but this day of grace is quickly coming to an end.  Won’t you consider this and today, bow your knee to the Lord and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior.  John 5:24 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

If you would like to talk to someone about your need of salvation, please contact us as answersfromthebook@gmail.com.  We would love to help you see from the scriptures how you can be eternally saved.  (5.3)