What Is The Rapture ?

Our English word “rapture” comes from the Latin word “rapere” which “simply means ‘to be caught up,’ ‘snatched,’ or ‘seized’” (Richard T. Ritenbaugh). The relevant definitions from Dictionary.com are:

3. the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence.

4. the Rapture, Theology . the experience, anticipated by some fundamentalist Christians, of meeting Christ midway in the air upon his return to earth.

5. Archaic . the act of carrying off.

This is exactly what we see in regard to Christians at the second coming of Christ at the end of the world. Notice I Thessalonians 4:17 reads “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.” We see the same thing in Matthew 24:40-42: “Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”

However, Revelation 1:7 (“… he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him”) shows the rapture will not be secret as the “Left Behind” series and many false teachers suppose.

The point? Always be ready because when the Lord comes for his saints, you don’t want to be left behind to face God’s immediate judgment in a lost condition.

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