“According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV)
The word rapture itself is nowhere to be found in scripture. Albeit elusive in scripture, the act of being “caught up in the clouds” is documented by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Manuscripts were written in greek and were also translated in Latin and the word rapture is derived from the Latin Vulgate. Let us examine its origin.
harpazo – A transliterated greek word means rapturus
Future active participle of rapiÅ (snatch, carry off).
raptÅ«rus m. (feminine raptÅ«ra, neuter raptÅ«rum); first/second declension
1. about to snatch, about to grab, about to carry off
1. first-person plural future passive indicative of rapiÅ. “we shall be snatched, we shall be grabbed, we shall be carried off”
The scripture below is from the Latin Vulgate
1 Thessalonicenses 4:17 (Biblia Sacra Vulgata)
17deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus
1 Thessalonians 4:17 (New American Standard Version)
“Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
If we claim to be Christians, then we must believe God’s inerrant word, from the beginning to end. This verse is our blessed hope that God will deliver those who have put their hope in HIM from impending judgment in the Great tribulation, God’s judgment on those who refuse to believe in HIM.
In Matthew 24:9, Jesus states,
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
Clearly Christians from all over the world as we speak are experiencing this fate. We hear of Muslims converting to Christianity being killed by their own family in Arab nations, Chinese killing Christians and also of persecutions in India. That snippet of scripture stands true today.
We are fortunate to live in a country where we have freedom of religion, to not be persecuted for our faith in Jesus Christ. Let us exercise that freedom by dissecting and sharing the richness of promises found in God’s inerrant word. Read your bible and do not go only by what so called “spiritual elites” tell you, who some sadly still misconstrue the word of God.
There is room for debate as to when the actual occurrence of the rapture is whether Pre, Mid, or Post-tribulation. What we are called to do as believers is to persevere for we do not know our lot.
My wish is that I would not have to taste death not because of fear, but who wouldn’t want to experience not having to physically die yet live on to eternity?