What is the rapture? Some day, at a time known only by God, Jesus will come back and take His bride the church, home with Him. This event will end the church age and start a period of time known as The Day Of The Lord. The Day Of The Lord is not one literal day, but a period of time whereby the Lord will deal with His chosen people Israel. This period of time starts when the church is taken away and is a time of judgment lasting from the rapture until the millenium. Many sceptics make a point that the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. The word Lord or God is not in the book of Esther but do you think Esther and Mordecai believed in Him? You will not find the words Trinity or millenium in the Bible either. Rapture means “caught up,” and that is the term used in the Bible for this event. Actually, the term rapture is in Saint Jerome’s ancient Vulgate Bible (373AD). It is translated “caught up” from the Latin word rapapare to the English rapture. Other sceptics like to make the point that this teaching was not taught throughout the church age. This is also false. Here are a few of the references: John Darby of the Plymouth Brethren taught about the rapture in 1830. In the 1700’s Joseph Mede referred to the rapture as “The Key to Revelation. “Ephraim the Syrian (373AD) stated the following on the Last Times, the Antichrist, and The End of the World: “We ought to understand thoroughly therefore my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging… We must prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord…so that He may draw us from the confusion which overwhelms the world.” (translations– imminent-rapture, confusion-tribulation period) “For all the saints and the elect of God are gathered prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sin.” There are three New Testament passages that refer to the rapture: The first is John 14:1-3. This passage are the words of Christ and tell us that He will bring His church to be with Him. Another important reference is I Corinthians 15:51-52. Paul states that “I shew you a mystery.” When Paul uses this phrase, he is saying he is sharing a new teaching to us that had not yet been revealed in the Old Testament. Hence, this is a new doctrine given to us. The key and comprehensive passage is I Thessalonians 4:13-18. The believers will be “caught up” in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is the next apocalyptic event on the Lord’s timetable.
Let us contrast the rapture of the church with the second coming of Christ in judgment:
RAPTURE / SECOND COMING
Jesus comes for church / Jesus comes with church
Jesus comes in air / Jesus comes to earth
Jesus comes in secret / “every eye shall see Him”
No signs to precede the rapture / Many signs will precede His coming
No judgment / The seven year Tribulation Period and judgment will accompany the Second Coming