Reading an article regarding the various theories on the harpazo, or snatching away, of the Church caused me to think of these different views. Some think the Church was taken at 70 A.D. Others believe the snatching away will be at the end of the Millennium. Others do not believe in a Millennium. And then there are those who believe the Church will be removed before, during or after the Great Tribulation.

The Rapture is a favorite subject of mine because it is our great hope. I believe the Lord will take us to be spared from the Great Tribulation, so you know my personal bias. Regardless of the when, however, I believe there will be a Rapture.

As a note, there are some who will say that “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. It depends on the translation you are reading. It originally was found in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible. The word “rapture” comes from the translation of the Latin word, raeptius, of the Greek word for “snatching away” or harpazo. This Latin word was transliterated into English as rapture, just as the Greek word baptizo is transliterated into English as baptize.

The Apostle Paul describes the rapture in First Thessalonians 4:16-17. It is interesting that Paul only spent about three weeks with this church, and yet thought the doctrine of the Second Coming and the Rapture to be important enough to relate to the spiritually young Christians. Somehow, we are told that this a deep matter only to be discussed by mature Christians or those with lots of letters after their name.

The Lord Jesus alludes to the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse. In Matthew 24:40-41 He tells us that two people will be together doing normal daily activities, one will be taken and one “left behind.” This indicates a special event and not a general resurrection or the judgement, because they had not died. And the word translated “taken” means “something joined to one’s self,” or “to receive something transmitted.” (Strong’s Greek #3880) Jesus was describing what we call the Rapture.

The Old Testament tells of some being sequestered from the Lord’s wrath (Isaiah 26:20 and Zephaniah 2:1-3). It speaks of a group mysteriously disappearing (Isaiah 57:1). The New Testament tells us that Christians will be protected from the coming wrath (First Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9, and the Revelation 3:10).

I may not know when it will occur, but there will be a Rapture because the Holy Scriptures tell us this. I may not know when the Rapture will occur but it appears the purpose of this wonderful event will be to protect us from the justifiable and righteous wrath of the Creator God Who made and owns this earth. May His name be praised forever.

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