By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
First Baptist Church
The rapture is something many persons, both Christians and non-Christians, have heard about. It is a subject discussed in books, movies, sermons, and Bible studies. But does the Bible say anything about it? Here’s the answer: Yes and no!
The answer is “No,” if the question means “Does the Bible use the word “rapture”? I do not know of any major English Bible translation that uses the word. The answer is “Yes,” if the question means, “Does the Bible refer to something that we call the rapture, even if the word itself is not found in the Bible?”
In verses 13 – 18 of chapter 4 of his first letter to the Thessalonian Christians, the apostle Paul wrote about this subject, even though he did not use the word “rapture.” Below is a quote of these verses from the New King James Version. They were taken from this website: www.biblegateway.com. Here in bold print is the quote:
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
If you have read these verses carefully, you will have noted they do not contain the word “rapture.” But we say these verses refer to “the rapture” because they have the words “caught up.” The word “rapture” is a Latin word, and it means to be “caught up.” Therefore, we have a good reason to say the Bible refers to “the rapture.” The words “caught up” in the Bible verses quoted above come from one Greek word. The Greek dictionary in Strongest Strong’s Concordance says the Greek word means “to catch, steal, carry off.” In the apostle Paul’s statements quoted above he said Christians would be “caught up,” that is “raptured” or “carried off” when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back for those who have believed on him as their Savior. So, with these facts in mind, if we are asked, “Does the Bible say anything about the rapture,” we can say “Yes and no.” Both answers are right.
But are you ready for the Lord to come back and take his people to heaven? If you want to learn how to make sure you are ready, click on the following link to a brief article that will tell you what you need to do to become a Christian right now, wherever you are, and no matter how many sins you might have committed. The article is called “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation.” Hundreds of thousands of persons have become Christians by reading this article, and doing what it says to do. Here’s the link: www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html.