Q. I have listened to all your messages and read your articles on the rapture. The Holy Spirit has led you to do a great job of studying the scriptures and coming up with your reasoning on the rapture coming at pre tribulation. You left no doubt in my mind as to agreeing with you fully, until I was listening to a pastor who was being interviewed about the rapture. His point of view was that he didn’t believe in any rapture of the church, and that even the scriptures don’t come right out and mention the word rapture in them. I even looked up rapture in the bible dictionaries, and the word rapture is not listed. The pastor being interviewed did not convince me to change my mind, but I was just wondering why God left such a grey area when writing about his church being raptured resulting in different interpretations?
A. The exact timing of the Rapture of the Church is part of God’s secret wisdom. It will happen when the Church has reached its full number of members rather than on a specific date (Romans 11:25). No one but God knows what that number is, so it’s impossible for any man to know the exact day of its arrival in advance. However we have been told of the rapture’s existence, and that it will precede the end times judgments (Romans 5:9, 1 Cor. 15:51-53, 1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 5:9, 1 Thes. 4:16-17, Rev 3:10).
Any one who teaches that the word Rapture doesn’t appear in the Scriptures is counting on our ignorance. He hopes we don’t know that the word “rapture” is of Latin origin, whereas the New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek word that describes the rapture is “harpazo” It’s found in 1 Thes. 4:17 where it’s translated “caught up.” If you were to take the Latin version of 1 Thes. 4:17 and translate it into English, you would see the word “rapture” there. That’s because “caught up” and “rapture” are equivalent terms.