Q. There is a ministry on internet that really caught my eye a couple of months ago. The person spoke a lot about Paul’s epistles and I was very blessed by his articles. However, in one of them he said plainly that there is no rapture and quoted Scripture to backup his claim. This has made me feel depressed and taken my hope away. Please, can you give me the concrete scriptures that say there is a rapture, as I have believed for 40 years.
A. The word “rapture” is from the Latin translation of 1 Thes 4:17. It comes from the Greek word “harpazo” that is translated “caught up” in English.
Some say 1 Thes. 4:16-17 refers to the 2nd Coming but there’s a good reason why that can’t be true. In 1 Thes. 4:16-17 we’re taken off the earth to meet Jesus in the clouds but at the second coming the Lord will return to Earth to begin His reign here. The rapture is a secret, instantaneous, event that will be over in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:51-53). The 2nd Coming is a public event that every eye will behold (Rev. 1:7). The rapture only involves the Church. The 2nd coming involves the whole world (Matt. 24:30).
Also in 1 Thes. 1:10 Paul said Jesus will rescue us from the wrath to come. The Greek word translated “from” means out of the time, the place, or any relation to God’s wrath. In 1 Thes. 5:9 Paul said we’re not appointed to suffer wrath. And in Rev. 3:10 Jesus personally promised to keep us out of the end times judgments. These promises mean the rapture has to precede the 2nd Coming by at least 7 years.
You say you’ve believed in the Rapture of the Church for 40 years. But when you heard a teaching that contradicts what you believe your faith was shaken. That tells me you’ve been relying on others to tell you what the Bible says about the rapture rather than having done your own study. Therefore, when you heard a conflicting opinion you had no defense.
Sadly most Christians today fall into the same category. Their faith is based on hearsay, and that makes them fair game for any false teaching that comes around. The Bible is by far the most important book you have. I urge you to find out what it says for yourself and stop relying on the opinions of others. They could be wrong.