By Grant Phillips
Some say the word “rapture” is not in the Bible, so therefore there is no rapture of the Church. Neither is the word “trinity” in the Bible, but God is triune; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is one in three persons.
“Rapture” comes from the Latin word “rapturo.” It is the equivalent of the Greek “harpazo,” which is found in 2 Corinthians 12:2 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17 for “caught up.”
Harpazo and rapture both mean: (a) to seize, carry off by force, (b) to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly, and (c) to snatch out or away.
The Rapture (rapturo, Latin; harpazo, Greek) of Christ’s Church will happen on God’s time schedule. Some believe it will happen before Daniel’s 70th week (commonly called the seven year Tribulation), some in the middle and some at the end. It is clear to me that it is impossible for it to occur at any other time than prior to Daniel’s 70th week (the seven year Tribulation).
The next event on God’s calendar is the Rapture of the Church. After that will follow Daniel’s 70th week, then Christ will return with His Church at the end of Daniel’s 70th week and set up His millennial kingdom, which is called the 1,000 year Millennium.
It does not upset me if others do not believe as I do regarding these events, but some folks really get uptight about these matters. For example, a few have tried to “straighten me out.” Others simply say I’m a false prophet and going to hell. Some question my salvation in very colorful ways, while others are just plain ticked off that I would believe in a Rapture at all.
Where does all this venomous hatred come from? The answer is obvious. Satan hates God’s Truth and will continue to fight against God and His chosen ones until his last breath.
Again, I strongly and without question believe in a Rapture of the true Church prior to the start of Daniel’s 70th week (the Tribulation). I would like to present the following for consideration. This is not original of course. Many others have presented these same arguments and I will use these same verses that others have pointed to.
At the Rapture, Jesus comes FOR His Church. Luke 21:36; John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:14-17, 5:9; Revelation 3:10
At His 2nd Coming, Jesus comes WITH His Church. Zechariah 14:5; Colossians 3:4; Revelation 19:7-8, 14; 21: 9-10; Matthew 24:29-31; Jude 1:14-15; 1 Thessalonians 3:13
At the Rapture, Jesus appears to only the Church: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 5:8; John 11:40 Hebrews 9:28
At His 2nd Coming, He appears to everyone: Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 1:7; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 24:30; Luke 3:6; John 19:37
At the Rapture, only true Christians (the Church) are taken (those who are alive at that time and those who have died prior). Unbelievers (those not of the true Church) are left behind. Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 3:8-10; 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
At His 2nd Coming, the wicked are taken. The righteous (Tribulation saints) are left behind. Matthew 13:28-30
There are many other stark differences between Christ coming for His bride (the Rapture) and His 2nd Coming (at the end of the Tribulation). The more these are considered, the clearer it becomes that the Rapture will occur, and it will occur before Daniel’s 70th week (the 7-year Tribulation).
To believe or not believe in the Rapture will not save anyone. Only absolute trust in the Lord Jesus Christ will save any of us. It is His blood sacrificed for us that makes those who believe on Him a child of God. His works save those who believe on Him.
Some say the Rapture is an “escape hatch” we Christians have devised. It is an “escape hatch,” but it is not something we devised. This promise comes directly from God’s Word. It is an “escape hatch” because God is going to pour out His wrath upon the earth during those seven years of Tribulation, but not upon His own bride. Therefore, He snatches us out beforehand.
One other time God poured out His wrath upon the entire earth, and that was during Noah’s day with a world-wide flood. With the flood, God removed Noah and his family from harm’s way via an ark. This time, He will remove His own entirely from the earth and allow Satan a free hand, for a while, then bring down His own judgment upon Satan and all his followers.
Do I want an “escape hatch” from this horrible time of wrath to come upon all the earth? You betcha! It’s going to get really nasty, and I want no part of it. Thank God that our Savior and Lord will not leave His bride here on earth to undergo His own wrath. And that’s another point. What groom who loves his bride would do that?
You don’t believe in the Rapture? That’s fine. Are you a Christian? If you are, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised if it occurs in our lifetime, and there is a strong chance it will.
Should fear of the seven years of Tribulation be used to hopefully bring people to a saving knowledge of Christ? Absolutely! That is one reason among others that Satan hates for us to be knowledgeable of God’s end-time prophesies. He wants to lull as many as possible into thinking they’ll be okay, or it won’t be that bad, and the Church won’t be removed anyway. He wants us to believe that we’ll just get saved during the Tribulation. Many will be saved, and many will die a horrible death. Is that what you want?
You believe I’m a fool for believing in the Rapture, but listen to this. My faith isn’t in the Rapture. It is in Jesus Christ, and I know Jesus did not lie when he said,
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:1-4)