Is there such a thing as the rapture?
This is the teaching of a person being removed from the earth alive
The bible does spend time on this, teaching that those who believed in Christ and the Old Testament saints being transformed to immortality in their bodies.
The main passage this teaching is found is in is explaining the Lord summoning the resurrection and at the same time those 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. (1Thess. 4:16- 17)
The phrase "caught up together" comes from the Greek word harpazo Which means "to snatch out" or "to seize" by force. The Latin Bible has the word raptus, rapture.
In John 14 Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also." Jesus has prepared a place for us in Heaven, where He is now. And will come to take us there. In other words there will be a certain time in history when he will take the church away from the earth. This is a consistent teaching in the Scripture. That all will not have to die to be with him. This is what 1 Thess 4:16-17 describes the Lord himself shall descend from heaven. At a future date that is unknown Christ will come out of heaven and descend into the atmosphere of earth to remove the believers in Christ.
The Bible teaches Christians are to be taken away from earth, “to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:17), Christians that have died will rise from the grave and be given a new body. The resurrection is at the same time as the rapture, in other words they coincide as the same event. The bodies of the living will be changed, transformed to immortal bodies along with the bodies of those that have died as they are brought to heaven.
In the rapture we do not leave our bodies behind but have them transformed.
1 Cor 15:41-44 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.”
Paul then speaks of the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. v.44 it is raised a spiritual body.” Meaning a physical body, that is eternal, immortal, sinless completely dominated by the spirit.
1 Cor 15:48-54 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
We will then be eternally changed (1 Corinthians 15:51) A complete transformation waits for those who followed Christ. We shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
As Romans 8:29-30 states, our bodies will be conformed to the image of the resurrected Jesus.
Phil 3:21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
1 John 3:2-3 promises that “When He is revealed we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is"
If one rejects the rapture then they must also reject the resurrection because these are the same event, when God calls the dead and living to be transformed.
There are 6 raptures described in the Bible. Four of these are past and two are yet to come. They do not all use the same word but have the same concept and description; one is removed from the earth and taken, often described as from earth upwards.
1) ENOCH "And Enoch walked with God and was not for God TOOK HIM. (Genesis 5:24)
We later read that "By
faith Enoch was TRANSLATED that he should not see death and was not
found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had
this testimony, that he pleased God.(Hebrews
Three times the word translated is used Gr. metatithemi- to transpose (two things, one of which is put in place of the other)
a) to transfer b) to change c) to transfer oneself or suffer oneself to be transferred
1) to go or pass over 2) to fall away or to desert from one person or thing to another
metathesis- 1) transfer: from one place to another 2) to change; used of things instituted or established
Here's how it reads "By faith Enoch was TRANSLATED that he should not see death and was not found, because God had taken (TRANSLATED( him"; for before he was taken (TRANSLATED) he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
Lest break it down:
1) By Faith Enoch was TRANSLATED - 3346 metatithemi from 3326 and 5087; to transfer, i.e. (literally) transport, (by implication) exchange (reflexively) change sides, or (figuratively) pervert:
2) because God had TRANSLATED him- 3346 metatithem from 3326 and 5087; to transfer, i.e. (literally) transport, (by implication) exchange (reflexively) change sides, or (figuratively) pervert:
3) or before his
TRANSLATION, he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 3331
metathesis from 3346; transposition, i.e. transferral (to heaven),
disestablishment (of a law):
2) ELIJAH "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire and separated them, and Elijah WENT UP by a whirlwind into Heaven. (2 Kings 2:1-11)
3) JESUS " And when Jesus had spoken these things, while they beheld, Jesus was TAKEN UP and a cloud received Him out of their sight". -
Acts 1:9-11"So then after the Lord had spoken, He was RECEIVED UP into Heaven and sat up on the right hand of God". ( Mark 16:19)
"And she brought forth a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron and her child was CAUGHT UP unto God and to His throne". (Revelation 12:5)
4) PAUL "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell, God knoweth such a one CAUGHT UP to the third heaven" (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
caught up – Gr harpazo 1) to seize, to carry off by force 2) to seize on, to claim for oneself eagerly 3) to snatch out or to snatch away
The following two remaining raptures are yet to happen
5) THE CHURCH "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 so shall we ever be with the Lord". (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
6) THE TWO WITNESSES "And I heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them COME UP here and they ASCENDED UP to heaven in a cloud and their enemies beheld them. (Revelation 11:3-12)
As Jesus ascended in a cloud to heaven in Acts 1, so will
these last two prophets in the tribulation. they will be a testimony unto Jesus
of both the resurrection and the rapture to Israel and the world.