I am continuing my series on the Christian Rapture and addressing the critics of it by countering their arguments one at a time. What is the Rapture? It is the theory that Jesus Christ will return for His saints and take them to Heaven by figuratively pulling them up. He will return after a time for the whole world. The context is, the world will go through a Tribulation where God will let the world see what it is like without His salvation and that the Christians will not be participants in that event. They will be taken up to Heaven by God and be exempt. Some people call it the Second Coming of Christ.
In Part 1, I covered the accusation of fear mongering. Today, I am going to take on the idea that the Rapture has no foundation in scripture.
In full disclosure, I am a Futurist when it comes to Eschatology (or End Times Studies). That means I believe that the End Times will happen and that signs are appearing. Revelations is a prophesy not yell fulfilled. Not all, but many Futurists believe in the Rapture. Preterists (those who believe the End Times have already happened) and Partial Preterists (the End Times have started, but slowly happening) typically do not believe in the Rapture.
Rapture critics, like the Preterists, claim that there is no scriptural evidence for it. Their first accusation is that the word ‘Rapture’ is not in the Bible. That is true, but in retrospective, technically there are not any English words in the Bible since it is written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. That is beside the point. Many Christians that God chooses to represent Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We call it the Holy Trinity. However, the word Trinity is not in the Bible. It is nowhere to be found. Now, the word Godhead is in the Bible and we use it, rightly so, as a synonym for Trinity.
Yet, critics refuse to do this with the Rapture. In Genesis 5:24 (KJV) it says, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Enoch was so close to God, that the Heavenly Father literally took him. According to Strong’s Concordance, the word for ‘took’ it can mean, take away, carry away, or take up. Now, what’s a synonym with Rapture? Take up. So it appears that there is a Rapture in the Old Testament, at the very beginning of the Bible.
Now, what about in the New Testament? Is there scriptural evidence for the Rapture in there? Yes, in 1 Thessalonians 5:13-18 where it mentions the ‘coming Day of the Lord’ where we will be ‘caught up together after the dead in Christ.’ Some critics claim this scripture is taken out of context and is specifically a confirming scripture of Saints going straight to Heaven when they die. However if you read the context, it is pretty clear that it is the coming Day of the Lord, not the time God calls you home. Those words: caught up is another word synonymous with Rapture in Greek.
Also in the Book of Revelations, which is about the End Times, the author Apostle John has a Rapture-like experience. Revelations 4:1-2 says, After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Before the Apostle John wrote about the End Times, he describes an event where he was taken through a doorway into Heaven, after hearing a trumpet. Now, some say this is not a “Rapture experience” but just him being led into Heaven. There are welcome to that opinion.
The last and most telling to me, in my opinion is Jesus speaking of the End Times when referring to the coming Kingdom of God in Luke 17:34-37, 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two [men] shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body [is], thither will the eagles be gathered together.
I, personally, believe that the events in Genesis and Revelations, along with Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians and, of course, Luke 17 are all evidence of the Rapture is an event of the End Times.
- Matthew 24:31
- 1 Thessalonians 5:2
- 1 Corinthians 15:52
Did I leave any Rapture Bible verses out? Comment below and be sure to subscribe for more Christian articles like this one.