|When we speak about the rapture of the Church, different questions
come up: What is it? What does it mean? When will it happen? And of
course, there are opposing views. The purpose of this website is to
present these views and then let you choose which seems more
|TERMINOLOGY If we are going to discuss the rapture, let's make sure we all understand the definitions and terms.|
What is the Church? The church--little c--is a building where believers meet for worship, fellowship and study. The Church--capital C--is the body of people who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, Resurrected One, and Returning in the future--also known as believers. Church comes from the Greek word ecclesia. Ecclesia actually means the called out and is usually translated as Church, although sometimes as assembly (Acts 19:32,39,41). Called out refers to the idea presented by Jesus that believers are called out of the world (John 15:18-19): the world represents the opposing view of God and his redemptive work.
This is not a new idea: In the Old and New Testaments,
told to be holy, which means set apart (Leviticus 11:44, 19:2; 1
Peter 1:13-16; 1 Peter 2:9 ). Our position in Christ as believers, sets
us apart from the world. In this respect, at our confession and baptism¹, we become
members of the Church worldwide--members of the Body of Christ.
|What is the Great Tribulation? In Matthew 24, Jesus talks about the persecution of believers, the Abomination that Causes Desolation [aka the antichrist] spoken of by Daniel (Daniel 9:27), and then says, "For then there will be Great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt:24:21). In Revelation 7:14, the angel told John, "These are the ones who came out of the Great Tribulation and washed their robes made white in the blood of the Lamb."|
|What is the Rapture?
The word rapture refers to an event
mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “And after
that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” The Greek - caught up
translated into Latin is rapturo. Jesus seems to mention the
rapture event in Matthew 24: "Two men will be in the field; one will
be taken and the other left." Among many Christians, the
debate is not about IF the rapture will happen, but rather WHEN the
rapture will take place: before, during or after the seven years of the
I do not include the Preterist view, which believes the Second Coming happened in 70 AD (2 Thess 2:2), or the Partial-Tribulation view because it lacks significance in this study, elements of which can be gleaned from the other views.
|The Second Coming The rapture is NOT the Second Coming of Christ. The First Coming of Jesus was his birth, life, death and resurrection. Speaking of his return, Jesus said people would see him, "...coming on the clouds of heaven," (Matthew 26:64). John described the Second Coming: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean” (Revelation 19:11,14).|
|When will the rapture happen?
If the Great Tribulation is many years in the future, the
whole debate about when the rapture takes place (before, middle, or end
of the Great Tribulation) is of little importance
or relevancy to most people.
But what if the Second Coming happens around 2037? Then this study of the rapture might become important--certainly more personal. Click on When Will Jesus Return? to learn more.
Continue your study by choosing below
|Please contact me with any thoughts, questions or comments: jcg at RaptureOfTheChurch.org|