The Rapture

I understand that the word “rapture” is not in the bible. However, Jesus tells us we will be saved from the wrath of God in the final days. Where did the word Rapture come from and how did it get such confirmation?


@Melsell20 Great question :slight_smile: You are correct that the word rapture is not in the Bible. Below are some resources on the history of the rapture and alternate views of the end times. I highly recommend Sam Storms’ book if you are interested in a good read.

But there’s another question we should ask, one that may surprise you: “Is the rapture taught in the Bible?” It may come as a shock to learn that many Bible-believing Christians today doubt the rapture, and that most Christians throughout history had never even heard of it.

The doctrine of the secret rapture emerged during the early 19th century through the teachings of John Nelson Darby (1800–1882). Darby was one of the early leaders of the Plymouth Brethren movement, and his teachings became known as “dispensationalism.”

Sam Storms Kingdom Come

Paul’s description of Jesus’ reappearance in 1 Thessalonians 4 is a brightly colored version of what he says in two other passages, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and Philippians 3:20-21: At Jesus’ “coming” or “appearing,” those who are still alive will be “changed” or “transformed” so that their mortal bodies will become incorruptible, deathless. This is all that Paul intends to say in Thessalonians, but here he borrows imagery—from biblical and political sources—to enhance his message. Little did he know how his rich metaphors would be misunderstood two millennia later.

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interesting. NTWright kind of negative for me. I prefer to have Hope. He will protect us from the mark of the beast. His time is not our time though so not sure of timelines.



Thank you for asking these questions.
I don’t speak English, I only speak Spanish but I take the time to read and translate.

Greetings from Spain :smiley:


@Melsell20 N. T. Wright’s view is hopeful, but he focuses the hope of the Christian on the second coming of Jesus rather than on a rapture. Not all Christians believe that the tribulation will occur in the future.

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Muy bien. Yo vivia alli por 2 anos hace 30 anos. Me encantaba.

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:hushed: :smiley: :hugs:

Que excelente! Estoy impresionado por su dedicacion a aprender la Biblia! Continua y quiza Ud. podria aprender ingles tambien!

It is true that the word rapture does not appear in the English Bible - but then, neither do words like Trinity or missionary or, for that matter, even the word “Bible” itself! Obviously, the absence of a word in no way implies that the teaching associated with that word is unbiblical.

Where does the word rapture come from? It’s found in I Thessalonians 4:17 - in the Latin Vulgate as a conjugated form of rapio. In our English Bible, it is translated as “caught up”.

It’s primary confirmation is from passages such as I Corinthians 15:51 and following, which says, Behold, I show 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed…etc.

And I Thessalonians 4:13 and following, especially verses 16-17, which say, the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which 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…

And II Thessalonians 2:1 and following, we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto him…

The early church fathers likewise did not use the word rapture, but they taught the concept.

Irenaeus, for example, who lived from 120-202 AD described it in his book Against Heresies (c. 180 AD). Irenaeus was a direct disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John.

In Against Heresies 5.5.1, he used Enoch’s translation to heaven before the flood as a parallel of the church’s translation before the Tribulation, saying “For Enoch, when he pleased God, was translated in the same body in which he did please him, thus pointing out by anticipation the translation of the just.”

He continues in 5.29.1 saying, “And therefore, when in the end the church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, ‘There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning neither shall be’. For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome, they are crowned with incorruption.”

In 5.30.4, he concludes with how Christ will come and send “this man (the antichrist) and those who follow him into the lake of fire, but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is the rest, the hallowed seventh day.”

In 5.31.2 he further likens the ascension of Christians into the clouds at the end of this age with the ascension of Christ at the beginning.

I don’t want to overload you with more than you’re interested in, but if you want to research other early Christians who taught that God would miraculously take up the living and the dead before the tribulation upon the world (call it the “rapture” or whatever you like), you can check out Victorinus of Pettau who wrote his Commentary on the Apocalypse in about 270 AD (and was later martyred under Diocletian) - especially sections 6.14 and 15.1.

You can also check out The Shepherd of Hermas, written by Hermas around 150 AD - see sections 4.1-2.

Or an anonymous work of the First Century titled, The Teaching of the twelve Apostles, sections 16.3-8; 16.14 and 16.16-17.

I hope this will help you with this question.

For all these and further resources, check out: - especially pages 153-156


Much is to be said… But I’ll keep this short.

The rapture is not going to save you from the wrath of God, but the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is. It’s by His justice that we are saved.

Using the rapture is a theological and hermeneutical error.

If we do not die , we are still here for the wrath of God. However, the idea of the rapture is the church is saved prior to the wrath of God. That was my understanding. When you die, yes, Jesus has saved you. Revelation is very confusing.

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Yes @Melsell20, that is the general idea of the rapture. Can you share which verses you’re referencing that indicate a rapture or are you just talking about the theory in general?

@Melsell20 I highly recommend you read a book on the different ways to interpret Revelation. I won’t say it will be the easiest read of your life, but it will help you a lot. The big message of Revelation is simple - “God wins and all corrupt worldly empires will be judged in the end, so be of good cheer even in persecution”. But the details are quite confusing, even for learned men and women, and it takes a lot of study to begin to really understand all of the images and such.

Jesus saves us now, not just when we die. :slight_smile: