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The Rapture = The Catching Up

What is the rapture? It has been pointed out that the word "rapture" does not occur in the King James Version. The term rapture (with reference to eschatology) simply means literally "catching up" or "snatching up." The figurative meaning of rapture refers to being caught up with wonderful pleasure, such as when you hear beautiful music or are in love.

When we speak about the rapture, we are talking about the Church, the Body of Christ, being literally caught up into the air to be with Christ when He appears in the air.

Here is the crucial passage in 1 Thessalonians:

:13   But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do cthe rest who have dno hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, aeven so God will bring with Him bthose who have fallen asleep 1in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you aby the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and fthe dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be


together with them in the clouds

TO MEET THE LORD IN HE AIR, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

By reading the above you can see why the Rapture is also referred to as "The Meeting in the Air."


Christians may disagree on this point. There is a lot of teaching in the Bible about Christ coming back to the earth to rule as King. But before studying these passages, one should not assume that the Second Coming to earth is the same event as the Catching Up in the air of the believers to be with Christ. If you believe that a literal 7 Year Time of Trouble will come on the earth before Christ's Second Coming, and if you believe that the Rapture is an immediate part of Christ's Second Coming, then your theological position will be called Posttribulationism, and you may have difficulty believing that the Rapture could come at any time, even today. For you think that 7 Years of Trouble must take place before the Rapture.

I, myself, have read the Bible many times and studied this subject. And I know of no passage in the Bible that connects the Rapture with the Second Coming as connected events.

Thus one is advised not to confuse the Rapture with the Second Coming in studying this subject.

The Time of the Rapture

Only an idiot sets a date for the Rapture, since the Bible no where dates the Rapture. However, the relative time of the Rapture is a legitimate topic for study. Various positions on this subject have been taken by Christians:
1. Pre-tribulational Rapture
2. Mid-tribulational Rapture
3. Post-tribulational Rapture
4. Partial Rapture theory.

In this discussion the term "tribulation" is used a lot. also "Daniel's 70th Week" is used. In Daniel 9 Daniel gives a panoramic prophecy of the future of Israel as "seventy weeks." These "seventy weeks" are often interpreted as "seven groups of seven years," on the grounds that "weeks" is literally "sevens," not necessarily days, and that the context concerns the 7 year cycles which God gave to israel, the 7th year of each cycle being a "Sabbatical Year." The term "tribulation" has often been used to refer to the last of these 70 Weeks, although in Matthew 24 it appears that only the last half of Daniel's 70th Week is called "tribulation," or "The Great Tribulation."

The Pre-tribulation rapture view actually means "pre-70th Week." For so far as I know, the Bible never calls this entire 70th Week "the tribulation."

The Mid-tribulation view holds that the Rapture occurs in the middle of Daniel's 70th Week. And on the basis that only the last half of Daniel's 70th week is actually 'The Tribulation," a Mid-tribulationist might call himself a Pre-tribulationist.

The Post-tribulation views put the Rapture after Daniel's 70th week or at its end and thus very near to or a part of His Second Coming.

The Partial Rapture Theory could let some special group of believers have a pre-trib rapture, but others have to go through the Tribulation.


This view is the logical result of the following considerations:

1. Daniel's 70th Week is a definite period of time outlined in detail in Revelation 6-18. The events are clearly spelled out, not so vague that we would not know it was happening Therefore, the 70th week has not yet occurred and must be something yet to come. That being the case, we could not expect Christ to come at any time, even today if we held the Mid-Trib or Post-Trib view.

2. The Church, Body of Christ, is always absent when a description of events on earth during the 70th Week are described. On earth there is a description of Israel and the Nations, but no mention of the Church.

3. The Rapture is presented in the Bible as something that could happen at any time. We are to expect it as our blessed hope. The judge stands at the door, as James says. In other words, the Rapture is an imminent event, which potentially, so far as we are to know, could happen at any time. If there were recognized prophetic events that must precede the Rapture, we could not live in expectancy of its occurrence. We would live in expectation of the Daniel's 70th week, loosely called The Tribulation, not of Christ's immediate appearance in the sky for us.

4. The Church has not been appointed to wrath, but the 70th Week is a time of wrath. This we find in the Thessalonian Epistles:

"For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since awe are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him."

5. The Church of Philadelpha (in Revelation 3) is given a promise:

I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test fthose who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly . . .

6. In Revelation 4-5 The Church appears to be in Heaven and crowned (given rewards) at the Throne of God in Heaven before Daniel's 70th Week begins with the Seal Judgments of Revelation 6.