After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up [Greek, “harpazo”] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 NIV)
Above we have the conclusion of the classic rapture passage in prophecy (1 Thess. 4:13-18). What’s missing? Not trying to be funny; I am not referring to the saints but rapture is missing. The word “rapture” is absent from Paul’s teaching on “the rapture”. (Make sense? Let me explain.)
You may already be aware that “rapture” is not in your Bible, that is unless you read the Latin Vulgate (ca. 500 A.D.) Rapture, like many other English words, is borrowed from the Latin raptureo, translated from the N.T. Greek harpazo (cf. Matthew 11:12, Acts 8:39, Revelation 12:5, et. al.) (See Rapture is Not Resurrection, Part One, posted, August 9, 2015.)
Other Greek words actually contained in the New Testament and relevant texts provide depth and additional information on 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18, such as paralambano (cf. John 14:3. et. al.), episunagoge and anafero (cf. Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9).
There are two major problems with “a one-word-fits-all approach” using “rapture”: First, it discourages students from reviewing relevant Biblical parallels; therefore, they miss the full details of a key prophetic event that Scripture provides (cf. Matthew 24:29-31). Lastly, neglecting to explore the synonyms and parallels paves the way for definitions tailor-made by humans to fit their preferred theological systems. In other words, we don’t get the whole truth.
Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) teaching has taken the ownership of “rapture”–as they have defined it. That’s not all; they also attach the “Christian Truth” label. However, the PTR definition of “rapture” as “taken up to escape tribulation as a simultaneous event with the resurrection of the church” will not stand the test of Biblical accuracy. Those ardently defending “any moment rapture” have drawn an inference from verses they have taken out of context (ex. Matthew 24:36, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
In this blog’s “Current Events” section, Elijah posted, October 10th, (“The Days of Awe”). He argues that God’s pattern is to display his power and sovereignty through “appointed days” or “set times” (sp. Fall Holy Days of Israel). The Lord does this to fulfill his purposes (Galatians 4:4-5). Times and seasons are, therefore, revealed to the wise. The foolish will miss what was right in front of them and add things that were never there.