The Rapture of the Church

the rapture of the church

What is The Rapture of The Church?

Harpazo is the Greek word that was actually used in the original text.  It means ‘caught up‘.  We are told we will be instantly transformed into our heavenly bodies and meet the Lord in the clouds! 

I love this bit, it’s very clear!

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

Note: … the Believers who have died… 

The non-believers are raised at the White Throne Judgement, which is often referred to as the last judgement. 

1 Thessalonians 4: 14-17 and 1 Corinthians 15 50-54 is where you’ll read about the Rapture of the church.

The Rapture of the church is not the Second Coming. That part is later.  It’s a bit confusing really because Christ will appear at the Rapture of the church: “But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” 1 John 3:2.  But only the Raptured.

The Second Coming is right near the end of the Tribulation period, at Armageddon. The Lord will descend to the earth and stand on the Mount of Olives. There will be a huge earthquake, followed by the defeat of God’s enemies.

Ok, so The Church will be Raptured, but who is The Church?

Who is the 'Church' in the Bible

The ‘Church’ is referred to about 100 times (depending on which translation you read) in the New Testament, but not at all in the Old Testament!

🤓 Nerd Alert!

In Paul’s time, the original Greek word was made up of two smaller words:

The original Greek word “ekklesia“, which means “gathering“, and the Latin “ecclesia” from the Greek “ek-ka-lein“, to “call out of

So, the ‘Church’ in the Bible is no spire-and-steeple. Christians are the ‘Church’. That’s you and me.

The first time we see the word ‘Church’ in the Bible is in Matthew 16:18 when Matthew quotes Jesus: “and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it“.

Ok, so why is ‘The Church’ Age relevant?

Because the Church is a collective noun for one specific group of people, and God has a slow and steady plan for those people!  All the righteous believers will be “caught up” to make way for His judgement!

What are the 'Ages' in the Bible?

Day of Pentecost

Many verses in the Bible talk about this “age” and the “age to come.”

What are ages and how many are there?

The stories and prophesies in the Bible cover a time span of around 1,600 years, so putting those prophecies into times, or ‘ages‘ makes them clear to understand.

The Apostolic Age has come and gone. We are currently in the Church Age, and the Millennial Age is coming soon.


The Apostolic Age begins in the 1st century, at the start of Jesus’ ministry: c. 27-29 AD to the death of John the Evangelist, the last of the Twelve Apostles. c. 100. He is also the only one of the twelve disciples to die of natural causes! 

The Church Age started after Jesus’ resurrection, on the day of Pentecost. That was the day when the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, “tongues of fire” settled on each person, and they spoke in other languages. The Church Age will continue until the Rapture of the church.

You won’t find the term ‘church’ anywhere in the Old Testament. When Jesus left this earth he promised that God would send the Holy Spirit in His place. John 14: 16-3 

Christ’s Millennial Kingdom starts at the Second Coming and continues for 1,000 years, throughout His reign on earth. Jesus will sit on the throne, in a literal temple in Jerusalem, built to the exact design and dimensions given in the book of Ezekiel, in the Bible. Read about the Millennial temple here.

Who is included in the Rapture of the Church?

floating person at the raptureIt’s pretty popular view that only the Church, those who believe in God and who have given their life to Him, will be Raptured.  

I found this article which contradicts that, and I see his point.  The Bible does indeed say “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”  So, it’s worth considering.

However, the problem with that theory is the issue of translation.  When translating it’s valuable to compare, in the original text, in what context that word was used before. 

Raise and Raze, in English, is a good example!  That word, handwritten over the ages could easily have been mistranslated.  To look at how it had been used before would make the world of difference to the meaning! 

Here is a scholarly article called ‘Why I believe the Bible teachers Rapture before Tribulation’, which looks at translation.

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