What Is the Rapture?

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If you are a Christian, you will go to heaven and will get there in one of two ways: death or the Rapture. Learn more about the Rapture from Pastor Greg Laurie.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:17–18)

One day, perhaps sooner than we expected, every person will enter into eternity. However, heaven is not the default destination of the nonbeliever; it is the hope of the person who has put his or her faith in Jesus Christ.

If you are a Christian, you will go to heaven and will get there in one of two ways: death or the Rapture.

Whenever the subject of the Rapture comes up, there are a lot of questions. Some critics like to point out that you won’t find the word “rapture” in the Bible. But that depends on what kind of Bible you have. If you have a Latin translation, then you have the word rapturous, from which our word “rapture” is derived. And the word rapturous comes from the Greek word harpazō, which is mentioned 13 times in the New Testament.

The most well-known verse that refers to the event we call the Rapture is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

That term, “caught up” is translated from that Greek word harpazō, which means to take forcibly, to snatch, or to catch up. And that is what the Rapture will be.

Imagine this: you will be going about your business one day when suddenly, in a moment that is so rapid it can’t even be measured in human time, you will be caught up into God’s presence, and you will be reunited with your loved ones. Best of all, you will be face-to-face with Jesus Himself.

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