Behold! I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)
Faster Than Lightenin'
Author and pastor Hal Lindsey, wrote a book called The Rapture. He said learning about it after becoming a believer was the most exciting thing about his new found faith in Christ. The Rapture is the taking of the Bride of Christ, the bodily resurrection of all believers dead and those alive, by Christ to Himself before the beginning of the Great Tribulation spoken of by the Prophet Daniel and the Apostle John. It will happen as quickly as the 'twinkling (Blink) of an eye.' Faster than a flash of lightening.
The word 'rapture' isn't in the Bible. It describes the taking up to Christ in the clouds. The word comes from the Latin Rapturo (caught up) taken from the Greek word Hapazo which means to 'snatch up' or 'seize upon by force.' Christ will bring believers to Himself instantly and with great power. Paul explains the rapture at length in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 and 1st Thessalonians 4:13-17. He did not think these things up alone or receive them from men. He received all he knew of the Christian faith through revelation from Christ Himself (Galatians 1:11-12). You will be excited as you read and contemplate these Scriptures.
The consensus by most theologians is the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture only first appeared between AD 1812-1830.
Didn't the early Church Father's have anything to say about the taking out of the church before the Great Tribulation or has it only been taught since the 19th century? The Christian writer and poet Ephraem the Syrian (AD 306-373) who lived in what is now Turkey, taught of a pre-tribulation Rapture of believers, a Great Tribulation, and the Antichrist as early as the fourth century (AD 373). It is not a 'recent' teaching.
Paul and Peter both wrote of a great falling away in the last days of people's belief in God and the evil it would bring. We are currently seeing many scoffing at belief in God and the promise of the return of Christ. There is great evil in society today (2nd Timothy 3:1-5, 2nd Peter 3:1-7). As bad as it gets we can take heart in the promises of God and His dependability to do them. He is faithful.
The Rapture is a major biblical promise of this hope. Today the world seems to be pushing itself beyond the point of redemption. It is only a matter of time before God's judgment falls upon the wickedness of the world. However the redeemed can live in a climate of hope in Christ. He will keep His promises. Yes, let us be comforted with these words. Christ will return as promised to take us to Himself and make things right to His Glory and Honor. “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”