Does the Bible Teach About the Rapture?

1 Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Paul says, “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (4:17). 

From this and other Scriptures (Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30-31, 40; 1 Corinthians 15:51), some Christians teach the rapture. Just like Jesus ascended to Heaven (Acts 1:6-11), when He descends, we seem to also ascend to meet Him. 

A Theological Dictionary says, “The Latin verb rapio means ‘to snatch, or seize.’ The English word rapture, derived from it, has a double usage. Generally it means ‘ecstatic delight,’ but in popular theology it means ‘the catching up’ of the church to meet the Lord at His second coming.” (1)

The following verses give context, credence, and confidence to the Christian of Jesus’ Second Coming, when He will return to earth to make everything perfect and reverse the curse forever.

When We Die, Our Body Goes into the Ground and Our Soul Goes to the Lord 

  • 2 Corinthians 5:8 – …we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 
  • Philippians 1:21,23 – …to live is Christ, and to die is gain…to depart and be with Christ…is far better.

Jesus Rose From Death and Raises the Dead 

  • John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

The Curse Will Be Lifted Forever

  • Isaiah 65:17 – …I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
  • Acts 3:21 – …the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets…
  • Romans 8:18-22 – …the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth… 
  • 2 Peter 3:13 – …we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Heaven and Earth Come Together Forever 

  • John 14:1-3 – “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms…And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also…”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:1 – For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
  • Hebrews 11:16 – …they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. 
  • Revelation 21:1-3, 23-25,27 – …I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them”…the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there…But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

We Will See Jesus Face-to-Face 

  • 1 Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. 
  • Revelation 22:4 – They will see his face…

Look up Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30-31, 40; and 1 Corinthians 15:51 to learn more about Jesus’ Second Coming.

  1. Alan Cairns, Dictionary of Theological Terms (Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International, 2002), 361.

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