*Pastor’s Note: We will continue, in no particular order questions posed from the excellent book by Mark Hitchcock entitled, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy. My hope and prayer is that it will give some insight into much of the end-times prophecy the Bible speaks of and hopefully alleviates some of the fears and confusion people have about studying prophecy. The following is the next in a line of questions I present to you from his book:
Why Isn’t The Word Rapture Found In The Bible?
A few years ago, I was in a restaurant having lunch with a man who had just started attending our church. He was asking me some questions about the last days, and I was telling him about the Rapture. In the middle of our conversation, a man at the table next to us, who had obviously been listening in on our discussion, told me in no uncertain terms that the Rapture is an unbiblical doctrine because the word rapture is not even in the Bible. While he was dead wrong in denying the doctrine of the Rapture, he was absolutely correct in stating that the word rapture is not in the English translations of the Bible.
If you were to read all 727,747 words in the King James Version, or any other well-known translation, you would discover that the word rapture is not there. However, you also wouldn’t find the words Trinity, Bible, or grandfather. Yet we know that all of these things are very real and true.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, the words caught up translate the Greek word harpazo, which means “to snatch,” “to seize,” or “to take away.” This word was translated in the Latin versions of Scripture as rapturo, which was brought over to English as Rapture. So while it is true that the word Rapture does not occur in most English translations, the concept or doctrine of a “catching up” of living believers to meet the Lord is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 15:51–55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17. This doctrine could just as well be called “the catching up of the church,” “the snatching away of the church,” “the translation of the church,” or “the harpazo of the church.” But since the phrase “rapture of the church” is an excellent description of this event and has become a well-known phrase, there is no reason to change the terminology.
Mr. Hitchcock’s teachings are informative and enlightening as well as inspirational and any book you can get for yourself from his writings will most definitely be well-worth it. I hope you are blessed AND informed and some of these questions and answers will give you a greater strength to walk in confidence and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bible prophecy ALWAYS points to God and His plans for this world that He created through Christ Jesus. Therefore, for true Christians, it is meant to be a comfort that God continues as always to have everything under control despite what it might appear to the average person.