BibleTools
verse

(e.g. john 8 32)
  or  

1 Thessalonians 4:16  (King James Version)
version

A.F.V
A.S.V.
Amplified®
Darby
I.S.V.
K.J.V.
N.A.S.B.
NASB E-Prime
Young's


Compare all


Book Notes
   Barnes' Book Notes
   Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Book Notes
   Robertson's Book Notes (NT)
Commentaries
   Adam Clarke
   Barnes' Notes
   Forerunner Commentary
   Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
   John Wesley's Notes
   Matthew Henry
   People's Commentary (NT)
   Robertson's Word Pictures (NT)
   Scofield
Definitions
Interlinear
Library
Topical Studies
X-References
Commentaries:
<< 1 Thessalonians 4:15   1 Thessalonians 4:17 >>


1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

How did this teaching of the apostle Paul ever come to be called the Rapture? The answer lies in the word translated "shall be caught up" (Greek harpagésómetha). In Latin, this word is rapere, from which "rapture" is derived. Free of any arcane or mysterious interpretation, it simply means "to be caught up," "snatched," or "seized."

The trouble begins when people confuse this meaning with another definition of rapture that has nothing to do with the biblical concept: "a state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion; a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to a knowledge of divine things." When people blur these meanings, a picture develops of a strange, otherworldly experience preached by fire-breathing preachers to compel sinners to repent before God's wrath burns them to cinders.

Those who teach the Rapture frequently begin with I Thessalonians 4:16-17, but soon afterward they move into areas unsupported in the Bible. They make assumptions that are suspect. Worst, they fail to consider the clear order of events presented in Revelation, pinpointing when this astounding miracle will occur.

What do they believe? They believe that at some point in the near future, Jesus Christ will return and "snatch away" all Christians on the earth. Those who "believe" in Jesus will rise to meet Him in the air, and He will whisk them off to heaven for a 3 ½-to-seven-year Marriage Supper. In the meantime here on earth, untold destruction occurs when professing "born-again Christians" suddenly vanish while at the controls of cars, trucks, trains, airplanes, heavy equipment, and the like. "Unsaved" relatives and friends will frantically and unsuccessfully search for their raptured loved ones. The media will provide 24-hour coverage of the mysterious disappearance of millions of people, speculating wildly on its cause—everything from a mass alien abduction to shifting dimensions and levels of consciousness.

On the other hand, the biblical teaching of the first resurrection is more straightforward. On the day Christ returns to earth to establish His Kingdom, the dead in Christ will rise first, and those who are alive and converted will follow. They will meet Him in the air and immediately return to earth as a vast army of spirit beings to defeat the Beast and False Prophet in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Revelation 19:14; Joel 3:1-2; Zechariah 14:1-5).

Notice two vast differences in these scenarios:

  1. The Protestant Rapture takes place either 3 ½ or seven years before Christ's return, while the Bible shows it will occur at His second coming. For this reason, the Protestant concept is often called the "Pre-tribulation Rapture."
  2. When believers are "caught up" in the air, Protestants believe, they will go immediately to heaven for a long, spectacular feast. The Bible shows, though, that the saints will return to earth to fight in Christ's heavenly army and to help establish God's Kingdom.

Succinctly, then, the two differences are in timing and destination.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Caught Up in the Rapture



1 Thessalonians 4:15-16

Paul mentions the exact timing of this event twice! In verse 15, he says that this occurs at "the coming of the Lord," and in verse 16, Christ "descend[s] from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God." To combat these clear time markers, Protestants have to say that Christ returns twice and that there are two different blowings of the trumpet!

Paul himself quashes this argument in I Corinthians 15:50-52:

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Caught Up in the Rapture




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 1 Thessalonians 4:16:

Genesis 3:4
Deuteronomy 8:3
Isaiah 27:13
Ezekiel 18:4
Matthew :
Mark 5:43
Luke :
Luke 23:42-43
John 3:3
1 Corinthians :
1 Corinthians 15:50-52
1 Corinthians 15:51
1 Corinthians :
Philippians 1:23-24
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Revelation 11:3
Revelation :
Revelation 20:11-15

 

<< 1 Thessalonians 4:15   1 Thessalonians 4:17 >>



The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 135,000 subscribers are already receiving each day.

Email Address:

   

We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party. We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.
©Copyright 1992-2016 Church of the Great God.   Contact C.G.G. if you have questions or comments.
Share this on FacebookGoogle+RedditEmailPrinter version
Close
E-mail This Page