Pastor Frank DeFusco
The Rapture is an event that occurs during the last days and is an integral part of end times prophecy, called “eschatology.” Different scholars have differing beliefs concerning the Rapture, as it concerns its timing. Some believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture, others, that it is mid-tribulation, yet others believe in a post-tribulation Rapture.
Then there are those who don’t believe in the Rapture because the word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible and that Jesus Himself didn’t speak of one. They are wrong on both instances. The believers in Thessalonica were concerned that their dead in Christ would miss the Rapture. The apostle Paul comforts them, telling them that Jesus will descend from Heaven, and that those who died in Christ would be resurrected and reunited with their souls that descended with Jesus from Heaven (1 Thess. 4:13-16). Then the believers who are alive and remain until His coming shall be “caught up” (Greek = harpazo, seize/snatch) to meet the Lord in the air, and shall remain with Him forever (vs. 17 and 18). The word “rapture” comes from the Latin Vulgate, when St. Jerome translated the words “caught up” from the Greek word, harpazo, to the Latin word “raptus.”
In Matthew 24, Jesus is asked about the “end times.” So, in verse 37, He says that it will be like in the days of Noah (pre-flood). A time when wickedness filled the earth. He adds further in verses 40 and 41 that two will be working in the field, with one taken and one left behind. The same will happen to two women at the mill, where one is taken and one is left behind. These are two pictures of the Rapture. We also find two types of the Rapture, where both Enoch and Elijah, while still alive, were taken up to Heaven. In 1 Cor. 15:51-52, Paul writes, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep/die, 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.”
Our bodies will be transformed, in Greek “al-as-o,” where, in an instant we receive an incorruptible, glorified body for our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20-21). This body will be transformed in “the twinkling of an eye”/“a moment.” The word “moment” in the Greek, “atomos,” from where we get our word “atom” and whose root derives from the combination of tamas and alpha, and is translated, indivisible. Time can be divided, down to 1 in 10 to the 43rd power, where it then becomes imperceptible as in the “twinkling of an eye.” Time will have elapsed for those who hope to escape the seven year Tribulation. Jesus said, “Behold, I come quickly,” and that He stands at the door and knocks. Open your heart to Him and may today be your day of salvation.
Pastor Frank DeFusco, from Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande, teaches Bible studies held in the Cheyenne Room of the Ranch House.