When you watch the news or pick up a paper does it feel like we might be getting close to the End Times? As Christian should we fear that we will suffer God’s wrath during the Tribulation?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Rapture comes from the Latin translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. It comes form the Greek harpazo, meaning to carry away or to catch up. The Greek word harpazo has different variants that help us grasp what verse seventeen means. Harpazo:
“To carry off by might.” Christ will remove both the dead and living Christians away from death.
“To enthusiastically claim for oneself.” Jesus bought us by shedding His blood, and He’s coming back for believers.
“To quickly take away.” The Rapture will happen in a twinkling of an eye.
“To rescue us from danger and devastation.” God won’t let His children experience the terror of the Tribulation.
I believe these and other verses encourage us to trust that our loving heavenly Father will powerfully, enthusiastically, and quickly rescue us from the great Tribulation.