Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Gathering Up Harpazo

Jonathan C. Brentner

The word “rapture” comes from a Latin translation of the Bible from about AD 400 called The Vulgate. The Vulgate uses the Latin word rapturo to translate the Greek word harpazo in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Starting sometime in the late 1800’s, Bible teachers began using the word “rapture” to describe the event Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 as well as in 1 Corinthians 15:50-56 and Philippians 3:20-21. These students of Scripture chose a word, based on the ancient Latin translation of the Bible, to describe the event that the apostle wrote about in these texts and referred to in many other passages.

The rapture is the “blessed hope” of Titus 2:11-14; it’s the means of our deliverance from the day of the Lord wrath as the Lord promises us in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 and 5:1-10.

Jesus’ appearing to take us home to glory is the substance of our hope in a troubled world. It’s critical that we understand it and not dismiss it as though it’s not essential to our Gospel hope or cast it aside as something not essential to our faith as we journey through a dark and dangerous world.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this hope that the Lord tells us to use in encouraging “one another” (1 Thess. 4:18, 5:11).

The rapture is our “blessed hope” it’s the hope into which Jesus saves us. I say this based on the words of Romans 8:23-25:

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

In the above passage, Paul connects the “redemption of our bodies,” which as we saw happens at the time of the rapture, with the “hope” of the Gospel. The resurrection event for all New Testament saints happens at Jesus’ return for His church, the rapture. It’s at time He will redeem our bodies by giving us immortal ones that will never perish or grow old (1 Cor. 15:51-55).

Original Article

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