The rapture is a catching away of the church believed either to be before, in the middle or at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. Some say that because the word rapture is not in the Bible, it doesn't exist. The word is actually found in the Latin Vulgate Bible rapio (to seize and carry off). The Greek term is called harpatso (snatched away). If you've ever studied any part of the book of Revelation, you know the unimaginable terror and destruction that will take place during the Tribulation. We would all absolutely want to escape that!
The long-standing debate over this doctrine is due to a person's hermeneutics, or interpretation of the Bible. Those who believe in a post-tribulation rapture typically interpret the Bible as allegorical. Those who interpret the Bible more literally tend to hold the pre-tribulation rapture view.
One group of people who argue rapture doctrine often say something like, "Why do we think we'll escape persecution when so many fellow Christians are being tortured or killed for their faith?" It should be stated that belief in in the rapture doesn't mean one believes we will not experience persecution.
There are also those who claim that if you believe in the pre-tribulation rapture position, you have an escape mentality. In other words, you are selfish and don't care about humanity. This is not the case at all, since we all know we must fulfill our assignments and take every opportunity to share God's Word with others. We want to take people with us to heaven, so we want to be soul winners for as long as possible.
Let's remember that Jesus Christ loves us, so much He died for us so we could fellowship with the Father and be part of His family forever. The Tribulation will certainly be a time of judgment, not a time of comfort. No matter how one believes, we can have faith that God's wrath will be poured out on the wicked, not on His church.
Listen to this episode of 23 Minutes in Hell with Bill and Anette Wiese on Charisma Podcast Network.
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