THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
Jesse M. Hendley
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
The word RAPTURE comes from a Latin word, rapio, and
has the same meaning as the Greek word translated
"caught up." In I Thessalonians 4:17 it is harpadzo
and means "to seize, to carry off by force."
It is used in Acts 8:39 where we read, "The Spirit
of the Lord CAUGHT AWAY Philip" and he was moved
bodily, instantly, amazingly, from one place to
another by the power of God. Philip was RAPTURED
when the Spirit of God SEIZED him and carried him by
force from one place to another.
Elijah WENT UP by a whirlwind into heaven, by the
power of God.
So it is with every Christian when Jesus comes for
His Church. Christians will vanish from earth and
from the sight of men.
The Rapture of the Church is a tremendous and very
solemn fact. The actual picture of the Return of
Jesus is frightening to uninformed people but is the
happy anticipation of believers, and it is THE NEXT
EVENT in God's prophetic plan. It is not timed. It
Some people say, "I do not believe that." But I think
it is obvious from several Bible verses. The Lord
Jesus said, "You know not when the time is. " He said
also, "Behold, I come as a thief." A thief does not
announce his coming. A thief does not tell you when he
is going to come and rob your house of precious
things. He comes in when you are not aware of it. Our
Lord is coming for His Church in the same way. He is
coming "as a thief in the night" to take for Himself
people precious to Himself.
As a Thief in the Night
In I Thessalonians 5:1-8 we read, "But of the time
and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I
write unto you, for yourselves know perfectly that
the Day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and Safety (when
"peace and safety" are proclaimed around the world)
then SUDDEN destruction cometh upon them as travail
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