The Rapture (introduction)
Some students of God’s word are inhibited from believing in the rapture because the term does not appear in scripture. However, while the term does not appear, one must be careful to use such a litmus test for excluding doctrines which are otherwise taught. Another term which does not appear in scripture is the term “Trinity.” And, like a theological understanding of the trinity, one must come to understand the rapture systematically, through a full study of scripture, rather than from any singular scriptural text.
For a term or idea to be biblical does not require that the exact terminology be stated in an English translation of scripture. There are many terms which may be substituted for an identical definition. To subscribe to that position would be tantamount to stating that Jesus did not tell Lazarus to rise from the dead. For technically he stated “Lazarus, come forth.” Clearly the definition and the semantics are only slightly at odds with one another in such circumstances.
The term “rapture” is defined as “the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence.”1 While one may claim that the actual theological term “rapture” is not used in scripture, the definition of the rapture certainly is clearly spoken in John 14, which will be discussed in detail in the next section. Jesus clearly states there that “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am,” which is precisely the definition of rapture: to carry a person to another place of sphere of existence. Thus, the term “rapture,” and its definition is in fact scriptural.