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.
The Rapture Event The timing of the rapture is an issue of such great debate that eschatology is divided into groups over this issue. In the rapture process the Lord’s action of meeting the church in the air does not fulfill the description of Zechariah for the event commonly known as “the second coming.” Therefore, the rapture is not to be understood as a second of three “comings” of Christ.
16For 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. We who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord refers to those who have not died, but continue to live until the Lord’s coming to rapture them.
They could not know of the seven trumpets of the Revelation and could not know which trumpet Paul referred to if in fact it were the trumpet of Revelation. It has been suggested that this may refer to the last trumpet of this age, the “church age.” Or, it could refer to the final trumpet blast at the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hoshanah).
The Nature of Our Resurrected Bodies The nature of our raptured bodies is best understood from a text which does not specifically speak of the rapture, but rather, the spiritual body: 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 (NIV)35But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised?
Another example of God’s sparing the church from the great tribulation is found in the very book which depicts so well the timeline of the events of the great tribulation: Revelation 3:10 (NIV)10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.