The New Testament, originally written in Koine Greek, used the word “harpagesometha”, which translated into Latin is “rapere”, and translated into English is “rapture”, which means “to be caught up, snatched or seized suddenly as by force”. This is where the term “The Rapture” comes from. Although the word “rapture” is not mentioned in the Bible, the event is clearly described. The Rapture will not be a gentle floating up into the air of bodies, as depicted here, but a forceful, instantaneous seizing of His elect unto Himself, when “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is—in Spirit and in Truth.”
This painting was given to me in a vision as I was driving on the highway one day. I believe God is showing us that in a church full of “good” people, not all will be caught up. People may identify themselves as “Christians”, go to church every Sunday, sing in the choir, teach Sunday school, volunteer and be kind and do good all week in between—they may be priests or preachers, go to confession, receive the Sacrament, give money to the church, fast and adhere to all the religious laws—but if they never got around to stepping out in faith and making that personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they made their decision against Him, and will be left behind. It is a warning, as was Christ’s letter to the Church at Laodecia (Revelation 3:15-22), to make sure our relationship with Him is in right-standing, not lukewarm or nonexistent, or we run the risk of being “spewed from his mouth” and left behind.
There are varying beliefs on when this event will occur—some believe pre-Tribulation, others mid-Tribulation, some believe at the end of the Tribulation. Since Jesus makes it clear that “no one knows the day or the hour”, I personally do not dwell on the when, only that it will happen, and the important thing is to be in a right relationship with God through Christ, built up in our faith and following Him, by the working of the Holy Spirit in us— watching, waiting and prepared for His appearing.
Matthew 24:30-31 “ Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Matthew 24:35-42 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”
Titus 2:13 “awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an arch angel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
Mark 13:32-33 “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.”
John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, you may be also.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
If you are reading this and you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, repented of your sins, asked Him to come into your life and agreed to follow Him, please do so now. No one knows the day or hour of His appearing, and no person is guaranteed tomorrow. Anyone who has not accepted His gift of salvation could suddenly hear God say: “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you.” He is the only way to salvation, eternal life, and one of those glorious immortal bodies like His.
1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Note: Mirrors back in Paul’s time were polished metal which gave a reflection, but one that was not clear like mirrors are today.