The most popular argument that people worldwide use when they discuss the rapture topic is that the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. The second most popular argument is that no one knows exactly when the “rapture” will happen.
Yes, the ACTUAL word “rapture” is not in, for example, the well-liked King James Version of the Holy Bible. However, there are other English words, which English-speaking believers all over the world use, that are not in the English translations of the Holy Bible, and two of the most familiar terms are Bible and Trinity.
Where the word “rapture” and the Scriptures that pertain to believers being “caught up” or “snatched away” are concerned, the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts used the word transliterated as harpazo, and the Latin Vulgate version of the Holy Bible, or Vulgate as it is called, used the word transliterated as rapturo. Produced by Jerome in the early 5th century, the Vulgate is a revised translation of the older Latin versions, and for many years the Vulgate was the source text used for many vernacular languages. In fact, many Latin words used in the English language have come from the Vulgate, with no change (or little change) in meaning or spelling. For example, the English language uses variations of the words apostolus, ecclesia, evangelium, angelus, creatio, salvatio, justificatio, testamentum, sanctificatio, regeneratio, and raptura (from the noun form of the verb rapiemur, which is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Then there is the no one knows exactly when the “rapture” will happen argument, which also is true. Indeed, Jesus the Christ says to: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42, KJV). The Scriptures also say that He will come LIKE a thief in the night; that is, the Lord will come for His CHURCH without giving a warning. As a result, unprepared individuals will not have any time to get ready for the Lord’s sudden arrival (cf. Matthew 24:43, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Revelation 3:3 and Revelation 16:15).
Now, even though NO ONE, not even Jesus the Christ Himself, knows when God will send the Lord back to Earth for the “catching up” or “snatching away” of those individuals who have a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ, the Lord Himself says that there will be signs of the times. Some of those definitive signs are the literal and figurative fig tree’s budding and blossoming, the symbolic lifestyles of the people living in Noah’s days, and the symbolic lifestyles of the people living in Sodom and Gomorrah during Abraham’s days. These declared signs let the prepared and watchful believers know that the Rapture season is upon them.
When eager holiday lovers prepare for their Season of Giving, they do so by dutifully putting up seasonal decorations weeks in advance, or by cheerfully buying seasonal gifts way ahead of time, or by gladly purchasing seasonal food and drinks before their special day of the Season of Giving arrives. Then too, when enthusiastic sports fans prepare for the professional football or basketball season, they do so by loyally securing season tickets in advance, or by faithfully following the current season’s statistics on their favorite team(s), or by devotedly buying their favorite team’s paraphernalia. Likewise, believers also must prepare for the Rapture season!
In Matthew 24:40-42, it is evident that Jesus the Christ is talking about the “rapture,” and in verse 43 it is obvious that He is alluding to the Rapture season by describing the actions a knowledgeable, watchful homeowner would take. Furthermore, from these previously mentioned verses, it is clear that the Lord wants to develop an analogy through which He can compare the natural diligence and vigilance that surely would come from a well-informed homeowner to the supernatural awareness and alertness of spiritually mature and fruitfully productive believers. Jesus the Christ is saying that once the homeowner knows when a burglar is going to break into his house, this “goodman” carefully and attentively waits for the expected hour the burglar is to show up, hopeful that he will be able to stop the intruder from breaking into his home.
Conversely, the Lord is saying that even though Christians do not know exactly when the Lord will come back to “rapture” them, the Holy Spirit has made them spiritually wise, knowledgeable, and faithful Temples of the Lord who can discern the signs of the times. As such, like the natural homeowner, believers must be careful to use all of the spiritual information available to them so that they too can be incessantly diligent and vigilant individuals who are “…also ready: for in such an hour as [they] think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). Believers not only must be ready for their Lord who is coming LIKE a thief in the night but also they must be looking forward to His soon-to-come arrival, hopeful that they will be able to stop Satan from shaking up their faith!
Finally, because there is NO biblical prophecy that needs to be fulfilled; that is, there is no major spiritual event that MUST happen before the “rapture” takes place, it is crucial for believers to know and to be looking for the signs of the times. It also is imperative for believing men and women to make sure that they are living a hopeful life—living like they are expecting their Lord to come at any moment to “catch up” His CHURCH (to return on a cloud to “rapture” them).