Summary: A question asked for a message on how many times was a snatching away, rapture, ascension mentioned in the Bible. This message was developed to answer that question
How many Snatching away are there
Introduction: Our question is a long one “In the entire bible how many “raptures”, “snatching away”, “ascending in the Clouds” events happened or are yet to happen, and who did (does) it involve? So we will see this answer tonight hopefully. First understand the term “Rapture” is not found in the Bible, and thus since it isn’t many say there won’t be a Rapture.
Core: Of course they say this because they don’t hold certain doctrines that teach it. The Bible makes it clear there will be a point where the church is caught up and meets the Lord in the Air. We see this in 1st Thessalonians 4: 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Do see the rapture in verse 17 we will be caught up together in the clouds. The word "rapture" itself, however, is a perfectly good English word. The English "rapture" is can be seen as similar or even derived from the Latin word for "snatch [away]" (rapere) which was used in the Latin Vulgate translation of the New Testament.
I. Let’s do a word study first
A. Looking at the Greek word Harpazo
1. It means to seize, carry off by force
2. To seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly
3. To snatch out or away
4. Rapture from Dictionary.com says this- the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence.
B. I believe that would fit the word Harpazo
1. We are carried off of the earth into Heaven
2. First into the atmosphere
3. Second into the third heaven to be with Christ forever more.
4. Christ second coming seen in Revelation 19 makes no inference of the church age believer meeting Christ in the air.
5. In fact Christ comes to earth and brings with Him
6. An army clothed in white raiment clean and white.
C. The question we have does not at all concern this word itself
1. Only whether this "snatching away" (or "rapture") of which Paul speaks is before or after the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Tribulation is what is debated in Theological realms today.
2. But our question is not when it occurs but if it has occurred in the past
3. If so how many times and who is involved
4. Will there be yet a future one or more.
D. The answer to that is what we are seeking
1. We need to study through scripture of course to find the answer
2. Many can see the answer in scripture and yet still debate whether there will or won’t be a worldwide church Rapture
3. Or debate when it will occur
4. Even going as far as saying He has already come and we are in the Kingdom
II. But let’s get to the First part of the question how many events like this are seen in the bible
A. We know there has been one ascension
1. That is not debatable
2. Acts 1: 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
3. You see Jesus was taken up into Heaven
4. He ascended on High Ephesians 4: 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
5. We see 2nd Corinthians 12: 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
6. You see the term caught in verse 4 of 2nd Corinthians 12 up that is the Greek word Harpazo
7. So we see Paul says he was caught up