STEVE - What does the word "Rapture" mean, as used by the general Christian commuity?

JOEL - According to many traditional Christian beliefs the word "Rapture" refers to a supernatural event where many born again Christians will suddenly disappear from the earth and be taken by Jesus to heaven.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian Saints that those living on the earth at the time of Christ's appearing would be "caught up" to meet him (1 Thess. 4:16-17, Mat. 24:40-41).
The Doctrine and Covenants, using similar language, adds that these righteous saints will be "quickened" and will join those "who have slept in their graves," who will also "be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven" (D&C 88:96-97)
The term "Rapture" is translated from the Greek (harpazo) and Latin (Rapere) bible texts meaning "to snatch" or "take away".
Of course the word "Rapture" is nowhere to be found in the Bible. But this is what a large part of the Christian world calls this second comming event, to identify the moment when Jesus Christ will come back and instantly remove all persons who have accepted Him as a personal savior to be with Him forever in Heaven. Some even go so far as to specify that all children below the age of accountability, and persons with mental disabilities will also be caught up to meet Jesus.
The majority of Christians probably believe that the Rapture begins the period of Tribulation(Matt. 24:29, Daniel 9:27), some believe it happens halfway through, and a few think that it ends the seven-year period, and immediately precedes, perhaps by only seconds, the Second Coming of Christ.

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