The word "Rapture", from the Latin "rapturus" and "raptus", refers to our "gathering together" unto the Lord at His Second Coming, when we will be "caught up" into the clouds of Heaven in order to meet Him in the air. This doctrine was not suddenly invented in the 1850's by the Plymouth Brethren, or by Darby or Scofield, as some detractors like to claim. In the following verses, the phrase "caught up" is derived from the Greek word "harpazo", and the phrase "gather together" originates with the Greek word "episunago":
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall GATHER TOGETHER his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:29-31, KJV
"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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, KJV
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by OUR GATHERING TOGETHER unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, KJV
"And not for that nation only, but that also he should GATHER TOGETHER in one the children of God that were scattered abroad."
John 11:52, KJV
"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might GATHER TOGETHER in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"
Ephesians 1:10, KJV
"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one CAUGHT UP TO THE THIRD HEAVEN. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was CAUGHT UP INTO PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
2 Corinthians 12:2-4, KJV
"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was CAUGHT UP UNTO GOD, and to his throne."
Revelation 12:5, KJV
For more details, please read such articles as the series The Great Tribulation And The Rapture. Please also click on the following topics for variations of this theme:
As you will see, there are a variety of interpretations concerning this coming event.