The rapture part 1


Many humans have tried to predict the end of time when Jesus will return. Every time a new war comes about our trouble in middle East comes around some try to say the end will happen soon. Others will start noticing increase in storms and earth quakes and once again start saying Jesus is coming soon. Let me give you just a few examples of those who have predicted the end of time and have failed.


Charles Russell the founder of the Jehovah Witnesses, Judge Rutherford and their Watch tower publication have predicted that end would come in 1843, 1844, 1877, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1925, 1931, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1946, 1955.  I guess if they keep on guessing maybe they will get luck and the Lord will return in one the years they pick. But so far they have been wrong.


In 1970 Hal Lindsey predicted that the end would occur around 1988 in his book. He came to this conclusion because under his view the Israel is going to be restored. So, when Israel became a nation again in 1948 he thinks this marks the beginning of the last days and the generation that would experience the signs in Mat. 24. Since a generation is about 40 years he simply added 40 to 1948 coming up with his 1988 date. When his date failed he changed his view in another book he wrote in 1994. This time he defined a generation as 40 to 100 years and admitted that he may not know the exact year but he know the rapture and Armageddon would happen sometime soon.  


In 1981 Even Billy Graham said he thought that Armageddon was about to begin which would we be world war 3.


As you can see from these examples I have mentioned that some have tried but failed to predict the end of time. There are many different views out about end times but one of the most popular one in religious world are known as dispensational premillennialist. This is a just big word that defines their particular belief of what will happen in the end times. This is the view that Hal Lindsey holds and many of those that teach this doctrine will many times quote from one of his books because he goes into more detail than most and if you ever turn on TBN you will see his show where he always examining what is going on in the world and how it is a sign that the end is near. This same view has also been made popular by the left behind series and many other movies on this topic.


Now I want to point out that not all them hold the exact same view so I can’t possible cover every difference there is, so I will tell what is generally accepted and the most poplar about this view. It not uncommon for people that hold this view to have bumper sticker on their cars that says, “In case of the Rapture, this car will be unoccupied”. In the first book of the left behind series many Christians disappeared from classrooms, airplanes and no one knew where they went. This all has to do with premillennialism. Let me give you a summary of their teaching.


First of they believe the OT prophecy pointed to Jesus establishing a earthly kingdom but because the Jews rejected him his kingdom would have to be postponed and so we got the church instead. Now people like Hal Lindsey believe that Mat. 24 shows that the signs of our time prove that Jesus is coming soon and so we have now entered into the last days.  


They believe sometime in the near future that a Jewish and Roman antichrist will make a pact to protect Israel. These 2 are suppose to be the 1st and 2nd beast of Rev. 13. When this happens the Christians that have died and the Christians that are living will be raptured or taken from the earth into heaven by leaving all sinners behind which will be the beginning of 7 years of tribulation. This is known as the secret coming of Jesus.


Now the first 3 and ½ years are not suppose to be to bad but the last 3 ½ years are suppose to be filled with great tribulation. During the first 3 ½ years the temple of God is suppose to be rebuilt and Moses and Elijah are suppose to come back to the earth and be the 2 witnesses spoken of in Rev. 11. They will convert some to Christianity but then Roman antiChrist kills them and everyone will see their dead bodies on TV for 3/12 days. Also, animal sacrifices will be done again in the temple.  Then in the last 3 ½ years Egypt is suppose to invade Israel which sparks Russia to join in and they are suppose to run Egypt out of Israel and then conquer Egypt itself. Next the Roman antiChrist takes 1million soldiers and defeats the Russians in Israel only to find themselves in battle against 200 million Chinese. This epic battle is suppose to place in the valley of Megiddo which is the battle of Armageddon. At some point this battle gets so gruesome that blood is suppose to literally  reach the level of the horses bridles. While this going nucular bombs are being dropped on all the major cites of the world.  


At the end of this  7 years Christ will return with those that were taken to defeat the armies that are against him and He will establish His kingdom that he had postponed earlier because the Jews rejected him. Also at this time a second resurrection will occur because Jesus will now raise all the righteous that lived under the OT time to reign with Christ in his newly established kingdom. At this time he will separate the righteous from the sinner that are still alive and send the sinner to hell as mentioned Mat. 25. At the end of this 1000 year earthly reign he will then perform a third resurrection and resurrect the wicked dead and cast them all into hell and then eternity in heaven begins.


Believe or not there are even more details of what goes on in the years than I mentioned here but this should give you pretty good understanding of what the dispensational premillennialist teach. Everything I mentioned here is taught by Hal Lindsey’s.


While this makes a very exciting story with all things that are involved it simply is not true and is just an invention of men. Now please understand I have no ill will toward those who teach such things but since they claim these things to true and to be found in the Word of God it up to us to search the scriptures to see if these things are true. So, in several lessons I want to take a close look at these teachings and compare them to what the Bible says about the end times. I feel confident that I can show you beyond reasonable doubt from the Bible that the rapture theory is not true.


It will also be my job to show that Bible teaches that Jesus will come back again someday but there are no signs of his return and when he comes that will be the final judgment day. Both the righteous and the unrighteous dead will resurrected and those that are living will be transformed into their new bodies. The righteous will go to heaven and the unrighteous to hell and the earth will be destroyed. Notice this means there is only be one coming of Jesus  and only one resurrection and all these events happen on the same day. This views is certainly not as colorful as the premillennialist  view but is the plain simple truth which can easily be seen from the Bible.  


The first thing I want to point out is that the word rapture is no where to be found within the Bible. What they have done is taken the two word “caught up” and made it into this word “rapture”. Now there are only 2 sections of scriptures that the premillennialist get their idea of a rapture where the saints will be in heaven for  7 years and we are going to examine both of these and if we cannot find the rapture in these verses then the rapture simply does not exist anywhere within the Bible.  


1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  17 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 thus we shall always be with the Lord.


We must ask the question what is Paul try to teach here? Basically he his teaching these Christians that they do not need to worry about those who have fallen asleep because they will be raised from dead and those who are alive will also be caught up in the air to be with Jesus for ever.


Please note the word “rapture” is no where to be found nor is some 7 year period mentioned. Please keep in mind this is one the key section of scriptures they use to teach the rapture theory which is suppose to be a secret coming of Jesus yet note verse 16 again. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

This is probably one of the noisiest verses in the whole bible yet they say this supports their idea of a secret coming.  There is only one way that the rapture can hold up and that would have to be that only the righteous could hear this great noise at the supposed secret coming of Christ. This would mean that the unrighteous couldn’t see nor hear Christ at this coming.


Well let see what the bible says in Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen


 Notice it doesn’t say ever righteous eye will see him but that  EVER EYE WILL SEE HIM. I could rest my case right here because this verse in sufficient enough to show that there isn’t going to be some secret coming that only the righteous will see but let press on and show scriptural evidence of this fact.


 Acts 1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.


Here we are told that Jesus VISIBLEY ascended into heaven and when he comes again it will be a VISIBLE coming.


Matthew 24:27 "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.


Jesus was teaching His disciples not to be fooled by rumors of his return because when he returns it will be as visible lightning flashing across the sky.


Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.


 Notice Jesus will appear a second time. Not only does this mean a visible coming it also shows that there is just going to be one more coming of Christ and it certainly isn’t a secret one. Now check out this next verse.


2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.


Notice Peter says the Lord will come as a thief in the night on a certain day and on that day the heaven will pass away a great noise and the earth will be burned up. Friends this verse does not allow time for a secret coming then 7 years of tribulation then another coming of Christ where he establishes a kingdom for a 1000 years because when he comes unexpectedly which means there are no signs to predict his coming on that one day heaven and earth be destroyed and I don’t know about you but I think everybody would notice something like that.


When Jesus returns at his second coming, it will be audible and visible and everyone will see it and here it even those that are in their graves.


John 5:28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice  29 "and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 


Please remember that the premillennialist view teaches multiple resurrections and they believe that the Christian dead will be raised at the beginning of the 7 years of tribulation then the OT righteous will be raised at the end of the 7 years and then after the 1000 year reign then the wicked dead will be raised. Yet Jesus says that all that are dead will here his voice and come forth at one time and then either go to heaven or to hell. Who are you going to believe Jesus or people like Hal Lindsey. While this verse sufficient by itself to show that there is only one resurrection which includes the righteous and the unjust I want offer more scriptural proof.


Acts 24:15“I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.


There is only one resurrection mentioned here and includes but the just and unjust. Now look at these next 3 verses


2 Corinthians 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.


Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  


John 12:48“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.


Simply put these verse teach us that we must all stand before Jesus both great and small to be judged by how we lived our lives according to God’s perfect will and that this will happen in the last day. Which once again shows no room for the rapture theories 1007 years. Jesus even point this truth out in several parables. Let look at one of them.


Matthew 13: 24Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25“but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26“But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27“So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29“But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

36Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38“The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39“The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42“and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!


This just one of many parable that show that there will be only a second and final coming of Jesus and that both the just and unjust will be judged. The tares represent non-Christians and the wheat represents Christians. At the end of the age or the end of the world when Christ comes, he will separate the evil from the righteous and cast the evil into hell and righteous will enter into heaven. Please note that both the tares and the wheat are harvested at the same time, as so it will be for us at Christ second and final coming. All of these passages that we have looked at so far are devastating to the rapture theory because their truth doesn’t stack up to the truth of the Bible. Now finally lets look at the second section of scripture that the premillennialist use as a proof text for the rapture concept.


1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.  51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed --  52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  


Once again I want to point out the obvious. The word ‘rapture” is no where to be found and there is no mentioning of 7 years of tribulation or a 1000 year earthly reign. This section of scripture establish basically the same truth as their other proof text in 1 Thess 4:13 – 17. It shows that both the dead and those living will transformed into their glorious body and this will happen with a great sound. It also states here that it will happen at the last trumpet which again point to a final judgment. While it is true that both of their proof text only talk about Christians I have already shown from the rest of the Bible that both the just and the unjust will be raised at this time and be judged on the same day. So, clearly we can see that their 2 major proof text don’t even come close to teaching their view.


Finally another great point to make is that Jesus states 4 different times in John 6:39,40,44, 54 that the righteous will be raised up on the last day. Now think about that for a min. The premillennialist teach that the righteous will be raised up 1007 years before the end of time yet Jesus says they will be raised up on the last day. In order for the premillennialist to be correct the last day would have to mean 1007 years before the end of time which would make absolutely no sense whatsoever.


We have just barely scratched the surface of looking at the rapture theory and what the Bible says about the end times. I truly believe that I have already presented enough information to show that the rapture theory in very interesting and entertaining but it simply in not true. I also feel that I have presented enough scripture to show you that there will only be one more coming of Jesus and that everyone will see and hear it and everyone will both dead and live both the just and unjust will be judged on that day. We still have a lot more to look at on the rapture theory and I hope that you will join us at the next time as we continue to search the scriptures to see how the rapture theory stacks up against the Bible.