Skip to comments.What About The Rapture?
Posted on 06/18/2010 9:45:21 AM PDT by Ken4TA
In Case of Rapture This Car Will No Longer Have a Driver. So reads the bumper sticker. The owner of the car obviously believed in a secret rapture, the doctrine so popular with dispensationalists today. This doctrine holds that Christ will return and secretly take the Christians away with Him for seven years while the sinners left on earth suffer great tribulation. Then Christ will return, they believe, and live on earth for 1,000 years before the unbelieving dead are raised to judgment.
Christs coming is one of the clearest and most emphatic doctrines in the New Testament. It is the blessed hope of the redeemed, and that which gives incentive to faithfulness, patience and labor. But the secret rapture doctrine which puzzles many is largely based on human speculation rather than Scripture.
NO SECRET. While the term rapture is not found in Scripture, it refers to the coming of Christ when all the saved, both living and the resurrected, will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. 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 that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:1617). Certainly there is nothing secret indicated here. There will be the Divine shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. Whatever these are supposed to indicate, whether natural or spiritual, they certainly indicate a noisy event, supernaturally announced.
Men will actually see Him come. Behold He comes with clouds and every eye shall see Him (Rev. 1:7, Acts 1:11). Eyes of love, eyes of hate, eyes of anticipation and eyes of fear, eyes of sorrow and eyes of joy every eye will see him come. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of Man (Matt. 24:27).
Many churches are showing movies and film strips which depict people awaking one day to find that members of the family and other citizens have mysteriously disappeared. But no such picture is depicted in Scripture.
A THIRD COMING? Those who hold to the secret rapture refer to either a third coming or a second stage of His coming. Can there be 2 stages to His coming?
Jesus taught that Christians and un-believers, described as the wheat and tares would not be separated until the end of the age. It is His design that both grow together until the harvest (Matt 13:30). He explained: The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are angels, carefully pointing out that the unsaved will be burned with fire, and then the saved shine forth in the kingdom of their Father (Matt 13:43). According to the two-stage theory both would NOT grow together until the end of the world, and the wicked would not be burned until one thousand and seven years after the harvest!
Peter taught in Acts 3:1923 that the heavens must receive Christ until the time of restoration of all things. This restoration, according to Peters letter (II Peter 3:713) includes a new heavens and new earth wherein dwells righteousness, the first earth having been destroyed by a fire which melts even the elements (II Peter 3:10). This speaks of only one coming, at which time history is consummated.
The rapture of I Thess. 4 and the resurrection mentioned in other places is one and the same thing. Jesus said, For the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:2829). In the next chapter Jesus taught that those who believe on him will have everlasting life and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40, 44 etc.). Evidently the rapture is at the end of the world, with no time periods to follow.
ALL come forth at his voice, ALL come forth at the second coming (I Thess. 4:1617, I Cor. 15:52, 11:1518).
LIKE A THIEF. Several passages of Scripture mention Christ coming as a thief in the night, but the context shows that this refers to his coming unannounced when the world is not expecting him. If the master of the house had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have watched therefore be you also ready; for in an hour that you think not the Son of Man comes (Matt. 24:4344). Plainly Jesus refers to the time of his coming as being unknown, but certainly it will be known at the time it happens.
Peter says But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (II Pet. 3:10). All this, great noise and destruction of the earth, comes as a thief; but certainly not secretly.
ONE TAKEN, ONE LEFT. Then shall two men be in the field; one is taken, and one is left: (Matt. 24:4041, Luke 17:3435). This says nothing of secrecy, but simply says that of the people living and working together one may be received by Christ for immortality and glory and the other left for destruction (II Pet. 3:7).
THE DEAD RISING FIRST. Writing of Christ coming in I Thess. 4:1617, Paul says that the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds Here Paul explains that the saints living when Christ comes will not precede those who have died in being caught up (raptured), because the dead shall first be resurrected, then all the saints, both those who had died, and those alive, shall be caught up with the Lord. After all the saints of all ages are caught up, then will come the destruction of all the ungodly (See II Pet. 3:413).
Revelation 20 speaks of the first resurrection. Every Christians is raised twice. In his baptism he is buried with Christ and raised with Him, too, to walk in a new life (Rom. 6:4), so that he is raised with Him (Christ) and made alive together with Him (Col. 2:1213, cf., Eph. 2:56).
According to I Thess 4 Paul taught what will happen to saints when Christ comes, that they all, both dead and living, will be caught up to meet the Lord. Then on the next page, in II Thessalonians, Paul wrote, When (at the time) he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints the wicked will suffer His vengeance of flaming fire (II Thess. 1:410). Certainly Paul left no place nor time for the seven years tribulation nor one thousand years of Utopia.
CHRIST REIGNS. Christ is already reigning, having sat down on His Fathers throne, of which Davids throne was an earthly type (rev. 3:21, Heb. 12:22). He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18) and reigns far above all rule, and authority, and power (Eph. 1:2023). The apostles preached that Christians are already translated into Christs Kingdom (Col. 1:13, Rom. 14:17) and look forward to a new body and a new creation (Rom. 8:23, II Peter 3:13). Christ Himself said that His kingdom was not of this world, and because He would not support the rulers of the Jews and their ambition for an earthly kingdom they became incensed and had him killed.
The ambition for a world kingdom, which began when they demanded of Samuel that he give them a king like the other nations, caused them to misinterpret the prophets concerning the Messiah. The Jewish Encyclopedia gives almost two columns to the Millennium and states that the idea is older than the Christian Church; for the belief in a period of one thousand years at the end of time as a preliminary to the resurrection of the dead was held in Parsiism. This concept is expressed in Jewish literature (outside the Bible. Ed). It states that the idea went out of vogue in the 2nd century but was revived by the Montanists. It has been revived again in our day to support political Zionism.
Since all Christians recognize the fact that Christ is coming again, some will say, What difference do the details make? The answer is that one error leads to another, and the secret rapture idea is part of a host of errors.
For example, the two-stage theory of Christs return also leads to the two-gospel theory, that we are now to preach the gospel of grace but after the rapture Jewish evangelist will preach the gospel of the Kingdom. But the Bible teaches that there is ONE Gospel (Gal. 1:69) and that the gospel of grace IS the gospel of the kingdom (Acts 20:2425).
The two-coming teaching also supports the idea that there are two kingdoms, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God. Scripture teaches that they are one and the same kingdom (Matt. 19:2324, etc.).
Worst of all, the teaching of two second comings of Christ divides the people of God into two classes or groups, with two gospels, two kingdoms and two plans of salvation. The Bible plainly teaches that Christ has broken down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, so that when either of them are in Christ, they are ONE in Christ regardless of race (Eph. 2:1119).
To summarize, when Christ comes at the end of the world the righteous and the unrighteous shall be raised at the same time (John 5:2829, Acts 24:15). Judgment shall ensue (II Thess. 1:410). This earth shall be burned up and dissolved (II Pet. 3). Christ will deliver the kingdom up to God (I Cor.15:233:10).
Now, TODAY, is the gospel age, the time for sinners to be saved (Matt. 28:20, John 8:21, Heb. 3:15, Rev. 22:12). When Christ comes there will be no further preparation. Therefore, watch and be ready!
Is the secret rapture supposed to be like being on double secret probation?
The greatest danger in the teaching of a multi-stage coming is the theory of second chances.
That simply is not taught in scripture.
What IS taught is that when it’s over, it’s over, and we all need to be ready.
A little bit about Mark Hitchcock (because you should get to know this prophecy teacher as he's a prolific writer and a good prophecy teacher and a good teacher in general.
Mark Hitchcock is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary. He has appeared on hundreds of radio programs and in print as well as The History Channel, MSNBC, Fox, The Glenn Beck Show, and CNN. A leading Christian voice on Mayan 2012 prophecy, he is scheduled to appear on an NBC sci-fi special related to 2012 airing fall, 2009.
A former attorney, Mark initially worked for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Following a call to full-time ministry, today he serves as senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, just outside of Oklahoma City. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1991, where he subsequently earned his doctorate in 2006 and more recently has served as an adjunct faculty member.
Hitchcock has been a contributing editor for the Left Behind Prophecy Club for many years. His new book 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World (Harvest House Publishers) will be released September 15, 2009. He has also recently released Cashless (July 1, 2009, also published by Harvest House), showing how todays headlines foreshadow a new and vastly different economic futurea one-world economy that is consistent with Bible prophecy in Revelation 13. Some of his other titles include: The Late Great United States: What Bible Prophecy Reveals about Americas Last Days; Armageddon, Oil, and Terror; Iran the Coming Crisis: Radical Islam, Oil and the Nuclear Threat; The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; What On Earth is Going On?; Is America in Bible Prophecy?; The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel; Is the Antichrist Alive Today?; Seven Signs of the End Times; and What Jesus Says About Earths Final Days.
Hitchcock maintains an active speaking schedule, appearing frequently at prophecy conferences, seminaries, and churches. He and his wife, Cheryl, live in Edmond, Oklahoma with their two sons Justin and Samuel.
Faith Bible Church
600 N. Coltrane
Edmond, Oklahoma 73034
The teaching of Dispensationalim / Pastor Mark Hitchcock and Dr. Charles Ryrie
Wed, Nov 7 2007 -- Dispensationalism part I
Wed, Nov 14 2007 -- Dispensationalism Part II
Wed, Nov 28 2007 -- Dispensationalism Part III
Wed, Dec 5 2007 -- Dispensationalism Part IV
Left Behind - What's It All About? / Tim LaHaye and Gary Frazier
Sat, May 19 2007 -- Signs of the Coming Christ / Gary Frazier
Sat, May 19 2007 -- God's Plan for the Ages / Tim LaHaye
Sat, May 19 2007 -- The Role of Israel in Bible Prophecy / Gary Frazier
Sat, May 19 2007 -- The Rapture, 2nd Coming & Glorious Appearing / Tim LaHaye
Sat, May 19 2007 -- Deception and the Last Days / Gary Frazier
Sat, May 19 2007 -- The Merciful God of Prophecy / Tim LaHaye
Sun, May 20 2007 -- Jesus Is Coming / Dr. Tim LaHaye
Sun, Nov 30 2008 -- The Rapture of the Church / Mark Hitchcock
Sun, Dec 7 2008 -- The Timing of the Rapture / Mark Hitchcock
The Pre-Trib Rapture
Sun, Feb 25 2007 -- The Pre-trib Rapture, Pt 2 / Mark Hitchcock
Sun, Mar 11 2007 -- The Pre-trib Rapture, Pt. 3 / Mark Hitchcock
[Part 1 didn't get recorded...]
And..., here's one to educate yourself about End Times Controversies, especially when you are challenged on the Rapture. I would say this one is essential as it's jam packed full of necessary information. Mark Hitchcock did his Doctoral Paper on this subject at Dallas Theological Seminary and wrote a book about it, too.
About Errors and End Times Controversy / Pastor Mark Hitchcock
Wed, Jan 11 2006 -- An Introduction - Part 1
Wed, Jan 18 2006 -- End Times Controversey - Part 2
Wed, Jan 25 2006 -- A Critique of Matthew 24 - Part 3
Wed, Feb 1 2006 -- An Introduction to Interpretation of Revelation - Part 4
Wed, Feb 8 2006 -- Was Nero the Beast of Revelation 13 - Part 5
Wed, Feb 15 2006 -- The Date of Revelation 13 - Part 6
Wed, Feb 22 2006 -- The Date of Revelation 13 - Part 7
Wed, Mar 1 2006 -- Questions & Answers - Part 8
Faith Bible Church Teaching
We teach that the Bible is the Word of God, supernaturally inspired so that it is inerrant in the original manuscripts and has been preserved by God, so that it is the divinely authoritative standard for every age and every life.
We teach that there is one God eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient manifesting Himself in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit; one in nature, equal in attributes, essence, power and glory.
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is God incarnate, very God and very man, that He was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and offered Himself on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice, suffering the full penalty for sinners. He was raised bodily on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father, there to intercede for us as our advocate and High Priest.
We teach that man, as a consequence of Adam's sin, is subject to the wrath of God, justly condemned in His sight, wholly unable to save himself. Although man was originally created in the image of God, apart from God's salvation through Christ man is eternally lost.
We teach that salvation is wholly by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and entirely apart from any ordinance, ritual, human merit or works. Salvation is the free gift of God and once it is received it cannot by any means be lost. While sin may interrupt the joy of a believers fellowship with God and bring the loving discipline of the Father, the true believer is eternally secure.
We teach that Christ gives to each believer, at conversion, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, some gift or gifts to equip him to serve the Lord and edify other believers.
We teach that the universal Church consists of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ from Pentecost to the Rapture. Each local assembly or church should be a miniature of the universal Church, expressing the great truths of the latter. The local assembly consists of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who meet regularly for teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer and evangelism.
We teach that there are two Christian ordinances: water baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the testimony of a believer showing forth in solemn and beautiful emblem his faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, and his union and identification with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. We teach that the Lord's Supper serves as a commemoration and proclamation of Jesus' death until He comes.
We teach the following future events: the personal, imminent coming of the Lord Jesus to rapture the Church, the tribulation period, the second coming of Christ, the millennial reign of Christ, the judgment of the lost, and the eternal state.
And here is the Faith Bible Church page with all the sermons on it.
Exactly! Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all (Greek Literal rendition).
When we started our study of Revelation last year, we decided to begin with no position on the millennialist question, so as to determine from our study which position contained the greater amount of Scriptural evidence. The position posted here is the conclusion we reached. It is the position held by the early church and is called the amillennialist, I believe. (Disclaimer. I won’t be here for the argument that always ensues on religious positions)
Stick with politics, bro. Theologian your not.
I don’t argue. My take is that in this marvelously blessed nation, we all have scripture readily available in any language we speak.
That puts the responsibility squarely on each of us to find out what it says and to obey. No need for me to interpret for anyone.
God’s will is not hard to understand for anyone taking the time to study. The Lord kept the important things simple enough for anyone to read and figure out.
But men always try to make it hard, muck it up. Look at what the Pharisees had done to the Law of Moses by the time Jesus came.
Kudos to you for studying with an open mind and willing heart.
“Revelation 20 speaks of the first resurrection.”
Beware of phrases. Every phrase, every jot, every punctuation mark, is there for a reason.
Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. “
This is the first resurrection - why would this be here? Because there is a second resurrection - not a second and third return, as is pointed out.
Also, the original Greek, if I recall correctly, stating that one is taken and one is left - refers to the GOOD being left behind, and the other being taken into captivity.
Boy it would be nice to know Hebrew and Greek. Waited too long.
There will not be one. No one is going to be beamed outta-here. It is false doctrine.
Jesus said the Holy Spirit is the Comforter who would guide [us] into all truth...and he will show [us] things to come. John 16:13. One reason for showing us things to come is for the Comforter to do just that - to comfort us. I Thess. 4:18.
If one understands what is coming in the seven-year tribulation, there is great comfort knowing the Jesus has not appointed us to this Wrath of the Lamb (I Thess. 5:9, Rev 6:16, Rev 14:10) and will keep us from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon the whole world, to try everyone that dwell on the earth (Rev 3:10).
A better understanding of the purpose and meaning of the Day of the Lord is needed here I believe.
I won't be here and I expect you as a fellow-believer to be with me. However, if you insist on sticking around for the slaughter of almost every person in the world, I don't know if anyone can stop you.
I admire your interest. Read this and find out some facts that never seem to surface among those propagating speculations about the "first resurrection" and what the Scriptures seem to tell us in the book of Revelation. I'm sure you will learn something, regardless of objections.
I would question where one gets this "seven-year tribulation" idea from. It's not to be found in the Bible, but in the speculative suppositions of prophecy "experts" who have become rich with the many books they write.
A better understanding of the purpose and meaning of the Day of the Lord is needed here I believe.
Now that is something I can agree wholeheartely on! What would be even better who be a better understanding of the destiny of man as revealed by the Bible.
It's always good to hold onto the Lord himself than any non-essential doctrine. My 40+ years as a believer has been an adventure of Gods refining and correcting my thinking and it's always a wonderful thing because, "The truth will set you free." John 8:32.
Just remember that God wants to comfort His people in all this stuff (I Thess. 4:18) and that he does not want us to be afraid (170 verses in the Bible telling us to not be afraid). My personal experience is I used to be terrified of what was coming because of the clear disclosure in the Book of Revelation that almost everyone in the world will be killed during the tribulation. I now know I wont be here. This comes form much prayer and seeking the Lord (not man) and no agenda through 40+ years of tested study and matching what I believe the Holy Spirit has given me with the like of well-respected teachers like Chuck Missler.
God bless in your continuing to seek Him.
There will not be one. No one is going to be beamed outta-here. It is false doctrine.
That type of thinking affects many more people that one would believe. In fact, the great majority of people seem to believe what you have just said. IMHO, that a sad commentary.
So it seems!