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Will There Be A Rapture And Is It Even Mentioned In The Bible?

Will there be a rapture? Is it pre-tribulational? I believe the answer is an emphatic 'yes' to both questions. Here are some key points:

1. For starters, I want to address the small, but growing minority of Christians who emphatically state that the rapture isn't even in the Bible. Now I believe it is one thing to hold to various views as to the timing of the rapture event, but no rapture at all? I believe that this belief is thoroughly nonsensical. The argument often takes shape the same way that Jehovah's Witnesses will say that the Bible doesn't teach the doctrine of the "Trinity" since the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible... yet the doctrine of the Trinity is found all throughout the Bible, from Genesis 1:1-3 to Revelation.  The word "rapture" is not in the Bible, end-of-story.

This argument doesn't even make sense--of course the English word "rapture" is not in the Bible. So too the Latin word that we derive "rapture" from is also not in the Bible. The New Testament was written in Greek! The Greek word for "rapture" is in the Bible. Even setting aside all other scriptures, parables, patterns, and parallels that may support the rapture, the rapture event is clearly and unequivocally taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. This passage doesn't necessarily answer the question as to the timing of the event, but yes, the rapture is going to happen. A trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ and those who are "alive and remain" will be "caught up" into the clouds. It plainly, unequivocally says believers will meet the Lord in the air.

2. Next, I want to talk about perhaps the most common argument against the pre-tribulational rapture. This argument is now known to be factually incorrect. So if you believe in a mid-trib, pre-wrath, or post-trib rapture, that's fine by me, but don't use this argument. The argument is that the pre-tribulational rapture theory was invented by a girl in 19th century Scotland named Margaret MacDonald. This is patently false.  For starters, 18 years prior to MacDonald, a Catholic Jesuit priest espoused his belief in the pre-trib rapture in his book The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty.  We now also have clear, extra-Biblical support for the pre-trib rapture as early as 373AD (Ephraem the Syrian who clearly taught the doctrine, even using exact language).  See here: http://www.raptureready.com/rr-margaret-mcdonald.html and here: http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/why_some_reject.htm

3. Thirdly, many Christians will often argue that the pre-tribulational rapture is not foreshadowed in the Bible and that the doctrine is just "easy-escapism". In essence they will say that God doesn't remove us from trials and tribulation, He just protects us in the midst of it.

I actually agree with their point about God protecting us in the midst of tribulation. However, this has nothing to do with the pre-tribulational rapture, which I believe is CLEARLY foreshadowed. The 70th week of Daniel (final 7 years of the age), are the years specifically set aside for God to pour out His OWN wrath. Not just the normal trials and tribulations every generation has faced because of the consequences of sin, but a tribulation God Himself sends on the world, as the Scripture says to test an unbelieving and unrepentant world (Revelation 3:10; see also Luke 21:36). That same passage clearly says that God will keep believers from facing that coming tribulation. Elsewhere the Bible says "we are not appointed unto wrath" (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

So, yes, it is correct to say God doesn't always remove us from worldy tribulation, but He does ALWAYS remove us from His wrath if we trust in Him. This is foreshadowed:

First, in the story of Noah. Noah and his family escape into the ark, and THEN the rains came. They were lifted up above the flood.

Second, in the story of Lot. Lot and his family were taken out of Sodom and THEN the twin cities were destroyed.

Interestingly, it is these two stories that Jesus refers to when talking about the time at the end of the age before His second advent.

4. "Apostasia": https://www.raptureready.com/featured/ice/TheRapturein2Thessalonians2_3.html

5. Finally, there is so much Biblical strength to the argument that I simply can't ignore:

http://www.jesusisthecomingking.com/2011/03/250-reasons-for-pre-trib-rapture.html


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14 comments :

  1. Excellent.

    Bob Celeste
    ChristianPatriot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. wonderful *,.....tony in Vermont,....bless you all!

    ReplyDelete
  3. About the pre-trib rapture one needs to caution that not all Christians will participate in this rapture.
    One needs to be ready and have a spotless wedding gown, i.e. live a holy life by submitting daily to the Holy Spirit and this means taking up your cross on a daily basis.
    It is so easy to fall back into one's own carnal nature and this carnal nature is in constant opposition to the new nature in Christ. Even more mature Christians could fall into sin if they are not in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The carnal nature needs to be controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit so as not to give it any space to act.
    This belief of mine has nothing to do with 'earning' this wonderful event by one's own works.
    One is saved only on the basis of His work on the cross. Not by works or anything that man can do to earn it. We are all cautioned to be ready, to be considered 'worthy' to escape God's judgements.
    As an example, look at the story of Lot' family. Lot's wife could have been saved had she not looked back at Sodom. She did not heed to the warning because her heart was still attached to the material world. This position of mine gets always criticized by those who promote extreme grace message without emphasizing the need for repentance and living a holy life.
    Who can say that they have never sinned again after receiving Christ? They also believe in 'Once saved always saved'-doctrine by quoting some biblical verses without bothering to check other verses of the Scriptures that say of those who walk according to the flesh.

    I was thinking of what would happen if Netanyahu should loose the coming March 17 elections and Labour in charge of the nation. They would give back land in exchange for peace (which they have promised if they shoud win). Could this eventually lead to a peace treaty of 7 years?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with much of what is in your comment and, strangely enough, have just written a post on it on my blog.

      Delete
    2. That's more doctrines of devils right there, who taught you that? Every saint will participate in the rapture, there are no exceptions to that. Nowhere in the bible does it say so, and adding on to the word of the Lord will get you into trouble. When we are raptured, we will be changed from our mortal flesh and its carnal nature to being like that of Christ, imperishable and having no tendency to sin or being bound to it. Read your Bible:
      "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed --- 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.
      For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
      "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
      The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
      But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 15:51-58, NKJV)

      Delete
    3. Are you OSAS? Absolutely! Few things are taught with more thundering clarity in the Bible. The question--the ONLY question--is: Are you S?
      Most people I've run into who argue against OSAS would do well to brush up on the nature of S. Just saying.

      Bottom line: Whatever you have, if you can lose it, it ain't biblical salvation.

      Delete
  4. http://theincrediblegift.blogspot.nl/2012/03/bride-of-christ.html

    Rapture of the Bride.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The spotless wedding gown is Christ's own blood and righteousness that covers us. Being found "worthy" is trusting in the only one who IS worthy: Jesus Christ. You are saying that this doesn't have anything to do with "earning" it, but your point that faith alone is not sufficient betrays you (Romans 11:6). Grace means unmerited favor. It doesn't mean "fuel in your tank" as the Catholic Church teaches.

    Having said all this I don't think we are far off. If someone *truly* has faith in Christ it will show itself (see James 2), but at the end of the day those works are only evidence of a salvation wrought through faith alone.

    I agree there may be many people who profess to be Christian and even attend church regularly who will be left behind, but it won't be because they were *too* sinful or not worthy *enough*, but because they didn't have a genuine saving faith.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "This position of mine gets always criticized by those who promote extreme grace message without emphasizing the need for repentance and living a holy life."

    As well it should. And no, it gets criticized by people who understand the true meaning of "unmerited favor," as do several of the above posters.

    Excuse me, "extreme grace"? *E-x-t-r-e-m-e*? It had to be extreme to wash away *MY* sins, and I'm guessing it had to be extreme to wash away yours, too.

    Extreme? You betcha. So...what do *you* call it?

    Half-way grace?
    Medium-rare grace?
    Toned-down grace?
    Limited grace?
    God-helps-those-who-help-themselves grace?
    Shape-up-or-ship-out grace?

    No? Perhaps something short, simple, and more to the point...how about DIY grace?

    Anyway...while you're busy inventing ways to "merit" unmerited favor, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing: striving (and sometimes failing, but still striving nonetheless) to live a life that pleases, honors, and glorifies God out of a heart filled with love and appreciation for the incredible gift of "unmerited favor" (i.e., I don't "merit" it) He has given me in the form of the precious blood of His Son--blood that washed away all the sins I will ever commit. And at the Rapture, He will finally remove all the failings and shortcomings that still dwell in my flesh that invariably cause me to sometimes fail to please, honor, and glorify Him.

    And I can't wait.

    It's not extreme grace.

    It's not DIY grace.

    It's just grace. End of story.

    P.S. I posted under the name "Greg" above, but I have since noticed there is another gentleman who posts regularly who goes by that name. In the future, I will use "Greg L." to avoid confusion. I wouldn't want to say something stupid or snarky and have it reflect poorly on him. =:o

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Half-way grace?
      Medium-rare grace?
      Toned-down grace?
      Limited grace?
      God-helps-those-who-help-themselves grace?
      Shape-up-or-ship-out grace?"

      Wow. Well said Greg L.

      Delete
  7. Oh dear! Oh dear! oh Dear! Gary you got it all wrong. The doctrine of the rapture was the invention of the Rev Darby. founder of the 'Born Again'sect called Close brethren. He translated the bible from Hebrew and Greek directly into English using the name of The Almighty over 7,000 times in the Hebrew scriptures. The four letters of the Hebrew scriptures known as the tetragrammaton. In spite of considerable scholarship he failed to identify our Lord Jesus as The only begotten Son of Jehovah as opposed to the second person of a pagan trinity invented by the followers of the unbabtised Constantine in the forth Century.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, but I have to disagree with you. The rapture (and in fact, the pre-trib rapture) was taught before Darby. There's no longer any doubt about that. Even Irenaus can be quoted as such. Also, the Trinity is not pagan. I've written extensively on that.

      Delete
  8. Gary,

    I seem to see that Gentile originating believers who have a tendency to lean heavily into Jewish teachings oppose a pre-trib rapture pretty much 99.9% of the time. With your history of interaction, would you agree to that? It has seen common to me. I'd just like to know whether to keep that in mind or discount it completely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're right - in so far as you mean the Hebrew-roots Christians. I would argue that they are skating on thin theological ice by returning to the law and the Sabbath and all that stuff. The Apostle Paul demolishes their theology in Galatians and Romans. In fact, if they're not careful, they may find themselves outside of grace by using the law as their means of entrance into Heaven rather than Christ's own fulfillment of the law.

      Delete


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