The Rapture: Is It Scriptural?
Welcome. Today we are going to discuss the Rapture. Note: This is not a discussion on Preterist vs Futurist views.
The Rapture/Left Behind Doctrine: One day the Savior is going to come back and crack the atmosphere and gather all of the believers to Heaven before the Tribulation. Everyone else who did not believe will go through the Tribulation, which is when the false savior (or who you might call the Antichrist) is going to establish their dominion for seven years, and the people that were left behind are going to have to live through that time and have a chance at redemption by being persecuted for their faith, ushering in the Millenial Kingdom.
What we will do now is go over some key points that debunk this doctrine. I hope in the future to go in more detail.
- Matthew 23 46-48, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and 1 Thessalonians 4 16.
- Who Came Up With the Rapture Doctrine?
Matthew 24 3-5 gives us signs of the Savior's second coming and the end of the age. Go to verse 36-39. He says it is going to be like the days of Noah. They were eating, drinking, marrying, acting like it is a normal day when Noah was out trying to prepare for the flood. Then, just like that, they are killed in the flood. Now in verse 39 it says the flood came and TOOK them away. They were killed. I want you to remember this word.
Here is something for you to think about. How did Noah and his family survive the flood? Were they taken off the planet and preserved in Heaven until it was over? Or, did Noah and his family build an ark to get through the flood? He went through the flood. He was not taken out of it, but through it. In this same way will the saints have to go through this period of tribulation
If the Rapture is a scriptural doctrine regarding the period of Revelations, we should be able to find it in there. Turn to this book in your Bible. Notice how there is no mention of a Rapture happening before the Seven Seals, the Trumpets, Bowls of Wrath, or any of these things. Not one verse points to it. There are verses saying the Almighty's believers will not be given his wrath, but none of those say that they will be taken out of the Tribulation.
MATTHEW 24 46-48
- 46 "Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that, In the last days,"
- 47 "Two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left."
- 48 "Two shall be grinding at the mill; the one taken and the other left."
The context shows that nowhere does he imply that this will happen before the Tribulation.
51 Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.— 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
It says that it will be at the last trumpet that they shall be changed. The last trumpet occurs after the tribulation starts, not before. It also connects the changing with the resurrection of the dead.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:17
- "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."
If you read all of 1 Thessalonians it makes no mention of this happening before the Tribulation. Here is where context helps. Read verses 15 and 16 (prior to the often read verse 17):
- 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that they who are alive at the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them who remain unto the coming of the Lord, who are asleep.
- 16 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;
It says the dead in Christ shall rise, again, connecting this trumpet with the resurrection.
Who Came Up With the Rapture Doctrine?
Many authors maintain that the pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine originated in the eighteenth century, with the Puritan preachers Increase and Cotton Mather, and was then popularized in the 1830s by John Nelson Darby.
There are also sources that say it came from Francisco Ribera, a Jesuit priest. He taught that all the events in the book of Revelation were to take place literally during the three and a half years reign of the antichrist way down at the end of the age. Thus, Ribera laid the foundation of a system of prophetic interpretation of which the secret rapture has now become an integral part. He did this in order to remove the Catholic Church from consideration as the antichrist power. He claimed that the Antichrist would have the following characteristics.
- Persecute and blaspheme the Christians.
- Rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
- Abolish the Christian religion.
- Deny the Savior.
- Be received by the Jews.
- Pretend to be the Most High.
- Kill the two witnesses of the Most High.
- Conquer the world.
Given what we now know about the Roman Catholic Church from my article "What You Should Know About Roman Catholicism," the Roman Catholic Church has been established being a non credible source in regards to scripture. Study to show yourself approved like 2 Timothy 2 15 tells you to.
Peace and blessings and all praises to the Most High.