A Sound Will Accompany Jesus Second Coming
Further, the Scripture indicates that the advent of Christ will be accompanied by considerable audible phenomena.
The Lord will descend from heaven with a SHOUT, with the VOICE of the archangel, and with the TRUMP of God . Someone has called this the noisiest verse in the Bible!
Too, when Jesus comes again the heavens shall pass away with a GREAT NOISE , and that hardly accords with the notion that the second advent will be a silent, secret event!
The Rapture In Church History
The point that Im trying to make is about Church history. Rapture theology has only been popular for 180 years. It is largely a new theology, a new concept. While some will argue there are instances in the early church that support a pre-tribulational rapture in the Bible, but I have yet to see any clear proof. Theres certainly not enough proof to say it was a commonly held belief.
All this doesnt make it false, but it should make us pause.
If belief in the pre-tribulational rapture has only been popular, commonplace, since 1830 that means it wasnt talked extensively about by the very people who laid the theological foundation for the Church. Again, that doesnt mean its not true. Be it should be a red flag whenever a new theology is brought into the picture. It should cause us to dig a little deeper.
So, what does the Bible say about the Rapture? Is the rapture in the Bible?
Time To Leave The Rapture Behind
Millions of Christians put great hope in the rapture as a way to escape the Tribulation. But the protection offered to Christians isnt being raptured to heaven, but instead is a place of protection on earth . The idea that Jesus will return secretly and rapture people to heaven is a modern idea contrary to the words of Christ and the New Testament writers.
We encourage our readers to study what the Bible actually teaches about Christs return. The rapture is great fodder for fiction, but has no biblical basis. Leave it behind and put your hope in the visible second coming of Christ to rule this earth with power, justice and truth.
What The Bible Really Says About The Rapture
What would the end times really be like? A new HBO series airing Sunday night, The Leftovers, attempts to answer that question, sort of. In the show, based on a Tom Perrotta novel, 2% of the global population vanishes suddenly, and without explanation. The disappearance is mostly attributed to some kind of religious event, and the show deals with how life might be afterward for those left behind with all the grief, guilt and confusion that something like that would entail.
Despite the setup, neither the show nor the book are overtly religious. The word rapture is never used at least not in the book and the ranks of the disappeared seem to have been chosen at random. With many sinners among the vanished, the true believers still on earth are left to wonder how they missed the cut.
The word rapture isnt used in the Holy Bible, but the idea of Judgment Day appears in all the canonical gospels. Its probably most frequently associated with the apocalyptic imagery of the Book of Revelation to John, but its most clearly laid out in the Book of Matthew, in which it is prophesied that the Son of Man will send out his angels with a trumpet call to gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other, before separating the righteous sheep from the accursed goats .
Pauls first epistle to the Thessalonians contains passages along the same lines:
Christs Return Will Be Visible
The return of Christ will be visible universally, not invisible or secretive, known only by a few.
In Matthew 24:15-22 Jesus described the conditions to be associated with the destruction of Jerusalem. In connection therewith, he warns that if anyone claims, Lo, here is the Christ, it was not to be believed:
As those early disciples beheld Christs departure , so in like manner would He come again.
The coming of the Lord will involve a revelation” of His being .
At his coming, Christ will be manifested . When this term is used in the passive voice, as in 1 John 2:28, it means to show or reveal oneself, be revealed, appear to someone .
As Jesus was visible during his first appearing on earth , so will He be visible when He appears at His second coming .
At his coming, it is said that Christ “shall appear a SECOND time” .
If Lindsey and his dispensational kin are correct, Christ will not appear until his THIRD coming!
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The Rapture Often Called The Blessed Hope Is Sadly More Hoax Than Hope Even Though The Man Who Started It Had No Intention Of Deceiving Anyone You Need To Know What The Bible Actually Says
The rapture is widely taught and believed in Christianity today. Popular books and movies spin themes around this doctrine that essentially teaches Christ will come back twice, first coming only into the atmosphere to snatch believers away to heaven for several years then actually returning to set foot on the earth.
We live in a time when most are content to get their knowledge of religion secondhand, preferably through dramatic presentations, including stage, screen and novels.
But you cannot afford to neglect your personal responsibility to prove the truth!
Those willing to take a careful look at the Bible will see that the rapture theory doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny of God’s Word.
The rapture was popularized in the 1970s by Hal Lindsey’s writings and more recently by Jim Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in their Left Behind fictional books and films. But where did the idea of the rapture originate?
Why Are So Many Christians Obsessed With Predicting The Rapture
Viktor Vasnetsovs ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,’ 1887.
The world did not come to an end on September 6, 1994. Nor on May 21, 2011, or October 21 of that same year, though Harold Camping had said in each case that it would. As I sit typing in the year 2016, the world is still rotating on its axis, spinning 19 miles per second around the sun.
Like so many Christians who came before him, Camping was possessed by the idea of predicting the end of the world, and talked ceaselessly about it on his radio show at Family Radio Network, of which he was president. Listeners contributed to what became a $100 million campaign to convince the world of the May 21 judgment day , when Jesus would take all his believers to heaven. Like many would-be prophets, Camping moved the target each time he was wrong. After the October 2011 date passed, he just let it go. Even prophets can get confused.
Today, if you want to know how close we are to the worlds end, all you need to do is check the Rapture Index, a frequently updated scoreboard of 45 factors that point to the nearness of the Rapture. The popularity of the Left Behind series and songs like Larry Normans I Wish Wed All Been Ready among certain evangelical communities indicate an ongoing cultural fascination with End Times and a willingness to help usher them in by proclaiming how rotten things are in the world right nowa key tenet in Rapture theology, as in life, is that things usually get worse before they get better.
What Will Happen To America After The Rapture
As we have seen, when the Rapture occurs, every single American who is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ will suddenly disappear. This will cause enormous disorientation and disruption for all the unbelievers who are left behind as their lives suddenly change and they are forced to handle the aftermath and adapt to the new and rapidly shifting conditions.
Think of how dramatically life in the United States changed after we lost some three thousand Americans on September 11, 2001. First and foremost, the emotional impact was devastating. Then the way we travel changed. The way we conduct foreign policy changed. Our economy changed. Our government institutions changed. So many areas of life changed that it is difficult to adequately categorize them, much less catalog them.
Now try to imagine the U.S. losing a million people in the blink of an eye. Or 5 million people. Or 25 million people. Or more.
If youre riding in a car driven by a believer who suddenly disappears, that car very well could crash. If youre on a plane flown by believers who suddenly disappear, that plane also could crash. Highly valuable and experienced military commanders and business leaders and medical professionals will disappear, perhaps in the middle of critical projects or medical procedures. The impact will be catastrophic.
We Can Live With Dedication
I am told that Robert Murray MCheyne, a brilliant young Scottish preacher who died at age 29 in 1843, wore a watch with the words The Night Cometh engraved on its face. Every time he checked his watch, he was reminded that time is marching on. We wont always have time to win souls for Christ or to consecrate our own life for His service. The apostle John exhorted his readers not to be ashamed before Him at His coming . The imminent return of Jesus for His Church is lifes greatest stimulus for living a dedicated life.
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Reason : The Rapture Is A Signless Event
Unlike the Second Coming, no signs will precede the Rapture. This is called the doctrine of imminencythat is, the Rapture is imminent it could happen at any moment. Specifically, nothing in Gods prophetic program must take place as a prerequisite to the Rapture. Things may happen but nothing must happen. That means we dont know when it could happen. It could be today or years from today.
Without any warning, Jesus Christ will return to rapture His saints and take them to heaven. Christians must live prepared lives, ready to meet their Savior at any moment.
Bible References To The Rapture
Believers cite several verses in the Bible to support a sudden disappearance from Earth, without warning and “in the twinkling of an eye:”
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed â in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other…Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Two men will be in the field one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill one will be taken and the other left.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
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What Is The Rapture
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air and so we will be with the Lord forever.
Apparently, doubts had arisen among the Thessalonian Christians regarding the fate of those Christians who had died before Christ returned. Would they miss out on the glorious events of Christ’s second coming and the resurrection? Paul assured them in this way that God would save those who had already died, as well as those still living.
What Happens After The Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:16-5:2 teaches us that after the rapture the Day of the Lord begins. The Day of the Lord comes as a thief of the night. We cannot know when the Day of the Lord will begin. If the rapture were to occur in the middle of the tribulation or at the end of the tribulation it would not occur as a thief in the night. The day of the Lord would not be a surprise since the tribulation is seven years long. That means the middle and end of the tribulation will be known. That is the message of 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 and Daniel 9:27. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:3 the Day of the Lord begins with peace. That is, the tribulation begins with peace and the destruction will start 3.5 years later. This is consistent with Daniel 9:27. Joel 2:31 also refers to the Day of the Lord and then in chapter three a description of the tribulation is given, including Armageddon . The destruction and Armageddon is described in Revelation 6-19.
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Expectancy Is Not Imminency
We should expect Jesus to return and rapture His people up, but we should also expect some prophecies must be fulfilled first too. The Bible says that the Antichrist must be revealed before Jesus returns.
2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4: 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 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Does the Antichrist come before the rapture? Yes! The Antichrist is the man of sin, the son of perdition. He is the one who makes war with the Saints during the great tribulation.
When Paul said, For that day shall not come, he is referring to verse 1, where he mentions the second coming and rapture. The Bible clearly teaches here that something must happen in time before Christ returns in the air and gathers us to Him: the Antichrist must be revealed!
I will also note here too that the Temple of God must be rebuilt. Now that Jerusalem is Israels capital again, I wonder how long it will be before this prophecy is fulfilled.
Does Jesus Himself Say Anything About The Rapture
You may be a believer in Messiah Jesus and know a lot about the Rapture or only a little.
You may be an unbeliever who knows virtually nothing about the Rapture, except for hearing about it from time to time. Wherever you are in this spectrum, the question posed in this weeks Eye of Prophecy article may be puzzling.
Some will respond incredulously to the question: Of course, Jesus spoke of the Rapture.
Others might think: I know that the Apostle Paul writes about the Rapture, because the passages in which he describes it are the ones that many people cite exclusively. However, I dont think Jesus himself spoke of the Rapture.
Still others might say: I think Jesus talked about the Rapture. But Im not sure what words he used or where to find them. And if he was referring to the Rapture or just his second coming to the earth, or both?
And, there are those who dont believe the Rapture will take place at all. What they do with I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15 is beyond me, but thats okay. If they have accepted Christ as their personal Savior, theyll know for sure when they ascend from the earth in their brand-new bodies to meet the Lord in the air! Its likely they will exclaim, Its really happening?!
For those of us who know the Rapture is for real, a shorter version: Its happening!
Some think that the Rapture and the return of Messiah Jesus to the earth to end the Great Tribulation are one and the same.
Answer: A resounding, YES!
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