Third, it is accepted as self-evident"
- The Lord returns with the angels and ten thousands of His Saints (Jude 1:14). The Saints can't be on earth and return with Him at the same time.
- The elect who have come through the tribulation period (70th week) will populate the earth during the millennial reign of Christ. If the elect are raptured (instead of gathered), then there would not be anyone left to populate the earth during the new millennium. Remember, evildoers are gathered, judged and bound with Satan at this time. The elect must be separated from them.
- When studying other passages that describe being "caught up" (Greek: harpazo), there are no angels involved because there is no judgment. There can't be angels involved during a rapture event because they have no power to translate our bodies, and angels would have no need to gather our translated bodies, since believers immediately go up to Christ. The rapture is for believers only, yet the "gathering" described in the above passages includes angels separating both the elect and the evildoers, and the evildoers are mourning (they know it's too late and judgment is coming).
- The movement of the Body of Christ at the rapture is from earth to heaven; at the Second Coming it is from heaven to earth. At the rapture, the Lord comes for His Saints (1 Thess 4:16), while at the Second Coming the Lord comes with His Saints (1 Thess 3:13, Jude 1:14, Rev 19:14). Again, the Saints can't be raptured at the end of the tribulation period if they are already with Him.
- What about preparation of the Saints? When comparing other Scriptures regarding preparation (John 14:2, John 14:3, Luke 7:27, 1 Cor 14:8—the Lord preparing a place for us, preparation for battle, etc.), there can't be purification and preparation of the Saints in heaven if they are raptured and concurrently coming back with Him at the end of the tribulation period. For example, Rev 19:14 describes Jesus returning with the Saints as an army on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Jesus must have already purified the Saints; these aren't angels wearing white linens). Earlier in verse 8 we are told the fine linen is the righteousness of the Saints. There can be no argument that the Saints have previously been raptured to heaven, made clean and prepared to return with Jesus to wage war on the Antichrist at the Second Coming. Verse 19 states that the Antichrist and his armies are gathered on earth to prepare to make war against Jesus and His returning righteous army. There are many Scriptural examples of how the Lord plans and prepares each set of events in a perfect, timely and master fashion.
- Scripture plainly teaches that when Jesus Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory—"When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:4. Christ has bound us to Himself so strong that we must appear with Him at the Second Coming. We are His body. Just as our physical bodies function as one, so shall the Saints (body of Christ) with Jesus at His glorious return.
1. The departure (removal) of the Church
2. The revealing of the Antichrist
3. The Antichrist presents himself as God
1. The Holy Spirit (via the Church) is holding the Antichrist back, though he is still at work now
2. He is to be revealed in the right time
3. The One who holds him back (the Holy Spirit/Church) is taken out of the way (departure)
4. The lawless one (Antichrist) is revealed
5. The Lord returns to destroy the Antichrist (Second Coming)
5. Teaching of the rapture, specifically the pre-tribulation rapture, was never taught before the Reformation.
the rapture in Scripture by John MacArthur!
Posted By Carole Massey Reyner to Carole Massey Reyner at 1/14/2012 04:29:00 AM
THE RAPTURE ... Introduction
I have long wanted to set up a website where I could address several different topics. After setting up this blog I realized that it provides ten pages in addition to the Home page. I may be able to accomplish my website purpose right here.
I can think of few things as challenging as writing an overview of the Rapture. I'll ease into it by giving a very brief account of how I arrived at my view of end-time prophecy.
My father was a minister - and not only a minister, but an avid student of Bible prophecy. He started with one view and never waivered from it. I began with his view and then decided I was not well-versed in any other view - no way to arrive at a conclusion.
At the outset I decided that a rapture was just too fantastic. I also thought the whole idea was too typically American - we'll be rescued at the last minute? It fit our mindset. I decided that the Bible is not all about us. With those two primary thoughts I began my study over a period of ten years or so. Only in the past 3-4 years did I finally come to an unshakeable position, that of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Why did I arrive at this conclusion?
- I actually studied the Bible on the matter ... very extensively.
- I found that the theologians who held the other views were generally not avid students of the Bible and had not made a serious study of the Bible or of prophecy. Many leaned heavily toward mysticism and ecumenism. Their lives did not reflect obedience to the Word; they stood for positions, and voted for politicians with positions, directly contrary to Scripture. Often, they were mean-spirited to those with other views.
- I discovered that the theosophists (New Agers) did believe in the Rapture, which meant that Satan believed it. That was powerful.
- It became very clear that those who were serious students of prophecy were all Rapture believers as a result of their studies, and the vast majority were Pre-Trib.
- It also became very clear that those who were Pre-Trib were avidly interested in all Scripture and their lives stood out as people of God. They walked the walk. They stood alone in defending the Bible and its views. They were kind and Christlike toward those with other views.
- Pre-Trib people took the Bible literally, as I always have. All previous prophecy has been fulfilled literally. There is no reason to believe this pattern has changed.
- The Rapture had biblical precedent, and it was no more fantastic than other doctrines: virgin birth, resurrection, etc.
- Many theologians going back to the First Century believed in the Rapture. John Darby was not the originator.
- The Rapture was by no means a strictly American position.
- Many, if not most, Jewish Christians believed in the Rapture
You cannot be a firm believer in the Pre-Tribulation or the Rapture position without spending hours and hours in the Word of God. The belief comes from studying the scriptures.
Someone recently asked me to point out one verse that would support the Rapture. Pointing out one verse to support any doctrinal position is dangerous territory, much more so with prophecy. I'll be so bold as to say it isn't possible; and even if it were, it's not advisable.
One last thing. I want to be able to hold my own strong positions, resulting from my own personal study of God's Word. These views are always subject to revision as I learn more. At best, prophecy is a difficult subject. No one has all the answers. Pre-Trib people frequently differ on a variety of issues, but it is truly amazing how the Lord seems to have opened the scriptures to so many Bible students in these last days. I never want to be dogmatic and not willing to receive new light on Scripture.
I now, and always have been, a seeker of truth.