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Rapture

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The Rapture Debate

There are three major views concerning the timing of the Rapture in relation to the period commonly known as the Tribulation.
1. Post – Tribulationalism. This view holds that the Rapture will take place at the end of the Tribulation.
2. Mid – Tribulationalism. This view holds that the Rapture will take place at the middle of the Tribulation.
3. Pre – Tribulationalism. This view holds that the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation.

The Rapture of the Church.

The Meaning of the Word “Rapture”.

Some DENY the Rapture –

based upon the superficial claim that the word “Rapture” itself never appears in Scripture.
However, this is a shallow argument based only on the English language.

The word “Rapture” is from the Latin word “rapere” or CAUGHT UP” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 in the Latin translation of the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV 1900
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.
Thus to be “raptured” means to be “caught up” with the Lord in the air.
This is clearly a Scriptural term and event.

The Rapture is simply the catching up of the Saints.

Which term you choose to use as the title of this event described in Scripture is irrelevant!
The only issue that matters is whether this doctrine is described in Scripture and it clearly is.
The fact that the Bible describes the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, John 14:1-3, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 is irrefutable!

The first definite mention of the Rapture is in John 14:1-3.

John 14:1–3 KJV 1900
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
This passage teaches the following about the Rapture.
a. Jesus will COME again from Heaven.
b. Jesus will RECEIVE the Saints to Himself.
c. Jesus will carry the Saints to HEAVEN.

Two descriptions of the Rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 KJV 1900
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which 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: 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.
1) The SPIRITS of departed Saints will come with Jesus from Heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–14 KJV 1900
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
2) The BODIES of the departed Saints will be raised first, at the shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God (to be glorified and rejoined with their spirits).
1 Thessalonians 4:15–16 KJV 1900
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which 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:
3) The LIVING Saints will then be caught up to meet them and Christ in the clouds.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV 1900
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.
4) All will “ever be” with Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV 1900
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.

1 Corinthians 15:51-55

1 Corinthians 15:51–55 KJV 1900
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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1) A MYSTERY.
1 Corinthians 15:51 KJV 1900
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
A Biblical Mystery is something CONCEALED in the Old Testament and REVEALED in the New Testament.
This great Mystery is that we shall not all DIE!
2) A Trumpet – The bodies of the dead will be raised, reunited, and renewed (glorified).
1 Corinthians 15:52 KJV 1900
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.
3) A Change – Living Saints shall be GLORIFIED without death.
1 Corinthians 15:52c–55 KJV 1900
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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
4) A Moment – All of this will take place instantly and thus INVISIBLY.
1 Corinthians 15:52a KJV 1900
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.
a) The Rapture is stated to take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” The Rapture is clearly stated to take place in a single instant in time which is equal to the length of time it takes for light to glisten off the human eye.
b) The Rapture will therefore take place in a fraction of a second, at almost the speed of light. Such an event will clearly be too fast to be visible to the natural eye.

A Disputed Picture of the Rapture – Matthew 24:40-41, Luke 17:34-36.

Matthew 24:40–41 KJV 1900
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Luke 17:34–36 KJV 1900
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
a) These two passages are taken by many to be references to the Rapture and this may well be the correct view.
b) However, others take this to be a description of the removal of the wicked in judgment after the Tribulation and before the Millennium.
c) Both events (the Rapture of the Saints and the Removal of Sinners) are events described in Scripture. The only question is as to which of these two events is referred to in these particular passages.
d) Regardless of which view is correct, these passages do provide a somber picture of what type of events will take place at the Rapture.
e) It should be pointed out that Matthew 24:31 does not refer to the Rapture, but rather to the gathering of those who were saved during the Tribulation.
Matthew 24:31 KJV 1900
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1) This gathering takes place AFTER the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation.

2) These Saints are not glorified, but only gathered together in their NATURAL bodies for Earthly Judgments which determine who enters the Millennium, as described in Matthew 25.

The Participants of the Rapture.

1. Jesus, Who comes for His Saints. (1 Thess 4:14,16)

1 Thessalonians 4:14 KJV 1900
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV 1900
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:

2. The Archangel (perhaps Michael or Gabriel), whose voice calls forth the Saints. (1 Thess 4:16)

1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV 1900
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:

3. Believers who have Died and who are now resurrected and receive their glorified bodies. (1 Thess 4:13-16; 1 Cor 15:52)

1 Thessalonians 4:13–16 KJV 1900
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which 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:
1 Corinthians 15:52 KJV 1900
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.

4. Believers who are Living and who are instantly caught up and glorified. (1 Thess 4:17; 1 Cor 15:51-54)

1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV 1900
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.
1 Corinthians 15:51–54 KJV 1900
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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

The Views of the Rapture.

The False View that the Rapture and the Second Coming are the SAME event.

Notice these differences between these two distinct events:
THE RAPTUREChrist comes in the AIR(1 Thess 4:16-17)
SECOND COMINGChrist comes to the GROUND(Zech 14:4)
Zechariah 14:4 KJV 1900
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, Which is before Jerusalem on the east, And the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, And there shall be a very great valley; And half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, And half of it toward the south.
THE RAPTUREJesus comes FOR His Saints. (1 Thess 4:16-17; Jn 14:3; 1 Cor 15:51-52)
SECOND COMINGJesus comes WITH His Saints. (Zech 14:5; Jude 14; 1 Thess 3:13)
Zechariah 14:5 KJV 1900
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; For the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: Yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah: And the Lord my God shall come, And all the saints with thee.
Jude 14 KJV 1900
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
1 Thessalonians 3:13 KJV 1900
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
THE RAPTURE A MYSTERY (unrevealed in the OT).(1 Cor 15:51; cf. Eph 3:4-5)
SECOND COMING Revealed throughout the Old Testament. (Zech 14; Ps 72; Isa 11)
THE RAPTURENo signs in heaven.
SECOND COMINGSigns in the heavens. (Mt 24:29-30)
Matthew 24:29–30 KJV 1900
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
THE RAPTURE Referred to as the Day of Christ, a time of Blessing. (1 Cor 1:8; 2 Cor 1:14; Phil 1:6,10)
1 Corinthians 1:8 KJV 1900
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:14 KJV 1900
14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 KJV 1900
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 1:10 KJV 1900
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
SECOND COMINGAssociated with the Day of the Lord, a time of judgment. (Joel 1:15; 2:1-2, 2:11,30-31; Zech 14:1-5; Isa 13:6,9; Ezek 30:2-3; Amos 5:18,20; Obad 15; Zeph 1:14-15; Acts 2:19 -20)
Joel 1:15
Joel 1:15 KJV 1900
15 Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, And as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
Joel 2:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: For the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, A day of clouds and of thick darkness, As the morning spread upon the mountains: A great people and a strong; There hath not been ever the like, Neither shall be any more after it, Even to the years of many generations.
Joel 2:11 KJV 1900
11 And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: For his camp is very great: For he is strong that executeth his word: For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; And who can abide it?
Joel 2:30–31 KJV 1900
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, Blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.
Acts 2:19–20
Acts 2:19–20 KJV 1900
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
THE RAPTURE A Blessing of Rescue for the Saints (Titus 2:13; 1 Thess 4:18)
Titus 2:13 KJV 1900
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
1 Thessalonians 4:18
1 Thessalonians 4:18 KJV 1900
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
THE SECOND COMING Judgment on the Lost. (Rev 19:11-21; Zech 14:1-5; Zeph 1:14-15; Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1-2, 11, 30-31)
Revelation 19:11–21
Revelation 19:11–21 KJV 1900
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Zechariah 14:1–5
Zechariah 14:1–5 KJV 1900
1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, And thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; And the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; And half of the city shall go forth into captivity, And the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, As when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, Which is before Jerusalem on the east, And the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, And there shall be a very great valley; And half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, And half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; For the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: Yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah: And the Lord my God shall come, And all the saints with thee.
THE RAPTURE Occurs Instantaneously and thus Invisibly. (1 Cor 15:51)
1 Corinthians 15:51
1 Corinthians 15:51 KJV 1900
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
THE SECOND COMING Visible Worldwide. (Rev 1:7; Zech 14:1-5)
Revelation 1:7 KJV 1900
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Zechariah 14:1–5 KJV 1900
1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, And thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; And the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; And half of the city shall go forth into captivity, And the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, As when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, Which is before Jerusalem on the east, And the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, And there shall be a very great valley; And half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, And half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; For the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: Yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah: And the Lord my God shall come, And all the saints with thee.
THE RAPTURE Involves the CHURCH THE SECOND COMING Involves ISRAEL
THE RAPTURE Occurs Before the Tribulation.
THE SECOND COMING Occurs AFTER the Tribulation.
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