The Rapture Theory

There is a teaching today that is rife within the Christian world, called the rapture. What is the rapture theory? It is believed by those who hold to this theory (and there are MANY who do), that the "church" will be raptured away to heaven and then the earth will continue for a period of seven years (called the tribulation) in which the inhabitants of the earth will be plunged into a time of great trouble and strife (more so than now). So according to this teaching there is a separation to take place between the saved and the lost BEFORE the end of the world.

In this teaching we are also told that Christ will return in two "phases". The first will be a "quiet" affair with The Rapturethe saints being raptured away. And then the second phase after the seven year tribulation will be the "glorious, triumphant" return, which according to this teaching, will usher in the 1000 year millennial reign on earth (which is also a false teaching).

An interesting point with this rapture theory, is that those who hold to it cannot even agree on HOW it will happen. One group believes it will happen BEFORE the tribulation. Another group believes it will happen DURING the tribulation. And yet another group believes the rapture will take place AFTER the tribulation. And why can't they agree on this? Because the whole rapture theory itself is a false teaching, and it is very difficult to get a unified agreement on the specifics of a teaching when it is wrong to begin with.

If the rapture theory is a true Biblical teaching. Why was it not well known and popularized until the early 20th century?

Bible Proof The Rapture Theory is False

Let me get one thing out of the way first. The word "rapture" is not found anywhere in the Bible. So where do they get the word from? It was coined from the words "caught up" found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. And we will deal with those verses later on.

What I would like to do is drop a Biblical bomb straight away on the pre-tribulation rapture teaching and expose it's weakness. That Bible bomb is found in Matthew, chapter 13. In this chapter, Christ Jesus is telling a parable and teaching a lesson concerning the events of the last days and the second coming. Let's look at what He says:

Matthew 13:24-30 ...'Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; [NO] lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.'

Wow! I love the Word of God. It is so clear that we need not second guess what is going to happen. So what are we told in the pre-tribulation rapture theory? We are told that Christ will "gather" His people BEFORE the tribulation and separate the "wheat and the tares" BEFORE the harvest. And yet what does it clearly state in the Bible verse above? That the separation only takes place AT the harvest.

"Oh but the rapture IS the harvest!"

Ok. So according to those who hold to the pre-trib rapture theory, the harvest takes place BEFORE the tribulation and BEFORE the end of the world. This is clearly what they believe because according to this teaching, the world continues for another 7 years and then another 1000 years AFTER the rapture. Well, what does Christ Jesus our Teacher say about this?

Matthew 13:38-40 ...'The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.'

Thank you Jesus for giving us the clear truth on this matter, so that we should not be deceived! Do you see the truth on this friend? The church and the wicked continue to live together on earth until the END OF THE WORLD. And it is only at the end of the world that the separation takes place. The pre-trib rapture theory is now blown to bits by the Word of God!

Please understand that VITAL point. The rapture theory teaches a separation BEFORE the end. But the Bible clearly teaches that there is NO separation before the end.

This also proves the mid-tribulation rapture teaching to be false

Those who hold to the mid-tribulation rapture theory, believe (just like the pre-trib teachers), that the separation takes place BEFORE the end of the world. But as we have shown from the Bible above, the separation takes place ONLY at the end of the world. Need more proof? Take a look at these Bible verses and you will notice that the focus is NOT about the church being taken away before the end, but rather AT the end of the world and the LAST DAY.

John 6:40 ...'And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.'

John 11:24 ...'Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'

John 12:48 ...'He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.'

Eternal life is given on the LAST DAY. The resurrection happens on the LAST DAY. Judgment is given on the LAST DAY.

Notice also what Jesus says in Matthew 28:20 ..."lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." ... Now why would Jesus reassure us that He would be with us until the END OF THE WORLD, if we were to be raptured away BEFORE the end of the world? Doesn't make sense does it? Friend, the rapture teaching is a false one invented by Satan to cause God's people to be unprepared for the time of trouble ahead, that we WILL go through.

What Happens at the End of the World?

For Jesus to say "end of the world", there must be some destructive event to take place right? So what event is coming that would be an "end of the world" event? THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST JESUS! Take a look at the following Bible verses describing the second coming and you will see that THIS is the event that will "end this world" as we know it.

Revelation 1:7 ...'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.'

2 Peter 3:10 ...'But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.'

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 ...'And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Psalm 50:3-4 ... 'Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.'

Earth DestroyedIsaiah 34:8-10 ...'For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.'

Sounds like an end of the world event doesn't it? The destroying force of the second coming of Christ Jesus, as shown in the Bible verses above, will cause the earth to be "laid waste" as described in Isaiah above. Which means that the world will NOT continue on as we know it now, which the rapture theory proclaims. Instead, the wicked will be destroyed and the earth will be laid waste. And it is AT THIS TIME that the saints are taken to heaven, not before.

But What About One Taken and One Left Behind?

Matthew 24:37-42 ...'But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.'

This is such a misunderstood passage of scripture today. Take a look at the context of the above Bible verses. Do you see that Jesus is telling us that His second coming will be like what happened in Noah's day? And what happened in the days of Noah? The above verse tells us. The flood DESTROYED the earth, taking away the wicked and leaving behind God's people (Noah's family). Who was "taken away" and who was "left behind" in Noah's day? Take a look at the above verses again. It was the wicked who were TAKEN and Noah was LEFT BEHIND! And this is what Christ is pointing us to. He is saying that the day is coming when the earth will be destroyed again and the wicked will be TAKEN and the saints will be LEFT BEHIND.

Jesus is pointing to the "END OF THE WORLD". Just like it was the "end of the world" in Noah's day when the flood came.

And what did we already confirm would happen during the harvest at the end? Let's read it again ... 'and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.' (Matthew 13) ... The wicked are "taken" first and the saints are left behind to then be "gathered into My barn" (taken to heaven).

The whole context of Matthew 24 is a warning for us to "watch and be ready" so that the "sudden destruction" that is to come upon the world (1 Thess. 5:3) will not TAKE US by surprise. Just like what happened in Noah's day. Who were taken? The wicked. Who were left behind? Noah and his family!

Please take note of the following VITAL point.

Read Luke 17:36-37. You will notice that the disciples ask WHERE has the one taken gone? And Jesus responds by saying, "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." ... Now in the original language, the word Eagle can also mean Vulture. And where do Vultures gather? Where there is a dead body! And look at what Job says about the Eagle:

Job 39:27-30 ...'Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.'

So the one taken is the wicked who will be killed.

Caught Up to Meet the Lord in the Air

In light of what we have learned above. What does it mean when the Bible says we will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air? Exactly as it says! You see, those who hold to the rapture theory try to get something out of this verse that just isn't there! The truth is, when Christ Jesus returns at the second coming, the wicked will be destroyed, the dead saints will be resurrected and the saints who are still alive will be "caught up" to meet Jesus in the air. And then we will be taken to heaven to start the 1000 year millennium.

And why do we "meet the Lord in the air"? Because Jesus is NOT going to set foot upon the earth during the second coming. And the second phase of His return with the saints will be at the END of the 1000 year millennium. This is another misunderstanding that the rapture theory causes. Jesus is not going to rule on earth during the 1000 years. Instead, we are going to be in heaven with Him during this time, and the earth will be "laid waste" from His second coming. And only AFTER the 1000 years will we return to earth with Christ.

For more about the 1000 year millennium, see THIS STUDY.

The rapture theory is a false teaching, and the Bible proves that fact.