Second Coming of Jesus Christ.m4v
I Often Hear About This Famous "Rapture", So With Alittle Help From COGwriter...I Hope Through His Research On The Matter Will Open Your Eyes And Heart To No Such Thing As A "Rapture".
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?
Is Jesus going to return and secretly "rapture" away the true Christian Church prior to the tribulation?
Many evangelical people seem to think so.
Does the Bible teach that at least a portion of the Christian Church will be protected from the great tribulation?
Yes, the Bible teaches that a portion of the Church will be protected from that tribulation, but where?
Jesus is going to return, but when?
This article will look at some of the teachings that those who hold to the idea of a secret rapture believe, look at some other ideas, and look to the Bible to determine the truth on these matters.
When is the End, What Did Jesus Teach His Followers to Do, and When Does Jesus Come?
Notice what Jesus' disciples asked Him:
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3 NKJV throughout, unless otherwise indicated).
So we see that the disciples had some of the same questions that we have today.
Notice Jesus' answer:
And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you...And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:4,14).
See that Jesus specifically has warned to be careful about deception. He also stated that the end would occur after the gospel of the kingdom will be preached into all the world as a witness. Does your church even know what that gospel is? (An article of related interest may be The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church).
Jesus continued with:
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. (Matthew 24:15-21).
It is interesting to note that Jesus was telling Christians that when they see Daniel 11:31/12:11 fulfilled, then Christians need to flee. And that they should pray that this flight will not be on the Sabbath (Saturday) or the winter. Do you pray that?
Why do people flee?
People flee to be protected!
Fleeing does not sound much like being "raptured".
What happens after Christ's people flee? Jesus explains:
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:21).
But are any Christians promised protection from this tribulation?
Yes, notice what Jesus told the Philadelphia Church:
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write...10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth (Revelation 3:7,10).
It needs to be emphasized that ONLY the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God, other Christians will be affected by the Great Tribulation and the related persecutions (Revelation 12:17).
When does Jesus teach that He will return? Notice that it is right AFTER the tribulation:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:29-31).
When do Christians meet Christ in the air? Well according to what Jesus taught, it is after the tribulation at the last trump. Paul taught:
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
Notice carefully that Paul is teaching the above so that they will not think that the dead in Christ have no hope. Also notice that Paul says nothing about the Church fleeing or being protected from the great tribulation above. He simply states that at the sound of a trumpet Jesus will return, raise the dead, and the Christians that remain will be caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus. It is important to understand what Paul did or did not say.
Also notice that this occurs with THE LAST TRUMPET--as there are many trumpets that blow during the last 3 1/2 years before Jesus returns, there is no possible way that the LAST TRUMPET can signal a pre-tribulation rapture.
The End-Time Version in Luke 21 Show No Pre-Tribulaton Rapture
The Bible has several accounts of Christ's Olivet discourse (Jesus was on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 24 when He answered His disciples questions about the end).
Although Luke 21 parallels Matthew 24, there are a few slight differences. And one of those differences tends to be cited by supporters of various rapture theories.
Notice that Luke's account begins sort of like Matthew's version:
So they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?" And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived..." (Luke 21:7-8).
Let's look at what else Jesus says:
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:20-24).
So we see a couple of changed. One is that Jerusalem will be surrounded with armies. And that Jesus tells those in Judea to flee into the mountains and that this will be difficult for pregnant women/nursing mothers, just like He did in Matthew's account. And that this is the time of great distress. Thus this appears to be the same basic discourse that Matthew's account refers to.
Notice when Jesus says He will return in the sky:
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:25-28).
While some pre-tribulation rapture supporters point to the last verse as justification for the rapture, notice that Jesus is teaching that He is coming sometime after the distress of nations. Thus, Jesus is NOT returning before the tribulation even begins.
The Version In Mark 13 Show No Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Mark 13 closely parallels Matthew 24.
Notice that it begins sort of like Matthew's and Luke's version:
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?" 5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: "Take heed that no one deceives you...And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations (Mark 13:3-10).
Jesus continued, then stated:
"So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his garment. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter (Mark 13:14-18).
Once again notice that Jesus taught people would need to flee at this time.
And also notice that this is just before the tribulation really gets going:
For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, He is there!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand (Mark 13:3-23).
Now when does Jesus say He will return, coming in the clouds? After the tribulation:
"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven (Mark 13:24-27).
So the gospel accounts are clear. There will be fleeing prior to the tribulation after the abomination of desolation is set up, followed by the tribulation, followed by Jesus Christ coming in the clouds.
No where does the Bible give an indication that this will be a secret.
Actually all the gospel accounts say not to be deceived and that Jesus' coming will not be a secret. Notice the following statements show that Jesus return will not be done in secret:
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:27-28).Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be...Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matt 24:26-27,30).
Not being in "the inner rooms" means that Jesus' coming will not be a secret. Also, since the world will see Jesus return and everyone with sight can see lightening that covers the sky from the east to the west, all will see Jesus return.
Of course, the scriptures clearly state that Jesus will return with the blast of a great trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:16, Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:51–52; Revelation 8:13). Trumpet blasts are not secret.
There simply is no secret rapture.