Q & A: What About the Rapture?

I have been asked a few times about whether or not the Bible teaches the rapture. Here is my fast facts answering the question.

A popular false doctrine that exists today is the rapture. The rapture, briefly summarized, is the idea that before Christ returns, there will be a “secret” coming where all the righteous will be taken/resurrected. Then after a period of time (different false doctrines differ on the amount of time), there will be a visible coming that everyone else will see.

Why is this doctrine so popular? Well, the Left Behind book series is very popular with many religious people. These books were also adapted into movies that starred Kirk Cameron in the original and Nicholas Cage in the reboot. Many individuals take those books to be Biblical fact, and others assume that the authors and directors have done their research into these matters.

But here’s the thing, the Bible does not teach nor does it support this idea of a rapture. The false doctrine of the rapture contradicts many plain and clear statements in the Bible. Here are a few that demonstrate how the Bible does not teach a rapture.

The Bible says that the coming of Jesus will be visible. Not in secret.

  • Matthew 24:27 NASB ’95, “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
  • Acts 1:11 “They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

A loud noise will accompany the coming of Jesus. Not silence.

  • 1 Thess. 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
  • 2 Pet. 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

There is only one resurrection. Not a secret one for the good and one later for the bad.

  • It is of the righteous and the wicked. Acts 24:15, “having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”
  • It will occur on the “last day.”  John 6:54, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
  • The just and the unjust shall reap their rewards on that day. Matt. 25:31-46.
    • Both the evil and the righteous are at the judgment.
    • Both give an account of their deeds.
    • Both go into life or judgment simultaneously. Not one group first, then a long period of time, then the other group Can’t read that in the text.

If we simply let the Bible speak for itself, then much of the false doctrine that exists today will cease to be taught. The Bible is a book given to mankind to be understood, not a code to be deciphered. Paul said in Ephesians 3:4, “when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ.”:

Let us all continue to read carefully and diligently so that we may all gain the understanding that leads to life.

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