Millions of Christians are depending on a pre-tribulation “rapture” to save them from going through the Great Tribulation Period. But it is a parachute that will not open. This teaching has become so pervasive since 1900 that few question its truthfulness.
I certainly don’t blame my Christian brethren for wanting to escape all the destruction that’s coming to this earth during the Tribulation. And I do certainly believe in a “catching away” of the saints when He comes back. But the Rapure doctrine teaches that He will come for His church before the tribulation starts. That sounds so good. But there’s only one thing wrong. The scriptures don’t back it up. They speak of Christ coming back and the church being “caught up to meet Him in the air” at the end of the Tribulation.
Proponents of the “rapture” teaching usually base it on one-half of one verse in the Bible. It is found in I Thessalonians 4:17. Christ comes back to earth; and the Christians who have died shall be raised first. “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.”
We see here that Christians, who will have been changed into their spiritual bodies (II Cor. 5:1-2) “shall be caught up” to meet Christ as He nears touch-down on earth. We will meet Him “in the clouds” and “in the air.” Clouds and air are only found in the earth’s atmosphere! We will rise up to meet Him in the earth’s atmosphere, and then we will come right back down here to earth!
“And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This is the second half of verse 17 that is never quoted. He is coming back to earth at the end of the Great Tribulation Period, and since we are ever to be with Him, then we will be coming right back to earth with Him!
I Thessalonians 4:17 does not support Christians being caught away into the third heaven, the traditional concept of heaven, mystically up there somewhere in another dimension. Yes, there is a rising up in our new spiritual bodies, to meet Him for a moment “in the clouds” and “in the air.” However, it is a temporary lift-off, for He is on His way to earth, and we are ever to “be with the Lord.”
He is coming here to establish His 1000 year reign of peace, setting up His government, the Kingdom of God, right here on earth. And few doubt that He will come back here after the Tribulation Period is over. So the “catching away of the saints” happens at the end of the Tribulation Period, at the moment of Christ’s return to earth to establish His Milennial Reign.
This “Rapture Doctrine” is of utmost importance for us to either prove or disprove, for our families’ future is at stake. We are told to “purge out the old leaven” doctrines ( see post https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/brutal-honesty-with-ourselves-purging-out-the-old-leaven/ )
Future posts will show scripturally the church, the body of Christ, active here on earth during the Tribulation Period. We as God’s princes and princesses must get this right. We must study these things out in great detail in order to prepare ourselves to be rulers in His kingdom (see “Studying to Be…” at https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/studying-to-be-a-prince-and-princess-of-god/ ). What’s your thoughts? Kenneth Wayne Hancock
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