Last week we established through the scriptures that the Christ will indeed come again. This week we will look to the Word of God to see how He will come again. In today’s idea of theology concerning the second coming of Christ, you will hear the word “rapture” spoken of on a consistent basis. The word rapture never appears in the Bible, and yet people preach and teach as if it is there. Their ideology is that when Christ comes back He will take those with Him that are His. It also claims that the remaining people will be left behind on earth. This is just not consistent and harmonious with what the Bible teaches.
I sometimes visit thrift stores to find Bibles, especially those with notes from the previous owner. I do this to see what people are being taught and/or believe. Here is one of my findings. Notice that the note says “is not found in the Bible, but will happen”!
Note: “Rapture to snatch away or take out. Is not found in the Bible, but will happen”.
Friends and Brethren, if it is not in the Bible then it is not in the Bible. God left His truth for us in the Holy Scriptures. We should only draw conclusions from that which is written and left for us in the Book.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, we see the phrase “caught up”. This, however, is not the idea of a rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 – 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.
Greek Definition of Caught Up:
(Caught Up) = ἁρπάζω – har-pad’-zo
From a derivative of G138; to seize (in various applications): – catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take.
Definition of Rapture:
1: an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion
2a: a state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
b: a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to a knowledge of divine things
Synonym for Rapture (noun):
ECSTASY, RAPTURE, TRANSPORT mean intense exaltation of mind and feelings. ECSTASY and RAPTURE both suggest a state of trance or near immobility produced by an overpowering emotion. ECSTASY may apply to any strong emotion (such as joy, fear, rage, adoration). ( · religious ecstasy) RAPTURE usually implies intense bliss or beatitude. ( · in speechless rapture) TRANSPORT applies to any powerful emotion that lifts one out of oneself and usually provokes vehement expression or frenzied action ( · in a transport of rage).
Here is what the Bible teaches about how Christ will come back:
- Acts 1:11 – Christ will come in His physical person.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:14 – Christ will take with Him those “who sleep in Jesus”.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – He will come with a shout, trumpet, and voice of an archangel.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:17 – Those who are alive will go with Him in the clouds.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:2 – He will come back as a thief in the night (quietly without your knowledge).
- Matthew 25:31 – He will come in Glory with holy angels.
- Revelation 1:7 – When He comes everyone will see Him.
- 2 Peter 3:10 – At His return the Heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the earth will be burnt up.
- Luke 21:27 – He will come with power.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 – He will come with flaming fire taking vengeance.
It is clear to see, rapture by its nature is an emotional state more than it is a physical action taking place to the individual. God indeed teaches us truth that we must study, understand, and believe. If we follow every new teaching or idea, we are in turn followings man’s teaching and not God’s. It is clear that the Bible does not teach of a rapture or individuals left behind on earth. Rather, the Bible teaches that Christ will take His with Him, and the rest will be consumed by a vehement fire.
Jeremiah 10:23 – O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.