A Simple Rebuttal of the Rapture in Favor of the Resurrection

Please read this from beginning to end prayerfully before refusing or responding. As Christians, we are fellow servants one to the other. We each have our own God-given gifts for the edification of the church, and we need each other. This is written with love to you, and I ask that you please take the time to consider and respond thoughtfully.  

The truth is simple, but we have complicated the truth with tradition to such an extent that one cannot simply state what is true. In order to defend the truth, one must fend off multiple ideas—ideas that are widely known an accepted.

This is what I run into when refuting the rapture doctrine. Though what I believe to be true is simple to understand, tradition stops the ears and must be dealt with.

Knowing this, what is the most effective way to communicate these ideas?

I could pick apart some scholarly articles, and that was the plan to begin with, but that seems too simple and not entirely effective. Once I begin to do that, then another person could come along and pick apart what I have to say. The temptation to being unkind with our fellow servants might take hold.

There is enough of that going on these days, and I am not always as mindful as I’d like to be.

I think the best approach is to state the truth with simplicity, to the best of my ability. Scriptures are noted.

So, here goes.

As a Christian, the resurrection of life is my hope. Through faith in Jesus, I know that my sins are forgiven, and I will live eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus died for my sins and He rose again. He sits on the right hand of the throne of God, and He promises to return bodily. He said that He will return in the same manner in which He left.[1]

I think most of us agree so far.

You also might have heard that Jesus can come and rapture the church away at any moment.

Jesus teaches that He cannot return at just any time. He said that the gospel must be preached to all nations. He said there must be a falling away first and the Son of Destruction must be revealed.[2]

Jesus also said that many would not love the truth, and as a result they will believe the strong delusion that this wicked one brings.[3]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ provides more detail about this time of deception. Revelation provides insight into the nature of the faithful church. This book also provides insight into the nature of the apostate church and how this falling away takes place. Revelation offers insight into the coming of Jesus Christ, which as He said, is after the falling away.

The time of tribulation begins at the first trumpet. Jesus returns at the last, seventh trumpet, [4] just as Paul the apostle wrote in his first epistle to the Thessalonians[5] and in his first epistle to the Corinthians.[6]

Paul the apostle wrote that when Jesus returns, the dead in Christ are raised.

Paul the apostle also wrote of the transfiguration of believers who are alive at the coming of Jesus. They are caught up together and they meet Jesus in the clouds. This is an event that is synonymous with the resurrection, not a separate event called the rapture.

Jesus told us about His coming and the resurrection. He said that the time comes, and now is, when the dead who are in their graves will hear His voice. Some will rise at the resurrection of life and others at the resurrection of damnation.[7]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ provides more information.

Jesus tells us that there is a “first resurrection” which occurs at His return. Jesus will establish His Kingdom, and the rest of the dead will not live again for 1,000 years. After that time, the rest of the dead are raised and judged according to their works. Those who are not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.[8]

Let’s go back to the event of the first resurrection, which occurs at the return of Jesus.

Remember, Jesus said that He would not come until after the falling away, and at the last trumpet. He said that many would fall away because they did not love the truth, and therefore believed the strong delusion of the false christ.

Jesus mentioned this delusion during His ministry, and I will mention it here.

You’ve probably read about those who are “taken.” For example, there would be two women grinding at the mill; one would be taken while the other would be left. It is commonly taught that this scripture supports the rapture doctrine. How terrible it would be to be left behind…right?

If we read just a bit further, we will get a different idea.

When the disciples asked Jesus where they would be taken, He said, “where the carcasses are, there will the eagles be gathered together.” [9]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ provides more insight.

When Jesus returns and His dead are raised, they are not simply going to heaven. They are coming with Him in victory over the false christ and those who killed the servants of God. This is called the battle of Armageddon.

Those who are “taken” are those who were deceived into allegiance with the false christ and into battle with Jesus and His army of saints. This is not the rapture. This is deception that leads to death. We do not want to be “taken.” Jesus will be victorious, and there will be a blood bath like never before.

The carnivorous birds will feast on the flesh of the enemies of God—and this is the marriage supper of the lamb. He will avenge His bride who was slain, and it will be massive carnage. [10]

Jesus, who will destroy with the brightness of His coming, will divide the just from the unjust, and many are slain. He spoke of this in His parables of the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares, and the fishermen. [11]

There is no rapture. There is a resurrection, and there is the vengeance of the Almighty.

The Christian faith is hinged on the resurrection at the coming of Jesus Christ.

This is fundamental and important.

I know this raises a lot of other questions because all Christian doctrines are linked. So, in order to deal with one idea, we must deal with many and that is the complexity of this matter concerning the rapture.

For example, what happens when Christians die?

 I do not believe that Christians go to heaven when they die. I believe they are dead and waiting for the resurrection. However, I also realize that it is vanity to assume that God is bound to time as we experience it on earth. He is to and from everlasting. Therefore, if we could bend our perception, we can consider our dead to already be with the Lord. However, we are bound to this earth and this time, so our dead are buried.

There are also different ideas about the millennium.

What is that all about? The prophecies must be fulfilled, and the King of David must reign on this earth. Jesus will return and establish His reign. He must put all things under His feet.

We like to say that this earth is not our home, but Jesus teaches that we will inherit the earth. We will have work to do, according to our measure of faithfulness with that which we received (see the parable of the talents). There is much we do not know about that time, and we certainly do not know what is in store for us as heirs of everlasting life.  

There are different ideas about how we should interpret the timetable of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

I believe that all prophecy has a past, present, and future fulfillment until all things are completed and God reigns all in all. The opening of Revelation says that the things revealed include “things which are and shall be hereafter.” We get an example of that with the beast “that was and is not and yet is.”

Some say that the church disappears from Revelation after Chapter 6.

In reality, the entirety of Revelation has to do with the Christian church—both the faithful and the unfaithful Christian church—and the results both can expect.

Some say that Christians would not suffer. They say that just as God preserved Noah and Lot, He will preserve us.

The Lord will indeed preserve us, but not in the way we might like. He preserves us by keeping us from “the hour of temptation.” He keeps us from being deceived and “taken” in by the false christ and his apostate church. Many Christians will suffer and die. There are numerous scriptures about this, and they did not solely apply to the time of the early church. Christians suffer and die every day. Western Christians will too.

“It is given to us on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for His sake.”

Jesus told us to watch. He told us to be ready. He told us to be busy doing His business, not busy being drunk with the drunken and beating our fellow servants. [12]

There are many forms of drunkenness. There are many forms of beating our fellow servants.

It is reasonable for Christians to disagree on doctrine, however; untrue doctrine can lead to drunkenness in spirit.

Untrue doctrine can make us vulnerable to deception. As Jesus said, we must receive a love of the truth. However, some truths are more important than others.

If we must disagree, then we must do so in love. We do not beat each other up over our disagreements, accuse one another as false Christians, or slander one another. It is the apostate church who is drunk with blood, not us.

However, we can earnestly contend for the faith. The Christian faith is hinged on the hope of the resurrection, and a little corruption of that teaching corrupts much.

As Jesus teaches and as Paul the apostle wrote, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. [13]

So, let us contend, but in love and patience with each other. If you think I am in error, love me enough to say so. If you want to discuss these ideas, I would love to hear from you.

[1] Acts 1:11

[2] Mark 13

[3] 2 Thessalonians 2

[4] Revelation 11

[5] 1 Thessalonians 4

[6] 1 Corinthians 15

[7] John 5:28-29

[8] Revelation 20

[9] Luke 17

[10] Revelation 16, Revelation 19

[11] Matthew 13, Matthew 25

[12] Matthew 24

[13] Galatians 5:9, Matthew 13

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: