Is the Rapture Real?

RaptureWhat if I told you that the rapture is something entirely made up? Would you breath a deep sight of relief, or would you be offended?

The Rapture theory is commonly held in much of Christianity today, but why? Is it really so biblical?

I don’t believe it is. In my mind, the rapture is a myth. It is complete fiction made up in the 19th century through the distortion of scripture.

So whether you believe in the rapture or not, allow me to present for you five compelling reasons why I believe the rapture isn’t real.

#1 It’s Unbiblical

The Rapture, despite how much it’s accepted as fact, is completely unbiblical. There is literally no direct scriptural evidence for the rapture. All of the scriptures classically used to defend the rapture are either a) taken out of context or b) vague and obscure.

If the rapture really is true, then why isn’t the bible filled with it? Why do rapture teachers have to use such vague passages to back up their beliefs?

Sure, there are a few verses that kind of hint towards the rapture. But as soon as you take the time to understand the proper context, you’ll discover that you’ve been implying your own meaning into the text (when it should always be the other way around).

#2 Implies a Third Coming of Christ

Rapture teachers, in order to back up their position, have invented a third coming of Christ. 1 They will teach that Jesus’ second coming is the rapture (where he sucks up all the Christians into the sky), and His final coming is a third coming (one of final judgement).

This is logically inconsistent, and scripturally insulting. There is no such thing as a third coming of Christ. When He comes again, it will be the final and full manifestation of the Kingdom. 2

the-raptureRapture teachers make the false distinction between “the day of Christ” and “the day of the Lord”, claiming that the bible refers to the rapture and the second coming of Christ as different events by these terms. But this logic is seriously flawed. 3

#3 Thessalonians 4:17 in Context

Thessalonians 4:17 is perhaps the most important bible verse in a rapture teachers theology. But is this verse really talking about the rapture? Let’s look at the context.

In Thessalonians 4:17 Paul writes “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…”

You can see why this can seem like a rapture verse. So here more than ever it’s important to understand what is leading up to this verse, and where it fits into the whole of this letter. 4

Right before verse seventeen Paul is talking about resurrection from the dead. This is massive. Paul is not talking about the end times. Paul is encouraging the church with the hope of resurrection. i.e. Death is not permanent! Death is not the end!

Check out specifically verse 14: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” Paul here makes the parallel between Christ’s resurrection and our resurrection. Death is defeated by Christ, and we share in His victory! Far from being a verse for the rapture, this verse is about the resurrection.

#4 A 19th Century Invention

The rapture was first invented by John Nelson Darby in the 19th century. 5 Up until that time absolutely no one believed in the rapture.

Think about that for a moment.

photo-9Some may be quick to say “Stephen, why are you questioning the rapture? It’s such a well established doctrine!” But who’s really the one questioning orthodoxy here? If you believe in the rapture than essentially you are saying that for 1,800 years the church as a whole has been wrong.

Are you that confident in this? Are you a better theologian than the reformers, the early church, or even the Apostle Paul?

Because none of them ever taught the rapture.

#5 Fear Based

The Rapture is an entirely fear based doctrine. It sounds much more like mythology, than Christianity.

The rapture creates a “rescue me” mentality. The church has become far more interested in being rescued from an “evil world” than it is in changing the world with the Gospel.

Aren’t we called to be good stewards of the earth? 6 Aren’t we looking forward to a “new heaven and a new earth”? 7 (Not, mind you, a destroyed earth.)

The rapture has detrimentally corrupted the church with an escapist mindset. We don’t feel responsible to build a lasting legacy. Instead, we look forward to our escape from this world. Ultimately, the rapture undermines the command of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all creation. 

So is the rapture real? I doubt it.

Either way, who cares? We teach the rapture in Christianity sometimes like it matters. Let me tell you, it doesn’t. While the bible may be unclear about the end times, it is clear about this: we will never fully know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, or even how it’s going to happen.

Just trust Jesus, enjoy abundant life, and preach the Gospel!

So what do you think? Is the rapture real? Leave me a comment below!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy the free eBook I’ve written on the end times. You can get it by clicking here.

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Notes:

  1. No one would ever admit this, but if you listen to what the rapture teaches, it is implied.
  2. It’s important to note here that the kingdom has already come fully in Christ. However, the second coming is properly understood as a full manifestation. It’s not that Jesus is gone from the earth, soon to magically come back. Christ is here and His kingdom is with Him right now.
  3. By the same way of thinking you could conclude that when Mathew’s gospel writes the “kingdom of heaven” and Luke’s/Mark’s gospel the “Kingdom of God” that this means there are two kingdoms.
  4. Remember, the new testament is a compilation of letters. Theses letters where never meant to be picked apart like we treat them today. They must be taken as a whole to be understood properly.
  5. Specifically, the 1830’s
  6. Psalms 115:16
  7. Revelation 21:2

8 thoughts on “Is the Rapture Real?

  1. You very well may be right on. The rapture pre tribulation requires so much distortion of the Word. A good example is putting the 70th week of Daniel’s prophesy in the future. When in reality it happened right when it was to happen right after the 69th week.

  2. I think we must always search for truth and be confident that the Holy Ghost will lead us into all truth. In all things pertaining to Jesus.

  3. I could not disagree with you more. How do you come up with a teaching of a 3rd return of Jesus? Jesus will return to earth with his saints at the end of the tribulation. In the rapture, he does not return to earth, but meets us in the air. In Revelation 4:1, John is taken up to heaven to have the tribulation reviled to him. In Revelation chapters 1-3, the church is mentioned 19 times. After chapter 4:1, the church is not mentioned at all. The rapture is for the church, the tribulation is for Isreal. John 14:1-3, John is speaking of the Rapture. so, I believe in the rapture. It’s in the bible.

  4. if it is real, how do you feel about all the people that will now miss it because you have deterred them and crushed any hope they had?

    1. The problem first lies in the “tribulation week” or the seven year week. There is not tribulation week. All of the 15 weeks have tribulation, to name 3 (1) genesis week (10) passion week and (13) 1st resurrection week, seven years with a 8th year.

      there are two weeks in the revelation worth mentioning. (13) 1st resurrection which is seven years with a 8th year and (14) 2nd pentecost which is 50 to 50 years with a jubilee year.

      You are right when you say the last trumpet . . . The 1st resurrection most likely began right after the pause in heaven which was the first lock down. This was a transition from the 2nd pentecost week where an hour is a year. A half a year is 6 months which is about how long the first lock down was and the animals took over the towns.

      So aug-sep 2020 started the seven year week. Is this possible? Right now, we are in 2022 which would be the middle of the 2nd pentecost week IF the suspect year 1972 was the start of the 2nd pentecost week. 1972 was the height of the jesus movement. Now, this would mean 2022 is the 4th day 7th hour of the 2nd pentecost. The 1st resurrection is in the 3rd hour. 2024 should line the 2nd pentecost into the 9th/10th hour and the 1st resurrection will be in the 4th day. It is a good time for a sacrifice. The living temple has to fall (1st resurrection) and the spirit has to leave the temple (2nd pentecost).

      A similar situation that one can match is the (10)passion week which is seven day with a 8th day with the (11) pentecost week which is 50 to 50 days with a jubilee day, pentecost. The two meet at the same place with two different events. jesus dies (passion) and the curtain tears (pentecost). To make a quick explanation of why pentecost is 50 to 50 days would be looking at the first event of the week. The first event of the pentecost week begins with 3 men in the spirit on tabor (two were witnesses elijah and moses). The middle of the week is the tear in the curtain. The week is fulfilled with the end event with 120 plus people in the spirit in the upper room. who are the two witnesses? the people in the upper room and everyone who has received the spirit for the last 2000 years. A special group will be the generation who will not pass away. This group is the “two witnesses” in revelation. Another simple name is “the living temple”. Each of the followers of christ is a living temple. The living temple has to fall.

      The best way to understand why there is no rapture is simple. The holocaust is a 4th day of the (12) zebulun and the holocaust week. The sacrifice was 6 million jews. The week is a curse week. All of israel’s seven weeks are curse week. The curse is death in the dwelling place. To say there is a double slap in the face. One is israel’s sacrifice was for nothing. Two, the sacrifice in the holocaust is hoping for the living temple to fulfill the 1st resurrection week so on the 3rd day there is a resurrection of the dead and the living. Don’t the two witnesses rise 3 days later?

  5. Pre-Trib Darby Rapture theorists’ favorite verse 1 Thess. 4:15-17 proves them wrong. The rapture will occur (after) the tribulation at the Second Coming at the end of time. Matthew 24:29-31 further supports my view.

    1 Thess. 4:15-17…we (Christians) who are alive, who are left (behind) until ‘the coming of the Lord’ (always refers to the Second Coming) shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God…then we who are alive, who are left (behind), shall be caught up (Raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall {always} be with the Lord.

    Matthew 24:29-31…immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION…they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds….And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his ELECT….

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