Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

Discussions on Christian eschatology including different views pertaining to Jesus' second coming, rapture and tribulation, the millennium, and so forth.
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Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#1

Post by cubeus19 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:31 pm

What kind of evidence is there for both the rapture doctrine that many denominations hold to? And likewise, what kind of evidence is there that there will not be a rapture? I know a lot of people here hold to that view and many Christian apologists and intellectuals hold that view, so that alone is good enough reason for me to hold to a no rapture doctrine, but I was wondering what specific biblical evidences attest to this idea? Thanks and GB.

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#2

Post by BavarianWheels » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:42 am

.
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Rapture as in "Left Behind"

or

Rapture as in the Second Coming?
.
.

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#3

Post by cubeus19 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:35 pm

I guess what I'm referring to is the idea that Christians will not endure persecution from the antichrist during the tribulation and right before the tribulation occurs Christians will be taken up to heaven. Usually from what I've learned in "evangelical church system", is that a big trumpet will sound and Christians will start supernaturally rising upward much like how Christ did after he left the world to go back to heaven to be with the Father. Now I guess in a way that's consistent with the left behind version which states that believers will just somehow vanish or disappear. Mind you this idea was around long before the left behind books and videos came on the scene. I know that the left behind version of the rapture appears to be unbiblical but what about the version that I mentioned above that practically most evangelical churches hold to? What kind schollarly and agreement do we have among theologians if any?

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#4

Post by Sudsy » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:44 am

Here are some scriptures that is sometimes used to support the 'no rapture' interpretation. I think many of these are also good references to consider regarding the total annihilation of the wicked -

Many of these are interpreted to mean that the righteous stay and the wicked go and so these are used to support why the rapture is a fales doctrine which indicates the righteous leaving and the wicked staying.

Matthew 24:37-41 - interpreted as 'they' and 'them' being the unsaved.

Luke 17:26, 27, 34-36 - again interpreted as speaking of the unsaved

Matthew 13:24-30 - the tares are to be gathered first

Luke 17:29,30 - as with Sodom, the wicked will be destroyed when the Son of man is revealed

Matthew 13:47-50 - again the same idea the wicked are taken away from among the just

Psalm 145:20 - the Lord preserveth all that love him; but all the wicked He will destroy

Proverbs 10:30 - the righteous shall never be removed

Psalm 101:8 - I (God) will early (first) destroy the wicked of the land...

Psalm 119:119 - All the wicked of the earth you discard (throw away) like dross.

Proverbs 25:4,5 - Take away the dross from the silver...take away the wicked from before the King...

Isaiah 5:24 and 29:5 - The flame consumeth the chaff (wicked)

Job 21:18 - They (the wicked) are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away

Job 38:13 - (Speaking to God) ...take hold of the ends of the earth that the wicked might be shaken out of it.

Malachi 4:1 - For behold the day cometh...and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up...

Psalm 37:29 - The righteous shall inherit the land (earth) and dwell therein forever.

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger...and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it (the earth).

Psalm 104:35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth (world), and let the wicked be no more.

Psalm 52:5 God shall likewise destroy thee (the wicked) forever; He shall take thee away and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place.

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#5

Post by B. W. » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:41 pm

Here some interesting verses to consider for this topic:

Isaiah 26:19, 20, 21, "Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain."

Zep 2:3, "Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD's anger."

1Th 4:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.


Quotes from NKJV
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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#6

Post by Sudsy » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:38 pm

Just to add another view and that of the Preterist. They believe that the rapture was one of a spiritual nature and not a physical rapture and it has happened and continues to happen when believers die. They believe this all began to occur in AD70 when the Old Covenant ended and the New Covenant took affect. Scripture says that there was a resurrection at that time and they believe that believers who had died and were in Hades were those resurrected at that time. Those believers still alive at that time and from that point forward would no longer go to Hades first but rather they would go directly to be with God and immediately upon death receive a glorified spiritual body and soul/spirit, as Paul taught in II Cor. 5:1-4. Preterists believe the entire New Testament was written to 1st. Century Christians and for us to read this as letters written to us, is like reading someone else's mail. The NT was not written to us but rather for us is how they put it. One well known Preterist (partial preterist) today is R. C. Sproul from the Reformed tradition.

In AD70 all the unsaved went directly to hell in their view and all unsaved today do likewise when they die. Judgment occurs for these unbelievers immediately when they do die.

This is another area that really clashes with the many futurist views but IMO has some very interesting arguments. I think I'll remain though as a panmillenialist - it will all pan out in the end. Have no fear God is in control and knows what He's doing.

P.S. I may have my understanding(s) on Preterism wrong with what I posted here so any Preterist, feel free to correct me.

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#7

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:36 pm

Sudsy wrote:Just to add another view and that of the Preterist. They believe that the rapture was one of a spiritual nature and not a physical rapture and it has happened and continues to happen when believers die. They believe this all began to occur in AD70 when the Old Covenant ended and the New Covenant took affect. Scripture says that there was a resurrection at that time and they believe that believers who had died and were in Hades were those resurrected at that time. Those believers still alive at that time and from that point forward would no longer go to Hades first but rather they would go directly to be with God and immediately upon death receive a glorified spiritual body and soul/spirit, as Paul taught in II Cor. 5:1-4. Preterists believe the entire New Testament was written to 1st. Century Christians and for us to read this as letters written to us, is like reading someone else's mail. The NT was not written to us but rather for us is how they put it. One well known Preterist (partial preterist) today is R. C. Sproul from the Reformed tradition.

In AD70 all the unsaved went directly to hell in their view and all unsaved today do likewise when they die. Judgment occurs for these unbelievers immediately when they do die.

This is another area that really clashes with the many futurist views but IMO has some very interesting arguments. I think I'll remain though as a panmillenialist - it will all pan out in the end. Have no fear God is in control and knows what He's doing.

P.S. I may have my understanding(s) on Preterism wrong with what I posted here so any Preterist, feel free to correct me.
A lot of label seems to be tossed around in eschatology.

I had always thought Preterism synonymous to Amillenialism, but I guess I misunderstood as did some research and it seems to say a lot more, at least "full preterism". "Full Preterism" believes as you say that Jesus' second coming has already happened. Partial Preterists on the other hand don't necessarily.

I am Amill in position, and I guess I fall into the partial Preterist campand since I believe Christ is yet to come again.

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#8

Post by cubeus19 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:33 pm

Just a curious side question, do Full Preterists or even partial preterists believe in a afterlife or due to the symbolic nature of revelation is even the afterlife a figment of some of the events that happened in ad 70? I know that partial preterism has good evidence but what about full preterism, does this view have weight as far as a contending view of reality?

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#9

Post by Sudsy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:26 am

Here is a link that explains full and partial preterism. Personally, I only know people who are partial preterists.

http://www.theopedia.com/Preterism

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

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Post by Katabole » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:37 am

Regarding this topic I would consider myself a futurist. Matt 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 all state something in triplicate that I believe has been overlooked.

Matt 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. (KJV)

Matt 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Mark 13:1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

Mark 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Luke 21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,

Luke 21:6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

As you all know, the western wall of Herod's temple still stands. The western wall is made out of stones. It was not torn down circa 70AD. I believe Christ is being literal in these verses. If full Preterism was correct, then the western wall should have been demolished. It wasn't. Therefore, Christ is speaking of a still future event in the above verses.

As for the rapture, I do not believe in the rapture. If you read Ezekiel ch 13, and I'll paraphrase, God claims there that He holds out his outstretched saving arms but there are those that sew kerchiefs (pillowcases) over his arms and teach his children to fly to save their souls. And God claims He is against those that teach His children to fly to save their souls.

The rapture teaches that God is going to evacuate the true believers so that those on earth will have to suffer the tribulation of antichrist. It would seem from Christian history that when the going gets tough, that's the perfect time for Christian's to shine.

2Tim 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

I believe in two tribulations. The first is the tribulation of antichrist. The second is the tribulation of Christ, also known as the Day of the Lord. which is a 1000 year period.

2Pet 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

When Christ returns He will end Satan's role as antichrist and have one of his messengers lock him in the bottomless pit for those thousand years.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Satan shall have no influence during those thousand years while Christ and those who believed in Christ will teach the masses of souls who didn't know Christ because it claims they shall be priests and a priest is supposed to teach the word of God.

Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

After those thousand years are finished, Satan will be released.

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

At this time Satan will have his last shot at deceiving all the souls which Christ and His believers taught during those thousand years.

Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Satan at this time goes to the lake of fire and God the Father returns.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Christ, God the Son shows up at the beginning of the Day of the Lord and God the Father shows up at the end of the Day of the Lord.
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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#11

Post by Sudsy » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:52 am

At this time Satan will have his last shot at deceiving all the souls which Christ and His believers taught during those thousand years.
So, how does this 1,000 year period work ? Will people be born, live and die during this period ? Will they live normal life spans ? Will there be a resurrection of all the unsaved only so Satan can 'have his last shot' ? What about the believers during this time ? Do they live and die also ? I find this quite puzzling so I would appreciate any further explanation regarding this 1,000 year period.

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#12

Post by Katabole » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:56 pm

Hi Sudsy.

I thought I would receive a few questions regarding my post over what happens during those thousand years so I will explain as best I can. My answer is lengthy but I hope it helps you understand because I do not want to cause confusion.

Scripture makes quite a distinction between flesh and spirit. Where the words 'dead', 'bones' and 'body' are found in some places within scripture, these words have been explained by some Christian theological schools as being physically dead when it means spiritually dead. In other places it is speaking of being spiritually dead when it means being physically dead.

With that being said, lets take a look at the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecc 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. (KJV)

Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Verse 6 is a Hebrew idiom or figure of speech describing the death of the physical (flesh) body. All humans are made out of organic matter (dust) that we have consumed ever since we were babies. When we physically die, verse 7 states that the dust of our bodies returns to the ground it came from. However, the spirit (spirit body) returns to God who gave it.

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

The physically dead know nothing because their flesh, not spirit is dead.

Paul in the New Testament echoes the same sentiment when he says:

2Cor 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

That is, being absent from the flesh body, (death of the flesh) is to be present with the Lord.

Paul again distinguishes between flesh and spirit in the following verse:

1Cor 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

We cannot enter the kingdom of God in our flesh. Only the spirit body can enter the kingdom. Again, Paul explains that we have TWO bodies.

1Cor 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Our natural (flesh) bodies get old and get sick. Not so the spiritual body.

As an example, lets look at Luke chapter 16 and Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Both the rich man and Lazarus physically died.

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

The word Luke utilizes in this passage for Hell is "Hades" which means the grave. However, the rich man couldn't be in the grave. He couldn't be in the 'lake of fire' because no one goes there until after the great white throne judgment. He was in another place. I believe that both Lazarus and the rich man went to the place called Paradise in heaven. The rich man ended up on the not so good side of Paradise and Lazarus ended up on the good side. According to verse 26 in this chapter, this place is separated by an impassable gulf so that those on either side can't cross to the other side.

The rich man didn't have a flesh body. He didn't have a biological brain. Yet he could see, he could feel, could talk and could think and reason. He was in his 'spiritual body'.

I believe when Jesus died on the cross, he went to this place during the three days and nights he was in the tomb. Remember, he tells the thief on the cross:

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

1Pet 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

1Pet 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Again, I will use another example. When John the writer of the book Revelation sees an angel, he thinks it is a deity, even going so far as to worship.

Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

And then John does the same thing again:

Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Those angels used to be a flesh humans, even a prophet in the second example. That is what they are telling John, they used to be humans with flesh. John sees the angels (messengers) in their spirit bodies.

Again, I will use another example to illustrate back in Ezekiel chapter 37.

Ezekiel 37:1The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

Ezekiel 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

These verses are speaking of the spiritually dead of the whole house of Israel which have been spiritually dead for a long time, not the physically dead.

Ezekiel 37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

Ezekiel 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Ezekiel 37:11Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

If you notice what brought them alive, was that they heard the word of the LORD.

So, I will now answer your questions.

You asked, will people be born, live and die during this period? No.There will be no flesh alive when Christ begins the thousand years. Christ is returning with all those who have died before us.

1Cor 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

This is a mystery that Paul is going to reveal to us that had been hidden until Paul wrote this. This mystery concerns what happens at a particular point in time, for at that instant, there will be no more death. "Sleep" as used here, is # 2838 in the Strong's Greek Dictionary; "Koimesis, koy'-may-sis; from 2837, to put to sleep." We read in # 2837; "Koimao, Koy-mah'-o; to put to sleep, to decease, to be dead."

1Cor 15:52 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

On the first day of the Millennium age, the "Kingdom of Heaven" will be with us on earth. You cannot enter that kingdom age in a flesh body. Therefore, it is written in verse 52 that all will be changed, in the wink of an eye, and at the last trumpet (seventh trump). When that seventh trump sounds, everyone on earth will be changed to an incorruptible spirit body.

That doesn't have anything to do with your soul, or its condition. Your physical body and your spiritual body have nothing to do with the condition of one another. Your soul is the inner person that exists in our current flesh body, and either at death or at the seventh trump, will enter into a spirit body which will not be subject to the decay this flesh body is subject to. The soul is the intellect of the spirit body, hence the rich man in Luke 16 being able to think and feel without flesh.

So, to understand what will occur in the Millennium age, you must understand that instantly following the seventh trump, all flesh bodies simply do not have life. Not one person will exist in the flesh. Every person will have the same capabilities and all will have the understanding to be taught without Satan's influence. That's why every knee bends and every mouth confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord at this time.

However, only those believers of God in Christ who have died in the flesh, or who lived and stood against Satan will take part in the first resurrection. By that I mean, will have an active part with Jesus Christ in His kingdom and reign, as he rules and teaches the earth for one thousand years, and live in their immortal soul bodies.

You asked, will they live mortal lifespans? No.They will remain alive in their spirit bodies for those thousand years.

You asked, will there be a resurrection of all unsaved only so Satan can 'have his last shot'?

Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

If you are saved or are one that believes and is alive at the time to make a stand against the Antichrist and his deceptions, you will reign with Christ 1,000 years.

Those who did take the "mark of the beast", their souls will not, I repeat, will not have "eternal" spiritual live, and live again until the Millennium age is over and finished. When it is, they will be judged according to their 'works' not faith. Those who pass have eternal life and those who don't go to the 'lake of fire'.

What does it mean when it says "the rest of the dead"? The difference in taking part in the first resurrection or not taking part is hinged on whether or not they were deceived by the Antichrist. Remember, John has been taken in the spirit to the last day before Christ's return. Revelation 20 is talking about that specific day when the last trump sounds, and Jesus Christ our Lord is returning with His saints to earth. This verse is not addressing those who died prior to the sound of the seventh trump. It is addressing the generation who will live in the time of the seven seals, and take Satan's mark (the mark of the beast) and give service to him. It is those who will be held in confinement in the place of the lost souls (the other side of paradise), waiting for the final judgment at the end of the millennium.

I should add, Paul wrote two letters to the Thessalonians. He wrote the second letter to them because they did not understand the first letter. Paul addressed where the 'dead' were in 1Thess 4 beginning at verse 13. They didn't understand that so Paul wrote second Thessalonians and as is stated in chapter 2:

2Thess 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2Thess 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2Thess 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2Thess 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

In other words, Jesus Christ does not return to the earth to begin the thousand years until Satan ,the son of perdition, is in Jerusalem, defacto, in his role as antichrist, claiming that he is God.

Your last question, what about the believers during this time also?

Unlike those who didn't know of Christ, or weren't taught about Christ, they will have a spiritual body with an immortal soul because as stated in my previous post the second death has no power over them. They wil rule and reign with Christ (as priests) during those thousand years and teach the masses of souls who have spiritual bodies but "mortal " souls, meaning they are still liable to die. Once they are all taught, then Satan will be released to tempt all those who were taught. Then they will be judged according to their works. Remember, for us believers,

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

I hope that helps you Sudsy.
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Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Jesus from John 18:37

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#13

Post by Sudsy » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:18 pm

Thanks Katabole for your thorough reply. I just got to it and need to digest it a bit. Very interesting !

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#14

Post by cubeus19 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:51 pm

I raised this question in my other thread, but just for good measure, what will all the believers be doing AFTER the thousand year reign of Christ? Will we keep living with God either on the new earth or in heaven or will we either get blotted out of existence or done away with? As far as I know I don't think we will get blotted out of existence but I'm not also 100% sure that God will keep us going forever, I mean won't He get tired of us after so long? I know accepting Christ is called "eternal life" but is that merely figurative? And if we do keep living for all eternity what will we do for all eternity? What will keep us from getting bored eventually and start losing our minds?

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Re: Question about the "rapture" or lack thereof

#15

Post by A Y323 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:27 am

What? How much does God really love us if He could just "get tired of us after so long"? Doesn't the Bible say His love endures forever? And about getting bored in heaven, don't you think an infinite and all-knowing God could keep creating new experiences for us to enjoy?

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