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What is the Rapture?

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1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 is Paul’s teaching about what is popularly called the rapture. The rapture is the miraculous transportation of all living Christians to heaven at the return of Jesus. There is a lot of misinformation about this event, but this passage gives us some definite truths about it. Paul made it clear that Jesus’ return will not be secret but will be visible; it will be a bodily return; and it will be a triumphant return, for He will not come in lowliness and meekness as He did at His first advent, but in power and glory. The angels told the disciples, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Just as He left visibly on the shekinah cloud, so He will come again visibly on this cloud of glory.

 

There is a view, one that is very widespread in the church today, that holds that Jesus will come back to rapture the church out of the world, but that the great tribulation will then occur, after which Jesus will return again. I think this view is a result of a serious misunderstanding of what the Apostle described here in 1 Thessalonians.

 

I once spoke with one of the leading representatives of this school of thought, a man who teaches the “pretribulation” rapture. I said to him, “I do not know a single verse anywhere in the Bible that teaches a pretribulation rapture. Can you tell me where to find that?” I’ll never forget what he said to me: “No, I can’t. But that’s what I was taught from the time I was a little child.” I told him, “Let’s get our theology from the Bible rather than from Sunday school lessons we heard years and years ago.”

 

Let us look at the events Paul described. First he noted: “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven.… And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16–17). Here we see that the purpose of the dead rising and our being caught up into the sky is not to go away but to meet Jesus as He is returning. He will not be taking us out of the world to stay. He will be lifting us up to participate with Him in His triumphal return.

 

When the Roman legions were dispatched to go into a foreign country on a military campaign, their standards bore the letters SPQR, an abbreviation for Senatus Populus Que Romanus, which means “the Senate and the people of Rome.” It was understood in Rome that the conquests of the military were not simply for the politicians who governed, but for all the citizens of the city.

 

The army might be gone for a campaign of two or three years. Finally, the soldiers would return, leading captives in chains. They would camp outside the city and send in a messenger to alert the Senate and the people that the legions had returned. When that news arrived, the people began to prepare to receive the conquering heroes. When everything was ready, a trumpet was sounded. With that, the citizens of the city went out to where the army was camped and joined the soldiers in marching into the city. The idea was that they had participated in the triumph of their conquering army.

 

This is exactly the language that Paul used here. He was saying that when Jesus comes back in conquering power, believers, both dead and alive, will be caught up in the air to meet Him, not to stay up there, but to join His return in triumph, to participate in His exaltation.

 

It seems that Paul’s goal here was to comfort the Thessalonians, who were saddened that their dead loved ones were apparently going to miss the triumphal return of Christ, the great conclusion to the ministry of Jesus at the end of time. Paul assured them that the dead in Christ will not miss His return at all. In fact, they will be there first. The dead will rise first, and then those who are still alive and are Christ’s will be caught up together with this whole assembly to come to the earth again in triumph.

 

Source: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-is-the-rapture/

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1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 is Paul’s teaching about what is popularly called the rapture. The rapture is the miraculous transportation of all living Christians to heaven at the return of Jesus. There is a lot of misinformation about this event, but this passage gives us some definite truths about it. Paul made it clear that Jesus’ return will not be secret but will be visible; it will be a bodily return; and it will be a triumphant return, for He will not come in lowliness and meekness as He did at His first advent, but in power and glory. The angels told the disciples, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Just as He left visibly on the shekinah cloud, so He will come again visibly on this cloud of glory.

 

There is a view, one that is very widespread in the church today, that holds that Jesus will come back to rapture the church out of the world, but that the great tribulation will then occur, after which Jesus will return again. I think this view is a result of a serious misunderstanding of what the Apostle described here in 1 Thessalonians.

 

I once spoke with one of the leading representatives of this school of thought, a man who teaches the “pretribulation” rapture. I said to him, “I do not know a single verse anywhere in the Bible that teaches a pretribulation rapture. Can you tell me where to find that?” I’ll never forget what he said to me: “No, I can’t. But that’s what I was taught from the time I was a little child.” I told him, “Let’s get our theology from the Bible rather than from Sunday school lessons we heard years and years ago.”

 

Let us look at the events Paul described. First he noted: “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven.… And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16–17). Here we see that the purpose of the dead rising and our being caught up into the sky is not to go away but to meet Jesus as He is returning. He will not be taking us out of the world to stay. He will be lifting us up to participate with Him in His triumphal return.

 

When the Roman legions were dispatched to go into a foreign country on a military campaign, their standards bore the letters SPQR, an abbreviation for Senatus Populus Que Romanus, which means “the Senate and the people of Rome.” It was understood in Rome that the conquests of the military were not simply for the politicians who governed, but for all the citizens of the city.

 

The army might be gone for a campaign of two or three years. Finally, the soldiers would return, leading captives in chains. They would camp outside the city and send in a messenger to alert the Senate and the people that the legions had returned. When that news arrived, the people began to prepare to receive the conquering heroes. When everything was ready, a trumpet was sounded. With that, the citizens of the city went out to where the army was camped and joined the soldiers in marching into the city. The idea was that they had participated in the triumph of their conquering army.

 

This is exactly the language that Paul used here. He was saying that when Jesus comes back in conquering power, believers, both dead and alive, will be caught up in the air to meet Him, not to stay up there, but to join His return in triumph, to participate in His exaltation.

 

It seems that Paul’s goal here was to comfort the Thessalonians, who were saddened that their dead loved ones were apparently going to miss the triumphal return of Christ, the great conclusion to the ministry of Jesus at the end of time. Paul assured them that the dead in Christ will not miss His return at all. In fact, they will be there first. The dead will rise first, and then those who are still alive and are Christ’s will be caught up together with this whole assembly to come to the earth again in triumph.

 

Source: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-is-the-rapture/

 

That was a good anology . He will return in the clouds and the trump of God will sound His coming. The whole world will know it. We both renounce the Pre Trib rapture. I won't even use the word rapture simply because it is attached false teaching. So when will the catching away take place and does scripture tell us when? You are right the church will be taken up but you did not mention the marriage supper of the Lamb, then he will take them back with Him to defeat Satan and destroy the unbelieving world.

 

 

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and whitea: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 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.

 

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Re 19:7-21

 

 

 

Edited by mitchel

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How do you reconcile your belief with the separation of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46, which takes place after Jesus arrives on earth and sits on his throne? Wouldn't this separation have already been accomplished by the rapture? This judgment shows that enough time must have passed between the rapture and the return for some unsaved people to have been converted.

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The rapture Is the up-gathering of born-again believers both dead and alive -- Christ will be in the sky and 'we' will go up to be with Him -- After the 7 yrs of tribulation -- Then He Will return to the earth and stand on the Mt. Olives and 'we' will be with Him to help Him rule.

 

There Will be the marriage supper of the Lamb - and whatever else is happening during that time.

 

The 7 yr tribulation is a time for the Jewish people to come to accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah for those who wouldn't accept Him way back at His birth in Bethlehem.

 

Why would the Church go through the tribulation period. Revelation 7 talks about the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel. The multitudes that were in white robes -- those who came out of the great tribulation having accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

 

There Are those who believe the Church will go through the 1st half of the trib before being caught up. The mid-trib view.

 

One supporting reason for the pre-trib is that those who were too young to accept Christ as Savior would still be there and able to make that decision after believers were gone. But those who had heard and rejected would Not have any more chances. There's passage that says that their eyes will be blinded to the truth. They won't become literally blind, but they find other explanations For the rapture. There are those who've stated that they will take their chances -- they will believe it when they see it. Those with a rebellious attitude won't have the 2nd chance.

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Dispensational teaching is what happens when people read their New Testaments like it is the Old Testament. The return of the Jews to their homeland, rebuilding the Temple and the animal sacrifices. All these things occurred in the times of the Prophets. We are to read the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament not vice versa.

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Dispensational teaching is what happens when people read their New Testaments like it is the Old Testament. The return of the Jews to their homeland, rebuilding the Temple and the animal sacrifices. All these things occurred in the times of the Prophets. We are to read the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament not vice versa.

 

 

Those things / events were prophesied in the Old Testament and are in the process of and will be happening in the future.

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Been through the Darbyite school myself. They make the same error (for one) that the Jews made at the time of Christ by looking for an earthly kingdom Jesus himself said that his kingdom is not of this world.The errors in this system are too many to go on about. Suffice it to say that Darbyism is not historic Christianity although its advocates which are in the minority are vocal and publish and broadcast zealously. Unfortunately this pernicious teaching has infected a great many Baptist congregations.

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They make the same error (for one) that the Jews made at the time of Christ by looking for an earthly kingdom Jesus himself said that his kingdom is not of this world.

 

There will be an earthly kingdom. Jesus's kingdom is not of this world but it will be over this world. Ezekiel 40 - 48 describes the kingdom. Revelation 20 tells us it will last a thousand years. The fact that the Jews once again have a land of their own shows that we are nearing the time the promises God made to Abraham will be fulfilled.

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The Schofield Bible the scourge of American Christianity.

For those of us reading along who don't know everything :RpS_smile: ... could you expound on that statement a little bit?

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For those of us reading along who don't know everything :RpS_smile: ... could you expound on that statement a little bit?

 

 

 

When I was growing up -- the KJV with Scoffield's notes at the bottom of each page was considered almost next to inspired. I wouldn't say it was a scourge of American Christianity -- but he was a Bible scholar of high reputation. Probably like Dr. David Jeremiah's study Bible of now days.

 

 

And @ Beau Michel -- Darby -- John Darby? didn't create / make up ...... I used to be familiar with that.

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Supposedly John Darby made up the rapture 'theory'. He didn't make it up, the rapture is very Biblical. The Church is taken up out of this mess of a world before the tribulation / especially the last 3 1/2 yrs. known as the Great Tribulation. There are those who won't accept it because the world 'rapture' isn't found in Scripture. Well -- neither is the word 'trinity' -- but it is assumed throughout Scripture. God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

 

And there's a difference between the rapture -- the Church being gathered up - both the dead and the living born-again believers - - caught up to meet Jesus Christ in the air. And the 2nd coming of Christ. At the 2nd coming , He will come back to earth -- standing on the Mt. Olives. And will stay here for 1,000 yrs. to reign. The previously raptured up / gathered up / Church will be reigning here with Him.

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Sure atpollard. If not for the Schofield Bible Darby's works would have collected dust and we may not be having this discussion today. His Study Bible introduced these doctrines to a whole new generation which never would have heard of them without his Study Bible Many people have found that after a closer examination that what they thought the Bible said were actually to be found in Scofield's notes on the bottom of the page. Even Scofield was honest enough to admit that these dispensational teachings were not historic Christianity.

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Sue D. God promises to see his people through tribulation never to deliver them from it, In the world you shall have tribulation take heart(be of good cheer take courage) I have overcome the world. John 16:33 perhaps one of my more favorite Scripture verses.

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Sue D. God promises to see his people through tribulation never to deliver them from it, In the world you shall have tribulation take heart(be of good cheer take courage) I have overcome the world. John 16:33 perhaps one of my more favorite Scripture verses.

 

 

That is true -- tribulations --troubles in this life. However, there are 7 yrs from Daniel 7 or 9 that talks about the 7 sevens. One of those 7's is still 'to be'. This is where the pre / mid / post trib. rapture comes from. Where this last 7 happens.

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Daniel 9:24 makes it clear that the Great Tribulation is for the Jews and Jerusalem.

 

My favorite Pre-Trib rapture verse is Isaiah 26:19-21

 

But something else I recently saw in Scripture was the evil servant of Mathew 24:48 thought his Master was delaying His coming, too. Luke 12 also talks about this evil servant, but in Luke's account, we are told where the Master is returning from: The Wedding Luke 12:36

 

But again, He is referring to the Jews and anyone else saved thru the great tribulation.

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Posted (edited)

Personally I understand the Scripture to indicate Christians will endure the tribulation, and why not? The teaching PreTribulation Rapture may have Christian thinking they wont endure sever sufferings. So if their false thinking has then set up to believe they will be taken out (rapture) and they do endure the tribulation here is what I think will happen ! They will think they are not saved and missed the rapture 2. Life will be so hard they might give up on their faith because what they were taught was false. 3. Some may no longer trust the Bible.

 

My understanding is I am to be ready! It makes no difference how much suffering I have put upon me the best thing that can happen is I die.

 

So all those people who bought Hal Lindsey's 10 volume set of LEFT BEHIND they have a big surprise coming. They should have bought a good leather Bible and read it instead.

Edited by Just Mike
Added more great information I forgot to add.

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Daniel 9:24 makes it clear that the Great Tribulation is for the Jews and Jerusalem.

 

My favorite Pre-Trib rapture verse is Isaiah 26:19-21

 

But something else I recently saw in Scripture was the evil servant of Mathew 24:48 thought his Master was delaying His coming, too. Luke 12 also talks about this evil servant, but in Luke's account, we are told where the Master is returning from: The Wedding Luke 12:36

 

But again, He is referring to the Jews and anyone else saved thru the great tribulation.

Re: Daniel 9:24 yes.

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Personally I understand the Scripture to indicate Christians will endure the tribulation, and why not? The teaching PreTribulation Rapture may have Christian thinking they wont endure sever sufferings. So if their false thinking has then set up to believe they will be taken out (rapture) and they do endure the tribulation here is what I think will happen ! They will think they are not saved and missed the rapture 2. Life will be so hard they might give up on their faith because what they were taught was false. 3. Some may no longer trust the Bible.

 

My understanding is I am to be ready! It makes no difference how much suffering I have put upon me the best thing that can happen is I die.

 

So all those people who bought Hal Lindsey's 10 volume set of LEFT BEHIND they have a big surprise coming. They should have bought a good leather Bible and read it instead.

I don't buy into the Left Behind series. Except for the fact of the believers being taken -- and there is chaos -- what happened to all those people. The unScriptural part is that some of those Left behind will all of a sudden realize what has happened. Because Scripturally -- those who Have heard and rejected Won't all of a sudden Believe -- God will send a delusion to them. "They" will find other explanations for what happened. And those who Do eventually 'come around' will have a Hard time.

 

Because we're in the time of the Gentiles now -- God will later deal with the Jews again -- that's where the 144,000 sealed Jews come into the picture. Amidst all the chaos -- they will be reaching out to the Jews -- those who are willing to accept as well as others. But mainly for the Jews. They rejected Him as their Messiah Way back -- will they still reject Him, then?

 

Why Would the Church have to endure the 7 yrs. of tribulation. They've accept Christ / Messiah.

 

People / believers are enduring lots of every day tribulation Now.

 

And there's the passage that talks about two standing in a field -- one is taken up and the other left. That's how sudden it will be. In a twinkling of an eye believers will be up and out and meet Jesus Christ in the sky.

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Personally I understand the Scripture to indicate Christians will endure the tribulation, and why not? The teaching PreTribulation Rapture may have Christian thinking they wont endure sever sufferings. So if their false thinking has then set up to believe they will be taken out (rapture) and they do endure the tribulation here is what I think will happen ! They will think they are not saved and missed the rapture 2. Life will be so hard they might give up on their faith because what they were taught was false. 3. Some may no longer trust the Bible.

 

My understanding is I am to be ready! It makes no difference how much suffering I have put upon me the best thing that can happen is I die.

 

So all those people who bought Hal Lindsey's 10 volume set of LEFT BEHIND they have a big surprise coming. They should have bought a good leather Bible and read it instead.

 

Yes, we are to be ready, no matter what. I lean towards a Pre-Trib rapture, but I honestly don't know. After many debates on the subject, I just see too many holes in a post trib rapture. I would not be surprised if there was a plan C that none of even thought about yet.

 

But what does it mean to be ready? Most post tribbers seem to believe it has to do with their good works. Keeping the commandments. They don't believe Jesus' "whosoever believes in me WILL HAVE eternal life" statement. They believe they will be put to the ultimate test to see if they overcome. But 1 John 5 tells that we overcome by our faith, not by keeping the laws. No one will overcome by keeping the laws.

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Personally I understand the Scripture to indicate Christians will endure the tribulation, and why not? The teaching PreTribulation Rapture may have Christian thinking they wont endure sever sufferings. So if their false thinking has then set up to believe they will be taken out (rapture) and they do endure the tribulation here is what I think will happen ! They will think they are not saved and missed the rapture 2. Life will be so hard they might give up on their faith because what they were taught was false. 3. Some may no longer trust the Bible.

 

My understanding is I am to be ready! It makes no difference how much suffering I have put upon me the best thing that can happen is I die.

 

So all those people who bought Hal Lindsey's 10 volume set of LEFT BEHIND they have a big surprise coming. They should have bought a good leather Bible and read it instead.

 

Yes, we are to be ready, no matter what. I lean towards a Pre-Trib rapture, but I honestly don't know. After many debates on the subject, I just see too many holes in a post trib rapture. I would not be surprised if there was a plan C that none of even thought about yet.

 

But what does it mean to be ready? Most post tribbers seem to believe it has to do with their good works. Keeping the commandments. They don't believe Jesus' "whosoever believes in me WILL HAVE eternal life" statement. They believe they will be put to the ultimate test to see if they overcome. But 1 John 5 tells that we overcome by our faith, not by keeping the laws. No one will overcome by keeping the laws.

Well -- since no one Except God / Jesus Christ Knows when it will take place -- a person Could die in a car wreck 'tomorrow'. So -- being 'ready' would mean -- If I were to die Now -- do I know For Sure that I'd be immediately with Jesus Christ?

 

We need to make sure we aren't relying on 'head knowledge' rather than 'heart belief / acceptance'. People Can grow up in a church hearing God's Word all the time, but Not come to a place of realizing their personal need to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. They Have accumulated Lots of knowledge. Could discuss Bible with 'the best of them'. But it hasn't gotten into their heart.

 

Your last paragraph -- a works-based salvation. So -- you're right.

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Posted (edited)

I was raised to believe in a rapture. As a child you really can get indoctrinated into certain beliefs. It wasn't until about 15 years ago that I really actually started to really get into the Bible and saw so many beliefs I had could not be backed up with scriptures. Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 lay it out so perfectly. Christ is so simple in his teachings. And he tells us to beware so we aren't deceived on this very subject. When he says "immediately after the tribulation of those days" I as a Christian should and do believe him.

 

Paul also gives the same warning in 2nd Thessalonians when they too had become confused. And he lays out what must happen. He says that "day shall not happen...."

 

I know alot of rapture believers hold onto 1st Thes chapter 4:17. But if you read further into chapter 5, Paul calls this very event "The day of the Lord"

 

All throughoutt the OT this very event The day of the Lord or Lord's Day has been taught. There's nothing about a rapture or other secret event to spirit away believers before that time.

 

In Rev John is taken in the spirit on the Lord's Day when he was shown certain things. I just feel like we need to let the word read as it is.

 

1st Cor 15 Paul says "All are changed", not some and he certainly didn't say anyone was leaving. He said all are changed at the last trump. Because at that point we have to put on incorruptible.

 

Acts is another place, Peter teaches,

 

Acts 3:20 "And He shall send Jesus Christ, Which before was preached unto you:"

 

Acts 3:21 "Whom the heaven must receive unto the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."

 

Heaven "must" receive Christ until the times of restitution of all things. Christ won't leave before that.

Edited by JulieB67
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I was raised to believe in a rapture. As a child you really can get indoctrinated into certain beliefs. It wasn't until about 15 years ago that I really actually started to really get into the Bible and saw so many beliefs I had could not be backed up with scriptures. Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 lay it out so perfectly. Christ is so simple in his teachings. And he tells us to beware so we aren't deceived on this very subject. When he says "immediately after the tribulation of those days" I as a Christian should and do believe him.

 

Paul also gives the same warning in 2nd Thessalonians when they too had become confused. And he lays out what must happen. He says that "day shall not happen...."

 

I know alot of rapture believers hold onto 1st Thes chapter 4:17. But if you read further into chapter 5, Paul calls this very event "The day of the Lord"

 

All throughoutt the OT this very event The day of the Lord or Lord's Day has been taught. There's nothing about a rapture or other secret event to spirit away believers before that time.

 

In Rev John is taken in the spirit on the Lord's Day when he was shown certain things. I just feel like we need to let the word read as it is.

 

1st Cor 15 Paul says "All are changed", not some and he certainly didn't say anyone was leaving. He said all are changed at the last trump. Because at that point we have to put on incorruptible.

 

Acts is another place, Peter teaches,

 

Acts 3:20 "And He shall send Jesus Christ, Which before was preached unto you:"

 

Acts 3:21 "Whom the heaven must receive unto the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."

 

Heaven "must" receive Christ until the times of restitution of all things. Christ won't leave before that.

There is also the passage in Matthew 24:40-41"Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left"

 

vs 42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."

 

That passage would be referring to the rapture -- taking up of believers.

 

Yes, 1 Corinthians 15:51 -- the rapture.

 

And there will Also be the physical coming of the Lord to the earth. The 1,000 yr earthly reign.

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All throughoutt the OT this very event The day of the Lord or Lord's Day has been taught. There's nothing about a rapture or other secret event to spirit away believers before that time.

Paul said that God revealed new truths to him that weren't known to the OT prophets.

 

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Ephesians 3:4-6 ESV

 

Those new truths involved the church. The rapture describes how the church will be taken out of the world so God can resume carrying out his plans for the nation of Israel.

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