It is common today to see bumper stickers with slogans such as: “In case of Rapture this car will be unoccupied.” The term Rapture stands for the so-called coming of a millennial reign of Christ on earth. The word Rapture comes from the Latin, RAPARE, which means to “take away” or “snatch out.” Theory that is directly associated with it is taught by many who endorse this theory that Christ at his second coming will silently remove from this world the righteous – and this just before a terrible tribulation shall take place on the earth. This alarmist doctrine portrays quite a drama. Families will be shocked by the strange disappearance of a mother, father, or child. Driverless cars will collide in streets. A man and wife are in bed; she hears a noise, turns her head, and he is gone. Planes crash with no pilots found. The theorist continues by stating that the tribulation on earth will last for seven years during which time the Lord will pour out His wrath upon all those who have rejected Him. At the end of the tribulation, they say, the Lord will return to the earth with ten thousand of His saints and a great battle will be fought. They add that Christ and His army will be victorious and will then execute judgement upon the ungodly. Then, according to the theory, the Lord will usher in His Kingdom, an earthly reign of Christ on earth which shall last for 1,000 years.
The conclusion of this suggested millennium will pose another great battle. This is supposed to involve a last-ditch effort of evil against good – to no avail, of course. Then they affirm that a second resurrection will-take place; and all who remain from the time of Adam will be raised and shall receive their just desserts.
Let us see what the Bible says regarding the truth of our Lord’s return.
First, the word Rapture is not even to be found in the Bible; Nor is the doctrine taught there.
Secondly, the Lord’s return will not be. secretive or silent. Revelation 1:7 states that, “every eye shall see him’, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, says that His coming will be heralded with, “a shout’. with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God”.
Thirdly, the “tribulation” often referred to is based upon an erroneous interpretation of Matthew 24. This “tribulation’ was associated with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 according to the first question the Lord answered in Matthew 24:1-3.
1* Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
2* And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”
3* As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
That “tribulation” did in fact come before that generation passed, Matthew 24:34.
34* “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
Fourthly, according to the Bible there is but one resurrection and that will include both the good and evil., John 5:28-29, states, “all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth”.
Fifthly, based upon the Bible, Christ’s Kingdom is not future. It has already been in existence for nearly 2000 years and it is a spiritual kingdom, not an earthly one. Jesus stated it in John 18:336 “My kingdom is not of this world.” Christ promised Peter in Matthew 16:18-19-that he could open the doors of the kingdom, and this the apostle exercised in Acts 2:38-47. John, the apostle, stated in Revelation 1:9 that he was “in the Kingdom”. Now all of these books were written in the First Century and the kingdom was spoken of as existing then.
Mark 9:1 is a passage that definitely puts the beginning of the kingdom in that generation.
1* And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
(Rapture & Trib, p.2)
Lastly, the idea of a thousand year reign of Christ on earth is a gross distortion of Revelation 20:1-7. This is a highly figurative context within a very symbolic book. The reign viewed in Revelation 20 is not an “earthly” reign of the Lord at all. It is a spiritual reign with victorious saints (Revelation 20:4). In Revelation 6:9-11 these martyred souls were, “underneath the altar”, crying for vindication; in Chapter 20, however, they were on, “thrones reigning with their Lord.” This was a prophetic indication that Christianity would be triumphant over its enemies. The 1,000 years is likely a symbol of the completeness of that victory. The number 1,000 is used more than 20 times in the book of Revelation, but not in a literal sense. The whole concept of the so-called Rapture contradicts scores of Bible passages of the clearest import.