The Rapture

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    What is the rapture?

    Is it, as one atheist web-site put it, when all the "good Christians float away"?

    The answer to that question is no.

    The rapture is when Jesus Christ Himself returns to gather His people to Himself.

    The Bible tells us that it will occur instantly, in a moment (1Cor 15:51-52). It also tells us that dead believers will be raised (1Cor 15:52, 1Thess 4:15-17, Jn 5:28-29) and living believers will be caught up and changed (1Cor 15:52, 1Thess 4:15-17).

    Therefore, based on the Scriptures above, we can paint a picture of what it will be like when the rapture occurs. There will be no warning, there will be no sign that it is about to occur. Instantly, in a moment, the Lord will descend with a shout (etc) and the dead believers will be raised, then living believers will be caught up and changed. At that point the Lord will take the raptured church to the Father's house (Jn 14:2-3) until His return (Rev 19:14). During that time the wedding feast will occur (Rev 19:7-8) and most prophecy scholars also believe the judgment of believers will occur during this time as well (and I agree).

    This raises some questions:

    1. When will the rapture occur in relationship with the tribulation?

    ==The basic Biblical facts leave us with very few options. A post-tribulational view has the serious problem of the wedding feast (Rev 19:7-8) and the returning army with Christ (Rev 19:14). There must be a gap between the rapture and the return of Christ, a gap large enough to allow these events to occur. Therefore I find it difficult to accept a view that makes the rapture and the return the same event or that puts them very close together. A mid-tribulational view is possible. However this only leaves about 3 years for the events in heaven to occur. While that is certainly enough time it seems like a longer period of time is assumed. Both the post-tribulational view and the mid-tribulational view have yet another problem: the wrath of God. The New Testament promises the church escape from all of God's wrath (1Thess 1:10, Jn 5:24, etc). Since the tribulation is the wrath of God (Rev 6:16, 15:1,7) it is difficult to see God allowing the church to remain on earth during this time. In fact it seems clear that Jesus has promised escape from this time (Lk 21:36, Rev 3:10). Therefore the pre-tribulation rapture seems to be the most logical and Biblical view point. It is, however, not without its difficulties. Therefore we can only say it is the most Biblical of the three views.

    2. Will the lost world see the rapture occur?

    ==The Bible says it will occur in a moment. It is impossible to answer this question since the Bible does not say.

    In Christ,
    Martin
     
  2. Brian30755

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    You'll get no argument from me. It would be wonderful to be alive when Jesus returns, and never have to taste death.
     
  3. natters

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    The feast is not taking place in Rev 19:7-8, those verses only announces the marriage. Verse 9 announces the feast.

    The wrath can be directed at others without first removing the church. I can spank my son without making my daughter fly away in an airplane first.

    Luke 21:36 says to pray to be accounted worthy. It is about your spiritual state, not what happens to you. Rev 3:10 was stated to the church in Philadelphia. It was true for them even though they were not raptured. Thus it cannot require (nor should it) a rapture meaning.

    Just my .03
     
  4. OldRegular

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    Martin

    There is no Biblical basis for a so-called pretrib removal of the Church.
     
  5. Martin

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    natters said:
    The feast is not taking place in Rev 19:7-8, those verses only announces the marriage. Verse 9 announces the feast.

    ==It is still placed before the return. Also notice that the saints are rewarded before the return (vs8) and made ready (vs7) before the return. All pointing to the fact that the church (the saints) must be in heaven prior to the return. That, alone, sets aside post-tribulationalism as a real option. The other two left are the mid and pre tribulation positions. I see those as the only possible choices.

    ________________________________________________

    You said:
    The wrath can be directed at others without first removing the church. I can spank my son without making my daughter fly away in an airplane first.

    ==That is totally off the page. This is about the pouring out of God's wrath which the Bible indicates is world-wide (Rev 6:12-17, 8:3-5, Matt 24:21-22, Lk 21:34-35). The only way of escape is removal.

    ___________________________________________

    You said:
    Luke 21:36 says to pray to be accounted worthy. It is about your spiritual state, not what happens to you.

    ==I can't agree. Why? Context. In the context Jesus is talking about the tribulation period (vss25-36). In verse 36 Jesus is offering His followers "escape" from "all these things" (ie..verses 25ff). The Bible tells us that true believers are praying for, watching, and waiting for the return of the Lord and that it is they who will be delievered (Heb 9:28, Lk 21:36, etc).

    __________________________________________

    You said:
    Rev 3:10 was stated to the church in Philadelphia. It was true for them even though they were not raptured. Thus it cannot require (nor should it) a rapture meaning.

    ==We could, of course, say the same thing about every promise in the New Testament. Do you really want to stick by your position? The promise was given to a local church however, since as you admit they were not raptured, it must apply to the church as a whole. Also God saw fit to put it into the inspired Word. Those two factors lead me to believe that this verse has a wider application than just that one local body.


    Martin.
     
  6. Martin

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    ==And that kind of statement proves what?

    Martin.
     
  7. James_Newman

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    Revelation 3:15-19
    15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
    16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
    17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
    18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
    19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
     
  8. OldRegular

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    ==And that kind of statement proves what?

    Martin.
    </font>[/QUOTE]That there is no Biblical basis for a so-called pretrib removal of the Church.
    :D
     
  9. Helen

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    I wonder what it was that the Thessalonian church was so upset about possibly missing that Paul had to write the second letter to them of reassurance...

    It couldn't have been the return-to-reign of Christ, for they would have celebrated that and not missed it at all.

    It seems that Paul is referring to the Rapture when he says, in 2:1-2 "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us saying that the day of the Lord has alread come."

    In verse three Paul refers to the fact that this event will not occur until the "apostasia" occurs. This word has a double meaning in the original. It means a falling away, as from doctrine or a marriage (in terms of divorce), but it also means 'departure', which is the translation many of the older King James' versions used. Because of the definitive 'the' in front of it, there is then a reference to something that is a one time thing. It could mean the final falling away of those churches who call themselves Christian but aren't. That is a culmination event which could deserve 'the'. However the Rapture is also a one-time event, deserving 'the'. Do both happen almost at once? Very possibly.

    I think everything else has been argued here ad infinitum. But it is important to understand that the event the Thessalonians were afraid they had missed could only have been the Rapture -- the gathering of us to Him.

    This leads to the understanding that the Rapture was the event the entire early church was looking for. That was the next thing on the agenda, theologically.

    We've changed all that. God probably hasn't.
     
  10. natters

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    Yes. The announcement is right before the return.

    Verse 8 does not mention all rewards, it mentions just mentions white linen, which is the righteousness of saints (the same word used for believers on earth during the tribulation (Rev 5:8, 8:3-4, 13:7, 13:10, 14:12, 15:3, 16:6, 17:6, 18:24). Rewards in general are not given until after the 7th trump (Rev 11:18). Verse 7 does not preclude the church being partly on earth, partly in heaven, it just says the bride is ready. I.e. the bride was NOT ready before this point. In the posttrib position, most of chap 19, including these verses happen on the same day as Christ's return and the posttrib resurrection/rapture. Nothing doesn't fit.

    I disagree. Yes, it's world-wide, but that doesn't necessarily mean a pre-removal escape. Noah didn't leave prior to the wrath being poured out. The Israelites didn't leave Egypt prior to the plagues.

    Yes, let's talk about context. Who were His followers that these verses were spoken to? Were they raptured?

    Absolutely.

    Scripture is true. Scripture cannot be true for some listeners and false for others. It cannot change meaning.

    There are two possibilities with Rev 3:10. Either:

    1. it is a promise of rapture, and thus a lie to the original recipients
    or,
    2. it is true for both us and them and thus it is not a promise of rapture

    I agree. If it's about rapture, how do you apply it to them, who are part of the whole?

    I AGREE. *Application*. But you have given it a misapplication, an application that could not have been true to them.

    Helen said
    I disagree. You yourself quoted what they were afraid had already started: that "the day of the Lord has alread come."
     
  11. Martin

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    Natters said:
    Verse 8 does not mention all rewards, it mentions just mentions white linen, which is the righteousness of saints (the same word used for believers on earth during the tribulation (Rev 5:8, 8:3-4, 13:7, 13:10, 14:12, 15:3, 16:6, 17:6, 18:24). Rewards in general are not given until after the 7th trump (Rev 11:18).

    ==I would argue the rewards are in view here because the church is given "fine linen" due to her righteous acts. The term "saint" is a general term which can apply to Old Testament saints, New Testament (church) saints, or tribulation saints. Clearly those saved after a pre or mid tribulation rapture would be tribulation saints. Therefore your argument about the saints is not convincing.

    __________________________________________

    You said:
    Verse 7 does not preclude the church being partly on earth, partly in heaven, it just says the bride is ready. I.e. the bride was NOT ready before this point.

    ==If the bride is ready that must mean that the bride has been fully redeemed (1Thess 5:23-24, etc). Thus the entire church must be in heaven for that to have occured. Unless you are arguing that some believers, after being raised and changed, stay on earth instead of going to the Father's house with Jesus.

    ________________________________________

    You said:
    In the posttrib position, most of chap 19, including these verses happen on the same day as Christ's return and the posttrib resurrection/rapture. Nothing doesn't fit.

    ==In the same day? Ok. How does this account for the church going to the Father's house (Jn 14:2-3)? Does Jesus take the Church to the Father's house, do a u-turn, and return to earth? What about the marriage supper which clearly occurs before the return (not just announced)? What about the rewards and the bride being ready? There is alot that does not fit with a post-trib view. Also there is little problem of wrath.

    ____________________________________________
    I said:

    ==That is totally off the page. This is about the pouring out of God's wrath which the Bible indicates is world-wide (Rev 6:12-17, 8:3-5, Matt 24:21-22, Lk 21:34-35). The only way of escape is removal.

    You said:
    I disagree. Yes, it's world-wide, but that doesn't necessarily mean a pre-removal escape. Noah didn't leave prior to the wrath being poured out. The Israelites didn't leave Egypt prior to the plagues.

    ==Noah was kept safe by God (locked away in a ark) as God promised him. The Israelites were protected as God promised. In neither case was there a promise of escape. However in the future tribulation there is a clear promise of escape (Lk 21:36, 1Thess 1:10, etc). The only New Testament option for the escape would be the rapture no other option or promise is given. The Bible promises that we will escape the wrath and stand before Jesus.

    __________________________________


    I Said:
    In the context Jesus is talking about the tribulation period (vss25-36). In verse 36 Jesus is offering His followers "escape" from "all these things" (ie..verses 25ff).

    You said:
    Yes, let's talk about context. Who were His followers that these verses were spoken to? Were they raptured?

    ==No because the rapture and tribulation have not yet occured. Your argument would only be valid if the tribulation had occured.
    _________________________________________


    You said:
    Scripture is true. Scripture cannot be true for some listeners and false for others. It cannot change meaning.

    There are two possibilities with Rev 3:10. Either:

    1. it is a promise of rapture, and thus a lie to the original recipients

    ==That is a very, very dangerous position. It has all sorts of implications of New Testament promises thus I doubt you really want to stand on that one. If the tribulation had begun at that time they would have been raptured. Since it did not occur the promise is preserved for each generation until it does occur. It gives Christians, of then and now, the assurance that they will escape if these things start in their generation. Therefore it was not a lie.

    ____________________________________________

    You said:
    2. it is true for both us and them and thus it is not a promise of rapture

    ==If not world wide tribulation and rapture, then what?

    _______________________________________________


    You said:
    I disagree. You yourself quoted what they were afraid had already started: that "the day of the Lord has alread come."

    ==Which of course would make no sense if the rapture and the return happened in the same day. The passage surely favors a pre-trib perspective.

    Martin.
     
  12. StefanM

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    Originally posted by natters:

    -------------------
    Absolutely.

    Scripture is true. Scripture cannot be true for some listeners and false for others. It cannot change meaning.

    There are two possibilities with Rev 3:10. Either:

    1. it is a promise of rapture, and thus a lie to the original recipients
    or,
    2. it is true for both us and them and thus it is not a promise of rapture
    ------------
    The word of the Lord:

    Rev 3:10 "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

    ----
    False dilemma.

    All Christ promised to the Philadelphian church was to "keep [them] from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world." Rapture would be only one way of fulfilling this promise. If "the hour of temptation" = the great tribulation, then, according to futurist eschatology, the Philadelphian church did not go through the hour of temptation--&gt; promise fulfilled.

    Now, if the application of this verse is that all of God's children will escape the hour of temptation, the problem can still be easily solved. There are two distinguishable groups: those alive at the rapture, and those who have died beforehand.

    1. Those dead in Christ before the rapture would not be alive to go through the hour of temptation.

    2. Those who were alive at the rapture would be spared by virtue of removal from the earth.

    Therefore, if the promise is to spare all of God's children, then the fulfillment is through both death and rapture.
     
  13. natters

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    My arguement was not that this proves posttrib rapture. My comment was a preemptive strike on the common pretrib argument that the "church" is not mentioned after chap 4, thus she is raptured. However, here in chap 19 we see the "church" referred to as "saints" (not "church"), that's all.

    Not at all. In the posttrib view, Christ returns with the heavenly saints, and resurrects their bodies while simultaneously rapturing the earthly saints, all being given their new bodies (and white linen) in the air before Christ fully comes to earth.

    John 14:2-3 says that we will be with Christ. Christ comes to earth. Those raptured go into the air to meet him, and come back with him to be with him forever, where ever he is.

    It's not "clearly" at all. Please show how "clear" it is.

    I have already addressed these.

    Perhaps you are not as clear in understanding posttrib as you like to think. The first mention of "wrath" in Rev is in 6:17, after the 6th seal. It is my opinion and belief that the seals/trumps/bowls overlap to a certain extent, and that although the tribulation will be a long event (years), "God's wrath" is reserved for his actual return, the day of his wrath (Rev 6:18 and others), when the antichrist and his followers are destroyed by his coming. We are certainly going to escape that, even in the posttrib view: Christ starts his return at the end of trib, raptures and resurrects earth saints to meet him in the air, and continues to earth to pour out his wrath destroying the antichrist and his followers. I see nothing in scripture that forces me to understand God's "wrath" as the entire tribulation.

    I do want to stand on it, but perhaps you do not understand what I am saying. Give an example of another promise in the NT that you think demonstrates your point about the flaw in mine, so I can explain it better.

    I don't know, there are lots of possibilities, possibilities we may not have even thought of. What did the passage mean for the Philadelphians?

    If so, then Paul could have simply said "don't worry, the day of the Lord hasn't come because you haven't been raptured yet." But he didn't. Instead, he talked about warning signs of the falling away, and the revealing of the antichrist. Worthless warning signs if the rapture came first.

    StephanM said:
    I understand what you are saying. My point is simply that if it didn't mean rapture for them, it doesn't inherently carry a promise of rapture.

    Two side notes about that verse:

    1. It is usually translated "keep thee from", although the Greek "ek" ("from") is a general purpose preposition and can also mean by, with, in, etc. For example, see the next time it is used, in verse 18, where it talks about gold tried "in" ("ek") the fire.

    2. Supposing that it is a promise of removal/safety, we are still left with the question of removal from what. The verse says the "hour" of temptation, which is not necessarily the entire trib period, but perhaps the time at the end of the trib when the Lord returns and destroys the antichrist and his followers by the wrath and brightness of his coming.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    Aren't we gathered to Him in a general resurrection? Who else would we be gathered to?
     
  15. StefanM

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    natters said:

    "I understand what you are saying. My point is simply that if it didn't mean rapture for them, it doesn't inherently carry a promise of rapture."

    Agreed. The verse neither requires a rapture nor excludes it. It's a matter of interpretation.
    ---

    natters said:

    "Supposing that it is a promise of removal/safety, we are still left with the question of removal from what. The verse says the "hour" of temptation, which is not necessarily the entire trib period, but perhaps the time at the end of the trib when the Lord returns and destroys the antichrist and his followers by the wrath and brightness of his coming."

    This is entirely possible within the bounds of the verse. The "hour of temptation" is not explicitly defined--&gt; another matter of interpretation.

    ------
    On the "ek" issue, I'm by no means a Greek scholar (only one year of Elementary Greek so far--just enough to be dangerous, they say :D ), but it seems to me that verse 18 still can carry the idea of gold refined "out of" the fire (though it doesn't make good English).

    Even so, in verse 10, it seems to me that the preferable meaning/translation would still be "from" or "out of." Nevertheless, I acknowledge the differences of opinion in this matter.
     
  16. OldRegular

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    The above paragraph summarizes much of my view of the Book of Revelation, particularly the overlapping of the seals, trumpets, and bowls. However, I believe that the Book covers the entire period between the two comings of Jesus Christ. This is completely consistent with the promise of Jesus Christ that his followers will endure persecution and tribulation. Hendriksen in his commentary on Revelation More than Conquerors takes a similar approach, as does Hoeksema in his commentary Behold He Cometh.
     
  17. Martin

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    Natters said:
    My comment was a preemptive strike on the common pretrib argument that the "church" is not mentioned after chap 4, thus she is raptured. However, here in chap 19 we see the "church" referred to as "saints" (not "church"), that's all.

    ==Like I said however that proves nothing. Saints has to be understood in its context. I have already dealt with this.
    _____________________________________________


    You said:
    In the posttrib view, Christ returns with the heavenly saints, and resurrects their bodies while simultaneously rapturing the earthly saints, all being given their new bodies (and white linen) in the air before Christ fully comes to earth.

    ==But Scripture says He takes them to the Father's house first not right back to earth (Jn 14:1-3).
    ____________________________________________

    You said:
    John 14:2-3 says that we will be with Christ. Christ comes to earth. Those raptured go into the air to meet him, and come back with him to be with him forever, where ever he is.

    ==That does not fit the text. Yes Jesus wants us to be where He is, where is that? In the Father's house. He promises to prepare that place for us and then return to get us. This is totally at odds with the post-trib view:

    "I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am there you may be also"

    Where is He? "In My Father's house". Jesus is preparing places for us in His Father's house. One day He will return to take us to where He is, in the Father's house.
    _________________________________________

    You said:
    It's not "clearly" at all. Please show how "clear" it is.

    ==The marriage supper of the Lamb occurs in Revelation 19:9 while the bride is with the groom in the Father's house. This is before both leave the Father's house to return to earth (Rev 19:11ff).

    __________________________________________

    You said:
    The first mention of "wrath" in Rev is in 6:17, after the 6th seal. It is my opinion and belief that the seals/trumps/bowls overlap to a certain extent, and that although the tribulation will be a long event (years), "God's wrath" is reserved for his actual return, the day of his wrath (Rev 6:18 and others), when the antichrist and his followers are destroyed by his coming.

    ==Even if they overlap, which I am not convinced that they do, you still have the wrath of God being poured out. Who broke the first five seals? Jesus, the Lamb. What does the seventh seal contain? The trumpets (sounded by God's angels). It is all God's judgment. Even when it appears to be man vs. man (etc) it is still God's judgment. It is the wrath of the Lamb. The wrath is not limited to the return, though it certainly includes that (2Thess 1:7-10).

    ___________________________________________

    You said:
    I do want to stand on it, but perhaps you do not understand what I am saying. Give an example of another promise in the NT that you think demonstrates your point about the flaw in mine, so I can explain it better.

    ==Take any New Testament promise. Each was given to a specific group of believers in a specific circumstance. Some of them were even given promises about the return (etc). Now if we take your position it means that we cannot claim any of those promises and, even worse, the promises to them about the return (etc) were false. I think that is a very dangerous position.

    _________________________________________

    I said:
    If not world wide tribulation and rapture, then what?

    You said:
    I don't know, there are lots of possibilities, possibilities we may not have even thought of. What did the passage mean for the Philadelphians?

    ==The only Biblical option is the great tribulation (Matt 24:21-22, Lk 21:25-35, Dan 12:1). If the Philadelphians used their Bible (even only the Old Testament) this is certainly how they would have understood it.

    ___________________________________________

    You said:
    If so, then Paul could have simply said "don't worry, the day of the Lord hasn't come because you haven't been raptured yet." But he didn't. Instead, he talked about warning signs of the falling away, and the revealing of the antichrist. Worthless warning signs if the rapture came first.

    ==If Paul had taught them that they would suffer through the tribulation and see Christ's return then there is no way they could have been confused. Why? Because it would have been clear that it had not occured. Paul talks about things that must occur before the tribulation (day of the Lord) can start to prove that it had not yet arrived.

    _________________________________________


    Martin.
     
  18. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Open letter to Brother Martin:

    Welcome to this Baptist Theology & Bible Study Forum.
    We are discussing the self-same topic right nearby at:
    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/3/3055.html
    There we are ten days and nine pages into the same discussion.
    Be warned [​IMG] the noise to signal ratio is 14 to 1 :(

    Ah well, you will figure it out [​IMG]

    Right on Bro.!
     
  19. Helen

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    "Aren't we gathered in a general resurrection?"

    Perhaps, but is this before the man of lawlwssness is revealed? And does he then have time to "set himself up in God's temple" ?
     
  20. Helen

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    As far as Noah and the children of Israel are concerned going through the Flood and Plagues, both were saved through and out of them and were not hurt by them. All who are involved in the Tribulation who are of the Lord will be killed by the 3.5 year mark. Except for the 144,000 Jews, who will be hidden, as Noah was, and saved through it. So the analogy of Noah and the children of Israel being allowed to go through their times of trouble are not applicable to the Tribulation picture.
     

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