The Secret Rapture Myth

Secret RaptureCould it be that in the midst of the “Secret Rapture” theory, of missing people, major truths of the Bible are also missing?  Even worse could an unimaginable cloud of deception be settling over the Christian world?

According to the “Secret Rapture” theory, the return of Jesus takes place in two distinct phases.  First, Jesus returns silently and secretly, unnoticed by the world.  At that moment Christians will be “caught up” or raptured, which is interpreted as the sudden vanishing of millions of people all over the globe.  The rest of mankind, having been left behind, are then ushered into a “seven-year” period called the tribulation.  During the tribulation, the Antichrist rises to enforce his deadly mark.  At the end of the seven years, Jesus returns visible before the eyes of all, an event referred to as Christ’s Second Coming or “Glorious Appearing”.  With minor variations, this sequence is now accepted by millions of Bible believing Christians as an accurate picture of end-time events.

However, the most disturbing suggestion in the “Secret Rapture” theory is the idea that there will be a second chance.  There isn’t a word anywhere in the Bible about anyone getting a second chance.  This point is perhaps best illustrated by several of Jesus’ parables about the end of the world:

 First Parable

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But, he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30

“Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:36-42

 Second Parable

“Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:47-50

 Third Parable

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:31-34,41,46

christian-rapture

The theory of a second chance is extremely dangerous, because it suggests that if people miss the rapture, they will still have a chance at salvation between then and the Second Coming or “Glorious Appearing” of our Lord at the end of the seven-years..  This theory tempts people to live as they please, grabbing for all the gusto that this life has to offer, “If it feels good, do it!”, and they are not getting ready for our Lord’s appearing in the clouds of glory.  It is a trick of the devil.  Because, if we do not make a decision “now” to follow the Lord and surrender our lives totally to Him before His Second Coming, we will be lost.  People will not have a seven-year period to get their lives right with the Lord with the hope that they will be in His Kingdom. The devil knows that so he came up with this “Secret Rapture” theory that millions are going along with.  If there is no second chance, then those who have put off getting right with God will discover that they have waited too long—and they will be among those who Jesus said “will mourn” at His Second Coming.  The devil is so sly.  He has not changed; he is still a liar just like he was in the Garden of Eden, when he lied to Eve.

Let us look at a couple of Bible texts that those Bible believing Christians use to back up their theory of the “Secret Rapture”.  Often times when we read the Bible, we come across a text, and if we read it by itself, it can have a different meaning than what the text really says. Whereas, if we took the time to read the whole chapter or maybe a few texts around that particular text in question, we would find an accurate meaning of the text.  Or in some cases, when we read a text it will become more clear to us, if we find a text somewhere else in the Bible which will help us to better understand the text in question.  Such is the case in the following texts:

 First Set Of Texts

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (proceed) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be “caught up” together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  I Thessalonians 4:13-18

 Second Set Of Texts

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a “thief in the night”.  For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child: and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” I Thessalonians 5:1-4

 Third Set Of Texts

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Matthew 24:37-41

Just before the flood it sounds like “business as usual”.  Everybody was busy with their own way of living and not getting their lives right with the Lord.  People did not love the Lord, and were not preparing to enter the ark of safety.  Isn’t that the way it is today?  People as a whole are not preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus.  He is our only “ark” of “safety”, and people are not entering into a close relationship with the Lord, and when the terrible storm comes, that is soon coming upon this earth, it will catch them all by “surprise”.  Just like in the days of Noah; the people “knew not until the flood came”.  There will be those that will be ready for His coming and will meet the Lord in the air; but the majority will be so “surprised” and “unprepared” to meet Him, and they will be left behind and will be consumed by the brightness of His coming—“the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

Have you ever heard of a silent trumpet?  Some people have called I Thessalonians 4:16 the noisiest verse in the Bible.  There is a shout, voice and a trumpet in the verse–nothing silent about that!  Honestly, do you see anything in verses 16 and 17 about vanishing Christians prior to the tribulation?  Does “caught up” necessarily mean “disappear without a trace”?  Actually, if we carefully read I Thessalonians 4:13-18, we find that it is talking about those faithful saints that have believed in Jesus during their life time on this earth and are now dead.  They will be raised from their graves, just like Jesus was raised from His grave, at His Second Coming, and all those on this earth at the time of the Lord’s Second Coming that have surrendered their lives to Him, which is you and me, will be gathered up together with those that have come out of their graves to meet the Lord in the air.  We all will have beautiful, new bodies.  We will be “caught up” together to meet the Lord in the air.  

At the end of His earthly life, Jesus Christ was also “taken up”.  But, this does not mean He disappeared, leaving His clothes on earth.  Instead, in full view of His wondering disciples, “while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9  Just as Christ’s ascension was highly visible, even so do Paul’s words about a shout, a voice, a trumpet, a resurrection, and believers being “caught up” into the clouds seem quite visible.  That is, if we take them literally.

Paul said this tremendous “day of the Lord” will finally arrive like “a thief in the night.”  The “Secret Rapture” theory interprets this to mean that Jesus will come like a silent thief to steal believers out of this world before the seven-years of tribulation.  After this the Antichrist will rise, the Mark of the Beast will come, and people will yet have a second chance to be saved.

Do you see what Paul is really saying?  Jesus’ coming as a “thief in the night” does not mean He will come quietly and invisibly to steal believers out of this world.  Rather, it means he will come unexpectedly, bring “sudden destruction” upon the unsaved.  Thus it is not a secret coming, but only a sudden one.  And, what about the unprepared being given a second chance to be saved?  Paul clearly answered this question when he wrote, “they shall not escape.”

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:13

Take a few minutes right now and refresh your memory regarding I Thessalonians 4:13-18:

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 

Okay, now that you have read the verses above, let’s pick them apart, slowly.  First the apostle Paul does not want us to be in ignorance concerning those that have gone to their graves believing in Jesus. There were many back in Paul’s day that did not believe in the resurrection. They believed that when a person died, that was it for them. Many believe that, today. So, when a loved one dies, they weep bitterly because they have no faith in the coming of the Lord.  They do not believe that Jesus has the power to raise their dead loved one from the grave and give that person eternal life.  Jesus is the blessed “hope” for us all; but, many don’t believe it.  Paul, is telling us not be sorrowful for those believers that have passed away; we are to cling to the “hope” of the Lord’s coming.

If we believe that Jesus died and on the third day rose from the grave, we can, also, believe that He will raise our loved ones that believed in Him from their graves.   No one will be able to prevent them from coming out of their graves.  For Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with a trumpet and all the dead who believed in Him will rise first, and all of those that are alive on this earth that believe in Jesus will start rising up with those that came out of their graves to meet the Lord in the air.  We will all be caught-up (rise-up) together to meet our sweet Jesus in the clouds.  We will not have to put up with this polluted, sin-sick world anymore.   Hooray!

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