One of the most pervasive ideas in the End Times theories men have devised relates to “The Rapture”. What is this idea? What does the Bible say about it? You might be surprised to see how little the Bible actually says about this oft touted “event”.

ROBERT >> On these Sunday mornings we have been discussing Bible prophecy and the last days, examining popular end time teachings with the Bible. Today we want to talk about what is popularly known as the secret rapture of the church.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> So far in our study of Bible prophecy and the last days, we’ve learned that Bible prophecy often speaks of the last days and that the last days does not refer to a time just before the end, but it began 2,000 years ago with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, and it will continue until Christ comes again. Christ will not come, we learned, at the beginning of the last days, but the very last day of the last days. And so we now live in the last days, in this last period of history. At the end of it, Jesus will come again. Now, we also learned that there’ll be no signs to indicate when Christ is coming.

I know it’s quite popular for people to be looking for signs; but this is not something that you can wait to prepare for when you see some signs; but rather you must always be prepared, because there are no signs of the end times. Christ will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as Jesus taught, nobody knows the day, nobody knows the hour, but his Father only knows when Jesus is coming again.

This morning let’s ask the question, will there be a secret rapture of the church?

Perhaps you’ve seen the bumper stickers that read, In case of rapture, somebody grab the wheel, or, In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned. And no doubt you’ve heard preachers talk about the rapture. Maybe you’ve read a book or even seen a movie on the rapture. Have you ever wondered just what this is really all about?

Well, the rapture is the teaching that Jesus will secretly come for all his saints, he’ll raise the dead saints and then lift them up together with the live saints to meet him in the air. And all of the lost who remain on the earth will not know where they have gone, and they won’t be able to explain the empty graves. Now, while the saints are with the Lord, this theory is that there’ll be a period of great tribulation on the earth like never before, and that during this time the antichrist will come to power and rule the world. There’ll be fear and suffering and death on a mass scale. And this is supposed to last for seven years. At the end of the seven years, the theory tells us that Jesus will come back with his saints, that he’ll conquer the enemy, that he’ll reign on the earth for a thousand years, after which time there will be then a final judgment. The secret coming of Christ and the catching away of the church for seven years is called the rapture.

Is there any Biblical basis for the rapture?

Will graves suddenly open and be vacated?

Will the highways be strewn with wrecks because drivers have been secretly taken away?

Will some find children and mates, friends and coworkers missing, but themselves left behind?

Well, the passage most often used as a basis for the rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, and so we want to read this passage together, and let’s take a look at what it really says.

1 Thessalonians 4, beginning in verse 13, “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 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. 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. 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.”

You see here in this passage that it speaks of the coming of Christ. The Greek word is parousia, the coming or the parousia of Christ. And this passage actually refutes the rapture instead of establishing the idea of a rapture. You’ll notice with me instead of saying that there will be a coming or parousia of Christ for his saints to take his saints back and then seven years later an appearance, the Greek word there is epiphaneia, and a revelation, or apokalupsis is the word, of Christ with his saints, it simply teaches that when Jesus comes with the saints that have already died, he’ll come for the saints that are still alive. You see, there are some who want to make a distinction between the coming of Christ for his saints and the appearance of Christ with his saints; but there is no such distinction in the scriptures.

Look at 1 Thessalonians 3:13. Here the Bible says, “So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

So when Jesus comes, the parousia, he’ll come with his saints.

And then I want you to notice also in 2 Thessalonians 2:1, “So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

Here he tells us that the parousia, the coming of Christ, will be with all his saints. He’s going to come with those who have already died in Christ, he will have their spirits, and the rest of us who are alive are going to be caught up together with him in the air. And so his parousia is with his saints and for his saints all at the same time.

You see it in 2 Thessalonians. Look at chapter 2 and verse 1. “ Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you.”

So he’s coming with his saints, parousia, he’s coming and going to gather the rest of us to him, the parousia. The same word is used. He’s coming with them, he’s coming for them at the very same time. And when he does so, he’s going to also appear, and he’s going to be revealed to all people and to judge all people.

Look at this with me. Look in 1 Corinthians 1:7. “So that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Those at Corinth, they’re going to be dead when Jesus comes again. They’ve already died. But he says they’re going to be waiting for him. And it tells us here that when he comes, he’s going to be revealed. It’s going to be the apokalupsis, the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Look at it in 2 Thessalonians 1:6. Here it says, “Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming tire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, when He comes, in that day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. When he comes, parousia, he’s going to be revealed, and he’s going to judge the wicked. And so there’s not a
coming for them and a coming with them and then a later judgment of the wicked, no. It’s all one coming with those who have died, he’s going to bring them, those that are alive are going to meet him in the air, the wicked are going to be judged.

You see it here in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. Look at verse 8. “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming

The parousia of Christ, the coming with his saints is when Satan is going to be judged, when he is going to be revealed and made known. It will be at the brightness of his coming, it says there in verse 8. The brightness is the word epiphaneia we mentioned before, the appearance of his coming. You see, when he comes, he’s going to appear, he’s going to be revealed. And so there is no distinction between him coming for them and then appearing with them. It’s the same coming. It’s the same time that he will appear, that he will be revealed.

Let’s look at some other passages. In 1 Timothy 6:13-15, “I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Paul and all other Christians will be alive until his appearing. We are to keep the commandment of Christ.

In 2 Timothy 4:1, notice what it says here: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”

And so God’s people will be here until he comes. At that time, he will appear, and he will judge the living and the dead at his appearing. Look at it further in verse 8 of this same chapter.

Finally, “there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all those who have loved His appearing.”

And so again, the Christians will be alive, and they will continue until the Lord appears. That will be his coming, and that will be the time of judgment.

Look at it in Titus, Titus 2:12-13. “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Yes, we’ll be looking for his appearing. That’s his coming. We’re not looking for a coming and then later we’ll come back at his appearing, no. It’s all the same event. Hebrews.

Look at Hebrews 9:28. Here’s what the Hebrew writer says about it: “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

When he comes, he will appear, and he will bring salvation to those who are his own.

1 Peter chapter 1, look at verse 13. The apostle Peter taught the same thing. In chapter 1 verse 13 he writes, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

When he comes, he’ll appear, he’ll be revealed. That’s when we’ll receive our reward.

Look at it here in chapter 5 of 1 Peter and verse 4. “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

When will the elders who serve faithfully here, the shepherds of God’s church receive their crown?

When he appears. And so we see there’ll be no distinction
between his coming, his appearing, his revelation. There’ll be no separation of the righteous at his coming and then later at his appearing the destruction of the wicked, no. There’ll be no separation of the righteous from the wicked until the end of the world, and not many, many years before.

There are several passages where Jesus teaches this. Among his parables in Matthew chapter 13 we see this teaching, for example. In Matthew 13:30 he says, “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

You see, this is just the opposite of the rapture theory, where they would gather the wheat first and then destroy the tares. No, here he says first gather the tares and then gather the wheat. And it all takes place at the same coming, at the same time, at the harvest.

Look at it in Matthew 13:41-43. Here it says, “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

You see this also in verses 47 through 50. Notice what it says. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good in the vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. And so the separation will come. When the evil and the righteous are separated will be at the very same time. We see it in each one of these parables, not seven years apart.

Look at it also in Matthew 25:31-36. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this time when our Lord comes and he sits upon the throne of his glory and he gathers all the nations before him. Here’s how Matthew puts it in verse 31, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.”

And so we see here that there is no distinction between the coming of Christ for his saints and then the appearance of Christ with his saints, a revelation of Christ separated by seven years. Not at all. The Lord will come with his saints, he’ll come for the saints, and he’ll be revealed, and he’ll be appeared in that very same day at the end of the world when he separates us all, the righteous from the unrighteous.

Now, let’s go back to 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, and I want you to notice something else here in this passage. Instead of saying that the dead in Christ will be raised many years before the wicked are raised, it teaches, rather, that they’ll be raised before the living are caught up in the clouds. Look at it in verses 15 through 17. “ 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 be no means precede those who are asleep.”We’re not going to go on before them. Not at all. Look what he says in verse 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.”

That is, they’re going to be raised before Jesus catches up the rest of his people that are alive. And notice verse 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. When Jesus comes, there’s going to be one resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked at the same time.

Certainly here in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, it only has in view the resurrection of the righteous; but we see that the same time the righteous are raised, so will the wicked be raised.

Look in John 5:28-29. Here it says, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth, those that have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

So in the very same hour, at the very same time, Jesus will call forth the righteous and he’ll forth the wicked from their graves to meet him in judgment.

In Acts 23:6, notice how the apostle Paul speaks of that judgment day and that resurrection day. Acts 23:6,“When Paul perceived that one part were Saducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”

He understood that all the dead were going to be raised on the very same day, and so he calls it the resurrection of the dead. And then he explains it more fully in chapter 24 of Acts and verse 15. He says, “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. One resurrection of both the just and the unjust.”

Now, I want you to notice that this resurrection of the just and the unjust is not separated again by seven years. It’s the same hour, it’s the same time, it’s the same resurrection of the dead. And this resurrection of the righteous will take place on the last day, not seven years before a resurrection of the wicked.

Go with me to John chapter 6. And Jesus repeats this over and over again. In John 6:39, this is what he says: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.”

You see, all of those that will be given to Christ will be raised up not seven years before, not a thousand seven years before, but rather the last day. You see it in verse 40 where he says, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”And you see it in verse 44 again where it says, “I’ll raise him up the last day.”And you see it in verse 54, “I’ll raise him up at the last day.”

You see, the same day that the wicked will be judged, the same day the righteous are raised, so the wicked will be judged.

In John 12:48, look what it says. Jesus is speaking, and he says, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My words has that which judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

And so the wicked will be judged, the same time therighteous are raised, the wicked are raised, they all stand before God in judgment. This will be the end of the world. The resurrection according to 1 Corinthians chapter 15, is at Christ’s coming at the end of the world, not the beginning of the last days, not the beginning of his kingdom, but the end.

Look at 1 Corinthians 15:20, and you’ll notice he talks about how Christ is risen, and then in verse 23, at the end of that verse he talks about Christ at his coming, and then in verse 24 he says, “Then comes the end,” when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power; for
He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. And so the apostle Paul pictures Christ now ruling, now reigning in his kingdom; and when he comes, it’ll be at the end. He’ll turn the kingdom over to his Father. His last enemy will be destroyed. That enemy is death.

And how will it be destroyed?

In the resurrection.

Verse 51, he says, “Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Yes, it’s obvious from what we’ve learned this morning that when Jesus comes, he will appear, he will be revealed. Everybody will be raised and stand before him in judgment. It will be the last day of the last days. It will be at the last trumpet. There’ll not be a coming and then seven more years and then an appearing and then a thousand more years and then a final resurrection and judgment at the end, no. It all happens at the same time at the same day at the very end.

God help us to all be ready, to all be prepared. And I hope that you, whoever you are, that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> I believe in the one they call Jesus.
I believe he stilled Galilee,
I believe that he walked on the water,
and I believe that he’s the answer for me.
Yes,
I believe in the one they call Jesus.
I believe he died on Mount Calvary.
And I believe that the tomb was found empty,
and I believe that he’s the answer for me.
I believe that he spoke to dead Lazarus and he said,
unbind and set free.
I believe that he reigns up in heaven,
and I believe that he is coming again.
Yes,
I believe in the one they call Jesus.
I believe he died on Mount Calvary.
And I believe that the tomb was found empty,
and I believe that he’s the answer for me.

ROBERT >> Thanks so much for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you, so let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas, 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number,800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven,
sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary,
when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.