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Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines

The Rapture

Chapter 3 of the book “When Jesus Returns —what then?” by Jim Gibson. I have edited the text only where necessary, changed underlining to bold text and used the KJVER Bible version. 

The term “rapture” does not appear anywhere in the Bible. This fact alone does not necessarily invalidate its truthfulness, however. The word itself refers to the “catching away” of the bride of Christ, which is the Church. According to the dispensationalists, the Church will be “taken” from the earth at the “coming” of Christ, otherwise known by its Greek name, the “Parousia”. This event would necessitate people being “left behind”. A seven-year period of great distress would follow and, would eventually end at the Second Advent of Christ. Thus, a “two-stage” coming of Jesus is required.

Rapture

The word “rapture”, however, did not originate until the early part of the 1830’s when it was first coined by John Nelson Darby, the leader of the Brethren movement. This paper will not entertain the controversy of who was actually the first to expound the idea of a “two-stage” coming, whether Darby or a young Scottish woman by the name of Margaret Macdonald. Rather, I will only address the scriptural texts that have been cited in proof of this popular view referred to as the “rapture”. The most referenced biblical passage to support the “rapture” is from 1 Thessalonians.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant [unaware], brethren, concerning them which are asleep [dead], that you 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 [die] in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep [dead]. 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 [encourage] one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons [dates], brethren, you have no need that I write to you. For yourselves know perfectly [full well] that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail [birth pains] upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake [surprise] you as a thief… For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-4,9)

Categories
Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines

The Return of Jesus Christ

Chapter 2 of the book “When Jesus Returns —what then?” by Jim Gibson. I have edited the text only where necessary, changed underlining to bold text and used the KJVER Bible version. 

To begin our study of what the scriptures reveal, we will first consider those which speak of a certain day marked on God’s celestial calendar. Jesus and the disciples referred to this historic day as the “day of judgment”.

“Verily I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.” (Matthew 10:15)

“But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.” (Matthew 11:22)

“But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)

“The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations [trials], and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” (2 Peter 2:9)

“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved to fire against the day of judgment and perdition [destruction] of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:7)

“Herein is our love made perfect [complete], that we may have boldness [confidence] in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)

“And the angels which kept not their first estate [position], but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains [eternal bonds] under darkness to the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 6)

MARTIN_John_Great_Day_of_His_Wrath
The End of the World, also known as The Great Day of His Wrath by John Martin. Credit: Wikipedia

As one studies these verses, it becomes obvious that a specific day is reserved to judge the ungodly of this world. The verse 1 John 4:17 alludes to the fact that even the believers will be judged on this fateful day. Furthermore, Jude 6 clearly intimates that the demons will also be held in judgment for this “great day”.