It is often portrayed in a way that drives one's imagination to a higher level. People are suddenly vanishing into thin air with nothing left behind but clothing. Planes are crashing out of the sky; people are running to and fro searching for the answer to what is happening. All of a sudden there is an anti-Christ on the scene and the world is plummeted into tribulation. Many thousands have read and believe in the Left Behind saga. Many professing Christians are waiting for a rapture to avoid all of this calamity. Is it possible? Does such a event exist? Will Jesus Christ return in secret? Is the theory of the rapture a true doctrine or a false doctrine? The only reliable source one can turn to is the pages of God's Holy Word; the Bible. This book will either prove the rapture true, or it will prove it false.
1st Thessalonians 4:16-18 are often quoted as support for the rapture theory. Let's dig in and study these verses in detail and develop an understanding for what Paul is teaching.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 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:
Many declare that Christ's return will be in secret and no one but church members will be able to see and hear it. As we view this verse Paul declares that Christ will descend with a shout. There will be the voice of the archangel. The trumpet of God will should. The dead will rise. There is a lot going on. For this to be secret, it would appear that the language does not support this. We have a shout. Normally when a person shouts they want to be heard. There is a voice of an archangel. See Revelation 1:15 - sound of many waters. As a human being I have no idea of what this sound would be, however; I cannot imagine that it will be puny. The trump of God shall sound. I can remember at my high school football games during halftime; the band would play and no one could escape the sound of the trumpets and other instruments. The dead in Christ will rise. I can't fathom a way that those who have been dead rising from their graves could happen in secret. Let's continue with the next verse.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 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.
After the previous events occur, those who are Christ's and are alive will be changed to spirit beings and will meet him in the air. How is all of the happening yet no one is noticing any of it?
So many say "Only the church will witness this". Once again, let's turn to the pages of the Bible and see how it answers this proclamation.
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even s, Amen.
John leaves absolutely no doubt that the entire planet will behold Jesus Christ as he returns to establish the Kingdom of God. All of the earth beholds him, not just a select few as many declare. People will even be in turmoil when they see his return, and we will discuss that in a later article.
Another aspect of the Left Behind saga is the introduction of the tribulation. According to this set of beliefs the tribulation occurs after the rapture. My question to the reader is this; Does the tribulation occur before or after the return of Jesus Christ?
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, behold he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the Lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all of the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
We can see clearly from the words of Jesus Christ that his return will follow the tribulation, not precede it. We see that once again all of the earth will look upon him as he returns; some to gladness and others to sorrow. We are also told not to let anyone deceive us. I can tell you from the word of God that the rapture is a deception. It is a false hope and a lie. There is no doubt that all will see the King of Kings return. It is true that God's Church will be protected during the tribulation, that for now is for a different article. If you would like more information click this link:
This link will take you to a sermon I did a while back about the rapture. I give more detail and several more scriptures. Remember, if it's in the Bible it is truth, if not; it's a fable of man. Who do you want to follow?
By: Chris Anderson