The Rapture

PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE:
Jesus taught that he would return again (Acts 1). His coming is depicted dramatically in Revelation 19. He will come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. At that point he will fight and win the Battle of Armageddon and then establish his rule over the entire earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20). And when that Millenium is past, there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21-22)!

The Rapture is an earlier appearance of Christ to remove his faithful followers (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). It marks the end-point of the Church Age. Then Israel will begin the last seven years of their history before Christ's glorious return.

The Rapture is part of the "mystery" of the Church. The Church was not predicted in the Old Testament or explained in Jesus' Olivet Discourse because it was not yet time for this mystery to be unveiled. When it was revealed, the Apostle Paul taught it in 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5 and 1 Corinthians 15.

Some people mistakenly think that the Rapture is not found in the Bible. Of course, the English word "rapture" is not used in the Greek text. Neither is the English words "church" or "Jesus." But the Greek word for the event is harpazo, which means to "catch up," or "snatch away."

See also: Excerpts from The Prophecy Puzzle and Chapter 6 of our new book, Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy.

Key Scriptures
Current Events
Revelation Commentary: Revelation 3:10
Chart:Rapture vs. Glorious Return of Christ
Rapture Handout
Rapture Links
Alternate Points of View (Not Pre-Trib)
Excerpts From The Prophecy Puzzle


Key Scriptures

Click on one of these
references to see
the passage.
Thanks to the services of:

<I>Bible Gateway</I> And

<I>Blue Letter Bible</I>

Go To Bible GatewayGo To Blue Letter Bible
NIV & Other VersionsIncludes Commentary
Matthew 24:32-44 Further Study
Luke 12:35-40 Further Study
Luke 21:36 Further Study
John 14:1-6 Further Study
1 Corinthians 15:50-55 Further Study
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Further Study
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 Further Study
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Further Study
More info
2 Peter 2:6-9 Further Study
Revelation 3:10 Further Study
More info
Revelation 4:1 Further Study
Revelation 22:7, 12, 20 Further Study

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Current Events



Prophetic Significance of The Rapture



See Also:
Ron's Blog: Rapture
Rapture Drill Today

See more recent articles: After December 31, 2014


Is the Rapture a Biblical Concept?

Oct. 5, 2014 - With the release of "Left Behind," based on Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' best-selling novel series, Joel Rosenberg addresses the question: "Does the Bible really teach that Christians will suddenly be 'caught up' by Christ when He returns for us?" Liberal theologians try to make the case that the concept of the Rapture was invented in the 1800's, but this article shows that the belief is firmly established in the Bible itself. Rosenberg answers basic questions:
•What exactly is “The Rapture”?
•Is “The Rapture” a Biblical concept, or merely a fictional plot device?
•What does the term mean?
•What are the implications of “The Rapture”?
Source: Joel Rosenberg
Older article by Rosenberg: Many people have asked me this year, “What is the Rapture”? Here’s what I tell them.

"Come up Here" - Our commentary on Revelation 4:1

Prophetic Significance of The Rapture


Nicolas Cage devotes 'Left Behind' to 'pastor'

Sept. 30, 2014 - When asked why he wanted to star in the remake of the "Left Behind" story, Nicholas Cage said he thought it was a great script, and his brother, Marc, who is a Christian pastor encouraged him to do it.
“When I saw how passionate [Marc] was, I thought, well, yeah, I want to make this movie for my brother, too.”
Source: WND
"PLEASE DO NOT BRING UNBELIEVERS TO THIS MOVIE" - SATAN - Buzzfeed
Left Behind Movie Facebook Page
'Left Behind' Movie Poster Revealed; Tim LaHaye Weighs in on Script - Christian Post
Don't be 'Left Behind' – enjoy the movie! - Dan Cummins - WND



Happy Rosh Hashanah!
A Good Day to Conduct a "Rapture Drill"!

Sept. 24, 2014 - Regular visitors to Prophecy Central know that we believe the Rapture of the Church could occur any time. No specific "signs" are given of the Rapture. Instead, the Bible urges Christians to live in constant anticipation of that unique event when Jesus will return to take His followers to their heavenly home. Since the Rapture could come at any time, Christians should always be ready - living for the Lord and sharing the Gospel with others. The questions obviously arise, "If we could know when the Rapture would happen, what would we want to do just before our departure?" And, "What would we leave behind to help our non-Christian family members and friends cope with the situation?"

We have personally chosen this day of the year, "Rosh Hashanah" -- the Jewish New Year -- as a good day to conduct our "Rapture Drill." It's not date-setting, but it is a logical day of the year to make sure we are ready whenever the Rapture might occur. We provide some links to previous articles, blogs and commentaries on Prophecy Central during the past 15 years that relate to Rosh Hashanah and this preparedness exercise.

This particular year is also the beginning of a "Sabbath Year" (Shemitah) -- ordained by God for His chosen people to let the land rest. Some Bible teachers see significance in historical patterns of blessing or cursing during these years, and relate it to the four "blood moons" of 2014 and 2015. This is interesting, and might be significant, but Christians must be careful not to set dates for the Rapture.

Links:
Ron's Blog: Rapture
Rapture Drill Today
Our Beliefs
Search results for "Rosh Hashanah" on Prophecy Central

RON'S BLOG
Sept. 20, 2014 -
RonGraff.jpg - 6668 Bytes The Stones Cry Out: Don't Ignore the Rapture!


As Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we call "Palm Sunday," His many followers acknowledged Him as the promised King. They cried out, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!" (Luke 19:38) The entrenched theologians of his day didn't believe Jesus could be the prophesied Messiah. In fact they had given up hope that the prophecies were even true. They asked Jesus to set His disciples straight. Jesus had already criticized the Pharisees and their forefathers for not believing the prophets, and of even putting them to death (Matthew 23:29-36). So Jesus said to the Pharisees,

"I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."- Luke 19:14

Today, while Jesus' predictions about the future (Matthew 24:4-8) are coming to pass right before our eyes, and the majority of evangelical believers wonder if the promised return of Jesus to take His believers away (known as the "Rapture of the Church") might be near, many churches are neglecting this subject.

Peter warned that this would happen:

Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. - 2 Peter 3:3-4

This is fascinating. While many churches have stopped looking for the "blessed hope" of the Rapture, Hollywood has adopted the message. Two major movies: one already out, and the other "coming soon" to the big screen are powerful reminders of this biblical teaching.

"The Remaining," a Sony release presents the Rapture as a sudden event followed immediately by the various judgments of the 7-year Tribulation period (Revelation chapters 6-9). It is described on its website as,

"an action-packed supernatural thriller that addresses questions of life, love and belief against an apocalyptic backdrop. A group of close friends gather for a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by a series of cataclysmic events and enemies foretold by biblical end-times prophecies."

On October 3, a remake of "Left Behind," starring Nicholas Cage, will dramatize the theme of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkin's record-setting novel series once again. The movie's website describes the story:

"The most important event in the history of mankind is happening right now. In the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant, terror and chaos spread around the world. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn. Planes fall from the sky. Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. There is no one to help or provide answers. In a moment, the entire planet is plunged into darkness."

So, if your local church hasn't mentioned this vital aspect of Christian belief lately, you might want to make a trip to the theater to hear the message.


Where is America in end times prophecy?

Sept. 7, 2014 - Evangelist Greg Laurie answers why America does not seem to be mentioned in End Times prophecy. He admits that no one can say for sure, but even though many modern countries can be identified in prophecies, there are two possible reasons that our country may not be mentioned. One of these reasons would be that we have been reduced in power and importance by God's judgment on the nation for straying from our historically biblical roots, and the other possibility would be that we have experienced another much-need revival.

In the judgment scenario, it is possible that the U.S. will have been crippled by a nuclear attack before the final End Times conflicts begin. It is also possible that the nation will have just lost its importance on the world scene, and will have declined like all the former empires in history.

Laurie's preferred theory is that there could be another great revival. He says,

In some ways, things have never been worse morally. Yet there is great opportunity for the gospel. There is an open door for believers to go through to reach out to other people.
If there is a great End Times revival the number of born-again Christians will increase. Then, when the Rapture takes place, the nation will suddenly be left without many of its best citizens, and could become less relevant on the world stage.

Source: WND

Rev. Graham: ‘As I Read the News, I Can’t Help But Wonder if We're in Last Hours’

Sept. 5, 2014 - Franklin Graham writes that with all the bad news about wars, persecution, diseases, etc., he "Can’t Help But Wonder if We're in Last Hours." He said that Jesus gave this answer when His disciples asked about the end of the age:
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9, KJV).
At the same time, he stressed that this is an opportune time for evangelism. In addition to stadium crusades, he says the Good News will be proclaimed to thousands and broadcast over the Internet to reach even more. In addition, a powerful new My Hope film will soon be released with a never-before-seen message from his father, Billy Graham about Heaven. This will give Christians a reason to invite friends and loved ones to their homes and churches to hear the Gospel.
Source: CSN News
Franklin Graham: Is the World Coming Apart at the Seams? - Franklin Graham
My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham: HEAVEN

New movie about the Rapture and the Tribulation - WND
The Remaining

Cloudy with a Chance of Trumpets

Aug. 5, 2014 - Read this excellent article about why it is later than many modern preachers think!
Peter wrote his second epistle in order to warn us that, ''scoffers'' would come, ''saying, Where is the promise of His coming?'' and denying the reality of the prophetic word. Check again, scoffers . . . we're at the door.
Source: Wendy Wippel - Omega Letter

'Left Behind' Author Tim LaHaye Fires Back at Anti-Rapture Apologist

Aug. 11, 2014 - In a recent article Christian apologist William Lane Craig claimed that belief in the Rapture began in the 1800's and is not really biblical. Tim LaHaye, co-author of the extremely popular "Left Behind" series of novels explains Craig's orientation:
"Craig is an a-Millennialist, who like Augustine in the 5th century taught that the Word of God was inspired and to be taken literally, except for prophecies, and they were to be taken spiritually, allegorically or symbolically."
LaHaye says the problem with this view is that it keeps us from understanding the 28 percent of the Bible that is prophetic. Furthermore, it removes the 'blessed hope of Christ's return' for His church (Titus 2:12-14).

LaHaye's book, A Quick Look at the Rapture and the Second Coming, gives 15 differences between the rapture and the Second Coming.

LaHaye says there is good news for Craig and other a-Millennialists who have truly accepted Christ as their Savior. "They will go up in the rapture with the rest of us."

Source: Charisma News
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Rapture Links


Rapture Chapter in 2014 Prophecy Year in Review

Rapture Handout

Many people have asked me this year, “What is the Rapture”? Here’s what I tell them.
Excellent article from Joel Rosenberg's Blog

The Rapture In History and Prophecy - Thomas Ice

The Rapture Forums
An Interactive Community Awaiting the Return of The Lord Jesus Christ - Extensive and attractive

Rapture Ready
This is Todd Strandberg's popular site which keeps track of current events as they relate to the Rapture. It includes "Nearing Midnight" and "Rapture Index." These pages are always up to date.

Defenders of Biblical Dispensational Premillennialism in the 21st Century

The Rapture - A Biblical Case for a Pretribulational Rapture
From Always Be Ready Apologetics Ministry

YouTube videos about the Pretribulational Rapture
From Crazy About The Pre-Trib Rapture!!! - neo104.com

Rap-Con
Rapture Condition

Rapture Alert
This site combines outstanding graphics with excellent articles.

RaptureProphecy.com
Extensive list of rapture-related Bible passages and other helpful materials

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready

What is the Rapture?
by Barbara Henderson

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture (Again)
Jack Kelly (On Rapture Forums)

Article: Pretrib or Prewrath?
by Ron Graff

The Rapture of the Church - Jack Kinsella

The Thomas Ice Collection
This list of scholarly pre-trib articles is just one of many valuable sections in The Rapture Index hosted by Todd Strandberg.

Is the Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3? - by Thomas Ice

The Rapture: Fact or Fiction
by David Williams
From Lambert Dolphin's online library.

The Nature Of The Mystery and The Rapture
by Bob Hill & Tim McMahon - Theology Online
Excellent treatment of the distinction between Israel and the Church, and why this requires that the Rapture take place before the tribulation.

Margaret MacDonald Who?
Article by Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready questioning that she had any effect on Pre-Tribulation teaching.

Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?
An answer to Preterism by Thomas Ice

Left Behind Book, Video, Movie...

Perhaps Today - Classic poem by J. Danson Smith

Pretribulation Rapture is Biblical - David J. Stewart

Differences Between The Rapture
and The Glorious Return of Christ

(Links to New King James Version - Blue Letter Bible)

THE RAPTURE


THE GLORIOUS RETURN

Christ comes for His own
Thessalonians 4:13-18

Christ returns with His own
Revelation 19:14

Believers taken to Father's House
John 14:3

Believers come to Earth
Matthew 24:30

Seen only by believers
1 Corinthians 15:52
Every eye will see Him
Revelation 1:7; 19:11-16; Matthew 24:30
No reference to Satan
Satan bound
Revelation 20:1-3
Earth not judged
Earth judged
Revelation 20:4-5
A Mystery
1 Corinthians 15:51
Foretold in Old Testament
Dan. 12:1-3; Zech. 12:10; 14:1-4


Excerpts from The Prophecy Puzzle

Absence of the Church

Revelation, Chapters 4 through 22

There are constant references to the church and the seven churches in chapters 1 through 3. The word "church" is found every few verses: angels of the churches, messages to the seven churches, etc. But in chapter 4, verse 1 John is told to "come up here." He is "caught up" (like the Rapture). Also compare Revelation 11:12 where the identical words are used to resurrect and translate the Two Witnesses into Heaven.

Where is the church in the whole story of Israel's last week of history, The Tribulation? It is missing! "Church" is not mentioned during the entire Tribulation period, Chapters 4 to 19. There is no message to the church. What you do have is Two Witnesses from Israel's past, you have the 144000 who are sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. It is the last seven years of Israel's history before the end of this age. Israel was the vehicle of God's blessing to the whole earth. They were not the "Chosen People" because God was playing favorites. They were chosen that through them, God could get the message out to others. When they did not do well with that, He set them aside and put the Church in. (Romans 11; 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:1-11; 5:32) The Church has been here for 2000 years now. When the Church is taken away, there are still seven years of Israel's history left to play out. This is known as Daniel's 70th Week. We believers of today are the spiritual seed of Abraham, but we are not Israel. We have been temporarily grafted in by God, but the time will come when Israel is grafted back into the tree of God's purposes. (Romans 11:17-24) It all fits together perfectly.

The absent church also accounts for the rise in lawlessness during The Tribulation period. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8).

Deliverance from Wrath

Luke 21:36

"But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

1 Thessalonians 5:9

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 2

6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,

Message to the Church of Philadelphia

(Represents the Period of Missions)

Revelation 3:10

'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.

Some people have the mistaken idea that we will be delivered from the time of wrath just because God won't allow Christians to suffer. This is not what the Bible teaches at all. As Christians, we may expect trials and tribulations, suffering and persecution (1 Peter 4:12-13 ;2 Timothy 3:12). God allows our difficulties to improve us, develop our faith, and prove to others that Christianity is true (1 Peter 1:6-8; James 1:12). He promises not to allow us to be tried beyond our ability to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13), and He will see to it that what the Devil means for evil actually turns out for our good (Job 1:9-12; 42:10-17; Genesis 50:20).

On the other hand, we are plainly told that we who trust in Christ are not under condemnation (Romans 8:1). Whenever God judges the unrighteous, He delivers those who trust in Him. This is seen in the Biblical stories of the Flood in the days of Noah, the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lot and his family saved), and the plagues on Egypt, including the death of the firstborn (Israelites delivered).

The events of the Tribulation are judgments from God, and as such, it would be consistent for Him to deliver the Church before it begins.

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