What if I Told You I Didn’t Believe in the Rapture?

This question has been one of the most controversial conversation pieces I have ever asked.  If there was a topic that was passionate to Christians, it is about the rapture of the church and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  In light of the times we live in, here is my current stance on the rapture and second coming of Jesus Christ.

There are many views of the rapture and second coming of Jesus Christ.  Many have stemmed from years of reading and studying by theologians.  Some say that the rapture will occur before the Anti-Christ comes.  Some say that the rapture would happen sometime after the Anti-Christ comes.  Some say that Jesus won’t come back and it’s just a myth.  However, what if I told you I don’t believe in any of these.

One fact is for sure, Jesus will return physically.  Jesus himself speaks of this time as a time of great troubles and not to look forward to it.  When Jesus departed after his Resurrection, an angel said, “Why do you look up?  The same way Jesus left is the same way He will return.”  Revelation and Matthew speak of a time when Jesus will come back seated on a horse bearing judgment to the world.  Paul writes that when Jesus returns “the dead in Christ shall rise first and then those who are still alive in Christ will also be taken in the twinkling of an eye.”  Will Jesus come back?  Yes.  So where does this “rapture” concept come from?

During the first century, the church believed that Jesus’ return was imminent.  They believed that Jesus would return with sword in hand to free Israel from the tyranny of Rome.  However, the apostles taught that no matter when Jesus was going to return, He would, taking us with Him.  Unfortunately, over the years, many educated theologians have discussed, debated and argued that it is not logical for Jesus to come back physically, take us in the air and then reign for a thousand years, as taught in Revelation.  But what if I told you that this interpretation may be incorrect?

When we read the book of Revelation, we see many figurative language.  However, we also see some literal language as well.  We see seals, trumpets and bowls.  We see 7 seals opening, 7 trumpets blown and 7 bowls of wrath poured.  When we compare this to other places in Scripture like Matthew, Daniel and some of Paul’s letters, we are told that the last trumpet will sound and then Jesus will return.  In Revelation, this is confirmed because the last trumpet is sounded and Jesus gives the command to one of his angels to collect the “elect” from the earth before He pours out His wrath against sinful mankind.

Then Jesus pours out the bowls of wrath and for each bowl the book states, that man still would not repent of their sins.  Even when they knew that Jesus was pouring out judgment, they continued to be sinful and rebellious.  After this we see Jesus reigning on earth for 1,000 years.

Now, I haven’t completed this study fully, but I have come to some conclusions.  However, no matter what I say from this point forward, I must encourage you to study this for yourselves.  What I say is not authority, just the opinion of one who has done some considerable studying in this subject area.

I personally believe that Jesus will start allowing certain natural disasters and wars to break out.  I also believe that he will allow economic failure and famine to reach most parts of the earth.  This is confirmed by Matthew 24 and Revelation.  These are the seals.

In continuing this, Jesus allows these disasters to be intensified.  In fact, I believe that when the trumpets are blown, we will start to understand the time in very, very near.  When the final trumpet is blown, I believe that Jesus will be seen by all of mankind (how I do not know), take His people to be with Him in the air (confirmed by Revelation and Paul’s writings) and then He will pour out the bowls of wrath for all to see.  It is during this time that those who are still living on earth will know beyond any shadow of doubt that Jesus is in control, yet they will not repent.

Finally, after all of this is done, I believe that Jesus will set up a 1,000 year kingdom where He will reign, lock up Satan to prove one thing….’the devil didn’t make me do it”.  After this, Jesus will leave, allow Satan one last revenge and then finally judge both the living and the dead.

The rapture, I believe, is an event thought of due to misinterpretations of Scripture.  Many centuries after the first original Jewish-Christian churches, I think many became afraid of the times and decided to see Scripture from their point of view rather than for what it says. Many times, when people tell me that I am wrong about this, I ask why.  They respond “because Jesus wants to give us hope”.  My argument is simple.  Jesus gave me hope the day He saved me from myself.  Therefore, Jesus doesn’t need to give me any other type of hope because no matter what happens in this life, I will be with Him in eternity.

Again, just because I don’t believe in a mysterious disappearing time called the rapture doesn’t mean it can’t happen.  However, based on Scripture, I believe that Jesus will return and then we will be taken.  That is what the first century church taught, so why don’t we believe it today?  What are your thoughts?  All thoughts are welcome.

God Bless and encourage someone today.

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9 thoughts on “What if I Told You I Didn’t Believe in the Rapture?

  1. Pingback: new myth, old god (and the origin of heaven and hell on earth) « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

  2. Joey, I see your views heading in a direction that I agree with. But there are many things that I disagree with, essentially the views you have as a result from being taught the traditions of dispensationalism (i.e. premillennialism)
    There should be certain considerations in your hermeneutics. First, we should take lessons from the New Testament in its interpretation of the Old. The apostles gave us great insight into how to read the Old Testament, namely, that it’s ALL about Jesus! Second, consider the possibility that Ezekiel and Daniel were talking about the future in THEIR perspective, not OUR perspective. (Remember, it’s about JESUS!). Third, I think you should also consider that the apocalyptic style of literature used in Revelation was written in a series of symbolic pictures, not chronological events. This was actually a more common style of writing during that day. Revelation is full of Old Testament imagery, so in order to have a good understanding of it, I thorough study of the Old Testament must be completed first! Other considerations would be that John said he was a “partner with (the church in Asia Minor)) in THE tribulation” in Revelation 1, leading me to think that he was referring to Christian suffering in the 1st century. Also, Jesus interprets Daniel 9:27 to refer to “the Roman armies coming from the North” as clarified in Luke 21:20-21 and Matthew 24:15-16. (Not the 21st century). Also consider John 12:31-33 where Jesus proclaims that the time of judgement is NOW, meaning His death. there are many other considerations, but this leads me to believe that we are in the millenium now. It is clear that Christ will return and that it will be first signified by the raising of the dead, but the premillennial view of 2 more returns of Christ, one before and one after the future millenium is based on a futuristic interpretation of Daniel which Jesus clearly does not agree with in Matthew and Luke and a chronological view of reading Revelation.

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    • Thanks for reading this post. I see what you are saying and understand where you are coming from. I have taken into consideration all that you have stated and at this time, this is the conclusion that I see. Does this mean that I am correct? No. Personally, I think most of us don’t even have the correct picture because we are seeing these events with flawed and sinful minds. No matter. This is a subject that is debatable. Again, keep on reading and commenting. Other views are always welcome.

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  3. Interesting. I am not a Christian, but I thought you did a good job at presenting what you believe in. Its better to believe in something than nothing, right?

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    • Thank you Holli for replying. Please continue to read other blogs I have written. The fact that you read this blog tells me that God is “calling” you and wants a relationship with you. Believing in something is good, but not always right. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” This was an emphatic statement by Jesus. Believing in Jesus is the only way to see heaven. Keep on searching. If you have any questions or want to discuss this in more detail, please email me at jdcblogger@gmail.com. Again, thank you for replying.

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  4. Hi Brother,

    I enjoyed reading your post regarding the “rapture”. Since you are welcoming other opinions, I’d like to share mine if you don’t mind. I must be honest to point out that earlier in my christian walk with God, I use to believe strongly in the pre-millennial view of the second coming of Christ. I believed that “the Church” would not suffer any harm at all and would be raptured up before all the chaos in the world. I believed that the raptured saints would live with Christ for a period of 1,000 years. During this time, Satan is released to deceive the nations as the bible states. Then, Christ returns for all who became believers in Christ during the Great Tribulation period.

    As I grew in my faith with God and in my studies in the scriptures, I began to see things much different than what I had use to believe (pre-millenial view). While there is no mention of the word “rapture” in the Bible, this does not mean that the idea is implied in scripture. The word “caught up” in the bible is translated in the greek “raptos” in which we get the word “rapture” from. So while I would disagree with you, in that I do believe the Bible does teach a rapture, I have a different view than what I use to believe. I believe now that the saints are raptured, but this occurs at Christ’s final return. I do not see in scripture any longer that the saints are rapture up for 1,000 years and then Christ returns again for more believers during the Great Tribulation. I believe that when Christ returns, that he will return for His saints, but I do not believe that He will return again for more believers. I also believe that most of Matthew 24 is not in reference to Christ’s second coming, but rather is largely touching on the subject of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. I could go into great detail but I thought I would just share my view on Christ’s second coming. I appreciate your interest in other opinions. God bless you, brother.

    David

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    • Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the fact that you have not only studied this subject but are also willing to share. Fortunately, my opinion is subject to change as I study Scripture. You brought out some good points that will lead me to study more. God bless and keep the faith…

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    • Hi, David. I’m Joey’s brother-in-law. I just wanted to say that it would appear I agree with you almost entirely, up to this point. I was wondering what specifically turned your view to be Amillinial? It’s a pretty big contrast. God bless.

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      • Hi Samuel,

        Thank you for reading and responding to my reply to JD Clemente. I would be happy to share how I began to change my view regarding the subject of “eschatology”. As I stated, I use to believe in the “pre-millenial” view of the end times from the time that I began to understand the bible at a descent age and even as I got older. Plus, the church that I attended taught the pre-millenial view as well. The first time I had considered the possibility that the pre-millenial view was not the most accurate view was when someone asked me a question. About 11 years ago, I had someone ask me where in the bible does it teach about the 7 year tribulation. When I followed the pre-millenial view, it seemed like I automatically thought that the bible taught the 7 year tribulation. I had the ultimate confidence that the bible supported the 7 year tribulation. But when that person asked me about the 7 year tribulation, and as I looked at the specific scriptures that I used to believe supported the 7 year tribulation idea, I began to question my own view about it. I’d have to admit, that this did not happen overnight. It took quite awhile for me as I search and studied the scriptures, that caused me to be opem minded to other possible views about “the rapture”, the second coming of Christ, the book of Revelation, and the Olivet Discourse which is found in Matthew 24 and in the parallel gospels (Luke 21, and Mark 13).

        I also started reading some of Josephus’ books about the war of the Jews that lasted for approximately three and a half years. Jospehus was a key witness to the destruction of Jerusalem that historically occurred in AD 70. Jesus predicted that this would happen in several areas in the gospels. There are other historians that are key witnesses around AD 70 that describe the same events that Josephus did.

        So to answer your question in a nutshell, I changed my view over a span of time by studying the scriptures I feel a little more closely, and doing some historical research as well. I eventually found that the view about the end times that I have now makes much more sense to me in scripture than the view I previously held. So, I can say that I do believe in the “amillenial view” or a “partial preterist”.

        Samuel, I appreciate your interest on my thoughts on this subject. We never stop studying, researching and asking the Spirit to help us as we soak in God’s word for our lives. I would definitely like to hear your thoughts as well.

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