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.