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Futurist Only Did the Apostle Paul say the entire Church will be raptured?

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by rollinTHUNDER, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. rollinTHUNDER

    rollinTHUNDER Veteran

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    Did the Apostle Paul say the entire Church will be raptured?

    Not long ago, I was discussing my view of the rapture with another fellow believer. I shared with him that I did not believe that all Christians would be ready when the Son of man appears. He said that he thought I was going against scripture. Then he cited 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 as his proof text. His understanding of that passage leads him to believe that Paul was saying that all living born again Christians (we which are alive and remain) will be raptured, but is that really what the apostle Paul meant? I believe he is taking that passage out of context. So let’s take a closer look at the text.
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    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV) – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
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    From what I gather from the passage above, Paul is telling the Thessalonians not to be sorrowful about those who are asleep (their dead loved ones). He’s teaching them that God will bring the dead with Christ when He comes. Then he goes on to tell them that the dead in Christ will rise first, then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them (the dead) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. In other words, Paul was merely comforting them about meeting their loved ones who had already passed away. Although there is some valuable information about the rapture in this text, Paul’s emphasis was not on the living, but rather, the dead; and that those who were still alive and remained at that time would meet them again in the clouds. Therefore, we should comfort those believers who have lost loved ones with these words.
    .
    Many have pulled verses 16 and 17 out of context for the purpose of discussing the rapture. These two verses are probably the most popular rapture scriptures, and I have often applied them myself. They contain some valuable information, no doubt, but we must not lose sight of Paul’s intent when he said it. They were never meant to identify which living believers would be raptured, or to say that all believers will be raptured. . Many also teach that the apostle Paul was the first one to reveal the mysterious rapture, but that is simply not true. The truth is that Paul was the one who first revealed this mystery to the Gentile believers. Christ had already taught this truth to His disciples years earlier (John 14:2-3, Matt. 24:30-31). So let’s take a look at what Christ said about this, which corresponds with Paul’s passage above. Let’s compare them both below.
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    (Paul) - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV) – 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: 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.
    .
    (Christ) - Matthew 24:30-31 (KJV) – And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all 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. 31 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.
    .
    The two passages above are describing the very same event, though there are both similarities and differences. I’ll discuss the similarities first, followed by the differences. First, notice that in both passages Christ or the Son of man is descending from heaven or coming in the clouds of heaven. Notice that both are gathered or meeting in the clouds. And notice, too, that both gatherings are preceded by the blast of a trumpet. And finally, notice that neither one mentions a physical returning to the earth at that time. Now on to the differences.
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    Considering the context of both passages, there’s good reason for some differences as well. First, Paul was describing both, the resurrection of the dead and the rapture of the living, as he was comforting those whose loved ones had already passed away. Christ, on the other hand, did not even mention the dead, because He was telling His disciple’s about the sign of His coming, for those who will be alive at that time, and also the sign of the end of the age (Matt. 24:3). The dead will not need a sign, so there was no reason for Christ to mention the dead in His answer to their question. And let’s not forget the promise Christ made to His disciple’s.
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    John 14:2-3 (KJV) – In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
    .
    Christ was clearly the first to teach His Jewish disciple’s about the rapture. In fact, He also told them that He was the resurrection and the life as well. But the real question is: did He tell them that He would rapture the entire Church, as many pastor’s and teachers claim? And the unpopular, but true answer is: No, He did not say that or anything similar. He told them that He would send the angels to gather His elect (chosen). He further illustrated this by telling them parables, saying that His coming will be like it was in the days of Noah. Then He added that two will be in the field, one shall be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill, one shall be taken and the other left. He told them about the faithful servant and the unfaithful servant, who thought His Lord had delayed His coming. Next He told them about the parable of ten virgins. Five were wise and five were foolish. And finally, He told them the parable of talents, when He would return to reward His faithful servants.
    .
    He also told them a very telling parable on another occasion. In this parable, He said that those who are watching when He comes will be blessed, and that He, Himself, will be dressed to serve them, and will have them sit down and serve them meat at the wedding supper. He said that they will rule over His household and be given meat in due season. However, in that same parable, He also mentioned the believers that will be caught unaware of His coming, and they will be left with the unbelievers. Some of those who are not ready will receive a little punishment, and some will receive a severe punishment. Read it for yourself (Luke 12:35:48), and pay close attention to verses 46, 47 and 48. He made it very clear that the entire Church will not be ready when He appears.

    If you're interested in End-times Prophecy, feel free to visit my End-Times Blog: http://roberthunt.tateauthor.com/end-times-blo/
     
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  2. LastSeven

    LastSeven Amil Supporter

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    I actually believe when the "rapture" happens, it will be on the last day when not only the church is resurrected but every person who's ever lived will be resurrected. Both the righteous and the wicked.
     
  3. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

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    That is what Jesus said.


    Joh 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

    Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

    Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.



    Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

    Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

    Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:



    Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:



    Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.




    Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

    .
     
  4. tranquil

    tranquil Newbie

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    What the OP is getting at is clearly defined in Revelation.

    The great multitude of Rev 7 is gathered at the beginning of the 1st trumpet. These are the "dead in Christ" of 1 Thess 4
    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV) – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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:

    [Beginning of the 1st Trumpet]

    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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


    [end of the 2nd woe, 'come up here' of Revelation 11, start of the 7th Trumpet, the living "144,000" are gathered.]

    The symbolic '144,000' is gathered at the 7th trumpet. These are the living "elect" that haven't been killed who are told to "come up here" Revelation 11:12. I doubt that this is manifested as a "whisked away" "rapture".
     
  5. LastSeven

    LastSeven Amil Supporter

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    However one may interpret the symbolism in Revelation, including the timing of the trumpets and the bowls and regardless of how you may interpret the Olivet discourse in relation to all of it, none of us can deny clear scripture. And that clear scripture is that it is on the last day that we are all resurrected. Not seven years prior to the last day.

    John 6:39
    And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

    John 6:40
    For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

    John 6:44
    "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

    John 6:54
    Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.


    Martha also mentioned it in John chapter 11.

    John 11:24
    Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."


    Even Daniel was told that he would rise at the end of days.

    Daniel 12:13
    As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, then at the end of days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.

    There is nothing symbolic about these verses, so they're not up for debate. We will all be resurrected on the last day. Period. If your understanding of Revelation contradicts these verses, then you are misunderstanding Revelation.
     
  6. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  7. bibletruth469

    bibletruth469 Joyful

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    I believe that scripture does not support a partial rapture. The rapture is for All believers just like the text mentions in 1 thes4:16-17 and 1 Cor 15:51-52. We will be changed in a twinkling of an eye; not some but All.
     
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  8. AlasBabylon

    AlasBabylon Mystic

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    .

    The faithful Christian dead are resurrected first... they are with Jesus [symbolically following Him on white horses in Rev 19]
    when Jesus returns to earth to execute judgment... then the faithful Christian living are translated.

    The living who are translated are a small minority compared to Jesus' army who are now sleep in death.

    .
     
  9. AlasBabylon

    AlasBabylon Mystic

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    Btw... the Bible imagery of the white horse in Rev 19 is an historic image from an important event in Israel's past.
    It symbolizes Cyrus, God's anointed king who conquered ancient Babylon and liberated the captive Israelites.

    .
     
  10. Luke17:37

    Luke17:37 Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the 144,000 are actual Jewish believers in Jesus who are sealed to offer supernatural protection from the plagues that come upon the earth.

    I believe the great multitude in the white robes are Tribulation martyrs.

    Revelation 6:9-11
    9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

    While a few are protected, I believe the Scripture indicates most Christians will be martyred during the Tribulation.
     
  11. Luke17:37

    Luke17:37 Well-Known Member

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    Jesus' words distinguish between those who claim the name of Christ (the confessing church) and those who actually obey Him (the true Church). Unfortunately, many will say, "Lord, Lord..."
     
  12. dfw69

    dfw69 Senior Veteran

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    I am a believer that Jesus fulfilled the righteousness of the law and has obtained the blessings and is able to impart the gifts he received from the law to his followers...his followers being those that obey his laws and puts their trust in his righteousness

    One gift of many is being able to live in heaven with the father...made possible by Christ to live in new Jerusalem a city built in heaven

    No man is worthy but Christ who is able to impart the gift upon those in the faith who walk in love..
     
  13. stephen583

    stephen583 Well-Known Member

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    I think if the Rapture came tomorrow, it's unlikely ANY member of Christianity's organized religion would be Raptured. Given the current state of affairs of the Church, I believe EVERYBODY would be LEFT BEHIND. I firmly believe the Church MUST be brought THROUGH the fire of the Tribulation, in order for it to be purified and refined, as gold is refined by fire, in order that it be presented a fitting Bride to Christ.

    I suppose it's reasonable to assume, anyone who survives the Tribulation Period without taking the Mark of the Beast, would naturally be a candidate for the Rapture. So yes.. I believe all REAL Christians will be Raptured. However, that doesn't necessarily mean everyone who calls themselves a "Christian" will be Raptured.

    In fact, I won't be surprised at all if there weren't quite a few (Christians ?) who will be gathered together by the Beast and the False Prophet and find themselves at the Battle of Armageddon on the wrong side when Christ appears in the clouds.
     
  14. LastSeven

    LastSeven Amil Supporter

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    Let's remember that the criteria for salvation is simple. If you look to Jesus and believe in him you're saved.

    John 6:40

    For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

    Jesus did not say "everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him, and goes to the right church every Sunday and remembers to give thanks for every meal, and teaches his children according to my instructions, and remembers to give to the poor and displays humility and caring in every aspect of his life, and preaches the gospel on every street corner, shall have eternal life.". He didn't say that.

    So there's no such thing as a real Christian and a fake Christian. You're either a Christian or you're not. You either believe in Jesus or you don't. Simple.
     
  15. stephen583

    stephen583 Well-Known Member

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    The Gospel and the teachings of the Apostles says explicitly there will be "False" Christians at the Time of the End, (Matthew 7:22, 24:24, Rev. 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 4:3) and the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:8-14) says Christians will persecute each other and betray one another as well. This is one of the signs of the Apocalypse Christ revealed to his disciples when he was asked what events would foreshadow the End of the World, (Matthew 24:49).

    So I must wholeheartedly disagree with you about your statement there is no such thing as a Fake Christian. The Scripture says exactly the opposite. Not once, but over and over again. Apparently my Bible reads differently than yours.
     
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