A Brief Discussion with a Supporter of the partial-Rapture

Nomad

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone! I just wanted to share a discussion I had with an individual who purported the idea that the partial-Rapture was the most biblical perspective. His biggest argument for it seemed to be his insistence on God's punishment for sin and disobedience and how believers who are left behind need further 'refinement'. I quickly called this out as incorrect and un-biblical. One thing I found disturbing was how he insisted that those who are 'not faithful enough' will be removed from the body of the Church, since the 'true Chruch' are those who were raptured. I do agree that believers who come to Christ during the tribulation are not part of the church, correct? However, he is arguing that these individuals who are left behind were part of the church beforehand and then subsequently removed once they were left behind - at least that's what I understood him saying. He also appeared to make a strange distinction between the Church and the Bride, as if they are two separate entities... I have always known of them as being one and the same, right?

I'm posting this here because I'd love some feedback on my responses and how you view his perspective and attest to the validity of my argument for the full, complete rapture of the church! Below is the brief discussion...

Other person: "When you mention that The Church will be raptured, I believe you are missing a very important distinction between the Bride and the Church.
I believe Jesus is coming for His bride who is taken out from the Church - those who are ready when he comes. The rest will join Him later when He returns - after they have been tried by the fires of Tribulation. They will either have died or remain alive and be changed at that time.
As Eve was taken out from Adam's body - so will The Bride be taken out from the Body of Christ. Becoming the Bride is a transformation and identity change from what was once The Church. Currently The Church (churches) are being judged and those who hear what the Spirit is saying will separate themselves out - to become the Bride. She will be raptured not a faithless, powerless church."

Me: "Anyone and everyone who has been covered by the blood of Christ will be raptured on that day. You make it sound like being raptured is based on one's works. That is totally incorrect. We are raptured based solely on Christ's redeeming of our souls. We who believe are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto that day when Christ calls us home. The partial-Rapture you speak of is not biblical. All who are saved will be raptured, whether they have been more or less faithful than their brethren in their walks of life. The Bride and the Chruch are synonymous, not different entities.

More on the unbiblical nature of a partial-Rapture can be found here: https://gotquestions.org/partial-rapture.html"

Other person: "Yes, everyone who has been covered by the blood of Jesus will be gathered on that day. That day is the Second Coming of Jesus to this earth to establish His kingdom. Being raptured is a matter of hearing what The Spirit is saying to the churches and obeying God to come out and be ready. Read the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2,3,. Jesus judges and makes distinctions between those who are ready and those who are not. Here he warns, encourages and speaks of rewards and corrections. We are "saved" based solely on the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. Correct, we who believe are sealed by The Holy Spirit unto the day when Christ calls us home. To not consider both the kindness and severity of God is to not understand His nature. God both rewards and corrects all who belong to Him and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The True Church is all who are "the called" according to His purpose who love Him first. You would not choose a bride who is unfaithful and who's heart does not completely belong to you - neither would Jesus. The Old Testament proves this out with The nation of Israel - whom God separated (divorced)Himself from for these very reasons. God does not wink at our disobedience but calls us all to repentance. God will choose who is "worthy" and we (in the churches)are called to pray that we might be accounted "worthy" to escape the tribulation that is coming soon to this earth to test the hearts of all men. It is better to be ready NOW before he comes for you either in death or the rapture."

Me: "I understand what you are saying, but I respectfully disagree. I'm going to assume you didn't read the short article I linked?

The distinction between those who are 'ready' and those who are 'not ready' is not one to be made within the Church. The Church is made completely and irrevocably ready by the washing away of their sins by Christ's death on their behalf. The unbelieving world, on the other hand, is the group that finds themselves 'not ready' as they are not covered by Christ's blood and therefore are under God's wrath.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 states: "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."

While we believers still suffer alongside the unbelieving in the sense of living in a fallen world (it rains on the godly and ungodly alike), Christ will never pour out his Wrath out on an unbelieving world while His bride is still remaining on it.

There is no degree of savedness, only saved and unsaved. The saved are saved from the wrath to come, the unsaved are not - they are even reserved for it!

Romans 5:9 states that, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"

The following is an excerpt from a very solid article that tackles the issue of the partial-Rapture you appear to support:

"The partial rapture theory conditions the privilege of rapture upon human works, and as such is a co-mingling of legalism with grace. It must never be forgotten that salvation stems from the death of Christ, the merits of which are applied to the sinner by God’s grace and not in answer to human works or supposed worthiness (Eph. 2:8, 9). Moreover, the Christian is to live under the same grace principle: “Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). The grace of God not only “bringeth salvation,” but also teaches us to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11, 12). Grace, not fear of the Tribulation, is the motive and the power for right conduct. Paul writes the Galatians: “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).
Underlying the entire life in grace is the fact that the Christian possesses no merit in himself, nothing at all which might possibly fit him for the presence of God. Nor is such merit necessary, for the work of Christ on Calvary is a finished redemption (John 17:4; 19:30), sufficient to make even His enemies a new creation, unblamable in His sight (II Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:20-22). Even the present continuation of salvation depends, not on us, but on His resurrection life (Rom. 5:10), while its consummation likewise rests upon Christ’s work rather than upon man’s faithfulness (Phil. 3:20, 21). The salvation spoken of in I Thessalonians 5:9, 10 is a future deliverance, referring to the believer’s change and translation at the Lord’s coming.
Adding human responsibility to the grace principle in any aspect of salvation borders dangerously upon the Galatian heresy of attempting to live under law, while in reality, having entered into life by grace alone.
The last chapter of the story of salvation is to be written by the pen of unmerited grace, as truly as the first. When Jesus comes to save us out of this world, and to save our bodies from their present condition, it will not be because of His grace and our merit; nor, the grace of God and our faithfulness; nor the grace of God and our watchfulness. It is pure, unmixed grace that brought salvation in the past (Titus 2:11), and it is the same unmixed, unmerited grace that will bring salvation in the future (I Peter 1:5, 13).[2]"

Furthermore, another shorter excerpt offers this insight:

"The partial-rapture theory is contrary to I Thessalonians 4:13-18, the primary passage on the rapture of the Church, in a number of particulars. Paul does not say that those who are to be caught up will be “we who are watching,” or “we who are overcomers,” but “we which are alive and remain” – clearly designating the whole body of living believers. So also, it is not the “dead who watched” that arise first, but the entire body of “dead in Christ,” Nor do the living saints, even those of “spiritual maturity,” have any precedence over the dead in Christ. Even more important, this is a message of encouragement and comfort (v. 18), whereas, if the majority of the Church were in dread danger of entering the Tribulation, the apostle might better have written, “Wherefore warn one another with these words.” Indeed, rather than being a message of comfort, the news of Christ’s return would be to the majority of the Church a message of alarm. Far better to be dead at His coming and enter immediately into the presence of the Lord, unless it be admitted that the resurrection of the dead is partial also. But such a view, as it has been seen, cannot be tolerated."

Please before and if you decide to respond to my post further, I would urge you to first read this writing (from which I gathered the excerpts) in its entirety:

https://www.raptureready.com/resource/stanton/k8.htm

Blessings,"

Other person: "Thank you for responding and I appreciate your point of view. I read your article. The nature of God and how He has always dealt with the sin of disobedience with those who belong to Him must be considered. Yes, for the believer sin no longer has the power to condemn us but as long as we live in this life it can stain and spot us and we are told to keep ourselves unspotted from the world - If we do not keep ourselves clean - then God will do it. He will refine us. The rapture is for those who have kept themselves unspotted from the world by the righteous deeds of the saints and not works for salvation.
The Rapture is not a matter of Salvation but of rescue for His bride - the unspotted ones. We are told to "pray" that we might be counted worthy to escape the things that are coming upon this earth. Why are we then warned to be ready at all times if we are all good to go ? Jesus Himself warns of the consequences in the letters to the seven churches and what the different outcomes will be. The Great Tribulation initially is not God's wrath but Satan's because he has been cast down to the earth. It will mean eternal damnation for some but it will produce the gold that God's desires for those who belong to Him. Remember it is the Bride who has made herself ready - and these are God's people who listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches and hear the correction, warnings and obey. Not all in the churches will obey. Those who find themselves in Tribulation are no longer The Church because that age has come to an end when the bride is taken out. God is Just and deals with each one of us accordingly. God remains the same in so far as His dealings with sin and disobedience (here and now)whether with His children or the children of this world. The difference is the destruction of the one but the completed salvation of the other.
Blessings as well, Doug"

These responses were over multiple days - he took a while to respond to my latest post, I assume because he was reading the excerpt I posted for him. The question is, should I respond further? If so, any ideas what else I could say? I feel like I've said all there is to say at this point and the fact that he's sticking to his position even after all I've cited shows that there may be no point in going further. What do you think?!

Thanks for taking a look!
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
The question is, should I respond further? If so, any ideas what else I could say? I feel like I've said all there is to say at this point and the fact that he's sticking to his position even after all I've cited shows that there may be no point in going further. What do you think?!

Nomad, you've given him all you can. Those who remain wilfully blind, cannot be brought to the truth. Sadly it's probably time to leave the discussion behind and pray for God to open his eyes and ears to the truth. Sometimes that is the only thing we can do, no matter how much we care about a person.

Wilful blindness is only curable by God's mercy and the person's willingness to change. You've done your part, and I'd encourage you to think that this may be the very thing God wanted you TO DO in this exchange. Kind of like being God's can opener, opening the discussion, now as you leave it alone, God will work on in his mind and heart to shake him free of that deception.
 

Andrew

Well known member
I'm posting this here because I'd love some feedback on my responses and how you view his perspective and attest to the validity of my argument for the full, complete rapture of the church! Below is the brief discussion...
You responded in a balanced way, providing additional resources for follow up study. There is probably nothing to be gained from continuing the discussion.
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your responses athenasius, daygo and Andrew. Daygo you are right, Jack Kelly's resources are really good and I definitely could've made good use of them! athenasius and Andrew I think you are right and that was my gut feeling as well. It's sad how so many people can be found supporting perspectives that promote earning position, status, or privilege by their own works when it comes to God's Kingdom, even while insisting that God's grace covers every aspect of their lives! Apparently the Rapture doesn't qualify as part God's grace? o_O Even the crowns we are given are cast back at His feet, since it is by His grace/work that we are able to perform good works at all!

Thanks for the encouraging words by the way! I can very easily struggle with how I am making myself useful for the Kingdom and it can be hard for me to see if what I say/do even has any effect or meaning sometimes.
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
Nomad, is your friend hearing this from a specific church denomination he might attend? Just curios. Your material as Athenasius stated above seems complete per biblical direction. Blessings from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your words, AndyM. I don't actually know this person I discussed the issue with, he was just a person commenting on an article I was reading about the differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming (which I was bookmarking for use in future teaching or discussion with family/friends). I would venture though that the church or denomination he identifies with could definitely be a strong determining factor for his viewpoint on the issue.
 

Randy - Saved by Grace

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your responses athenasius, daygo and Andrew. Daygo you are right, Jack Kelly's resources are really good and I definitely could've made good use of them! athenasius and Andrew I think you are right and that was my gut feeling as well. It's sad how so many people can be found supporting perspectives that promote earning position, status, or privilege by their own works when it comes to God's Kingdom, even while insisting that God's grace covers every aspect of their lives! Apparently the Rapture doesn't qualify as part God's grace? o_O Even the crowns we are given are cast back at His feet, since it is by His grace/work that we are able to perform good works at all!

Thanks for the encouraging words by the way! I can very easily struggle with how I am making myself useful for the Kingdom and it can be hard for me to see if what I say/do even has any effect or meaning sometimes.

The words you shared with him are seeds planted.
You can never go wrong planting them.
Continue to pray for him and that the seeds planted will be watered.
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
The words you shared with him are seeds planted.
You can never go wrong planting them.
Continue to pray for him and that the seeds planted will be watered.
Doesn't seem to me that there's anything more you can say but you can pray.
Thanks Randy and Cireth, well said, you are right and that is what I will do!

You did a great job with the person who was placed in your path Nomad. Well done! All great responses from this brethren as well. Randy's advice and take on the situation is spot on.
Be Blessed
Thanks for the affirmation, Almost Heaven. :)
 
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Andy C

Well-Known Member
Church and the Bride, as if they are two separate entities... I have always known of them as being one and the same, right?
The Church is the Bride of Christ.

Who Is The Bride Of Christ?
Monday, February 4th, 2013

Q. I am confused in regards to the marriage supper of the Lamb in Rev 19:7. Who is the wife spoken of there for it says the wife has made herself ready…is this reference to the church or Israel? Why would the church have to make herself ready, in what respect? Is there more than one wedding in scripture? If Christ to be married to both Israel (Isaiah 54:5) and the church (Ephes 5:25) this would have to be the case. If so, then who is the bride of Christ?

A. The phrase “Bride of Christ” does not appear in the original language of the New Testament, but can be reasonably inferred from places like John 3:27-29, Ephes. 5:25-27, 2 Cor. 11:2, and Rev. 19:7. The Bride has made herself ready by donning the fine linen, bright and clean, that has been given to her (Rev. 19:8). This is symbolic of our righteousness. Although it has been imputed to us by faith (Romans 3:21-24) we have to “put it on” by agreeing to accept the Lord’s death as payment in full for our sins. Many people don’t realize that while the Lord died for all the sins of the world (John 1:29) only those who ask for His righteousness will receive it (Matt. 7:7-8).

In the Old Testament God frequently referred to Himself as Israel’s husband. Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 31:32, and Ezekiel 16:32 are examples. But only the Church can be called the Bride of Christ.

https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/who-is-the-bride-of-christ/
 

acceptedinthebeloved

Well-Known Member
Where this person said:
God will choose who is "worthy" and we (in the churches)are called to pray that we might be accounted "worthy" to escape the tribulation that is coming soon to this earth to test the hearts of all men.

... they are misapplying the context of the Olivet Discourse (which is not about our rapture at all [anywhere in the Olivet Discourse], but the time period leading up to Christ's Second Coming to the earth: "Son of man coming/cometh/shall come" are all in the context of His Second Coming to the earth).
They will have to "watch... and pray always, [in order] that ye may be accounted worthy [some versions say, "have strength"] to [actively] flee out of each and every one of these things that shall come to pass [that is, during the tribulation period leading up to Christ's Second Coming and the promised and prophesied earthly Millennial Kingdom], and to stand before [in a judicial sense] the Son of man [His title role at His Second Coming to the earth FOR the MK]."

Contrast this "watch... and pray always, [in order] that..." with 1 Thess 5:10's "...the One having died for us, that whether we should watch, or whether we should sleep [same Grk word for "sleep" as in verse 6], we should live together with Him."

Where this person said:
Why are we then warned to be ready at all times if we are all good to go ?

... I believe this person is drawing from passages primarily found in the Olivet Discourse (recall what I said above, regarding that), or possibly passages with the contexts being about "the wedding feast/supper [i.e. the promised and prophesied earthly Millennial Kingdom]" (like Luke 12:36-37,38,40,42-44 and parallel passages for same; Matt 22:2NASB Matt 22:9-14NASB; Matt 25:1-13NASB, esp Matt 25:10NASB in that context), or passages about "the kingdom of the heavens [i.e. the promised and prophesied earthly Millennial Kingdom]" (like Matt 13:11,24,31,33,39-40,41-42,43,44,45,47,49-50,52 at "the end of the age," when the angels will "reap" [i.e. not at the time of our rapture]; Matt 8:11 "shall sit down" phrase=the MK [i.e. 'the wedding feast/supper'--not 'the marriage' itself; Matt 20:1-16 "the lord of the vineyard"--see Isa 5:7a "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel"]).

I don't think there are any passages in the epistles (to, for, and about "the Church which is His body") that speak to "be ready at all times" in that kind of context (though there is the one talking about 'be ready always to give a reasoned response / a defense'... a wholly different context, of course).

Where this person said:
Those who find themselves in Tribulation are no longer The Church because that age has come to an end when the bride is taken out.

... I'd like to know what passage tells us any such thing as "are no longer The Church" [regarding ones "who find themselves in Tribulation"]... how can "the Church which is His body" be "no longer The Church" when we are sealed unto the day of redemption? Eph 4:30; see also Eph 1:13-14 ..."unto the praise of His glory." And... "we shall ALL be changed," so says 1 Cor 15:51. ;)

Wasn't it said of Eve, that He "brought her unto the man" (Adam didn't cease being a body at that point, or fall apart into oblivion once his rib was used to make/build into a woman to be "brought" unto the man), and then Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh"... and the very next verse says, "and they shall be ONE flesh" (see also Eph 5:30,31,32), not separate entities divided asunder, or one ceasing altogether to be what it is, but intimately identified and connected with each other, as ONE.

As I see it, the Church which is His body (many members) IS the (singular) Bride/Wife (presently espoused to one Husband). Paul said, "for I have espoused/betrothed [aorist] you [plural] to one husband, that I may present you [understood 'you'] as a chaste virgin [singular] to Christ." 2 Cor 11:2.
Where Rev 19:7 says, "the marriage of the Lamb has come," the aorist tense means it (the marriage) already took place (by that point), and "His Wife [as already wed, at this point] hath made herself ready," and then "the wedding feast/supper" [no aorist tense here (not an occurrence already having happened)] follows thereafter (elaborated upon in those other passages already mentioned above [for the "guests [plural]," the "bridesmaids [plural]," the "servants [plural]"]), so as I understand it, "His [singular] Wife [as already WED, at that point] has made herself ready"... very likely for that which comes NEXT (His RETURN to the earth [and we WITH Him] FOR the promised and prophesied earthly Millennial Kingdom [the wedding feast/supper], where very likely the "rewards" for past service ('work') are now to be applied in some fashion [as opposed to 'setting a trophy on a shelf to collect dust' kind of idea]). :hmmm

Any thoughts?
 
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Nomad

Well-Known Member
I very much agree, and appreciate your study, acceptedinthebeloved! Regarding 1 Cor 15:51 , that's really the kicker to me... I believe the article I linked also covered that point, which, like you noted, literally says we ALL shall be changed. Unfortunately, if a verse as simple as that is glossed over and not understood to be saying what it very plainly is saying, then there's obviously a clinging to one's perspective going on... regardless of the evidence. So here's hoping(praying) that he will be freed from this false perspective so that he may see the Lord as He truly is and how He truly views those He has called His Bride - perfectly spotless and perfectly made ready by His blood, not of any of their own works.
 
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