The Rapture is Real

Chris

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The Rapture is Real
By Jonathan C. Brentner

I will never forget sitting in church listening to an assistant pastor mock the rapture. Up to that point, I had assumed that I was attending a premillennial church where the only debate regarding the rapture was its timing. But as I learned from my follow-up exchange with this man, such was not the case. He later told me that he held to an amillennial point of view and did not believe in the rapture.

Since that encounter, I have come to the conclusion that one cannot say they believe the Bible and at the same time assert that one does not believe in the rapture. That’s a contradiction of terms.

The Rapture is a True Biblical Event​

You see, the event we refer to as the “rapture” is an actual biblical event for which the apostles provide much supporting detail.

The word “rapture” comes from a Latin translation of the Bible from about AD 400 called The Vulgate. The Vulgate uses the Latin word rapturo to translate the Greek word harpazo in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Starting sometime in the late 1800’s, Bible teachers began using the word “rapture” to describe the event Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 as well as in 1 Corinthians 15:50-56 and Philippians 3:20-21. These students of Scripture chose a word, based on the ancient Latin translation of the Bible, to describe the event that the apostle wrote about in these texts and referred to in many other passages.

The rapture is the “blessed hope” of Titus 2:11-14; it’s the means of our deliverance from the day of the Lord wrath as the Lord promises us in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 and 5:1-10.

Jesus’ appearing to take us home to glory is the substance of our hope in a troubled world. It’s critical that we understand it and not dismiss it as though it’s not essential to our Gospel hope or cast it aside as something not essential to our faith as we journey through a dark and dangerous world.

What Happens at the Time of the Rapture?​

Here are the key elements of the event we refer to as the rapture:

1. The Rapture begins with Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 begins with these words, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven.” That’s why the apostles often referred to it as “Jesus’ appearing.” He sets everything in motion when He returns with “those who have fallen asleep” in Christ (1 Thess. 4:14).

2. We will hear Jesus’ voice and the sound of a trumpet…1 Thessalonians 4:16 also tells us that Jesus “will descend…with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.” I believe that all of us who are in Christ will hear these sounds; I am not sure about those who do not know Him.

3. The dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thess. 4:16). Jesus will raise from the dead all those who have died “in Christ” from the Day of Pentecost to the time of the rapture. They will be the first to meet the Lord in the air as Jesus joins their resurrected bodies with their souls.

The resurrection of church age saints happens immediately at the start of the rapture.

4. The Lord will then give those believers who are alive at the time of the rapture immortal and imperishable bodies (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:51-53).

5. The rapture will happen quickly! For those of us who are alive at the time of the rapture, the change in our bodies will happen “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52). We will instantly receive our glorified bodies.

6. At the same moment He gives us immortal bodies, Jesus will catch up those of us “who are alive, who are left…in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17). We will join those saints resurrected from dead and forever “be with the Lord.”

7. Our destination will be heaven. In John 14:3 Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” The Lord is preparing a place in heaven, and He will take us there when He appears. Later, in John 17:24, we see that one of requests in what we call His “high priestly prayer” was that someday we would see the glory He possessed “before the foundation of the world.”

I love the way Colossians 3:4 puts it, “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” When the rapture occurs, we will appear in glory, aka heaven. In other words, it signifies our departure from earth to heaven.

The above seven points provide a quick summary of what we will experience when Jesus comes to take us home. All these things make up the event that we as believers refer to as the “rapture.”

The Only Matter Open for Debate is the Timing​

Most of us who are premillennialists place the rapture before the start of the seven-year tribulation. Premillennialists are those who believe in a literal understanding of biblical prophecy that includes the seven-year tribulation and thousand-year reign of Jesus.

Some premillennialists, however, place the rapture in the middle of the tribulation or toward the end of it. The biblical description of Jesus’ return for His church clearly differentiates it from the Second Coming. The two cannot be the same event.

I have written much in support in of a pretribulation rapture. You can find two of more recent posts on this matter by clicking here and here.

The rapture is not a “third order” doctrine that we must shelve in order to preserve unity with other saints. No, that is what the scoffers tell us (2 Peter 3:1-4; Jude 18-19).

Paul commands us to “encourage one another” with the hope we possess in the rapture (1 Thess. 4:18, 5:11). The Lord intends for us to build up each other in the faith with our shared hope in Jesus’ appearing to take us home to heaven. How is that possible if we relegate Jesus’ imminent appearing to quiet backroom discussions so as not to stir up controversy in the body of Christ?

The Rapture is the Substance of Our Hope​

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this hope that the Lord tells us to use in encouraging “one another” (1 Thess. 4:18, 5:11).

The rapture is our “blessed hope” it’s the hope into which Jesus saves us. I say this based on the words of Romans 8:23-25:

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

In the above passage, Paul connects the “redemption of our bodies,” which as we saw happens at the time of the rapture, with the “hope” of the Gospel. The resurrection event for all New Testament saints happens at Jesus’ return for His church, the rapture. It’s at time He will redeem our bodies by giving us immortal ones that will never perish or grow old (1 Cor. 15:51-55).

That’s why I like to refer to Jesus’ appearing as the “Gospel future.”

We see further evidence of the close association of the Gospel with the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10. There, the apostle reported how the Thessalonians “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven…” These new believers immediately placed their hope in the rapture.

During Paul’s stay in Thessalonica, the rapture was Gospel 101. He did not divorce our hope in Jesus’ appearing from his proclamation of the good news as almost everyone does today.

The New Testament saints eagerly awaited Jesus appearing (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:7-8, 15:50-56; 1 John 3:1-3). It constituted the substance of their hope; it signified the time when they would experience the eternal life that became theirs through faith.

I cannot say when the rapture will occur because I do not know. We may face increasing persecution because of our faith and perhaps suffer physically because of our faith. Or Jesus may come this very day.

Regardless of what the future holds, we trust in God’s sovereignty and grace. Because the Lord remains in control of all things, we can rest in His promise to take us home before the start of the tribulation. Because of His grace, we know that we will forever experience joy in His presence as the result of His favor that we most certainly do not deserve (see Ps. 16:11; Eph. 2:1-7).

In my e-mail discussions with the associate pastor at the church I used to attend, he told me that at one time he agreed with the pretribulation rapture after a pastor took him through the biblical passages pertaining to it. However, after reading a few books by amillennial authors, he ditched both his premillennial and pretribulation views in favor what he read outside of God’s Word. His new understanding came from human wisdom rather than the words of the Bible.

When we look to Scripture, we see that the rapture is a real event. It’s not something that coincides with human wisdom, but is something the Lord revealed to His apostles (1 Thess. 4:15; 1 Cor. 15:51a) so that we might have hope and encourage each other regardless of the what we face.

Note: Please consider signing up for my newsletter on the home page of my website at https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/. It will greatly help me in reaching more people. Thanks!

https://www.raptureforums.com/rapture/the-rapture-is-real/
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
Since that encounter, I have come to the conclusion that one cannot say they believe the Bible and at the same time assert that one does not believe in the rapture. That’s a contradiction of terms.
This describes where I'm at perfectly!

And otherwise a very affirming and fantastic article.

I've also come to the conclusion that we are seeing in the churches, the rotten fruit of a very long con. It's becoming clearer that there's been an active slow-march campaign through the teaching institutions of "christianity" that rivals that of the secular humanist institutions. It seems that a very large number of the younger generation "pastors" are little more than agent provocateurs with an agenda to tear down Bible believing communities.

Ahmillenialism, calvanism, preterism, wof, nar, add your favorite false doctrine here __________ , all contain one thing and that's subversive, subtle doctrinal lies. They aren't so obviously far off, but just how much poison or leaven does it take?

Back to the OP...I'm come to assume that if you aren't pre-trin, pre-mill, you aren't a Bible believing Christian and you need the hear the Gospel. (and, yeah I know that many of them are saved but I won't make that assumption).
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
I cannot say when the rapture will occur because I do not know. We may face increasing persecution because of our faith and perhaps suffer physically because of our faith. Or Jesus may come this very day.

Regardless of what the future holds, we trust in God’s sovereignty and grace. Because the Lord remains in control of all things, we can rest in His promise to take us home before the start of the tribulation. Because of His grace, we know that we will forever experience joy in His presence as the result of His favor that we most certainly do not deserve (see Ps. 16:11; Eph. 2:1-7).
Amen. We dont know when, but we do believe the season is upon us.

The bible is quite clear, belief is all that is required for salvation. Those who do not believe in the rapture are missing out on the hope we all have of knowing He is coming, but their incorrect beliefs are not a salvation issue. We all know we can explain what happened on the way up to our brothers and sisters who did not believe in the rapture.
 

Matthew6:33

Withstand in the evil day. Eph 6:13
I am currently listening to Andy W. bible study on the rapture and I am really enjoying it. I really do not know how anyone who seriously looks at the scripture can deny a pre-millennial, pre-tribulation stance.

Paul spends 2 Thessalonians comforting the church whom at the time was afraid that they had been left behind to suffer through the tribulation. Why were they afraid? Because early Church and Pauline doctrine taught the rapture and they had been led astray by false teachers.

It wasn't until Augustine and others came around that they shifted early church doctrine astray.
 

OnlyHim

Well-Known Member
Its not only about the rapture, but it can also be other scriptures/doctrine too. I have a brother who pointblank told me that there is nothing in the Bible that addresses homosexuality. He is a professing believer in Jesus. I don't know how anyone can read Romans chapter 1 and say that the bible doesn't address homosexuality as well as other areas in scriptures. He just kept saying it doesn't say that...

I never want to appear as though I could ever judge someone else's standing with God on salvation because I cant, but in the case of the rapture, the people that say they don't believe it have to ignore bold and clear statements in scripture that say what the event will be like, that we are not appointed to wrath, that the Restrainer must be removed first then the lawlessness one will come, dismiss precedence of where God "caught up" others to heaven, and on and on! I am left scratching my head wondering how do you just dismiss scripture like that? Do you think you can just pick and chose what you want to believe and not believe in the Bible? Its this blindness to what is written in front of you that concerns me about some people who claim to believe in God, yet cannot physically see words in front of them.

I don't always understand everything I read in the Bible but I still believe everything I read in the Bible...
 

Endangered

Well-Known Member
As we get closer to the Rapture, Satan's power gets stronger little by little. As bad as it is now things will only get worse.
Satan wants us to abandon God to follow man. Then at the midpoint of the Trib he will demand to be worshiped.
My favorite scripture verse is Rev 21:4. It describes how glorious our future with God will be.
RFers, you're gonna need sunglasses our future is so bright.
 
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cavalier973

Well-Known Member
In my e-mail discussions with the associate pastor at the church I used to attend, he told me that at one time he agreed with the pretribulation rapture after a pastor took him through the biblical passages pertaining to it. However, after reading a few books by amillennial authors, he ditched both his premillennial and pretribulation views in favor what he read outside of God’s Word. His new understanding came from human wisdom rather than the words of the Bible.

Ugh. Getting devoured by wolves is not a pretty sight.
 

soundingthealarm

Fleethewrath2come
This is not a blanket statement, but I have come to find that a great percentage of those who blast the rapture or the pre-tribulation view of the rapture, hold to a Jesus + works based Gospel as well.

Instead of "looking unto the hills from where our help comes from" they are prepping and looking to themselves to "endure" to merit or validate SELF.

Blessed assurance not received by faith by rather trying to "insure" it through self efforts.
 
I've also ran into quite a few people lately who either don't believe in the Rapture at all or think we'll go through the trib. My response has always been - as long as you are a born-again believer, you're going up regardless of what you believe about the Rapture. That tends to make them angry. But why? I never understood the pushback against the Rapture and those who don't believe the Bible for what it teaches - everything it teaches.

I get excited thinking about it. Just as mentioned "in the twinkling of an eye", that means very very fast, faster than you can blink. If you're up walking around when it happens, I think you'll be gone - up and away - before your worldly clothing can even hit the ground!
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
Its not only about the rapture, but it can also be other scriptures/doctrine too. I have a brother who pointblank told me that there is nothing in the Bible that addresses homosexuality. He is a professing believer in Jesus. I don't know how anyone can read Romans chapter 1 and say that the bible doesn't address homosexuality as well as other areas in scriptures. He just kept saying it doesn't say that...
I get the same blather from red letter x-tians. They wanna argue from silence. I tell them to read Matthew 19 and they still wanna argue from silence. So, then I tell them to show me where it says that JST shouldn't beat 'em around a little bit. They stop arguing from silence at that point.
 

PortWen

Well-Known Member
I am currently listening to Andy W. bible study on the rapture and I am really enjoying it. I
Me too…am up to lesson 35 and have been so amazed at the depth of the teaching…and so incredibly encouraged. I’ve had a number of doubts eradicated by this series. I listen to it all day as I work (self-employed doing sewing) and have a notebook open next to my sewing machine to jot down important points.
I’m so grateful to have found the series (found it through this forum).
 

Spartan Sprinter 1

Formerly known as Shaun
Me too…am up to lesson 35 and have been so amazed at the depth of the teaching…and so incredibly encouraged. I’ve had a number of doubts eradicated by this series. I listen to it all day as I work (self-employed doing sewing) and have a notebook open next to my sewing machine to jot down important points.
I’m so grateful to have found the series (found it through this forum).
Yep i thought that i had no literal bible interpreting /pretrib /OSAS churches near me and it came to shock me that Andy Woods had been visiting a church here in Sydney Australia with a ministry called Awake to Israel with the church being about 35 minutes drive from my house
 

Love His Appearing

Well-Known Member
I have come to the conclusion that one cannot say they believe the Bible and at the same time assert that one does not believe in the rapture. That’s a contradiction of terms.
I actually have a real problem with this. As some of you know--although most of you probably don't cuz I have noticed a very large influx of new members which is awesome--I grew up in a church that doesn't teach a pre-trib rapture for everyone. Oh, they believe in pre-trib FOR SURE but they believe the pre-trib rapture is a reward for only those who are part of the Bride of Christ which is NOT the whole church. (This is what they preach, not necessarily what I believe) They count the rest of the church as the innumerable multitude that is caught up mid-trib. (which makes sense to me cuz if we can number the population NOW--7,874,965,825--than how can it be innumerable after have lost half the population in the tribulation?).

This is NOT a multiple rapture theory either (altho, even pre-trib is multiple rapture using Enoch is an example. He walked with God and was not).

It is NOT a partial rapture, either, as it is not even remotely based on works. This is where most of you will argue against this theory and I get that. However and in fact, this is THE most grace-based church I have ever attended (including this board who often has trouble with Galatians 3:3.."Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" ). The church I grew up in believes it is a HEART issue...a LOVE STORY. It is NOT a salvation issue. And I can tell you personally, that the many people I have known and loved my entire life from this church are not only saved, they are bible believing CHRISTIANS who truly love Jesus. My mom is one of them. My great-grandparents helped START the church. I WISH I could possess the kind of faith they do/did. They believe in every single thing that is preached here at RF except they believe it only applies only to the Bride and not the whole church. They believe the Bride is a rib-portion of the church...a smaller group of people for whom Jesus is truly their first love. After all, why would Jesus want to marry someone who is only luke warm? BUT PLEASE HEAR ME....this is NOT a works based belief.

They firmly believe that this is NOT a salvation issue, either, as they firmly preach and believe the OSAS doctrine, but it, at the same time, is the only philosophy that makes any sense at all of Rev 3:11 "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown". In other words, do not leave your first love. You can't lose your salvation, but might lose your place in the thrown room. After all, "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.. (I Corinthians 15:41)

I know I am breaking rules by stating an even partial belief in another philosophy. But I have so many questions about this and I can't ask you all because this is a pre-trib forum and I am breaking rules. And I get that. It is what makes this forum so much better than many others I have frequented. This is, in fact, the only one I have ever joined because there is so much less discord among members. But I also can't ask the pastor I grew up with for over 40 years because then I am accused of following "itching ears". I am also told to seek the Bible for answers, but I see both sides VERY clearly. In fact, they complement one another. It's not impossible to believe BOTH if you apply pre-trib theory to only the Bride and not the whole church.

@athenasius You have always been so kind in calming my fears and you have no idea what an impact you have had on my faith. I appreciate you more than you will ever know, and I look forward to telling you in person one day. I am sorry this comes up as often as it does, but the closer we get, the more I worry about not making the cut. Am I too caught up in praying for my children's future? Does that make me worldly? Have I traded my first love of JESUS for prayers over my children's safety and protection? Am I too caught up in praying for my marriage and my children and "Red Sea, burning bush" type moments for our direction? I mean, if Jesus is really coming as soon as I THINK He is then why bother with the mundane?

The ONLY thing that keeps me rooted in Pre-Trib, actually, is "The Blessed Hope". I mean, no one can "encourage me with these words" if I may or may not "make the cut". That is not very hopeful, kwim? PLEASE remember that I am NOT AT ALL worried about my salvation. THAT is a done deal that has been resolved in my heart from the get-go over 50 years ago. But if Paul didn't know if HE had attained the higher calling, then how can I? That alone indicates a higher calling than just salvation. "12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Doesn't that feel like there is a higher calling than just salvation?

I don't come around here that often anymore because I often find myself very discouraged and that is not the testimony I want to leave behind. The JOY of the LORD is my STRENGTH. But there are so many faithful warriors here that I couldn't let this one go without comment. Just because one doesn't fully believe in the pre-trib rapture does NOT mean they aren't a fully saved Christian. I stand by that and won't apologize for it. That said, I subscribe to Jonathan's newsletter and almost always agree with his thoughts. <3

Please don't delete me. I am really curious as to what people here think....Mods, if this is not conducive to keeping a fully-agreeing board then I totally understand. But could one of you reply to my email personally cuz I am really strugging with this...THANK YOU.

I would also like to add that I am currently filled with a great sense of anticipation. Jesus is coming soon! I KNOW it!

XOXO
 
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Matthew6:33

Withstand in the evil day. Eph 6:13
Oh, they believe in pre-trib FOR SURE but they believe the pre-trib rapture is a reward for only those who are part of the Bride of Christ which is NOT the whole church.

This theology is known as the 'partial rapture' and it is incorrect.

There are not two different churches/brides. The bride has always been the church and the church has always been the bride. One group isn't more qualified because *insert reason here* The only qualification to be a part of the church/bride is to put your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life for the forgiveness of your sins. That's it.

When the rapture takes place, many people will be surprised and that is OK. Many will be taken and they will be very surprised to instantly be in the presence of glory.

Sure, there will still be those left behind because they did not put their faith in Christ, but they were never the bride/church to begin with (only God knows who the false-converts are). They can however become tribulation saints by putting their faith in Christ after the rapture.

I would HIGHLY recommend Andy W's pre-trib rapture bible study. He goes through all the belief systems and why they are true or not true based on scripture first and logic second. There is a reason that this doctrine is under assault by the enemy. He wants to disengage the Church and steal our blessed hope. God bless.
 
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