There is a great deal of confusion about when the rapture will happen. One of these “Quick Thoughts” papers already answers the question: “When will the rapture happen?” But the topic deserves further discussion, so I will quote and comment on several rapture Bible verses.
If you read “When Will the Rapture Happen,” you already know that Paul told the believers who were living in Corinth 2,000 years ago that some of them would not die! (“not sleep”) Here is the passage:
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
(1 Cor. 15:50-53)
Below is a passage taken from Paul’s letter to the Christians living in Thessalonica:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
(1 Thess. 4:13-17)
Paul tells the Thessalonians much the same thing as he told the Corinthians. He again says that some of them would live to see the coming of the Lord. This is implicit in the phrase “we who are alive.” He tells them that at the coming of the Lord, those who were still alive would be “caught up” (Greek “harpazo”) to meet the Lord in the air.
These passages state that the rapture happens at the coming of the Lord. And they also state that some of the people then living would live to see Jesus’ second coming. The idea that Jesus’ second coming happened long ago, sounds preposterous to us; but consider what the Scriptures say:
The New Testament writers repeatedly express their eager expectation of Jesus’ imminent return. Writing 2,000 years ago, James said: “the coming of the Lord is at hand… the judge is standing at the door” (James 5:7). Peter said that Jesus was: “ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5). The writer of Hebrews says: “Yet a very little while and he who is coming will come and will not tarry” (Heb. 10:37)
Jesus’ disciples expected him to return soon because Jesus told them that he would return before all of them had “tasted death” (Mark 8:38-9:1). He told them that he would return before that generation “passed away” (Mark 13:30). If he didn’t return as he promised, then the Bible is nonsense and if he did return, then our end times doctrines are nonsense. Jesus promised to return during that first century generation, before all of his disciples had died. And the rapture happened during the first century, at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
No one knew the day or the hour of his coming, but writing just before AD 70, John said that the “last hour” had arrived. He said:
“… now, many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.”
(1 John 2:18)
How did the presence of “many antichrists” indicate to John that the last hour had arrived? That’s easy. When Jesus predicted his return and the destruction of the temple he said that “many false christs” would appear (Matt. 24:11,24). So John knew that the presence of many antichrists meant that he was living in the last hour before the Lord’s second coming.
The passages from James and Peter that are quoted above also indicate that the rapture happens at the same time as the great judgment day. Is there any reason to believe that there was a great judgment day in AD 70? Well yes, there are many reasons. I will give you a few:
Were the futurist translators part of a grand conspiracy to deceive us or did their futurist paradigm blind them to the fact that 2,000 years ago, there was about to be a resurrection, about to be a judgment, and about to be a rapture?
There is so much more to say on these things. We have looked at a few rapture Bible verses, we should have discussed Matt. 24:31 but these are supposed to be “Quick “Comments” and that passage deserves a lot of analysis… we will discuss it in our Meat Not Milk Bible study.
We’ve only scratched the surface… In Bamboozled Believers I discuss more rapture Bible verses, so if you would like to learn more. Get a copy and also consider joining our Meat Not Milk Bible study. I look forward to reading your questions and comments on Facebook.