The Rapture: A Closer Look Into The Blessed Hope
By Brian Price 5/20/10

INTRO
The rapture of the church is a heated topic these days. It is ferociously spoken against. Christians who preach it are branded as conspiracy theorists and lunies. But oh my soul, the Rapture is perhaps one of the most important topics other than salvation that must be addressed. The end of days is so important that all of Revelation was written for the purpose of telling of the last days and the Kingdom of God. Not only so, but the book of Daniel is 50% prophecy that deals with the end times. Matthew devoted an entire chapter to it (ch. 24). So did Mark (ch. 13). Luke devoted 2 chapters almost entirely (ch. 17 & 21). Paul wrote 2 epistles in regard to it (1st and 2nd Thessalonians). So obviously, you can see that this topic of the end of days is no laughing matter. It is very serious. In this article, you will hopefully be able to see the reality of not only the end of days, but also of the Rapture itself. Let us now look into what this so-called Rapture really is, and when it will take place.

THE LORD WILL DESCEND
What exactly is the Rapture anyway? The word rapture comes from a Latin word (I believe "raptura" which is in one of the Latin Vulgate Bibles), which means to be caught up. Though the English word Rapture is not found in our King James Bible, the event is.

"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: 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." - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
The Bible is very clear. The dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds. Only those who have received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour in this life will be counted worthy to escape the tribulation by means of the Rapture.

We don't know exactly when the rapture will happen, but we have a good idea of how close we are. Jesus said that the gospel would have to be preached in all the world, and then the end would come. The gospel has now been preached in all the world to all nations. (See Matthew 24:14)

Aside from that; how can we trust what Jesus says?

Here are some things to consider:

>> Jesus foretold events that actually happened many years later.

>> Jesus foretold the Rapture would happen.

WHAT GOD SAYS WILL COME TO PASS
Before Jesus went to the cross at Calvary around 32 AD, he said these harrowing words:

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." - Matthew 24:1-2
Modern history books record what happened:
"Between 66 and 74 [AD], the Jews rebelled against Roman rule in the Judaean War. In March 70 [AD] the Roman army laid siege to Jerusalem, and the two outer city walls fell in May. Four months later, the Romans broke through the inner defences. They devastated the city, killing or enslaving its inhabitants and destroying the Temple, more than six centuries after the Babylonians' destruction, in 587 [BC], of the first Temple, built by Solomon on the same spot." - Ancient History From the First Civilizations to the Renaissance, by J.M. Roberts, copyright 1976, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1997, 2002.
Again, see another source:
"...for this city and the Temple which was in it, were laid waste and totally demolished and destroyed, first by the Chaldeans, in the time of Jeremiah, and subsequently by the Romans, who conquered the land of Canaan and Jerusalem; so that, according to the prophecy of Christ, not one stone was left upon another." - The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians, testimonies compiled by Thieleman J. van Braght, Page 23, written in 1660
When I was in Jerusalem back in September 2009, my tour guide told me these words:
"Many historians lay claim to the fact that the Wailing Wall (also known as the Western Wall) is a remnant of the ancient Temple. However, this is incorrect because the wall is now thought to have been a support wall, which was never part of the Temple."
Some think that the Western Wall was a support wall used to hold up a portion of the Temple. Whatever it is, it was never part of the Temple, as you can see from ancient writers as van Braght who stated there was not one stone left upon another, as well as modern historians (if they're not biased atheists).

Below is a picture of the Arch of Titus, found in Rome, Italy. The arch details the sacking of Jerusalem and the Temple under the Roman Emperor TItus in 70 A.D.

Another astonishing prophecy that Jesus made was his foretelling of Christians being tortured and killed for his name's sake:

"And ye shal be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles." - Matthew 10:18
Below is a picture of Hans Knevel, a Christian (Anabaptist) who was brought before rulers, and burned at Antwerp in 1572. Hans Knevel can be read about in the book, Martyrs Mirror by van Braght.

One could talk for hours just on the martyrs, but I will have to stop here on that topic. We can conclude that if what Jesus predicted about these things came to pass, then we can certainly believe what he says about the Rapture will certainly come to pass. As he said in Ezekiel 12:25, "For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass." Let us now look at one of the most convincing verses about the Rapture.

"34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
- Luke 21:34-36
This is perhaps one of the most clear and concise verses in the Bible which tells us that the tribulation is coming, but we can escape it. How else can that be done except by the Rapture? Notice where the word "escape" is used in the same context:
"2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." -
1 Thessalonians 5:2-4
In this particular portion of scripture, we find that God tells us that there will be those who shall not escape. They will have to go through the tribulation period. Those people are those who reject Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The Bible describes these people as people who received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Jesus is the Truth, and we must love him and call upon him in order to be saved. Notice also in the preceding verses of Luke, that Jesus said, "For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." Now look at what he says in regards to the same thing in Revelation:
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." - Revelation 3:10
We can see that clearly, all of these verses, when put together, make for a good timeline. 1) The escaping of the believers. 2) The tribulation which shall try them that dwell on the whole earth.

I've heard arguments before that say there is only one Second Coming of Christ. My answer to them is this: When does the Bible ever mention the words "Second Coming?" From what the Bible says, we can see that Jesus was refering to two separate events in regards to coming of the Son of Man. The Bible says that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established (2 Corinthians 13:1). When we take into consideration both Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and what they record about what Jesus said concerning his coming, we can see clearly that there are two separate events. Let me show you. By putting together 3 separate chapters from 3 separate witnesses, we get the full picture of what Jesus was talking about in regards to his coming. By piecing together Mark chapter 13 verse 31-32, Luke chapter 21 verse 34-36, and Matthew chapter 24 verse 37-41 in a particular order, we will see what his whole talk on the Rapture may have looked like. It's not for sure if he said it in the order that I am about to show you, but it very well could have been in this following order.

"31 (Mark) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
34 (Luke) And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
37 (Matthew) But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 (Luke) Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man ." - Mark 13:31-32, Luke 21:34,35, 36
"There's no rapture," you may say. Ah, but friend, yes there is. How do I know? Because the Bible tells of an instance where one was taken, just as Jesus said there would be some taken. That person was Enoch.
"21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." - Genesis 5:21-24
Notice Jesus said in verse 40 of Matthew chapter 24, "One shall be TAKEN, and the other left."

Here's another thought for you skeptics. If there is not a rapture, then why are the forces of evil awaiting its occurence?

Below is a quote from an article by Pastor David Bay, director of Cuttingedge.org, who was brought into a Theosophist Seminar, hosted by a man by the name of Bill Lambert.

"At this point, Bill nodded his head affirmatively that the Pope was a proper receptor to the Christ. This is the most direct acknowledgement by an influential person involved in the planning for the appearance of Christ that the current Pope is ready and waiting for the appearance of The Christ. This acknowledgement also points to the Roman Catholic Pope as the False Prophet, because Bill stated, very pointedly, that the preparation for the New World Order religion was being paved by the Ecumenical Movement, which is being spear-headed by the Pope. Bill then explained the fate of those members of Group #3, those whose personal consciousness was not now, nor could ever be, raised sufficiently to accept the Christ. Bill likened them to a person who had spent his entire life in a totally darkened room. If a sudden, intense light were to shine into this room, the person's eyes would not be able to endure the light. The person would try to flee the light and go into another room which was dark. Persons of Group #3 will "elect to leave for another room". [Lambert's exact words] At this point, I raised my hand and asked, 'How do these people do this, Bill? No one can simply declare his spirit to leave this world. Do these people commit suicide?' Bill answered emphatically, "NO". He said, "I do not know how it will happen, but these people will leave this dimension." After much thought, I have concluded that Bill is talking about the Rapture of the Church." - www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1052.html
My friend, if you think the Rapture is a made up dream, think again.
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables..." - 2 Peter 1:16
The reason why there is so much talk against the rapture is because of scoffers who don't believe in it.
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?" - 2 Peter 3:3-4
CONCLUSION
The bottom line is this: The Rapture is coming. Are you ready? Or will you be left behind? Don't think with yourself that you can get saved after the rapture happens. The Bible says that it will be impossible for those who rejected Jesus in the time before the rapture to get saved after the rapture.
"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." - 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
Let me ask you one question. If you died today, do you know for sure that you would go to heaven? Is there a small chance that you think you might go to hell? You can know for sure that you would go to heaven. Would you like to know how? Please click here.

Christian, we must tell other people. The end is near. Will you warn the wicked that he might turn from his wicked ways that he perish not? Will you give him warning? The Bible says their blood will be on our hands if we don't warn them. The rapture is so close that it frightens me to death to think of how little time we actually have. Souls are perishing. The time to witness is now. Let us be about our Father's business.

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