How does it feel in the 2020 world pandemic? There is a certain camp of Christians who did not believe that they will be still be on the earth being subject to death and conspiracy toward the end. But there has not been a “rapture” to air lift them out of earth. What is wrong with their model?
2 Thessalonians 2
The Man of Lawlessness
1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be easily disconcerted or alarmed by any spirit or message or letter seeming to be from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has already come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is revealed.
In my knowledge, God has yet to reveal to the world who that son of destruction is. So how come a rapture was supposed to have happened?
If you follow the Bible, there is no such thing as this term “the rapture”. This is the clean answer. This term is not found in the Bible. But there are people who have used various pieces of verses strung together to say that is what “the rapture” means. Some define the rapture to take place where the Church is taken to heaven. But this is flawed. There is nowhere in the Bible that says the Church will be taken in a rapture. However, if you make assumptions in this theory, then people will want to believe it as no one wants to “suffer”. In 2020, we understand that the whole world is coming under the test that is mentioned in Revelation 3| 10.
Another model theorizes that the rapture is to happen before the suffering and the tribulation, and another camp insists that it is after the tribulation. The trouble is demonstrated here that the Bible cannot support both positions of the ON/OFF switch. That alone says people impose their preference by abusing the Scripture.
The trouble with that is, any expression that is not found in the Bible is open to man’s manipulation.
Take an example. There is a saying that says “God helps those who help themselves”. It is also not found in the Bible. It is popularized by religious people who view God as all benevolent and is not capable of discipline and exacting justice on the unjust.
Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
There are those who will tell you that the word “rapture” is translated from the Greek word, Harpazo. But in the Bible, this word is used many times, and even a few times by the Lord Jesus. Yet in none of His choice of this word in all His speech was it spoken that has anything to do with the Gathering of His people. In the Lexicon, this is a real word and it means to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force). However, it is not an “event”. Examples,
This word is used 13 times. The Lord uses it 6 times and uses it in a negative connotation Himself.
Matthew 11:12: “suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Matthew 13:19: “the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.”
John 6:15: “they would come and take him by force, to make him”
John 10:12: “and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the”
John 10:28: “they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them”
John 10:29: “and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
Acts 8:39: “water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch”
Acts 23:10: “the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them,”
2 Corinthians 12:2: “I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third”
2 Corinthians 12:4: “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words,”
1 Thessalonians 4:17: “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in”
Jude 1:23: “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating”
Revelation 12:5: “and her child was caught up unto God, and to his”
In all we may see clearly that there are other circumstances where harpazo may happen and as far as the Lord is concerned, He uses the word in a way that does not describe His gathering. But one thing for sure, most of the times it is used about plucking, seizing, catching away people.
The following passage is what the Lord approves of regarding a few things:
1. He is involved. “. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man,”
2. The sight is called the appearing. And all the nations of the world will respond to that sight. “then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The movie “Left Behind” is based on fiction. In the plot, people had to ask where are their friends. But in the real event, they should not have to ask where, what, why. They had eyes to see the glorious appearing of the son of man on clouds of glory. Also, we know that it has not happened yet.
3. It won’t happen quietly. There shall be signed in the sky. 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
4. His holy angels will be involved. “31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call,”
5. A trumpet call will be sounded.
6. The angels will be the ones who gather the people up. “and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” This was elsewhere explained in the Lord’s parable in Matthew 13.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
In fact, there will be two kinds, not one kind of gathering.
41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace.– Y’shua
In the proper order, the angels will gather first the ones who cause others to sin, including wicked people of this world, many religious people working in their buildings, and many Christians today who spread mistruths and many Christians who are law-breakers, and those who speak true lies and falsehood, mocking God in so doing.
After that first gathering, where angels will manifest to the world, then the good kind of gathering will take place.
Finally point 7, it is the elect in the words of the Lord that will be gathered. The Lord did not say “Christians” will be gathered to paradise. The thief on the cross who hailed Christ was not a Christian. He was a non-Roman citizen, and most likely a Jewish man who was convicted of his crime. He was promised paradise on the same day by the Lord. In the last hour of his life, he was justified by his profession in words and his faith in the Lord by his heart that the Lord will rise from the dead, therefore, He is Yahweh.