By Cougan Collins
With a creative imagination, man has created the rapture theory. Many books and movies depict the idea that the times are right and the signs show that Jesus is going to come back in our generation. Many men and women have tried to predict the coming of our Lord, but all have failed. However, it has not stopped them from trying.
The basic teaching behind the rapture theory is that Jesus is going to return secretly and take all faithful Christians with Him, and the people left behind will be scratching their heads wondering where they went. Then there will be 7 years of tribulation, which includes the antichrist increasing in power. At the end of the 7 years, Jesus is supposed to come back and establish His kingdom on the earth for 1000 years.
While this makes a great story, the Bible does not teach the rapture theory. In fact, the word rapture is never found in the Bible. When the Bible speaks about Jesus returning, it never speaks of it being a secret return. Instead, it says He will: “descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thess. 4:17), “every eye will see Him” (Rev. 1:7). His coming will just as visible as lightning in the sky (Mt. 24:27), and He will return in the same way that He went into heaven (Acts 1:9-11). The Bible only speaks of Jesus’ second coming (Heb. 9:28). Peter says:
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
Jesus is coming back one day, but nobody except the Father knows when that is: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). Those who claim to know are saying they know something that Jesus said He does not know. When Jesus does come, it is going to be on a day, and on that day the earth and the heavens are going to be burned up. Please tell me how someone can squeeze in 7 years of tribulation and 1000 year reign on the earth when it gets burned up when Jesus returns?
While the rapture theory claims there are going to be different resurrections for the righteous and the wicked that are separated by years, the Bible teaches that the resurrection will happen on the same day.
John 5:28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 "and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. See also (Acts 24:15; Mt. 13:24-32; 25:31-46).
Many go to Matthew 24 and try to make the signs mentioned there apply to
us today, but Jesus clearly states in verse 34 that everything He has mentioned
in verses 1-33 will take place in their generation. In these verses, Jesus is
giving the signs His disciples can look for to know when the destruction of