Will there be a Secret Rapture of the Church?

“Then the seventh angel sounded [the trumpet]: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”  (Revelations 11:15)

“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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).

“And immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened … and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a TRUMPET, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another.
(Matthew 24:29-31) (Italics mine).

According to many popular Bible interpreters and end-time prophecy buffs today, including some leading men of God, Jesus could come back at any moment in and secretly whisk true believers away. Those who are not ready will be left to face the rise of the Antichrist and the eventual outpouring of the wrath of God on the earth. According to most of the proponents of this view, those left
behind will effectively get a second chance at salvation, because they will realise that all these end-time prophecy teachers were right after all, so now they need to believe in Jesus and get serious with God, even though they also know they are going to lose their heads under the cruel Antichrist regime.

The upshot of all this seems to be, “You should live a holy life now so you don’t have to go through the Great Tribulation. But even if you don’t, all is not lost, you’ll get another chance after the Rapture.” BUT, what if judgment comes and there is no second chance? Friends, when people die in their sins and go to hell, there is no second chance. Why should the Second Coming be any different?

One film I viewed a while back had this old gentleman with one of these charts of “God’s end time prophetical calendar” after the secret rapture had taken place, who was ticking off the events as the judgments straight out of the book of revelation came down on the earth.  Scary stuff.

Multiplied millions of dollars have been spent promoting this view through books, films and tapes. There’s good money to be made today as a end-time bible-prophecy buff, if you can give the impression that you really know what you are talking about. But is this view correct? Is it true? Is it Scriptural? And if it is not, could there be harmful consequences for people?

What if you believe with all your heart that God has promised that you yourself will never be hauled up before antichrist authorities, that there will be a secret rapture before the AntiChrist appears? For one thing, you are a candidate for being deceived by the AntiChrist when he does come, and the Scripture indicates he will arise out of the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:4) [the church is
the temple of God]. How could this spiritual man be the AntiChrist, if God has promised to rapture you first? Millions will either be deceived, or go on to lose their trust in God because of the persecutions they thought God had promised them they would never face. America today is ripe for such deception. If you give the people what they want to hear, it is very good for your offerings.

I am not writing as one who knows it all, but at least I am willing to admit the fact. Someone may be able to overcome all my Scriptural objections and cause me to see the true light. However, the real truth on what is in store in the last of the last days may be a little more uncomfortable than what we have been led to believe by the various pop prophecy books and films. And if that is true, its better to know now, rather than to backslide later.

I don’t dispute that some people have been saved and come to Jesus out of a real conviction that these things are going to happen exactly as pop prophecy preachers have been saying. And if the end justifies the means, I guess there is a strong case for keeping silent on the subject. But the end does not justify the means, and error carries within it seeds of destruction which will eventually bear their devastating fruit.

We don’t need the doctrine of the Secret Rapture to get Christians or anyone else to repent.. If it is false after all, there are some yet to be revealed major negative consequences that could easily come to pass and hurt the Body of Christ. So I think its worth speaking up, not out of a desire for controversy and endless cavilling with those who already think they know, but so that we as believers in Jesus can truly be ready for some of the tribulation which has been the normal lot of serious Christians for the last 2 millenia.

There Will Be a Rapture of the Saints

The word “rapture” does not occur in the Bible. But the Bible clearly indicates in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for His church. We who are alive when He comes will be caught up to meet Him. Its says nothing about us going back up to Heaven for a few years after this meeting. It says nothing about a quiet event which will leave the people of the world wondering, “Where did the Christians go?” No, it will be with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and most importantly, with the trumpet of God. And at the sounding of the last trumpet, it will be the end of the game for the antichrist and those who have followed him.

When will the Rapture Take Place?

God has given us enough clues in the Scripture to put to rest the foolish speculations of secret raptures. If only we will read them and take the word as it is written, there is little room for doubt on the subject. The key to it all is the repeated emphasis on angels but especially the TRUMPET of God. If you believe the Scripture is inerrant, and God knows what He is putting in there, you ought to be willing to really consider why this trumpet blast is mentioned in so many portions of the Scripture that have to do with the Second Coming of the Lord.

It won’t hurt to repeat the Scripture quotations I included at the beginning of this article.

“Then the seventh angel sounded [the trumpet]: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelations 11:15)

“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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).

“And immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened … and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a TRUMPET, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another.
(Matthew 24:29-31) (Italics mine).

These Scriptures, when taken together, make the following clear.

1. The resurrection of the righteous – those who have been effectually restored to God though the work of Jesus on the cross – this resurrection will take place at the sounding of the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52). It should be pretty obvious, but there will be no other prophetic trumpet blasts after the last one. If there were, none of the preceding blasts could be properly called the “last” one.

2. It is not reasonable to suppose that the trumpet blast and resurrection event in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is somehow different to the blast in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17. No, there are too many parallels. The Scripture talks about the first resurrection being the resurrection of the righteous. It is the resurrection of those who did not bow to the Antichrist system (no matter what age they lived in). “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:5). There
is no general resurrection of righteous believers before this one. If there was, they should call it the “second” resurrection or perhaps the third or fourth.

My conclusion is, 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 and 1 Corinthians 15:52 occur at the same time, the time of the blasting of the last trumpet.

3. But there is a trumpet of God being blasted at the Second Coming of Christ (see Matthew 24:31). This trumpet blast cannot be after the “last trumpet” which we have proven was blown at the “rapture”. No, the Second Coming takes place at the time of the Rapture. So there is no “Third Coming”. This Coming of the Lord with the trumpet blast and the angels gathering ELECT all takes place “after the [great] tribulation of those days” (Matthew 24:29). The elect were not raptured seven years before the last trumpet blows. No, because the Bible clearly teaches that the first resurrection of the righteous happens at the Second Coming of the Lord.

If anyone can wiggle out of this logic and thorough analysis of the written Word of God, they have yet to confront me with it. Some Bible teachers say, “Don’t think like this. People get the wrong doctrine when they start to think about that trumpet.” But why should we throw out part of the Scriptures to please some popular Bible teacher who is telling the people what they want to hear? So often they are telling something like this: “Come to Jesus and you’ll be rich like me. There will be no end-time suffering for those who do what God wants, which is to sow generously to my ministry. No, God wants you to be rolling in cash and if you please God you will never suffer tribulation. I’m going up before any of this trouble comes. Have faith like I do!” Sounds pretty good as long as you don’t check it out first.

The fact is that “we must through many tribulations enter the Kingdom of God”. (Acts 13:34). “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Yes, if we are faithful to God and persist in prayer we may be spared a lot of the trials we would otherwise have. But anyone who thinks they are going to get through without hardship, without perseverence, patience and endurance is just having themselves on.

There are major persecutions being planned for those who are active in evangelism. Always have been somewhere in the world. Believers are being martyred for their faith by the hundreds on a daily basis. The true rapture doctrine assures us that Jesus is coming again for us, and whether we live or die, we will have eternity to enjoy with Him forever. Those who die in Christ will not miss out
on the main event. We can be comforted with these words.

The false secret rapture doctrine could sound like an exhortation to godliness, but really, it is a false teaching which carries the potential for doing a lot of damage in the dangerous times ahead.

There is something a lot worse than facing the wrath of the Antichrist. And that is, facing the wrath of Almighty God. The worst men can do is nothing compared to the horrors of hell. The majority of people who go to hell will be really surprised they ended up there. They thought they had plenty of time to party on, and spit in the face of Almighty God and His laws, putting shame on the name of Jesus. Perhaps some of them thought they would wait and see until after the rapture. No friends, God is not mocked. All of us, if we are truly wise, will keep plenty of oil in our lamps and seek to shine for Jesus now, whether the world likes it or not.

Michael Fackerell

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About Michael Fackerell

Michael is the founder of Christian faith dot come, a site about Jesus. He came to save the lost. Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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