It is written:
“The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the people who have died and were in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
The Bible teaches that the Return of Christ will be evident to all. However, the teaching of the Rapture maintains that the Second Coming of Christ will be in two-stages: the first stage being a quiet, secret event in which all the saved and the righteous dead are “raptured” away, followed seven years later by the second stage.
Where did this teaching find its origins? While many believe the Rapture is taught in the Bible, the truth is no one had ever taught this concept until the last hundred years! Two authors have documented:
“The beginnings of modern Rapture theology are rooted in premillenialism, a step-child of the Protestant reformation. Premillenialism is simply the heresy of chiliasm –the belief that Jesus’ reign at his return will last 1,000 years. This has been solved for the Church and you can see the results in the Nicene Creed (“ His Kingdom will have no end”). You can find plenty on the origin of the Rapture online in many places, but suffice it to say that no one, anywhere in history, ever believed in the Rapture until nearly the 19th century. It does seem strange that no one ever seems to ask the obvious question –if the Rapture is so blatantly a part of the Bible, then why did no one figure it out for over 1,800 years?…It all began in the 19th century, with Edward Irving, a Scottish clergyman, and John Nelson Darby, a member of the Plymouth Brethren. Irving was intensely interested in the study of prophecy. Darby specifically taught that the Rapture would take place before the coming of Christ. For the most part, it all starts with Darby. Cyrus Ingerson Scofield embraced Darby’s views about the Rapture, and placed them prominently in the footnotes of his Scofield Reference Bible, published in 1909, and which was widely used in England and America. Once the Rapture appeared in the Scofield Reference Bible, it spread like fire among fundamentalist protestants and throughout the budding Protestant denominations which appeared in the 19th century…..This is important. There is no secret Rapture, in which the Lord sneaks by the earth to grab the faithful without anyone seeing Him. Folks will not be here one moment and be gone the next in a mass disappearance that no one can explain. At the Second Coming of our Lord, there will be no possible doubt. We will know it –it will be impossible not to know it. He will come “In the clouds of heaven,” -Matthew 24: 30; Revelation 1: 7 “As the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west.” -Matthew 24: 27 “Every eye shall see Him!” -Revelation 1: 7 “The dead will rise from their graves!” -I Thessalonians 4: 16 “Time will stop! The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat!” -2 Peter 3: 10 The event will be unmistakable, to say the least…..There is no “secret Rapture” where the Lord comes secretly and takes all the “good guys” to heaven and then plunges the world into all sorts of horrible tribulations. In fact, the whole purpose of the teachings of the Lord about His return and turbulent times isn’t about satisfying curiosity or even giving us “signs of the times” to let us “know” when all this will happen! No, not at all!. The Lord and the Church gives us these teachings to do what all the faith is suppose to do: Strengthen and motivate us toward Endurance, Faithfulness, Hope, Confidence, and Love. Today, use the message of the Second Coming as your motivating factor that while the world may experience earthquakes, war, famine, and various apocalyptic events, don’t let those distract you from your purpose. You are to endure! You are to stay faithful regardless of the circumstances of the world. You have all the tools you need to finish your life well and have “a good defense before the Awesome Judgment seat of Christ.”” (John Peck & Barnabas Powell, Rejecting Rapturemania: Making Sense Of The Second Coming, 52-105 (Kindle Edition); Preachers Institute)
Friends, we need to be ready for the Second Coming! Contrary to popular theology, the Second Coming could happen at any moment. Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and arose from the dead three days later to save you from an eternal Hell (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
Why not today, as a believer, repent and be baptized by the authority of Christ to have your sins forgiven and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38)?