Resurrection & Rapture

Matthew 22:23-33

They didn’t believe that man was spirit, they thought that death was the end of everything. No resurrection. The temple served as the centre of society. They tended to be temple focused people who only really accepted the Torah as the word of God. They were the priests, the leaders and the rich in society. They had a reputation for corruption.

In Matthew 22:29 Jesus said they knew neither the scriptures or the power of God. They had a spirit similar to that which we read of in 2 Tim 3 in which the Holy Spirit says that in the last days people will have a form of Godliness but deny its power. The Sadducees may no longer exist as a sect but the spirit behind them is still prevalent today.

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul is having to defend the Resurrection because some Christians were teaching things like baptism for the dead and also that the Resurrection would not take place. Paul refutes it and describes the Resurrection and what our new bodies will be like. In the middle of it he tells them that not all will be resurrected because some will be raptured. The Rapture and the Resurrection occur at the same time. Both occur prior to the Tribulation.

Just as Paul had to defend the Resurrection we must also defend the Rapture as a pre-Tribulation event. So many teach that the church will go through the Tribulation but there is a lot of confusion in many minds about what it is. Some think it is just persecution of believers, some question it as a right teaching saying that the word Rapture does not appear in their bible and many are asking are we in the Tribulation now. This is a confusion that comes about from not knowing what the Word says about the Rapture.

To understand the Rapture we need to understand the Tribulation. The Tribulation is the outpouring of the wrath of God on the people of the world, those that have rejected Jesus. It is a time of incredible destruction poured out on the earth. Billions of people die over the 7 year period as the Seals, Vials and Trumpets unveil the judgement of God. When the 4th Seal is opened one quarter of the earth dies, that’s approximately 2 billion people. This is a time on earth like nothing that has been before. God’s wrath is poured out.

But we know that the Word tells us that we shall be saved from wrath through Jesus. Romans 5:9.

The church is a mystery in the Old Testament, it is never mentioned. It is inserted into God’s calendar as a parenthesis and when the church is removed God returns again to His dealings with Israel and that nation becomes the centre of His plans on earth. The Seventieth Week that Daniel spoke of then starts and that is the Tribulation period lasting 7 years.

The Rapture being the removal of the church prior to the Tribulation has to be defended. It is attacked in so many ways, some bizarre like the assertion that the teaching about the rapture did not appear until John Derby (Brethren) heard it in a prophecy given by a Scottish lady called Margaret McDonald in 1830. In all the teaching I have heard from proponents of the Rapture I have never heard any teach that God fist spoke of it through a prophet in 1830.

Ephraem the Syrian 373AD

“Believe you me, dearest brothers, because the coming of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time…. Because all saints and the Elect of the Lord are gathered together before the tribulation which is about to come and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins”

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