The 'secret rapture' theory has become a widespread teaching throughout the Christian world. Is it Biblical? What is the Bible truth about the secret rapture and how Jesus Christ will return at the second coming?
Secret Rapture Truth
What is the secret rapture? This teaching is to do with the belief that Jesus Christ will return in two stages. At the first stage, Jesus will rapture away the church secretly just before the start of a 7 year tribulation. After the 7 year tribulation, Jesus will return physically with the church.
So, at some point in the near future, will God's people suddenly vanish? Let's find out the truth about the secret rapture theory.
The words 'secret rapture' do not appear together anywhere in the Bible. Not only that, but the word rapture itself does not appear anywhere in the Bible. The word 'rapture' has been based on the words 'caught up' in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 ....'For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.' .....This is the scripture that the word 'rapture' is based on, where the saints meet Jesus in the air when He returns, and yet reading the verses above in context actually exposes the 'secret rapture' theory as false. How does Jesus return in the verses above? 'With a shout, and with the trump of God.' There's not even a hint of secrecy about it, it's a very noisy event!
The secret rapture theory was invented by the Jesuits. Why would the Jesuits come up with a false teaching of how Jesus would return? Well, the Jesuits are part of the Roman Catholic Church and during the reign of the Catholic Church between 538AD - 1798, they used force to make people bow down to them, but kings and rulers in Europe during the great reformation turned on the Catholic Church and rejected their use of force. The Roman Catholic Church were now being exposed by the reformers as 'Antichrist' and could no longer use force, and therefore started an order known as the 'society of Jesus' (the Jesuits) lead by Ignatius Loyola, to introduce subtle deceptions into Bible doctrine, with this 'secret rapture' theory being one of them.
Matthew 24:37-42 ….'But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.' ….. The above verse is the one used a lot in the secret rapture teaching, but they have it the wrong way round. Jesus is saying to remember what happened in Noah's day. Noah preached to the people telling them of the coming flood that would destroy the world, but the people just mocked him and ignored him, but when the flood did come, it TOOK THEM AWAY and destroyed them. Did you notice what Jesus is focusing on? He is describing how the wicked were taken, not the righteous. Now, what does Jesus say in Matthew 13? …… 'Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them.' .....The wicked are TAKEN FIRST!! So as in Noah's day, the wicked were TAKEN away by the flood (destroyed) and Noah and his family were LEFT (alive), so the same will happen when Jesus returns at the second coming. The wicked will be TAKEN first(destroyed), and the saved will be LEFT (alive). Are you getting this amazing Bible truth? The verse that says 'one shall be taken and the other left', means that the person who is lost (wicked), will be taken and destroyed first, and the other person who is saved (righteous) will be left alive to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. So with the wicked lost person being the one taken first, this completely exposes the secret rapture teaching to be false.
Matthew 28:20 ....'lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.' …. Why would Jesus say He would be with us until the end of the world, if He was going to rapture away His people BEFORE the end of the world? The secret rapture teaching contradicts what Jesus is saying here.
John 6:40 .....' And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.' ..... The resurrection is on the 'last day'.
John 6:44 …..' No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.' ..... Resurrection on the 'last day'.
John 11:24 ….' Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.' ..... Resurrection on the 'last day'.
John 12:48 .....' He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.'
Do you see the main focus here in the above verses? Eternal life is given on the 'last day'; The resurrection happens on the 'last day'; And judgment is given on the 'last day'. This last day is the physical second coming of Jesus Christ. The whole focus given in the New testament is of the promise of the physical second coming of Christ on the last day, not a secret rapture.
Matthew 13:24-30 ....' Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.'…… Do you realise that with just this verse, the secret rapture theory is proven false? Jesus says to leave the righteous and the wicked TOGETHER UNTIL THE HARVEST. When is the Harvest? Take a look at the following:
You may say, 'well the harvest is at the secret rapture'. Let's see when Jesus said the harvest would be …… Matthew 13:38-40 …..'The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.' …. This is the Bible truth. The harvest is at the 'end of the world', 'the last day', 'resurrection day'. This is the day that the authors of the Bible focused on, not some secret rapture before the end. Notice also, that Jesus confirms that the reapers are the angels, who come with Him at the second coming, which is confirmed in the following verses:
Notice in this following verse that it also confirms the angels to be the reapers, but this only happens at the physical second coming of Jesus, not before …… Matthew 24:30-31 .....' And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.'
Now remember that the Bible does not mention even one word of a secret rapture. Let's see what is does say about how Jesus will return at the second coming:
Matthew 24:27 .....' For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.'
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 .....' For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.'
Matthew 25:31 .....' When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.'
2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 ...' And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
Revelation 1:7 ....' Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.'
Friend, there is going to be no secret rapture. Jesus isn't going to secretly take His people away. There is only one event where the righteous saved are taken, and that is at the loud, physical, fiery, bright, thunderous, glorious second coming of Jesus Christ.
Let's take a look at the 'thief in the night' verses, that the secret rapture teachers like to use:
1 Thessalonians 5:2 ....'For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.' …. The problem here with those who believe in the secret rapture theory is that they stop when it says 'thief in the night'. But if we carry on and read this all in context, then we can see the real Bible truth of what is being said. Verses 3-4 ….'For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.' ….. Notice that when He does come as a thief in the night, then SUDDEN DESTRUCTION! Who does Jesus come as a thief in the night upon? THE LOST! Do you see what the truth here? That day should not overtake YOU (child of God) as a thief. So Jesus doesn't come for US (children of God) as a thief, He comes for the lost as a thief. How would Jesus return as a thief to those who are watching and waiting and ready for Him? He will only return as a thief to those who are NOT watching and waiting, ie. the lost! Friend, this is the Bible truth of God which is being revealed to you.
There is more scripture verses that talk about Jesus coming as a thief:
2 Peter 3:10 .....' But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.' ….. What does it say if we read on after it says 'thief in the night'? Remember, the secret rapture teachers like to stop once it says 'thief in the night'. So the Lord will come as a thief in the night; IN WHICH THE HEAVENS SHALL PASS AWAY WITH A GREAT NOISE AND THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT.' The secret rapture theory is completely exposed as false.
There are more verses describing Jesus coming as a thief, but have a good think about them:
Matthew 24:43 ….'But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.'
Revelation 3:3 ….'Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.'
Revelation 16:15 ….'Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.'
Do you see the truth of what is being said in these verses? It is to those who are not ready, those who are lost that Jesus comes as a thief to, because they were not watching or waiting and were not ready for the second coming of Christ and it will be a surprise to them. To those who are saved and have watched and waited and prepared for Christ's return, He will not return as a thief to them, because they will be READY for Him. How can He come as a thief to those who are watching and waiting for Him? It's impossible! The same if you were waiting for a thief to break into your house, it wouldn't be a surprise because you were waiting for him. Take a look at the following verse:
John 10:10 ….'The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.' ….. There you have it. The thief does not come to save the children of God, to take them away secretly, the thief comes to kill and destroy. For the saved, the children of God, Jesus comes to give life!
It would be no good for a thief to come to your house if you were watching and waiting and ready for him, because then he would not be able to break in and rob you. In the same way, Jesus will not return as a thief to those who are watching and waiting and preparing for His return. Friend, we need to be ready for Jesus every day, so that He does not catch us out like a thief. The Bible truth declares that those who Jesus comes as a thief to, are lost!
Friend, please don't put your trust in this false teaching of the secret rapture and get yourself ready for the second coming of your Saviour.