The Lord is King! The Rapture

If you're reading this, you probably want to know what the book,"Then Comes the End," says about the rapture. The title of the book was prompted by such questions, for the Bible teaches that when the rapture occurs, then comes the end.

...then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Cor 15:24-26 NASB)

Can you see from this passage that when death is abolished, "then comes the end"? Death is the last enemy to be destroyed. Its destruction even follows the abolishment of "all authority and power." Yet more interesting is the fact that the abolishment of death will coincide with the gathering of the saints! That means that when Jesus comes to gather the faithful (the rapture), "then comes the end."

This is easily seen further along in Paul's discussion, for later in the same chapter he wrote:

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." (1 Cor 15:51-54 NIV)

Verse 54 tells us that victory over death (the last enemy) will finally "come true" when Jesus comes for us! So, as Paul said in verse 24, "then comes the end."

Since the gathering of the saints marks "the end," neither a tribulation nor a millennium could come later!

For this next discussion, read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. There Paul warned the Thessalonian church not to believe any report to the effect that the coming of the Lord and the gathering of the saints had already happened. It seems that there were false rumors being circulated that the Lord had returned and some of the faithful were worried that they might have missed it! But Paul assured them that two other events must come first. These are the rebellion (your translation may say "apostasy" or "falling away") and the revealing of the Man of Lawlessness (2 Thess 2:3). The latter will be destroyed at Christ's glorious coming (2 Thess 2:8), so it is clear that Paul was writing about the end of the age.

Most interpreters believe that the Man of Lawlessness is the same as the Antichrist, and that the apostasy is the falling away of the Church from the truth of the gospel during a time of intense tribulation immediately preceding the end. The Greek word used here, apostasia, indicates a falling away, or departure from the faith. It refers to a defection or a revolt, not a "taking away" by an external agent. Thus it has no reference to a rapture. Our English word apostasy comes from this Greek word. The only reasonable conclusions to draw from the passage are two, which, taken together, exclude the possibility of a pretrib rapture:

Notice the usage of the term, "the Day of the Lord" in verses 2 and 3. This one passage (verses 1 to 12) confirms that that Day encompasses the Second Advent of Christ, the gathering of the saints, the destruction of God's enemies, and the Final Judgment. That Day cannot come until after the Antichrist rises to power and the Church falls away from the truth.

Contrary to Paul's admonition in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, dispensationalists persist in deceiving the saints in this matter. They force-fit these verses to their doctrine, trying to make the passage support a pretrib rapture. But that is impossible. I challenge anyone, no matter how schooled in theology, Greek, or prophecy to make these verses say that, for they decisively refute it. The idea of a pretrib rapture could not have come from these verses. It is an obvious case where a preconceived doctrine is imposed upon the Bible, rather than letting the Bible be the teacher.

Above is a small sampling of the many reasons why there will be no pretribulational rapture. Many others are fully described in the book, which challenges you to find even a single verse to substantiate pretribulational doctrine.