The Rapture and The Last Days
Lesson 11 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15
As we pick up our study of Revelation I want us to spend this week looking at a doctrine that may impact how you view parts of the book of Revelation. The doctrine known as the Doctrine of the Rapture shapes many people’s view of end time prophecy and what the times will be like just prior to Christ’s return.
So before we begin studying “what will come hereafter” in Revelation, let’s take a short break and briefly examine the doctrine of the rapture. For those new to studying the Bible “doctrine” implies a key teaching.
For this week then put on your research hats, get some good biblical resources or web sites you trust and let’s consider both sides of the argument – is there going to be a rapture and if so when?
Answer the following:
- Find a definition for the word “rapture” and write it here.
- Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4:13-18. What are the issues Paul is addressing with these verses?.
- Specifically in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 what is he telling the Thessalonians and us?
- The doctrine of the rapture begins with the Latin translation of the bible called the Vulgate. Can you find out why in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that translation resulted in us referring to this verse as the “rapture”?
- Now read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, what is Paul telling us in these verses? (If you’d like to learn a lot more about our resurrected body read the entire chapter it has much to say about our resurrection.) In verses 50-58 what is Paul telling us that might have relevance to the doctrine of the rapture?
- If someone holds a “pre-millennial” view, what does that person believe about the second coming of Christ?
- Within the pre-millennial view define what is meant by Pre-Tribulationist, Mid-Tribulationist and Post-Tribulationist in reference to the rapture.
- If you were a critic of the doctrine and did not believe in the rapture, what would your counter arguments be? See if you can think of some points of rebuttal – or do a little research and see if you can find counter arguments – briefly list some here:
Some additional food for thought – Christ was physically taken up into heaven in a physical resurrected body so that many could see the event, as was at least Enoch and perhaps others in the Bible. Additionally, in the parable about Lazarus the beggar and the rich man, the rich man is told that even if people were allowed to return from the dead to warn others that what Christ told them was true they would not be believed.
I don’t believe for a second that if the rapture happened in broad daylight – as it did with Christ and Enoch and perhaps others, that it would change a hardened heart. I would also point out, as others have, that all of the very visible miracles God did with the Nation of Israel, including showing himself in the Pillars of fire and smoke, still did not convince them-Secondly, consider this – if we believe the Ladociean church – the church that is lukewarm and that Christ spits out – is the church in existence when the tribulation period begins and the rapture takes place, is it possible by then that so few actual born again Christians exist, that no one even knows a rapture occurred?
In the end Christ put these verses here for us to be encouraged, to be strengthened and to make sure we were not swayed by false teaching and false doctrines – something that is always around us, and something that will be prevalent more so as His second coming approaches. Regardless of your position on the rapture, read those verses and KNOW that you will be getting an eternal body at the resurrection of the saints, and that you WILL be spending forever with Christ!
I hope this study has encouraged you and brought you hope and joy.
May God bless each of you as you continue to study with us.
Have a great week everyone!
Yours in Christ