We often hear of critics who deny the Rapture of the church - when the Lord Jesus will suddenly come to take all His people from the world to meet Him in the sky. They say it is a modern invention and that it is not in the Bible. No, they are quite wrong. It IS in the Bible and from the very beginning the church has taught a Pre-tribulational Rapture of believers.
The Rapture, the Blessed Hope of all believers, was believed and looked for in the early church.
- Some Christians were so sure of it happening in their day that they stopped working and just waited. Paul upbraided them and told them to get back to work and stop being idle.
- The Rapture is in the Epistle of Barnabus in the 1st Century.
- Ireneus taught it, as did Hippolatus, disciple of Ireneus in the 2nd Century.
- Justin Martyr mentioned it in his dialogue with Typho.
- Ephraim the Syrian in the 4th Century has only recently been translated from the Greek and in one sermon he says that: 'all the saints, the elect of God, are gathered prior to the Tribulation that is to come and are taken to the Lord, lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.'
- Peter Jireau in the 17th Century believed in the Rapture.
- McKnight's Commentary in the 17th Century teaches the Rapture.
All of which shows that a core of believers down through history, from the earliest days of the church, believed and taught the Rapture. Not that any of this matters much, because it is what the Bible teaches, what God says, that is important, whether men believe it or not. And the Bible clearly teaches the Rapture of the church. Why would anyone NOT believe it?
Check out the two key scriptures:
1 Thes 4:16-18
'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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.'
1 Cor 15:51,52 'Behold , I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep , but we shall all be changed ,in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound , and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed . '
Alan has a Powerpoint presentation of teaching on the Rapture which goes into much greater detail, with more proofs. Anyone who would like him to speak and show this at their church in Britain or North America can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org We also have a DVD Powerpoint presentation on the Rapture which Alan gave to our church. It shows beyond doubt that the Rapture has to be pre-trib.
After giving his Rapture teaching at our local church, some people said they had always been confused and unsure about the Rapture before seeing his presentation. For further information on the rapture, please key in "rapture" into our search engine- top right.