Archive for July 2011

The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ Part 3

The Rapture part 3

by

Jose de Carvalho

The New Testament does not justify an idea of two separate returns of Christ (rapture) as no such view is explicitly thought in any passage, it is an inference drawn from differences in between passages that describe Christ return from different perspectives.

This post must be read subsequent to perusing my previous two posts on the ‘rapture’ http://whataddsmeaningtolife.co.za/?p=264 and http://whataddsmeaningtolife.co.za/?p=276

I Corinthians chapter 15

Some assert that these verses confirm a rapture concept of eschatology. However, this text is not a discussion on the end time events but the resurrection. Death was defeated at the empty tomb (v. 20) thus validation that believers are reassured of their own resurrection in Christ (v. 22). We must be careful of our theological agendas driving the interpretation of a context.

A secret event?

The rapture is quite clearly linked with the Lords return and not a secret event, the loud trumpet of God in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and the trumpet at which our bodies are changed into immortality in Corinthians 15:51-52 all seem to be the same trumpet, the last trumpet before the end (Matt 24:31) “at the last trumpet” this was an Old Testament way of announcing the end-time events by means of the shophar. The second coming will be heard and visible to all.

Regarding the contention that at the rapture, believers “meet the Lord in the air “(1 Thessalonians 4:17), but at the second coming, believers return with the Lord to the earth as proof that the events are distinct I offer the following:

The Second Coming is referred to repeatedly in 1 Thessalonians (1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:1-11), notice that neither in this book nor 2 Thess. does Paul mention (see also 1 Cor. 15:25) an earthly reign but an eternal reign. Paul’s terminology implies the eternal kingdom begins when Jesus returns. This is exactly what he is asserts in all his epistles without any further elaboration. Paul does not even imply that Jesus returns completely to the earth (neither does the Lord), therefore the fact that believers “meet the Lord” in the air (1 Thess. 4:17) does not prove that the events Paul is referring to are distinct from the second coming.

Finally, from the commentary in all the posts in this series it is not difficult to see that all the passages refer to a single event, the second return of Christ. I am thus compelled not to go beyond Christ’s and the apostles teaching on the matter.