What does the
church of Christ teach about the rapture? What does the
Bible teach about the rapture?
Will there be a
Rapture followed by an earthly reign of Jesus?
Followers of this
doctrine believe that there will be
an earthly millennial reign of Jesus on earth following an event where Jesus
Christ will “snatch away” his saints to heaven. This event is called the
"Rapture". Following this event, Jesus will supposedly reign on Earth for
a thousand years. The doctrine of millennialism and the rapture contradict
some very compelling Biblical scripture.
First, if the Rapture is
true, there will have to be more than one resurrection in the future separated
by a significant time period. The Bible clearly states that the
resurrection of the just and the unjust will happen in the same hour.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is
coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have
done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the
resurrection of damnation.
that are in the graves" are
resurrected to their final reward in the same hour then there can be no time
span of centuries between resurrections.
Second, if the Rapture is
true, Jesus Christ will have to return to earth and live in the flesh again. The Bible
clearly states that Jesus is no longer known in the flesh.
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though
we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him
no more." (KJV)
He will not, therefore, return to dwell in the flesh. Concerning His
first coming, Paul wrote in Romans 8:3, “For what the law could
not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in
the flesh.” But in sharp contrast, of his second coming the
Hebrew writer declares that Christ “shall appear a second time,
apart from sin.” (Hebrews 9:28). Those words can
have no meaning if Christ comes back in the flesh to dwell on earth
because He is not going to be joined with anything associated with
sin. Mankind knew Jesus in the flesh at the time of His
first advent. That is the last time mankind will ever see Him
in a fleshly body.
Thirdly, if the Rapture is true, Jesus will return to earth, establish an
earthly kingdom and rule it from Jerusalem. If Jesus were to rule from
Jerusalem, He would violate a vow given by God to Coniah or Jeconiah, King of
30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not
prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the
throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
The key words in this
passage are "in Judah" By direct edict of God Himself, no descendant of Jeconiah will ever sit on the
throne of David and rule from Jerusalem which was in Judah. Jesus was a
descendant of Jeconiah from both the lineage of Joseph and Mary. The
lineages of Joseph and Mary crossed paths through Zorobabel, who was the great
grandson of Jeconiah. Matthew traced the lineage of Jesus through Joseph.
11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were
carried away to Babylon:
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and
Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat
Luke traced the lineage
of Jesus through His mother Mary and the lineage crossed paths with Joseph's.
Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of
Zorobabel , which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,
Jesus was therefore
descended from Jeconiah through both the lineage of His mother and His earthly
father. God left absolutely no doubt in anybody's mind on this, nothing
was left to speculation. Jesus was the descendant of Jeconiah 22
generations through Mary and 14 generations through Joseph.
God emphatically stated
that "no man of his [Jeconiah's]
seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in
We know that Jesus reigns
from Heaven setting on the right hand side of God, (1
Peter 3:22). This is not in Judah. God said never again "in
Judah", which eliminates the possibility of Jesus ruling an earthly kingdom
In the next chapter of
Jeremiah, the inspired writer prophecies the coming of Jesus and proclaims that
a king will descend from David and will reign and will execute judgment and
justice in the earth and he will be called Our Lord our righteousness, (Jeremiah
23:5-6) But Jesus can never rule from within Judah without
violating the Word of God, written by the inspired writer, Jeremiah, only 6
verses earlier. Both Joseph and Mary were related to David too. Mary
was a descendant of David through Nathan, (Luke
3:31). Joseph was a descendant of David through Solomon, (Matthew
Many people who teach
millennialism believe that Jesus tried to set up an earthly Kingdom at the time
of His life on earth but was rejected by the Jews and crucified. The truth
is that one time the Jews tried to force Jesus to be an earthly king and He
Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of
a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force,
to make him a king , he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
Those who saw Jesus
feed 5000 wanted to take Him by force and make him a king. If Jesus
had come to set up an earthly reign, certainly this would have been possible
at that time. Yet the Bible says Jesus departed from them and went
into a mountain alone.
One of the
arguments in support of the rapture and subsequent millennial reign
is that God still has to fulfill the land promise to the
children of Israel. In Joshua 21:43-45, we see that God
already fulfilled that promise, "And the Lord gave unto Israel
all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they
possessed it, and dwelt therein. 44 And the Lord gave them rest
round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and
there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord
delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 There failed not
ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of
Israel; all came to pass." God indeed fulfilled His
land promise to the Israelites. The fact that they broke His
covenant with them and lost that land does not mean they never
The rapture and the
millennial reign of Christ cannot be true if it is not 100 percent Biblically
supported and it is not. This is by no means an exhaustive look at what
scripture teaches about the kingdom of God. But it is enough when God says it
won't happen in Jerusalem, that honest Biblical students will seek further for
links to additional lessons on this and other topics pertaining to
Millennialism. We thank you for your interest and it is our
desire that God is glorified and you are edified from a study of the
material published on this site:
November 4, 2014