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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.

John 5:28-29
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
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.

If "all 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. 

2 Corinthians 5:16
"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 Judah. 

Jeremiah 22:30
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.

Matthew 1:11-13
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 Azor;

Luke traced the lineage of Jesus through His mother Mary and the lineage crossed paths with Joseph's.

Luke 3:27
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 Judah"

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 from Jerusalem. 

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 1:6). 

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 refused to.

John 6:14-15
(14) 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.
(15) 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 received it. 

In summary.

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 the truth.

Following are 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:


Sermon Title  
(Right Click to Download)




Bobby Stafford The Israel of God Millennialism August 31, 2008
Bobby Stafford 2 Kings Millennialism August 10, 2008
Bobby Stafford The Thousand Year Reign    
Bobby Stafford The Battle of Armageddon    
David Hersey The Battle of Armageddon    
Bobby Stafford Introduction to Pre-millennialism    

Updated November 4, 2014

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