Is the 'Rapture' Near?

By Curtis Rittenour | Posted June 09, 2015

Is the rapture the next event on the prophetic calendar? One famous evangelical says “foreshocks” of Armageddon indicate the rapture of the church could happen soon. What does the Bible say?

Quoting from Matthew 24, Pastor Greg Laurie of the Harvest Church in California believes that we are witnessing “foreshocks” of Armageddon. Pointing to the growth of ISIS, the nuclear abilities of Iran to threaten Israel, and the aggressiveness of Russia and China, he states that the doomsday clock is three minutes to midnight. He writes,

Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth. [1]

All of this is biblically sound, but then he adds, “In my opinion, the next event on this prophetic calendar is the Rapture of the Church… That’s when all true believers are caught up to meet the Lord, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” He is speaking here of a teaching also known as “the secret rapture."

Will there be a rapture? Absolutely. Will it be a secret? No. The word “rapture,” which is not found in the Bible, simply means “to be carried away with power.” It is true that, when Jesus comes, the saved will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17). But many believe such a rapture will take place “quietly,” as seen in the popular book series Left Behind. They teach that faithful Christians all around the world will suddenly disappear and that life here on earth will continue for a seven-year period of tribulation. During this time, they say, many will be converted and have a “second chance” at salvation before Christ’s final coming.

Although the secret rapture scenario appears comforting at first glance, there is absolutely no scriptural support for it. The Bible plainly teaches that when Jesus comes again, every one of our senses will be bombarded with evidence! Jesus coming will be literal (Acts 1:9–11), it will be visible (Revelation 1:7), and it will be audible (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

Jesus’ coming will not be secret. It will open graves (John 6:40), it will destroy the earth (Revelation 6:14), and it will mean a final judgment (Matthew 16:27). One of the primary verses that confuse people on this topic speaks of Christ coming as a “thief in the night.” But if you look carefully at Peter’s reference to Christ’s coming, it certainly is not a secret!

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).

It is the suddenness of Christ’s return that will seem like a thief in the night. But to those who are ready for His return, we will not be caught unaware. Do not be fooled by the false teaching of the rapture. There is no second chance. The time to be ready for Christ’s return is now.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Read more about the secret rapture in Anything But Secret! by Pastor Doug. Click here.

Curtis Rittenour
Curtis J. Rittenour is the senior writer at Amazing Facts International. He pastored for 25 years and has authored books, magazine articles, blogs, and seminars.

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