Books promoting the rapture idea have sold millions, but from 1988 to now, it's been a no-show. If we are supposed to be raptured before tribulation, what can we say to those who are in tribulation now? Would it be fair of God to give us a free pass from our lukewarm western churches while others are dying for their faith?

Could we have misunderstood Christ's words? If not, does the Bible contradict itself?--“We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22.

Many scholars are no longer convinced...
The rapture is not clearly taught in the Bible and because of this, it's easy to jump to a mistaken conclusion. For example, Christ says that "when He comes and knocks," we should "open to Him immediately." Luke 12:36. If you have been taught to believe in a rapture, it may be easy to think that's what Christ means here.

But several points don't fit rapture teaching. Why would Christ say, "Have your loins girded, have your lights burning" in the previous verse if He were going to rapture us, even from sleep? We don't need to sleep with our clothes or lights on. This is about something else.

1. When Christ said, "One shall be taken, and the other left" (Matthew 24:39-40), He wasn't talking about a rapture. Luke gives more details. The disciples asked, "Where, Lord? And He said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered." (Luke 17:37). With this additional information, it suggests that those who are taken are not raptured to heaven; they become the dinner for vultures. "One shall be taken and the other left" should not be understood as a rapture.

2. A pre-tribulation rapture is contrary to God's way of dealing throughout history. Our belief that it won't happen to us is based on a few texts that can be explained to mean something else. Everyone in history lived through trouble and died, except for Enoch and Elijah (discussed below).

3. Christ said, "As it was in the days of Noah" (Luke 17:26). Noah wasn't raptured; he came through the storm. Enoch was raptured before Noah was even born, so his being taken to heaven had nothing to do with avoiding the Flood or tribulation.

4. Elijah was raptured after he confronted false worship of Baal. Our confrontation will be with Antichrist when the United Nations mandates everyone to be marked or implanted for identity purposes, for this will be contrary to the Bible, Revelation 13:16,17; 14:9,10.

5. "As it was in the days of Lot," Luke 17:28. Lot wasn't raptured. He was told to flee, and Christ told us to flee when we see military. This is what caused early believers to flee in 66 AD. We are seeing a militarization of police. Are we shrugging it off because we expect to be raptured? Maybe it's time to think about how to obey Christ if martial law hits the US? Then will be tribulation, Matthew 24:15-21; Mark 13:14-20.

6. When asked about the end of the world, Christ said to understand Daniel. Daniel and his friends were tested by life and death situations in each of the first six chapters. This is not about a rapture. We would feel like second class citizens in heaven if we were raptured from trouble and lukewarm materialism (Revelation 3:17) if we did not have the opportunity to face trouble manfully as did Daniel, Peter or Paul.

"Daniel" means God is my Judge and we may only be judged when we face death and do right. Otherwise we may be "fair-weather" Christians. The Bible teaches that we don't know our own hearts; we might be like Peter who said he would go to prison and death with Christ, but later that night he ran and later denied that he knew Him!

7. "Broad is the way, that leads to destruction." Matthew 7:13. Millions of rapture books support a broad way that is pleasing to believe, but it could leave us unprepared and what will we do if events take us by surprise and aren't what we expect?

Some rapture believers ask, Will Christ drag His bride through trouble? Point #1 above shows an obvious misunderstanding of Luke's wedding parable. For a FREE 4-5 star book explaining this parable and how we can qualify--"He will make [us] ruler over all that He has," (Luke 12:44), visit Wednesday, September 10.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Richard Ruhling is a retired physician who offers seminars to churchrs on topics of health, Bible prophecy and current events as seen here: