Is there really a Secret Rapture?

The secret rapture doctrine teaches that the coming of Jesus will be in two separate stages. The first, a secret rapture of the Church at the beginning of a seven year tribulation period followed by His glorious, audible, triumphant return to Earth accompanied by the Church at the end of the seven years.

It also teaches that during this seven-year period the Antichrist is going to come into power, sit in a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and declare himself to be God. It says that the war of Armageddon is a literal war of nations against literal Israel, which occurs near the end of the seven years and is ended abruptly by Christ’s return with His Church. It says that literal Israel accepts the Lord as the Messiah and enters with Him as His covenant people into the 1000-year reign on earth. Those who ultimately reject Christ’s rule will be judged and destroyed at the end of the Millennium.

Is this what the Bible really shows?

In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said “…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Why would He promise to be with the church until the ‘end of the world’ if He intended to come seven years before the end to take them out of the world?

The Bible shows clearly that God’s church will still be on earth when Jesus returns. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

It shows that when Jesus returns His angels will gather His people from the earth. Matthew 24:31 “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” How could they gather the church from the earth if the church had come back with Christ?

Every eye will see Jesus when He returns. This includes all of the non-believers and all of the believers. Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

The Bible shows that His return will be sudden, and unexpected for unbelievers and those who have not studied His prophecies. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 says “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” This verse also shows that the unbelievers will be destroyed when Jesus returns.

When the Lord returns there will be nothing secret about it. The dead in Christ will rise first, those of us who have overcome the time of tribulation and persecution and are still alive will be caught up to meet Him in the sky. All of the unbelievers will be destroyed and the earth will melt. 2 Peter 3:12 “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

We will then go with Him to heaven where we will reign for a thousand years and the books will be opened and we will judge the nations. Revelation 20:4-5 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus (definitely shows that they were on earth during the tribulation), and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

The Bible shows that Jesus comes and gathers His people and that the unbelievers are all destroyed and are not raised again until the end of the millennium. The believers reign in heaven for a thousand years, as the earth has been destroyed. At the end of the millennium God makes a “new heaven and a new earth”.

All Bible references are from the King James Version.