UCG: Rapture False

6.7 Earthquake in Northridge California Destroyed the Above Building of Kaiser Permanente. Earthquakes are one of the signs pointing to Jesus return (Matthew 24:3-8), but will there be a pre-tribulation “rapture”?


In UCG’s latest issue of World News & Prophecy is the following:

The Rapture—A Popular but False Doctrine!

The rapture, often called “the blessed hope,” is sadly more hoax than hope, even though the man who started it had no intention of deceiving anyone. You need to know what the Bible actually says!

by Cecil E. Maranville

The rapture is widely taught and believed in Christianity today. Popular books and movies spin themes around this doctrine that essentially teaches Christ will come back twice, first coming only into the atmosphere to snatch believers away to heaven for several years; then actually returning to set foot on the earth.

We live in a time when most are content to get their knowledge of religion secondhand, preferably through dramatic presentations, including stage, screen and novels.

But you cannot afford to neglect your personal responsibility to prove the truth!

Those willing to take a careful look at the Bible will see that the rapture theory doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny of God’s Word…

Flawed foundation

The word rapture comes from the Latin rapere, meaning, “to seize” or “to abduct.” It is translated from the Greek word that is rendered “caught up” in English Bibles today.

All advocates of the rapture agree that the main argument is based on 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Here the argument stands or falls.

First, look at verse 17 in the New King James Version: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

The Greek verb for “caught up” is harpagesometha. Does it convey the sense of an abduction here? No, “[it] combines the ideas of force and suddenness seen in the irresistible power of God” (Leon Morris, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Revised Edition, 1984, p. 94).

Why would Paul use such a strong word? Let’s allow the Bible to speak for itself. The context of the subject begins in verse 13 and concludes in verse 11 of the next chapter. Paul wrote this section of the letter in answer to concerns of the local Christians.

As you read verse 13, you discover that Christians in Thessalonica were grieving over the unexpected deaths of members of their congregation.

Albert Barnes comments: “There seems some reason to suppose…that some of them believed that, though those who were dead would indeed rise again, yet it would be long after those who were living when the Lord Jesus would return had been taken to glory, and would always be in a condition inferior to them” ( Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Paul wrote that they should not grieve over this: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus [believers who had died]” (verse 14).

Was he responding to a worry about whether Christ would rescue believers from the Great Tribulation? No, nothing is said of this.

Nor is there anything in these verses that intimates Christ making a swooping pass by the earth to snatch off a few people to take them to heaven. These verses refer only to the doctrine of the second coming, at which time Jesus sets foot on the earth.

Perhaps I should add that while a majority of American evangelicals believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, the vast majority of Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, and many other Protestants do not.

And of course, the Living Church of God does not either.  We believe that the Bible is clear that their is a place of protection during the Great Tribulation, but it is on earth and limited to Philadelphia Christians (cf. Revelation 3:7-10).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?What does the Bible really teach? Who really is left behind?
Laodicean Warning for God’s People Is there really a place of safety? Do God’s people need to be warned? Warned for what?

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.