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Verses

Where in the Bible does the secret rapture teaching come from?

Hello M,

Thank you for contacting ProofDirectory.

The secret rapture theory is based on a few texts which have been taken out of context. There are two main concepts in Scripture that have been used to substantiate a “secret” rapture:

1- The idea that Jesus will come as “a thief in the night.” The secret rapture theory assumes this means that Christ will come secretly to steal away the righteous and carry them quietly to heaven.

Christ’s coming is described as “a thief” several times throughout the New Testament. Let’s look at one of these passages and see if it describes a secret rapture. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). That doesn’t sound like a secret event!

Christ’s coming will not be quiet, but it would be sudden and unexpected that the wicked would be taken by surprise. Jesus said, “If the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:39, 40). Likewise, Paul told the Christians in Thessalonica, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4). God does not want His followers to be surprised. He wants all to be watchful and ready.

2- The second idea is found in Luke 17:34-36: “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

This passage, according to Secret rapture, teaches that the saints will suddenly disappear from the earth when Jesus returns. Let’s take a look at the evidence and see what these verses actually teach:

In Luke 17:34-36, Jesus uses some symbols to illustrate a simple point. At the end of time, there will be just two groups of people living upon the earth-the lost and the saved.

  • Two men in one bed. A bed generally connotes sleep, and Jesus used sleep as a symbol of death. He said to the disciples, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead” (John 11:11, 14). In the resurrection at the last day, there will be two kinds of people sleeping in the grave-the lost and the saved.
  • Two women grinding together. In Bible prophecy, a woman is a symbol of a church (Jeremiah 6:2). Grinding grain represents working with the Word of God. When Christ comes, there will be two kinds of churches-the false and the true. Both will be seemingly sharing the word, but only one will be saved.
  • Two men in the field. The field represents the world (Matthew 13:38). When Jesus comes again, there will be two kinds of laborers laboring out in the field-the false and the true. This is why He said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22, 23).

Although the secret rapture scenario may appear comforting and soothing, there is absolutely no scriptural support for it. Instead, the Bible plainly teaches that when Jesus comes again, all of our senses will be bombarded with His coming.

In His service,

ProofDirectory Team

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