Summary: An Eastern Orthodox view of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
9 Reasons why the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
does not include a “Rapture”
Reason #1 - The word “Rapture” is not scriptural. It is a transliteration of the Latin Vulgate word “rapere.” This is how the bible translators of the Latin Vulgate Bible translated the Greek word “harpazo” which means to catch away, or to snatch. “Caught up” is the proper translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The Second Coming of Christ does not take place in stages. His second coming at the end of the tribulation period includes the resurrection of believers bodies which are united with their spirits, and the translation of the saints who are alive into their new spiritual bodies likened to Jesus Christ’s. It says “together with them” or those who are united with their resurrected bodies and those who are alive are experiencing this event together at the same time.
Reason #2 – Second Thessalonians 2:1-8 does not refer to the Holy Spirit or the Church. Paul speaks of the Antichrist in previous verses 1-5. In Greek grammatical terms verse 6 phrases “the thing holding back” means the power of God and “for him to be revealed” means the Antichrist is waiting to be revealed. The “restrainer” is mentioned no where else in Scripture. The power of God is “the thing holding back” and the “it” of verse 7, “until it comes out of the midst.” Paul continues to explain in verse 7 that “he is holding back now.” refers to the lawless one or the Antichrist.” The lawless one is waiting for God to allow him to be revealed. The power of God referred to here is not the Holy Spirit, but the same power of God that keeps the universe together. This does not assert that the Holy Spirit is not the power of God. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit came to earth to do three things according to our Lord Jesus: He will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. The Holy Spirit cannot leave the earth, discontinue His primary reason for being here, nor discontinue His part of building the Body of Christ, or His working in the unsaved during this period of history.
Reason #3 - Revelation 3:10, the letter to the Church in Philadelphia states “…I will keep you from the hour of trial that shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on earth.” Jesus Christ will keep the Body of Christ from the hour of trial that the inhabitants of the earth will go through! This is a message to those persevering Christians who keep His Word and are obedient to it! The Church will not suffer the wrath of God during the tribulation period. Jesus will keep the Church away from God’s wrath!
Reason #4 - Revelation 4:1, does not refer to the Church being “raptured,” even if there is no use of the word “church” until the end of the tribulation period. John did not write this letter in sequential order or in chronological order prophetically. John was ordered by Christ to “come up here” in order that the may receive a heavenly perspective of the things which were to take place on earth. Symbolically, the Church is mentioned many times using other words all through the book of Revelation.
Reason #5 - Israel and the Church are the People of God, One Nation, a holy priesthood unto God (1 Peter 2:9). The Church is not a parenthetical statement in history created because of Israel’s disobedience. The Body of Christ is made up of Jew and Gentile, one Church, one Body in Christ. The Church includes the redeemed of all the ages.
Reason #6 - The following is a correct interpretation of Daniel chapter 9. Jesus the Messiah fulfilled this prophecy.
a. Seven weeks during which the temple would be rebuilt.
b. Sixty-two weeks, culminating in the first advent of the Messiah.
c. One week, this would constitute the earthly ministry of the Messiah.
Halfway through that week the crucifixion would take place.
d. The Crucifixion of the Messiah (He is cut-off) in 30 AD.
e. Daniel 9:24 is fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s life, death, resurrection and
ascension. It is the sum total of Daniel’s 70 weeks.
Reason #7 - Some Christians incorrectly believe in the pre-tribulation “rapture” and that Israel (the Jewish people) have a claim to the land of Palestine. It is curious that Israel and these Christians ignore the clear teaching of Scripture of the Old Testament to the effect that the occupancy of the land of Palestine was granted to the Jews on the condition of covenantal obedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The return of the Jews to Palestine in unbelief hardly fulfills such a biblical requirement to the belief in the pre-tribulation “rapture.”
Reason #8 - These seventeen (17) Scripture passages that prove that the “righteous shall remain” always on earth, i.e., that the Church will go through a tribulation period, but be guarded by our Lord from the wrath of God until He comes again!