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#6. WHO DOES JESUS COME BACK FOR AT THE RAPTURE?

This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and a Hebrew Unicode font, and is printable.

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Related Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.

Introduction 6

Those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture must either believe:

(1) That the rapture is only for a Gentile church, which is easily refutable, or
(2) That only part of the body of Christ will be taken up in the rapture, leaving at least the Jews to go through the tribulation, or
(3) That the Jews and the Gentiles who go through the tribulation are not part of the body of Christ at all.

This section will refute these errors by showing who Jesus comes back for, and this bible study shows that all of God's people will be taken up in the rapture at the same time.

#6.1 Everyone who sees the Son and Believes on Him

JOHN 6:40 (Jesus)
40 And this is the will of him who sent me, that every one who sees the Son, and believes in him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

JOHN 11:25
25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

HEBREWS 9:28
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to those who look for him shall he appear the second time without sin for salvation.

Note: Jesus is coming back to raise up "every one who sees the Son, and believes in him," (John 6:40), which includes both Jews and Gentiles, and those who die during the tribulation. These scriptures therefore refute the error of both a pre-tribulation rapture and a mid-tribulation rapture.

#6.2 Those whom the Father gives to Jesus

JOHN 6:39 (Jesus)
39 And this is the Father's will who has sent me, that of all whom he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

JOHN 6:44
44 No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Note: These scriptures show that the righteous dead will be raised "at the last day" of this pre-millennial age, and not seven, or three and a half years before it. Jesus said that he would raise up " all whom he has given me" (John 6:39) on "the last day": this includes Jews and Gentiles, and those who die during the tribulation. These scriptures therefore refute coming in the clouds.

#6.3 Those Accounted Worthy

MATTHEW 10:38-39 (Jesus)
38 And he who does not take his cross, and follow after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He who finds his life shall lose it: and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.

LUKE 20:34-36
34 And Jesus answering said to them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 But those who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

Note: Notice that in this scripture (Luke 20:35-36) the word "resurrection" is always singular, as it is elsewhere in the New Testament when it refers to the rapture. There is no mention of "resurrections" for the righteous, but only one resurrection which is also called, "the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:14), "the resurrection of life;" (John 5:29), "a better resurrection:" (Hebrews 11:35), and "the first resurrection." (Revelation 20:5). This will occur on the last day of this present age (#3.13), at Jesus' second coming (#3.2), after the tribulation (#3.4), after the sun and moon have been darkened (#3.5), after the heavens are shaken, and the stars fall from heaven (#3.6), after the heavens pass away (#3.7), after the seventh trumpet judgment (#3.8), and refutes the errors of both a pre-tribulation rapture and a mid-tribulation rapture.

#6.4 Those who eat the Flesh of Jesus and drink his Blood

JOHN 6:53-54
53 Then Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever eats1 my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Note: The word Whoever eats1 (Gr. ὁ τρώγων, Gtr. ho trōgōn) literally means "the eating man", or "the man who eats", and refers to anyone who will study God's word (eat his flesh), and partake of Jesus' life (drink his blood). The spiritual meaning of "the blood" is "the life" (Leviticus 17:10-14). This does not refer to Jews or Gentiles specifically, but both, who will all be resurrected on the last day of this present age (#3.13), at Jesus' second coming (#3.2), after the tribulation (#3.4), after the sun and moon have been darkened (#3.5), after the heavens are shaken, and the stars fall from heaven (#3.6), after the heavens pass away (#3.7), after the seventh trumpet judgment (#3.8), and refutes the errors of both a pre-tribulation rapture and a mid-tribulation rapture.

#6.5 Those who are Spiritually Wise

DANIEL 12:1-3
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

MATTHEW 25:1-13 (Jesus)
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 Those who were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, No; lest there is not enough for us and you: but you go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Amen I say to you, I do not know you.
13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man comes.

Note: These scriptures do not differentiate between Jews and Gentiles, but refer to all those who have sufficient spiritual wisdom to be ready for Jesus' second coming. The parable of the ten virgins is about the second coming of Jesus, and shows only one entrance into the marriage (Matthew 25:10), which is equivalent to one rapture. This occurs after the bride has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7), which is after Babylon comes in remembrance before God (Revelation 16:19) as part of the seventh bowl judgment (Revelation 16:17), after Babylon the great is destroyed (Revelation 18:1-8), after the earth mourns its destruction (Revelation 18:9-19), and when Jesus comes again at the end of this pre-millennial age (Revelation 19:11-21). Those who did not make that one entrance were shut out permanently (v12), refuting the idea that some will be raptured before the tribulation, while others go through it. The one entrance into the marriage (v10) will be when all of God's chosen people will be raptured, on the last day of this present age (#3.13), at Jesus' second coming (#3.2), after the tribulation (#3.4), after the sun and moon have been darkened (#3.5), after the heavens are shaken, and the stars fall from heaven (#3.6), after the heavens pass away (#3.7), after the seventh trumpet judgment (#3.8), and refutes the errors of both a pre-tribulation rapture and a mid-tribulation rapture.

#6.6 Those who have done Good

JOHN 5:28-29 (Jesus)
28 Do not marvel at this: for the hour is coming, in which all who are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

Note: In this scripture (John 5:29) Jesus comes back for "those who have done good", with no mention of whether they are Jews or Gentiles. It obviously includes both. What does the scripture say about the 144,000 Israelites of the last days?

(Revelation 14:4-5) "These are those who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits to God and to the Lamb.
And in their mouth was found no deceit: for they are without fault before the throne of God."

If they are "without fault" then surely they must have done many good works, and must be included in those whom Jesus returns for. The word "resurrection" is singular, as it is elsewhere in the New Testament when it refers to the rapture. There is no mention of "resurrections" for the righteous, but only one resurrection, which is also called "the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:14), "the resurrection from the dead," (Luke 20:35), "a better resurrection:" (Hebrews 11:35), and "the first resurrection." (Revelation 20:5). This will occur on the last day of this present age (#3.13), at Jesus' second coming (#3.2), after the tribulation (#3.4), after the sun and moon have been darkened (#3.5), after the heavens are shaken, and the stars fall from heaven (#3.6), after the heavens pass away (#3.7), after the seventh trumpet judgment (#3.8), and refutes the errors of both a pre-tribulation rapture and a mid-tribulation rapture.

#6.7 The dead and the living "in Christ"

1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-53 (Paul)
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 THESSALONIANS 4:15-17 (Paul)
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep.
16 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.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Note: Who are the dead "in Christ" who rise at the rapture? It included the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:2), the churches of Judaea (Galatians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14), Titus and Paul (Galatians 2:3-4), Jews, Greeks, bond, free, male, and female (Galatians 3:28), circumcised and uncircumcised (Galatians 6:15), the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1; 2:10), the Philippians (Philippians 1:26; 3:3), the Colossians (Colossians 1:2; 1:4), the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 5:18), Timothy (2 Timothy 2:10), and Paul (2 Timothy 1:9), Philemon, Apphia, Archippus (Philemon 1-2, 6), and the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocea, Asia and Bithynia (1 Peter 1:1; 3:16).
One of the errors in the pre-tribulation rapture theory is that because the words "in Christ" do not appear between Revelation chapter 4 and chapter 18, that it is proof that the church is not there on the earth. Again, beware when anyone argues from what the scripture does not say: it is almost always false. We must ask then, "Who are those who die "in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13), which the context shows to be during the tribulation?" The phrase "in the Lord" is often used of the church in the New Testament:

(Romans 16:2) "That you receive her in the Lord, as becomes saints,"
(Romans 16:8) "Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord."
(Romans 16:10) "Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord."
(Romans 16:12-13) "Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, who laboured much in the Lord.
Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine."

[The word translated "chosen" in this last verse is the same one translated "elect", often referring to the church.]

(Romans 16:22) "I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 4:17) "For this cause have I sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord,"
(1 Corinthians 7:22) "For he who is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman:"
(1 Corinthians 7:39) "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 9:1) "are you not my work in the Lord?"

[See also 1 Corinthians 9:2; 11:10; 15:58; 16:19;  2 Corinthians 10:17; Ephesians 2:21; 4:17; 5:8; 6:1; 6:10; 6:21; Philippians 1:14; 2:29; 4:1; 4:2; 4:4; Colossians 3:18; 4:7; 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:8; 5:12; Philemon 1:16; 1:20]
All theses scriptures show that the terms "in Christ" and "in the Lord" are synonymous. So the dead "in Christ" (1 Thessalonians 4:16) includes both Jews and Gentiles, and those who die "in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13), which is during the tribulation, and so refutes the idea of a Gentile church being raptured before the tribulation, just as the rest of this section does.

#6.8 Jesus' Elect

MATTHEW 24:31 (Jesus)
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect1 from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

MARK 13:27 (Jesus)
27 And then he shall send his angels, and shall gather together his elect1 from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Note: These scriptures both show that Jesus sends his angels to gather "his elect" at the rapture, but who are "his elect"? The adjective translated elect1 (Gr. ἐκλεκτός, Gtr. eklektos) (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27) is often used as a noun. It means "picked out" or "chosen", and can refer to Jesus (Luke 23:35), angels (1 Timothy 5:21), or to all those whom God has chosen to rise at the first resurrection (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27). Jesus said, "For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14), so how then are we chosen? Some are chosen directly by Jesus, such as his disciples (Luke 6:13; John 6:70), or the apostle Paul (Acts 9:15), for the purpose of suffering for his name's sake (Acts 9:16). Others may be chosen in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10), but the "elect" is one way of referring to those who are part of the church of God.

(Romans 8:33) "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?"
(Romans 16:13) "Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
(Colossians 3:12) "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"
(Titus 1:1) "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;"
(1 Peter 1:1-2) "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied."

However we are chosen, it always seems that those chosen by God must suffer some kind of tribulation, such as persecution. Beginning with Abel (Genesis 4:8), this has been so for righteous people throughout all history, because "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12). When does this gathering of Gods elect happen? After the tribulation (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24), and so on the last day of this pre-millennial age (#3.1).

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