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Thread: SIMPLE RAPTURE QUESTIONS

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    SIMPLE RAPTURE QUESTIONS

    My 1st question is when the 1Cor.15 event takes place are there any scriptures that actually say we will be taken to heaven?

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    Re: SIMPLE RAPTURE QUESTIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by iWrecknSow View Post
    My 1st question is when the 1Cor.15 event takes place are there any scriptures that actually say we will be taken to heaven?
    1st Corinthians 15 deals with the resurrection, not with the rapture. There are FIVE scriptures that more or less address the rapture.
    1. 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17 is very clear. The resurrection of the dead in Christ, and change of the bodies of the Living, AND their "catching away" is plainly stated. The destination is the sky and clouds. That could be construed as heaven according to Genesis 1:6-8. There, heaven is under the water canopy.
    2. Revelation 14:1-5 shows a company of Christians stand before the throne. Because the 24 Elders and the 4 Creatures are present, we can be reasonably sure that they are in heaven for these creatures are heavenly in Chapter 4. Added to this, these 144,000 are "redeemed FROM the earth" (v.3). Where else could they be? All the evidence points to heaven.
    3. In Philippians 3:11-14 Paul, just three years before his martyrdom, is said by the King James in verse 14, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." This is not quite accurate. The New King James renders the Greek accurately and says; "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." The original Greek is "the up-call" denoting a DIRECTION. In the verses just preceding verse 14, Paul was talking of the resurrection. So here again is the TWOFOLD event of 1st Thessalonians 4. The resurrection followed by the "upward call". A Trumpet is for gathering God's people. An "upward call" coupled with the resurrection leaves no doubt that the destination is the sky, or heaven.
    4. In Luke 21:36 the context is (i) the TIME when Israel will be a fledgling State again (v.29), and (ii) the Kingdom is about to appear (v.31). A Great Trial or Tribulation is predicted at this time. So our Lord Jesus comforts His disciples with; "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." Now, if we turn to Matthew 24:29-30 we see that the "Son of man" only comes "immediately AFTER the Tribulation". So "to stand before the Son of man" while the trial or Tribulation is raging means that you are NOT on earth. So Luke 21:36 indicates that those who were worthy will at least be in the clouds, if not in heaven.
    5. In Revelation 3:10 our Lord Jesus is addressing a model Church. He says; "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." Here, the Lord is promising escape from the Tribulation. But He says that the Tribulation encompasses "the whole world" and "those who dwell on earth". So, to be kept from this TIME, or PERIOD, and to kept from "dwelling" on the earth, can only mean that you are OFF the earth. That means the worthy are in the sky or in heaven. Whatever, they cannot be on earth, and there is no place left to be except the sky .

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: SIMPLE RAPTURE QUESTIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by iWrecknSow View Post
    My 1st question is when the 1Cor.15 event takes place are there any scriptures that actually say we will be taken to heaven?
    The problem is the word heaven - we tend to think of it as meaning "where God resides", yet it is also used for the cosmos (space) and for the sky.

    The second problem as Walls has noted is that those who believe in a pre-trib rapture claim this is NOT the rapture and that 1 Thess 4 is about the rapture (along with other scriptures).
    One reason we know Pre-trib is wrong is because BOTH 1 Cor 15 and 1 Thess 4 speak about the SAME resurrection - that is the resurrection from the dead of those who are IN Christ.
    Now here we are told we go to the sky. However it does NOT state were we go from there. This needs deducing from other scriptures, such as where Jesus is travelling from and to.

    Now Rev 14 is an interesting problem of its own, because WHERE within the timeline does it occur.
    Obviously it is mentioned AFTER the sealing of the 144K in Rev 7, which is on earth. It is on Mount Zion, which also points to it being on the earth.
    Yet as Walls mentioned we have the four living creatures and the elders who were previously seen in heaven, where God resides.
    It states they are firstfruits, which then begs a question of our understanding of 1 Cor 15:23
    1Co 15:23* But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    Here the translators have put the firstfruits WITH Christ, this is due to verse 20:

    1Co 15:20* But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

    However could it be instead translated as this:
    1Co 15:23* But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    This would then have these 144K raptured earlier than the Church.

    An alternative is that Rev 14 speaks of AFTER Jesus returns, which is when His throne is also seen on earth. This is personally how I understand it.
    This is similar to that in Rev 7 where we are shown the great multitude in front of the throne, which is stated as being AFTER the Great Tribulation (GT).

    The final passage Walls alludes to though does NOT speak of the Rapture. Pre-trib adherents claim it is, though it is directed not to a "model" church but to an "actual" church:
    Rev 3:7* “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

    So do we go to heaven when raptured?
    The answer is YES, but we need to clarify what understanding we have of heaven, and that it is seen from other passages to be speaking of the sky only.
    After that, your assumption about pre-trib or post-trib will then dictate where you see people being taken after that.

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    Re: SIMPLE RAPTURE QUESTIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by iWrecknSow View Post
    My 1st question is when the 1Cor.15 event takes place are there any scriptures that actually say we will be taken to heaven?
    1 Corr 15:50-54
    50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]

    I believe that verse 50 is showing us the reason for the change to imperishable

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    Re: SIMPLE RAPTURE QUESTIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by iWrecknSow View Post
    My 1st question is when the 1Cor.15 event takes place are there any scriptures that actually say we will be taken to heaven?
    Heaven is, I think, to be viewed as the abode of God. Man has a limited place, because we are limited. Angels, I believe, also have a limited place because they are limited. Thus, Man is given the earth, as opposed to heaven, the abode of the omnipresent God. The fact heaven and earth are separated in the beginning indicates that God's infinite Being can be separated from His finite creation. Even angels, such as Satan, can be separated from God's throne room in heaven. There has been a temple both in heaven and on earth where angels and men must come to meet with God, since we are created beings, and not infinite, like God.

    I say all this because the Scriptures indicate that the restoration of men to God and the battle between God's angels and devils involves the place of God's jurisdiction, ie His throne room. It is His court, so to speak. And so, the restoration of Man to God is viewed as a process that requires relating to God via a temporary temple on earth, and ultimately finding redemption through a man from heaven, namely Christ. And in the final step of glorification human bodies are resurrected, or remade, by producing new glorified bodies in the heavenly realm of God, and not at a temporary temple on earth. (I'm curious, in this respect, if our new glorified bodies are *not* made out of the dust of the earth?)

    Jesus himself is raised from the dead on earth, since the temple of his body is the equal to the temple in heaven. But in order for his finite body to be transformed into a glorified body he had to ascend into heaven, into the throne room of God.

    1 Cor 15 is predicated on this notion that Jesus ascended into heaven for bodily glorification, setting the path for the saints to be raised and glorified in heaven as well. Paul thus compares the heavenly with the earthly in this chapter. I would only suggest, with respect to the timing, that the glorification process is instantaneous, and does not involve any substantial length of time. In a single moment the glorification event will take place, and the saints will be seen returning with Christ from the clouds instantaneously.

    That the Rapture of the Church involves a catching up to heaven in this second of time is known from the ultimate biblical passage describing this event, Dan 7. This is where the Son of Man appears with the clouds of heaven to establish God's Kingdom on the earth. Though all of these details are not present in this one passage, it does provide the basic outline of the Son of Man appearing in the clouds, as an event in which he seeks God's judgment in the throne room of heaven. The result is that the Antichrist is overthrown on earth, and God's Kingdom comes to earth on behalf of the saints. These details are substantiated in a number of places in the NT Scriptures.

    In the Olivet Discourse Jesus refers to the coming of the Son of Man from heaven, but utilizes this teaching to explain his prediction of the fall of Jerusalem (70 AD). There is much less emphasis on the 2nd Coming here than on the imminent fall of the temple (70 AD). The point is, the 2nd Coming will not just bring salvation to Israel. It will also bring judgment upon Israel's enemies, as well as on Israel herself! Any attempt to make the Olivet Discourse solely about the 2nd Coming, therefore, is doomed to confusion and misdirection. That Discourse is a comparison between the 2nd Coming and the imminent fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, as well as a prediction of Jewish and Christian suffering throughout the NT period.

    All of the references to the 2nd Coming in the Book of Revelation largely go back to Dan 7 and the depiction of the Son of Man coming from heaven. Since the event is mentioned several times, the book is not chronological, but consists of a number of visions. But they all have the aspect of Christ coming to establish God's Kingdom on earth, and destroying Antichrist in the process, along with rewarding the saints for their faithfulness.

    There is indeed the idea of the saints being able to escape judgment that is meant for unbelievers and wicked men. For example, when Jesus predicted the fall of Jerusalem (70 AD) in his own generation, he assured his followers this judgment was for the wicked and rebellious in Israel, and not for his disciples. And on at least one occasion a church in one particular city was given to escape a particularly difficult trial in the world (Philadelphia in Rev 3).

    On the matter of Rev 14, I believe this vision is picture of the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ, in which Israel's promise rests upon a representative remnant becoming Christian and enduring through the trials of the present age. The 144,000 are 12,000 from each tribe of Israel, representing the fact all tribes have descendants among the Jewish People, and that this group will in the present age convert to Christianity. They are the first fruits of the salvation of national Israel, which is an event that follows the return of Christ. This has nothing to do with Christ as the "first fruit" of the resurrection!

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    Re: SIMPLE RAPTURE QUESTIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by iWrecknSow View Post
    My 1st question is when the 1Cor.15 event takes place are there any scriptures that actually say we will be taken to heaven?
    There is nowhere in the Bible any scripture that says that God will take His Church to heaven. Quite a few say such a thing is impossible. John 3:13, +

    The prophecy in 1 Corinthians 15:50-56 is all about the Great White Throne Judgement, after the Millennium. When the Book of Life is opened; not before. Then God Himself come to dwell with mankind for Eternity, therefore heaven comes down to us.

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