The Doctrine of the Rapture – I Thessalonians 4:16-17

 

  1. What is the doctrine of the “rapture”? (That the saints alive on the earth at the return of Christ will be caught up together with resurrected saints to meet the Lord).
  2. Is the rapture synonymous with the return of Christ? (No, but they are synchronized).
  3. Is the rapture synonymous with the resurrection of the saints? (Not exactly).
  4. Is it common to associate the return of Christ with the rapture and the resurrection of the saints?
  5. Where in our Bibles do we find the word “rapture”?
    1. What does the word “rapture” in this case mean? (The word “rapture” is from “rapere;” the word translated “caught up” [I Thess. 4:17] in the Latin Bible).
  6. Does the book of I Thessalonians teach the soon coming of Christ, the resurrection or the rapture?
  7. I Thess. 1:6-10.
    1. Were the Thessalonians waiting for the physical return of Jesus Christ? (Yes, v.10).
    2. Did they believe that Christ had delivered them from the wrath to come?
    3. To what does the word “wrath” refer? (The Tribulation).
    4. Why do we believe that this doesn’t refer to the torments of Hell? (The context, I Thess. 5; John 3:36; etc.).
  8. Should I Thess. 4:16-17 be taken figuratively or literally?
    1. Should the word “we” be taken figuratively (editorially) or literally?
    2. What did Paul and the people of that church believe about the time of the rapture? (Imminent)
  9. What is the definition of the word “imminent”? (Something is about to occur, or it could occur at any moment).
  10. Is the word “imminent” found in the Bible? (No, although the principle is Biblical).
  11. Doesn’t I Thess. 5:1-4 teach that the church in Thessalonica would be overtaken by the Day of the Lord? (No. Notice Paul’s use of pronouns in this passage).
    1. What does this passage teach us about the nature of the Day of the Lord? (Terrible destruction).
    2. What is another Biblical term for this period of time? (The Tribulation).
    3. How does this passage show that “wrath” doesn’t refer to eternal Hell? (Verse 9 and the context).
  12. Were the tribulations endured by the church in Thessalonica (II Thess. 1:4-10) “The Tribulation?” (No.)
  13. Did those tribulations mean that the rapture had occurred or that it wasn’t imminent? What does Matthew 24:42 teach us to do? (Watch for the coming of the Lord).
  14. What does Matthew 24:42-51 show results from a lack of watchfulness? (Sin).
  15. What does the parable of the Ten Virgins teach about the Lord’s Coming [Matt. 25:1-13} (Watchfulness).
  16. What does Romans 13:11-12 teach us to do? (Awake and get ready for the completion of our salvation).
  17. Does Hebrews 9:28 prove the doctrine of the imminent rapture? (No, but it gives evidence of it).
  18. Should I Cor. 15:51-52 be understood as speaking literally or figuratively?
    1. Should the word “we” be taken figuratively (editorially) or literally?
  19. Was James looking for the imminent return of Christ? (James 5:7-8).
  20. Was Peter expecting the soon return of Christ? (I Pet. 4:7).
  21. What special encouragement does Hebrews 10:25 gives to the saints to gather for worship and Bible study?
    1. According to Hebrews 10:37 what is that day? (When the Lord will come).
    2. Is the coming of the Lord synonymous with the rapture? (No, but they are synchronized).
  22. How often in the Book of Revelation does Christ say that He is coming quickly? (3:11; 22:7, 12, 20).
    1. Did the Lord return during the generation which first received the Book of Revelation?
    2. Does the fact that 2,000 years have elapsed mean that we should look for something besides His return?
  23. Does Luke 17:22-30 speak about the return of Christ?
    1. Does this sound like a surprise return or one that was well-announced through years of tribulation?
    2. Are ALL those who believe in the imminent return of Christ pre-tribulational rapturists? (No.)