by Paul Benson
(This is PART 2 of an ongoing series. You can find PART 1 HERE.)
As I have stated many times my mission statement as one called to be a teacher to the Body of Christ is centered around getting believers to adopt a policy of founding their beliefs only upon what is plainly and clearly stated in the Bible, and to exercise great caution over embracing ‘truths’ which have little or no foundation in Scripture. But although I see this practice as a prerequisite to abiding in the truth of God’s Word, and most would attest to the good sense of such advice, I actually meet very few who hold true to such a practice.
Although most everyone would claim their beliefs come right from the Scriptures very few can actually show where the various elements of their doctrinal beliefs are firmly stated in the Bible. The average Christian just believes what they are told to believe. And thus the Body of Christ is awash with false doctrines and fantastical extra-biblical tales that are being promoted (and merchandised) as truth revealed from Heaven.
In PART 1 of this series we looked at the mistaken belief of many that the Coming of Christ for the Church will supposedly be an extremely brief and invisible visitation. But we saw that the Bible actually teaches no such thing. It clearly teaches every eye shall see him!
Let’s look at what the Bible REALLY says about another of the most popular concepts being pawned off as ‘Bible Truth’ in this day: The claim the Church will be taken away to Heaven when Christ comes to be joined to his Bride!
Is The Church Taken Away To Heaven By Jesus?
I met Christ in 1980 after hearing the Gospel at a meeting held in a denominational church, and I began attending their services regularly. I was soon indoctrinated into the belief that an imminent ‘rapture’ event would soon whisk the followers of Christ off to an eternal home in Heaven.
But as time progressed, and me being an ardent student of the Bible, I began to doubt much of what I was hearing from the pulpit. And it was not too long before I could see their idea of a ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ was not something presented in the Bible. It just flat out was not in there!
And along with this shocking revelation of the incorrect nature of the pre-trib doctrine came the realization that something else I had been taught was also not biblical: The claim that the event of our resurrection and catching away will remove the Church from planet Earth and transport us instantly to Heaven!
I now understand we do NOT leave this world at the Coming of Christ. And any who teach such a thing are speaking contrary to the Word of God. The notion that the Church will disappear and instantly find themselves in Heaven is not in the Scriptures.
It is nowhere to be found!
Though certainly many millions of Christians are believing and teaching the Body of Christ will depart from this planet in a micro-second, and go off to live in homes in Heaven, the Bible actually teaches we will remain right here on Earth as our eternal residence. There is no departure scheduled!
In attempting to come to a firm biblical understanding of just what really does transpire at our resurrection and catching away to meet Christ I have spent many years scouring the Scriptures looking for any indication the Church disappears and then goes to dwell in Heaven. What I have found instead is a wealth of Scripture that soundly states we stay right here on Earth and inherit a promise given us many centuries before the followers of Christ wonderfully became the Body of Christ on the Day of Pentecost.
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. ….22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. Psalms 37:11+22
Throughout many passages in the Old Testament we find our promise of inheriting the Earth. This promise was reaffirmed in the words of our Savior and in the teaching of his Apostles.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
Those who insist this promise of inheritance was only to the nation of Israel, and not to the Christian believers, have a genuine need to get in line with the Word of God! The Bible teaches without a doubt that we join in on this wonderful promise *alongside the remnant of believing Jews.
*One of the most damaging and confusing errors being taught today is the idea of a separation between the believing Jews and the believing Gentiles in the plan and promises of God. The Scripture teaches no such thing! This erroneous belief system, known as Separation Theology, is at the very heart of the pre-trib rapture theory; and it is in complete contrast to what the Bible actually teaches on election. I refute their mistaken concept in a plain and easy to understand manner HERE and HERE. If you have been taught Separation Theology, or don’t understand election from a biblical perspective, PLEASE read those articles. They will help you come to a better understanding of our promise of inheritance.
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. Exodus 32:13
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. …26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. …29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:7-9, 26, 29
The Bible clearly teaches we, as followers of Christ, are among those who will inherit the promise given to Abraham. That promise of inheritance, a promise so frequently and plainly stated in the Scriptures it cannot be dismissed, is ours to claim. And claim it we shall.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17
Jesus is returning to claim possession of this planet! And as joint-heirs with Christ we will share in the entirety of his inheritance. The promise to God’s children of inheriting the Earth and dwelling there forever is irrefutable.
The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. ….34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. Psalms 37:29+34
The wicked shall be cut off at the Return of Christ. That is the day we will inherit the land! But Brother Paul, doesn’t the Bible say the Church will inherit the Kingdom of God? Good question! And the answer is: Yes, absolutely! We DO inherit the Kingdom of God! But we need not depart from this planet to do so.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 11:15
At the Return of Christ the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord. We don’t have to go anywhere to inherit the Kingdom of God. Jesus is bringing that Kingdom here to Earth at his coming just as promised. Isn’t that why we pray: ‘Thy Kingdom come!’?
As I have said many times before: We are awaiting an arrival not a departure! We are NOT awaiting the departure of the Church. We are awaiting the Arrival of our Lord so we can find fulfillment of his *promise in John 14:1-3 that: ‘where he is we shall be also’! Where is Jesus going to be? On Earth!
*[These verses have been misused to teach the mistaken notion of the believers going to Heaven to live. But it says nothing of the sort. It says where Jesus is there will we also be. I give a full treatment of this mistaken interpretation of John 14:1-3 in THIS ARTICLE.]
The Scriptures teach, in no uncertain terms and in a overwhelming witness found throughout the Bible, that Christ will return to this planet to rule and reign, and that we as his followers will be right here ruling and reigning alongside him!
Keep it simple!
In Acts chapter 1 we have a clear promise of the physical visible Coming of Christ as he descends from Heaven to be once again seen in the clouds. He will have returned to rule and reign! And we have a clear description in 1 Thessalonians 4 of the resurrected and transformed Church raising up to meet him in those clouds. We join him in the clouds here on Earth when he has returned to Earth. Simple truth! That is what I believe because that is what the Bible actually does say!
Why should we believe any other scenario when the Bible does not give us that scenario?
There is not anywhere in the Bible where we see described either a instantaneous disappearance of the Church or a trip off to Heaven at the Coming of Christ. You may believe it to be so, but only because someone told you to believe it. You did not get it from the Word of God. Seriously. It is not in there!
Show me one passage that clearly describes a ‘poof we are gone’ rapture that takes us away to heaven. There is no such thing to be found!
Show me one passage that details a resurrected Body of Christ in Heaven before the Second Coming. There is no such thing to be found!
Show me one passage of Scripture that details a ‘marriage supper’ taking place in Heaven. There is no such passage!
Though we have today a myriad of deceived preachers and teachers promising a sudden vanishing of the Church, and a subsequent transporting away to Heaven (as well as a seven year long marriage feast there), they cannot show one place where the Bible actually plainly states what they are claiming it does!
Those concepts are not taught in the Bible!
Again, I give the challenge: SHOW ME the verses in the Bible that plainly state these things! But they CANNOT! Because instead of preaching the Word of God they are preaching a theory of man and claiming it to be divine utterance! But there is absolutely no foundation in the Scriptures for what they are promoting!
Why believe something the Bible does NOT teach?
Is that not unwise?
Is that not dangerous?
What happens to a house without a foundation when the raging storm and floodwaters hits it? It crumbles into rubble! Embracing falsehood is not without consequence! There is a day soon coming when millions of folks that have built their beliefs upon a foundation-less theology will suffer great damage and devastation to their faith in God. (Not to mention the damage already being done to their understanding of God’s ways in their present walk.)
The Church will soon face Antichrist, The Beast system, and the challenges and hardships associated with refusing to submit to the satanic demands imposed upon the world in that day. A multitude who have been taught a tribulation-less Christianity will not have a strong enough foundation to weather that storm. They will apostatize. They will (under a delusion for refusing the truth) repudiate the truth and submit to the voice of deception, thinking they are following the path of salvation. They will lose their souls!
My concern is that you may be one of those unfortunate ones whose faith fails them when confronted with trials and tribulations you were convinced you would never see because of the deception being promoted in our midst.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
True faith involves putting your confidence in the validity of the Words of our God. His Word is an unmovable foundation! Putting your confidence in the words that men falsely attribute to God is NOT faith; it is merely foolishly building your beliefs upon the shifting sand.
What kind of a foundation is your belief system built upon?
Do you have the true picture on what is ahead for the Body of Christ? Are you basing your beliefs upon things not truly presented in the Word of God? Don’t take man’s word for it (not even mine) on what the Scriptures genuinely teach. The only way to be certain is to earnestly study the Scriptures; and pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised would guide us into all truth.
May the Lord grant you a foundation in the truth of his Word that your house of faith can weather the stormy days ahead.
This was Part 2 in this series. You can find Part 3 here.
I welcome your input!
If you have comment or criticism please use the section below. Overly long comments may be edited for length.
Thank you for visiting my site.