Despite Popular Theology, Apologist Says Rapture Movies Are Not Biblical

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Despite Popular Theology, Apologist Says Rapture Movies Are Not Biblical

By Jennifer Leclaire |

Left-Behind-rapture-plane-on-fireMany in the evangelical church, including many pastors, have accepted the notion of the so-called rapture. But it is simply not true.

So says William Lane Craig, one of Christianity’s most notable modern-day philosophers. Craig’s comments are surfacing as the church prepares for what is bound to be a blockbuster hit in the remake of Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage.

“The rapture was made up by someone in the 1800s, and the story caught on among some groups who still believe it today,” says Craig. “The simple truth is that it is not biblical, nor was it ever the historic position of the Christian church.”

According to Craig, the rapture is enormously popular today thanks to several best-selling novels, a recently launched HBO program and upcoming movie, as well as the evangelical church.

“Many people have never known any other view than the rapture,” Craig says. “In fact, many who have been raised in Christian homes or Christian churches have so absorbed this viewpoint that they never thought to examine or question its biblical credentials.”

Here are four points of Craig’s argument:

1. Jesus never discussed the rapture, so where did the idea come from? From Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. The interpretation is Paul is describing a so-called rapture in which the elect will be snatched out of the world, taken up into the clouds to be with Christ, and so will be with him forever. But, Paul is describing something entirely different. There is nothing in Paul’s writing to suggest that he is describing a distinct event from the Second Coming of Christ.

2. The relatively recent origin of the concept of the rapture dates to a man named John Darby in 1827. It’s sometimes called Darbyism after the originator of this interpretation.

3. This has been exceedingly influential in the evangelical church because of its endorsement by the famous Scofield Reference Bible. The use of the Scofield Reference Bible in evangelical churches helped to promote this view of the rapture.

4. Moreover, Dallas Theological Seminary, which is one of the flagship evangelical seminaries, is committed to this interpretation. Through the many pastors whom DTS has trained and placed in American evangelical churches, this view has become very widespread.



rapture4John Nelson Darby who lived in the 1800’s was a student of history and he introduced the rapture eschatology of a 7 year tribulation after a rapture of the saints. While most theologians cited Paul’s calling up of the saints as an end, Darby placed it as an Apocalype beginning! In his theory, true believers were spared from facing tribulation and non believers would have to endure it, but would have another chance during the 3rd coming at the end. This is Darbyism and the bible is used to proof text this doctrine. He believed that the law comes back in effect after the tribulation and those that are left have to fulfill the law of moses to the letter to make it in after the tribulation. But the Word says that Daniel’s 70th week happened years ago and the true coming of Christ will not be secret, but will be a loud, visible, second coming! (I Thes 4:16)Does this event sound silent and secret? NO. But rapture enthusiasts interpret “caught up” to mean disappear, but the text doesn’t say this.

When Jesus was taken up in (Acts 1:9), the disciples watched him being lifted up into the sky. He said he would return the same way he left. (Acts 1:11) (I Thes.5:2) Thief doesn’t mean he’s going to steal everyone away in secret, but it is describing the surprise factor of how he is going to show up. it will only be a surprise or “thief like” to those that don’t know him or are not prepared for his return.(Matt 24:40) Jesus said in 24:24 that false christs and prophets will arise and deceive many, if possible, even the very elect. So, only the elect of God will survive the lies and stand for the truth in the last days. Then Jesus blasts all the end time lies by stating that if they say he has come, don’t believe it, and if they say he is in the secret place, don’t believe, because like lightning flashes in the sky, so shall his coming be! (Matt 24:26-27) In Matthew 24, the disciples wanted to know 3 things, when would the destruction of the church come, what sign will be given before Christ comes, and what the end of the world be like. He answered them in the passage and also continuously warned them to take heed that no man deceive them.

We are living in a time of deception and people are believing lies that were purposely put in place by the antichrist. But Christ told the disciples what would literally happened to them, what would happen to the church, and what would happen to the world. 7 year tribulations, Antichrist Man, and the Rapture are all theories created to distort the truth and make people believe a lie. But if we stick to the truth of the word, we will not be lost in the end. 

5 Comments on “Despite Popular Theology, Apologist Says Rapture Movies Are Not Biblical”

  1. Another reason that Rapturist Eschatology is so popular is because it trashes the Catholic Church, making the Church be the false, one-world religion of the end times.

    Theories like this show the wisdom of the Church in only allowing access to the Sacred Scriptures to those who are trained in its nuances and interpretations.

  2. YES! FINALLY! Im so glad somebody finally said it. I remember when I got saved in 2004 and started studying the issue for myself. I started to feel very uneasy about the Pre-Trib belief simply because it seemed to easy. I would love to see how many Christians outside of the West (especially America) hold to this pre-trib view.

  3. The tittle reads ” Despite Popular Theology ….” The problem is too many people care about popular theology when they should care about truth, but then truth to them only extends as far as the denomination.
    Traditions of men – make the word of God of no effect. Preachers are too far in it to admit they have made an error! if a church cannot self correct then I no longer desire to be part of that institution.

  4. I believe that it is a good thing that this is being researched.
    I do believe that the rapture will happen because there are enough references in the bible on this.
    Also, I do think that the media is using this to make fun of biblical events. Like they do in general.
    Either way, I do believe we will probably experience a piece of the tribulation…

  5. In Matthew 24 Jesus points to the fact that Christians will be here during the Tribulation period, but the Bible also says the time will be cut short for the elect’s sake or no flesh would be saved.

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