Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses
25. The Rapture
25. The Rapture
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. The rapture occurred invisibly in the year 1918.9
b. Surviving the great tribulation and entering the cleansed earth following the great tribulation is the hope that the Bible holds out for Christians living during these last days.10 The bodily rapture of the Christian church is a false hope and will not occur.11
c. The rapture and the first resurrection do not involve resurrection of the physical body.12
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Q1. What hope does the Bible hold out for Christians living during these last days?
John 14:3-"I [Jesus] will come again, and receive you to Myself"
John 14:18-"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
Phil 3:20-21-For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body
1 Thess 1:10-to wait for His Son from Heaven...Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come
1 Thess 4:15-18-For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of [the] archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 John 3:2-We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
Rev 3:10-Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that [hour] which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.
Q2. Will the Christians be taken up bodily?
See RESURRECTION, Q2
Q3. How should hope of the rapture affect one's Christian life?
Phil 1:6-He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ
Phil 1:10-be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ
1 John 2:28-And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
1 John 3:2-3-We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And every one who has this hope [fixed] on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
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a. The rapture is the only valid hope (other than dying in Christ and being resurrected) that the Bible holds out to Christians living in these last days. The rapture has not yet occurred.
b. At the rapture, Christians will be taken up bodily to meet the Lord.
c. Expectation of the rapture has a purifying affect on those who have this hope.
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Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses:
1 Cor 15:50-flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God
1 Cor 15:52-WE SHALL BE CHANGED
Luke 24:39-"...a spirit does not have FLESH AND BONES as you see that I have."
9. Babylon the Great has Fallen, p. 458
10. Watchtower, 12/1/85, p. 17
11. Babylon the Great has Fallen, p. 458