By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
Those who believe in the doctrine of the Rapture teach that the church will be removed from the world seven years before the end of time.
It is claimed that Jesus will do this in order to spare His people from the “great tribulation” that will come upon the world at that time.
However, the Lord Himself clearly teaches that this is not true. Indeed, in the Parable of the Tares, Jesus makes it clear that His people will be in the world until the very end of time.
Matthew 13:24-30-24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ”
The disciples of Christ did not understand the meaning of this parable, and so the Lord explains it to them in more detail:
Matthew 13:36-43-36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Notice several things with me about this parable.
First, Jesus here is clearly discussing the events leading up to, and including, the Second Coming. Verse 39 is clear that the harvest is “the end of the age,” which is a clear reference to the end of time itself (Matthew 28:19-20).
Second, the Bible teaches that the Son of Man sows the seed (Matthew 13:37). This is accomplished when His people, the church, share the Word of God with people in the world around us (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:1-11).
The Lord sows the seed of the kingdom through His body, the church of Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:22-23).
Third, there will be some in the church who are the “tares.”
What does this mean?
“THE pictures in this parable would be clear and familiar to a Palestinian audience. Tares were one of the curses against which a farmer had to labour. They were a weed called bearded darnel (lolium temulentum). In their early stages, the tares so closely resembled the wheat that it was impossible to distinguish the one from the other. When both had produced seed heads it was easy to distinguish them; but by that time their roots were so intertwined that the tares could not be weeded out without tearing the wheat out with them…The tares and the wheat are so like each other that the Jews called the tares bastard wheat. The Hebrew for tares is zunim, whence comes the Greek zizanion; zunim is said to be connected with the word zanah, which means to commit fornication; and the popular story is that the tares took their origin in the time of wickedness which preceded the flood, for at that time the whole creation, human beings, animals and plants, all went astray, and committed fornication and brought forth contrary to nature. In their early stages, the wheat and the tares so closely resembled each other that the popular idea was that the tares were a kind of wheat which had gone wrong.”. (William Barclay, The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel Of Matthew, Volume Two, 1531-1547 (Kindle Edition); Edinburgh, England; Saint Andrew Press)
Fourth, the Bible clearly teaches that the saved (the “wheat”) will be in the world until the very end of the age (Matthew 13:38-41). It is not that the righteous will be taken away before the end: instead, the righteous will be with the wicked in the world until the very end.
Speaking of this interesting order of events, Carver has pointed out:
“It should also be noted that the two parables which deal with the separation of the wicked and the righteous picture the wicked as being taken out from among the righteous, rather than the reverse. In the parable of the tares, the angels gather the tares— not the righteous— and the tares are cast into the fire. Verse 30 pointedly states that He will instruct the reapers, “Gather ye together first the tares.” Thus those taken will be the tares and not the righteous. Also, in the parable of the net (Matt. 13:47- 52), it is the bad who are gathered out from among the good. Rapturists, on the other hand, predict that the good will be removed from among the evil.”. (Everett I. Carver, When Jesus Comes Again, 5186-5194 (Kindle Edition); Prestonsburg, KY; Reformation Publishers)
Fifth, the Lord clearly teaches that both the “wheat” and the “tares” will be gathered together and taken to different places at the end of the age (Matthew 13:30).
Sixth, the wicked will be taken and “gathered” to a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42), another designation for Hell (cf. Matthew 8:12-13).
Seventh, the saved will be taken to be with the Lord in His kingdom (Matthew 13:43).
Please notice my friends that Jesus is clear that His people will be in the world until the very end of time.
There will be no “secret Rapture” of His people seven years before the end of the world.
The Rapture doctrine is not true.
The Bible teaches that the sons of God will be the ones who are saved throughout eternity.
Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God (John 3:16; Hebrews 11:17) came to this world and died for the sins of mankind so that we could become children of God (John 1:10-12). He died for us, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). Why not today become a child of God through faith, repentance, confession of faith in Him, and baptism into Him (Galatians 3:26-27; Acts 8:35-38)?
If you are a child of God who has turned from the Lord in sin (2 Peter 2:20-22), why not today repent of that sin and come back to Him in prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9)?
The churches of Christ stand ready to assist you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.