Rapture Watching
A Dangerous Diversion
By Dr. Ken Matto
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11)  
The Great Escape was a hit movie produced in 1963.  It was based on a real escape in World War 2 from a German prisoner of war camp, Stalag Luft 3 which was located in the German Province of Lower Silesia and was located near the Polish border town of Sagan.  The location was chosen because it was believed that it would have been very hard to tunnel and therefore escape. 
The subject of this article is the Great Escape which is sought by many Christians.  It is also known as the dispensational rapture which could occur at any moment, so they say.  Then while the Christians are in Heaven for their 7 year tribulation period getting their rewards, the world will be under an evil man called the Antichrist.  Then the Lord will return and the Antichrist will be cast into hell and then the Lord will set up His one thousand year reign, of course, from Jerusalem, where I once heard a prophecy preacher claim that David was going to be the mayor of Jerusalem.  What I just described is basic prophecy book fiction.
Millions sit in dispensational churches every week and keep hearing their pastor state something like “I am not looking for the undertaker, but for the upper taker.”  So all these Christians continue to hear this chatter and then they are told to look to Israel, which has become the Golden Calf of the majority of dispensational churches.  Both of these are nothing but diversions from true biblical Christianity.  Many will not become involved in becoming the salt of society which the Lord Jesus told us about because they are waiting for the any-moment rapture and our country has been taken over by unbelievers of all kinds.  The church has become a weak entity because of these kind of teachings.  It is a good thing that the colonial preachers, who sparked the war for independence from their pulpits did not get up there and say, “well, just serve King George III and don’t worry the rapture is getting close and soon we will be out of here.”
Before the Lord went back to Heaven he gave a command to all his disciples and that includes us because he has not returned yet.
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. (Luke 19:13)
The word “occupy” is in the Imperative Mood making it a command that we are to occupy till he comes back.  The term “occupy” may also be understood from the Greek as “trade.”  This means that every Christian is to be actively involved in some aspect of Christianity and should be looking to get the gospel to the ends of the earth.  It really makes me angry when I hear Christians say, “I don’t have anything to do” when there are billions who must hear the gospel before the Lord returns.
For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)
How can many be called if the gospel is not being spread throughout the world?  Christians are not called to sit around and play with their phones but are to be actively involved in spreading the gospel.  Many complain stating they have no talents, so then God lied when he states in Scripture that he placed at least one spiritual gift in every believer?  The problem is, your lazy do nothing lifestyle has quenched the Holy Spirit in your life and that is why you seem to be walking through life as a zombie.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (Romans 12:6)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12)
As you can see in three places in the Scriptures, we have evidence that every born again Christian has at least one gift implanted into them so they may minister where God has chosen them to minister.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
In Ephesians 2:10, we see that once we are saved God has already prepared good works for us to do and those works are undergirded by the spiritual gifts he gives us.  So don’t say you are bored, just say you are lazy and don’t want to get involved.  Be honest!
This dispensational rapture theory is a dangerous teaching because it places a spirit of laziness in the Christian thinking that the rapture is going to be today, so why start a project or get involved?  I want to give some dangers of this theory and why it should be rejected by all Christians.
Pre-Trib Rapture watching has been around only since 1830
Ever since Margaret MacDonald trance channeled the two stage appearance of Christ theory in the Glasgow prophecy conferences beginning in 1830, the idea that a separate rapture of all believers would be imminent.  This means that since 1830 many Christians left off being responsible citizens because of this idea the Lord was going to return at any time so there would be no need to get involved in this world and I do not mean in a sinful way, but in a way which helps serve your country and serve others.
Is the Rapture Imminent?
Here is the reality.  The fact is that there is a rapture of all believers coming but that rapture is simultaneous with the raising of all the unbelievers.  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  {29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.  (John 5:28-29)  John 5:28 & 29 make it perfectly clear that there is going to be one general resurrection and that resurrection is going to be on the last day:
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (John 6:39)
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40)  
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)  
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54)  
Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. (John 11:24)  
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48)  
We can plainly see that four times in John 6 that the Lord Himself speaks of the fact that the believers are going to be raised on the last day.  Now let us look at John 11:24 & 12:48 above.
In John 11:24, Martha is confirming her understanding that the resurrection of believers is going to be the last day.  Lazarus was a believer and here we are being told that he will be raised on the last day.  But wait a minute, the standard dispensational teaching is that all believers are going to be raised 7 years before the return of Christ to set up His kingdom and yet the Bible completely contradicts that teaching by stating that the believers are going to be raised on the last day.  Let us look at John 12:48.  Here Jesus is stating that those unbelievers who reject Him and His word will be judged at the last day.  So here we have a complete harmony with John 5:28 & 29, that both groups, believers and unbelievers, will be raised on the last day.  Plus we can see in verse 48, that the unbelievers will be judged on the last day which is a confirmation of the Great White Throne Judgment found in Revelation 20.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12)  How much more plainer can the Bible be concerning the events of the last day which will comprise both the rapture of the Saints and the judgment of the unsaved?
The dispensationalists are always touting the following saying, “When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.”  They violate their one little pet saying by simply accepting willy-nilly, whatever is told to them.  They continue to teach that the rapture is going to be seven years prior to some mythical millennium, and yet the Bible clearly teaches, totally refuting their teaching, that the believer and the unbeliever will be raised on the last day.  Here we have the plain sense of Scripture teaching us opposite of what the pre-millennialists have been teaching since 1830.  Isn’t it better to read and accept what the Bible plainly teaches rather than what the devil trance-channeled through Margaret MacDonald?
Waiting for the Lord
There are several verses which speak about waiting and watching for our Lord’s return.  Let’s see if any of them endorse laziness or non-involvement.  There is a big difference between rapture watching and waiting for the Lord’s return.
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
Notice in verse 10 it states that they are to wait for God’s Son to come back.  However, in verse 9, we read that they were serving the living and true God.  The word “serve” is a verb which denotes action.  In other words, while they were waiting for the Lord to return, they were active in serving God and not just sitting around on a hill top dressed in their white gowns.
35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. (Luke 12:35-38)
In ancient times, men wore long flowing robes and if they were doing some kind of work, they would literally have to tuck the robes into the belt which went around their waist and then they would be ready for both work and the speed of that work. Then in the second part of this verse the disciples are told to keep their lights burning. A light is to guide one in the dark and if they are to keep them burning, then that means they will be ready when they have to travel for some reason or for those who work at night. Verse 35 is teaching the Christian to always be prepared and ready.  The precursor to the watching and waiting in these verses is Christian preparedness.  Laziness and non-involvement is not the precursor for Christian preparedness.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:4-5)
Notice what the precursor of patiently waiting for Christ is, it is doing and willing to do those things which we are commanded to do.  Remember Occupy till I come?  “Occupy” as in the Imperative Mood making it a command.  So there is no laziness attached to the patient waiting for Christ.
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (1 Corinthians 1:6-7)
Paul wanted this church to be a vibrant church heavily involved with the propagation of the Gospel. He wanted to see every spiritual gift being used properly so there would be a great Gospel ministry going on as they redeemed the time until the Lord Jesus Christ returned on the last day. There is to be no sitting around on a mountaintop in white robes, but there is to be Gospel activity which is to be handed down from generation to generation until the last day when the Lord returned. Oh if the modern church would catch that vision.
So we can see within these verses that we are to wait and watch for the Lord to return from Heaven but while we wait and watch, we are to be fully involved in spreading the gospel to the world.  We can’t do everything but we can do something and if you are one of those who are sitting around waiting for the rapture, then you need to get busy.  The fact that you would be involved with some kind of ministry means you are anticipating the Lord’s return.
The Pre-Trib Rapture doesn’t exist in the Bible only in Prophecy and Theology books Plus biased Preachers!
A pre-tribulational rapture does not exist in Scripture as we plainly saw above that the Lord Jesus Christ himself stated that he is going to raise both believers and unbelievers simultaneously on the last day.  The only place this mythical pre-trib rapture is found is in prophecy and theology books written by theologians and authors who have never really studied their Bibles.  If you look at any commentary written before 1830, you will not find anything concerning a pre-trib rapture but you will find only a last day rapture.  While many Christians are rapture watching, they are continuing to neglect opportunities to become involved and one day that door will be completely shut and their lives will have amounted to nothing.  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (John 9:4) 
Rapture Watching is a Portal to Other False Beliefs
Dovetailing the teaching of the rapture are those who have been diverted from the truth about true prophecy.  Those who believe in a pre-trib rapture also believe in a Millennial reign of Christ from Jerusalem, a physical Antichrist who is going to rule from Jerusalem, a third physical temple, modern Israel is the center of prophecy when the Bible teaches that the church, the body of believers, is the focus of true prophecy, the book of Revelation has nothing to do with modern Israel but is focused on the church between the first and second coming of Christ.  These things completely divert the Christian from the truth of Scripture to the fallacy of prophecy books and man’s imaginations.  Here is one of the most false teachings I have ever heard of in response to rapture watching.  I will touch on it here and in the next section.  Harold Camping of Family Radio taught that the rapture was going to happen on May 21, 2011.  As you can see we are still here 10 years later which gives credence to the Lord’s teaching of a last day rapture. Now many of the Campingites would not accept the fact the Lord did not come back on May 21, 2011 so they came up with one of the most ludicrous false doctrines I have ever heard.  They proclaim that the day of salvation ended on May 21, 2011, in other words, God is not saving anyone anymore past that date.  I had words with one of these cult members and suggested they call a local rescue mission to see if God was no longer saving.  No response! That major event of rapture watching took them away from reality and into false doctrine.
Rapture Watching diverts our thinking from Reality to a Utopia
Rapture watchers are normally diverted from the realities of this life in hopes that the rapture will be imminent and then they will be released from their earthly responsibilities.  Some of the consequences of Harold Camping’s teachings of a May 21, 2011 rapture were: People were leaving churches, quitting their jobs, selling their homes and living in RVs, divesting their businesses, and taking to the road to teach the false message of the May 21, 2011 rapture.  I am updating this article on April 12, 2021 which is approaching the 10th anniversary of that date and we are still here.  One of the saddest episodes of that teaching was when it did not happen a man I know had a son who committed suicide because he embraced Camping’s teachings and killed himself because he believed he taught people false doctrines and he was distraught over it.  There are always serious consequences in following any false teachings, whether it is in a church or a cult.
Rapture Watchers Dodge The Great Commission
The Lord Jesus commanded us to send the gospel into all the world.  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  (Mark 16:15) Rapture watchers tend to shirk their duties by not only withholding funds but from also going to the world and bringing the Gospel.  They figure that if the rapture is imminent, then why bother getting involved since they are looking for the “upper taker.”  They find time for every worldly activity but not for spreading the gospel.
Rapture Watchers disobey the Lord’s Command to Occupy
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. (Luke 19:13)  The Lord gave us a command to occupy till He comes back.  We touched upon this previously in this article but it bears repeating. Well he has not returned yet and many Christians have stopped occupying because they are waiting for the “upper taker.”  We are to continue sending forth the Gospel from the time we are saved until the time the Lord returns or takes us home.  Those that have stopped serving have become useless to the Kingdom of God.  Christians go to their churches on Sunday and constantly complain that false gospels are taking over our country, well duh, if they were out there being as aggressive as the false gospels, then we would have our country back and have a Christian majority but they reason within themselves that the rapture is imminent, so they reject the idea of getting out to the streets.
Rapture Watchers Rob Their Own Country
Rapture watchers continually complain that our nation is becoming more secular and that we are under God’s judgment for evils like abortion.  The reason for this is simple.  Christians have just given up getting involved.  They decry abortion for the murder that it is, yet, why will Christians not run for office?  Do they honestly think by voting in another unbeliever that abortion will end or that our government will take responsibility for carelessness in all areas?  Much of the reasoning for Christians not partaking in political office goes back to the 1527 Schleitheim confession of the Anabaptists.  In article 6, they claim a Christian cannot serve the Lord and hold a political office because the office is a sinful undertaking.  They believe that a Christian is not permitted to take the life of someone who has been convicted of a capital crime.  They believed that a political office is nothing but a partaker of the flesh and lusts of this world.  It is based on the belief that a Christian cannot serve the government and Christ at the same time.  The Bible does not condone that belief.
What about men such as Joseph who God Himself promoted to Governor of Egypt.  Joseph did not forsake God but served Him in that capacity.  Daniel was made the third ruler in the Kingdom, and he did not stop serving God at all but was a faithful servant throughout his entire life and to several pagan kingdoms where he dwelt.  David was beloved of the Lord and was king for forty years by the hand of God Himself.  These three men served God in whatever capacity God raised them to.  Why is it so proper for a Christian to work a job like fork lift driving or waitress when these jobs also pull Christians away from their studies and church for many hours each week?  Then I ask why is it proper to serve the Lord in these type of jobs but not as a Congressman or a Senator?  Both major political parties in the USA are total failures.  If we continue to send unbelievers there, they will continue to fail.  Once we start seeding them with Christians, they become the conscience of the nation and their secular philosophies will begin to wane.  Parents talk about school curriculum.  Tell me, how many Christians in your community are serving on the school boards?  The whole concept of Christians not serving in office in government is a foreign concept to the Bible.  How would you dismiss Cornelius of Acts 10 who was a Roman Centurion and became a believer?  You can’t, because all he knew was soldiering and remained a Centurion after salvation.  The idea that you are serving two Gods by serving in Government is ridiculous.  You are serving one God in two capacities, in your elected office according to your Christian convictions and your Christian responsibilities outside that office.
Rapture Watching Cheats The Next Generation
Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. (2 Corinthians 12:14)  Rapture watchers always think their generation is the last one and so does ours.  I believe we are the last generation based upon some major principles but I will not discuss them here.  Okay just one.  Never before has the Gospel been preached in every country around the world and this has been made possible by means of the Internet.  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)  I want to look at the principle found in the verse above, 2 Corinthians 12:14 of the parents laying up for the children.  Each generation is to lay the groundwork for the next generation.  In other words, we, as the parents, are to train the next generation, which are the children.  It is our responsibility to pass along all which we have learned to others and that is only part of the training.  If you are able, then take young Christians to the street or introduce them to some type of ministry which they will be able to continue long after you are home with the Lord.  If one thinks that they are living in the terminal generation, they may just ignore the reality of having to train the next generation.  We need to look at examples such as Paul with Timothy, or Barnabas with John Mark.  We need to take younger Christians under our wings, whether we are the last generation or not.  Do you think the cults and other false gospels are not preparing their young for their work?
I think by now you get the message and that is we are to remain busy in some type of ministry on this earth and we are to work in some capacity where we could also make a difference.  This means that running for office is not wrong nor is it sinful.  The lifestyle of rapture watching is also not Scriptural because it is the enablement of living a lazy lifestyle under the umbrella of waiting for the Lord.  We need to be involved in every aspect of this life while we are on earth and no opportunity for service should be rejected or ignored.  We have seen that the rapture of the Saints is going to be on the last day and the teaching that it is imminent, except for the end of the world, is totally error.  The last day is the last day, period, so get busy with the little time you have left and stop making excuses.  The only reason you are hearing the gospel today is because someone was involved so could get the gospel to you.
For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: (Acts 13:36)   Acts 13:36 is a very important verse because it speaks about David serving his own generation.  Keep in mind, David served as King and as a representative of God to his people.  David served in both a political and spiritual capacity, and guess what?  His salvation was secure!  And so your salvation is secure!
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