Hi Star of David, I'm always curious at such a blanket statement as yours. Why considering that we read in Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose (egeiro - to rise).
The Apostle John in Revelation 4:1 is invited into heaven; Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. What did John see on the Lord's Day, and how did they get there if not caught up or raptured?
Revelation 4:2. Jesus now sitting on His own throne.
Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting.
Revelation 4:6 In the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living ones.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo, or raptured) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
Another group seen in heaven are the great multitude of Revelation 7:9. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. The throne of God is in heaven, and these of the multitude arrive there in some manner.
I'm sorry, Larry, I just now found your comment directed towards me here.
Well, for starters, after spending most of my adult life up until 1991 believing that there would be a world-ending Armageddon, complete with this almost cartoonish character called the Antichrist, I stopped in my tracks and began thinking long and hard on December 13, 1990 about this popular scenario that millions of Christian End Time prophecy enthusiasts accept so easily without question and what began as a seed of doubt in my mind at the end of 1990 about this cataclysmic scenario, God gave me the "common sense" understanding and insight that He will not operate this way during the years leading up to Christ's return to earth.
This is what I posted in 2006 on another Internet prophecy discussion board when faced with similar detractors:As many of you know (and it is my understanding), the Jewish religious leaders and the Jewish people in Israel 2,000 years ago were very much anticipating that there would be a Messiah that would fulfill the messianic prophesies of what we call the Old Testament. They believed that this Messiah would be a powerful Jewish warrior who would liberate Israel from Rome's domination.
Today's Christians, instead, believe that these same messianic prophecies were fulfilled by Christ nearly 2,000 years ago in the form of a Sacrificial Lamb who died for the sins of all mankind.
Today, many End Times prophecy lecturers teach to many the End Times scenario of Antichrist, Armageddon, Seven Years of Tribulation, and Rapture, which I did greatly subscribe to, myself, at one time. If one reads my unavoidably long narratives, in 1989, my mind concocted a very elaborate scenario for the 1992-1999 time period.
Fortunately, before I made too great a fool of myself, I came back down to earth in 1991 and recalled my contemplation as a child of Christ's words in Luke 21:25a, Matthew 24:29-30a, and Matthew 24:36a and once again realized that these are the key scriptures that one needs to know and study. As a child, I assumed the events of Matthew 24:29 would be fulfilled centuries later but with the Cold War going on and thermonuclear annihilation very possible, I knew that the 1960s were different times.
In other words Larry2, the scriptures that you quoted to support your cataclysmic End Times scenario that are so popular to almost everyone on this board are analogous to the erroneous belief by the Jewish religious experts of 2,000 years ago that this long-awaited Messiah would take the form of a powerful Jewish warrior who would liberate Israel from the domination of Rome.
And we all know how very far off based that expectation was. It will be the same again in this go-round of prophecy interpretation.
And here are the front and back sides of business-sized cards that I first had made up in February, 1992 and have mailed to 'points far away' for the past 20 years and counting. This is the only interpretation of prophecy that one needs to be aware of pertaining to End Times prophecy, Christ telling His apostles that He will return to earth sometime after the year 1999 and not before. Also, I am quite confident that this is the cornerstone prophecy of the Two Witnesses of Rev. 11:3, as I have stated before (though, I'm afraid that to an audience of non-astronomers, it is not being understood):
ST. JEROME EDITION (c. 1985)
Fifth Version - June 2012 (First Printing in February 1992)
The Coming of the Son of Man
"There will be strange things happening to the sun, the moon, and the stars."
"Soon after the trouble of those days, the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky."
August 11, 1999 (11:43 UT to 12:23 UT) -- Total solar eclipse in Iraq and Iran. (Occurs approximately once every 35 years.)
November 18, 1999 (1:00 UT to 3:00 UT) -- Leonid 33-year periodic meteor storm over Europe and the Middle East.
Peak rate = 1,688 meteors/hour.
(Jesus was 33 when He died.)
February 11, 1999 -- Pluto becomes farther from the Sun than Neptune. (Occurs once every 248 years.)
It is a simple probability problem to calculate that the odds of a total solar eclipse in Iraq and Iran, a Leonid meteor storm, and Pluto becoming farther from the Sun than Neptune all occurring within a given 12 month period of time is only about once every 100,000 years.
Thus Christ's instructions to His apostles recorded in Luke 21:25a: "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars....."
And so, since it has been a 'given' to me beginning in 1992 that there will never be this Antichrist, Armageddon, etc. scenario, then why would there be a need for a Rapture?