Many people who read the Gospel of Luke will feel it natural to assume that Luke is talking about the rapture and the end of the world in Luke 17. In Luke 17, the Pharisees ask Jesus when the Kingdom of God is coming. Jesus responds by warning the Pharisees that the Kingdom isn't coming the way that they imagined it would. He then warns them about remarkably bad things that will happen in the future. Many people who read Luke's Gospel will assume that the Pharisees asked Jesus about when the end of the world was coming and that Jesus responded by giving them prophetic warnings about Armageddon. In general, I don't believe in the Rapture. It is not a "thing" in the Bible. It is a misconstrued idea that comes from a metaphor that the Apostle Paul uses (1 Thessalonians 4:17). But since we are going through the book of Luke in our Podcast at present, I thought I would just share why specifically, I don't believe Luke 17 is talking about "the rapture". Reason #1 - In Luke 17:34-35 Jesus says "Let me tell you, in that night there will be two people sleeping side by side: one will be taken, and the other left behind. There will be two women working side by side grinding corn: one will be taken, and the other left behind." The disciples then ask Jesus where these people will be taken and His answer is: "Where the body is, there the vultures will gather." (Luke 17:37). They are not taken to heaven. Rather, their lives are taken and they are left out in the field for the vultures to eat. In this scenario, the listener should be glad to be "left behind" rather than to be killed in the battle. Reason #2
- The Kingdom of God, by definition, is not a place "in heaven" but the reality of God establishing His rule and reign on earth as it is in heaven. When the Pharisees ask "When is the Kingdom coming?", they are not asking about how to get to heaven or when the world is going to end. Rather, they are asking about how and when the world will be made right. This is an inverted vision to that of "the rapture". Reason #3 -Jesus warns that "anyone up on the roof, with all their possessions in the house, shouldn't go down to get them." (Luke 17:31). If there really is a concept in Jesus' mind of a rapture of His people from the face of the earth and if that event is anything like what has been presented to us; we would be taken to heaven "in the twinkling of an eye" and "we would (will) be changed". In that popular vision of this supposed event, their is no option of "going down" to get anything. This advice of Jesus would be rendered completely useless. It is evident to me that Luke knows nothing about "The Rapture".