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They consist primarily of scripture passages on a theme with some commentary.
Rebuttal of Bible Texts Used In Support Of The Secret Rapture Theory
A) 2 Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. . ."
This is the primary proof text given for the secret rapture. This may suggest a secret event. However, there is more in the same verse.
The last part of this verse says ". . . in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
Clearly this is not a secret event. The next two verses continue.
2 Peter 3:11-
The point of the example of Jesus coming as a "thief in the night" is not that it will be a secret event, but that He will come at a time when nearly everyone will not be expecting Him. The warning to the believers is that we should constantly be holy in our conduct because Jesus could come when we least expect Him.
B) Luke 12: 39-
"Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
Again, the warning is to be ready at all times, because Jesus will come at a time when we aren't expecting Him. This passage does not imply that His coming will be secret.
C) 1 Thess 5:2,4 "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be self-
Again, the message here is not that Jesus' coming will be secret, but that it will occur at a time when most will not expect it, therefore we must watch!
D) Revelation 16:15 "Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that WATCHETH, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
Again, the message is not that Jesus' coming will be secret, but that most will not be expecting it, therefore we must watch! "Garments" refers to our righteousness, (Zechariah 3:4,5) "lest he walk naked" (without righteousness).
E) Matt 24:40-
The warning again is that His coming will be unexpected, not that His coming will be secret.
F) Luke 21:34 "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be weighed down with carousing and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares."
We are told that if we watch and live righteously, we will not be caught unaware. Only the wicked will be caught unaware.
G) Revelation 3:10 "Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."
Jesus promised to be with us through our trials, not to remove us from them.
John 17:15 Jesus prayed, "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil.”
Jesus never promised us that we would escape persecution, in fact, He promised us that we would be persecuted. John 15:20 "A servant is not greater than his Master. They persecuted Me, they will persecute you."
Here are the 3 primary original works of Irving in their entirety.
They have not been in publication for many years.
Click on the underlined links to view and read them.
(Extracted from Fraser's Magazine, 1832)