Q. In an email from a Christian lady, about the rapture, she said that her Pastor had once told her, “We need to be watching and waiting. Those are the ones that He is coming back to get.” Of course she couldn’t give me any “chapter and verse” Bible backup, but she certainly believes that many Christians will not be taken in the rapture for that reason. What can I tell her that won’t send her away crying? She has hope, but she needs “peace.”
A. The fact that a pastor says something doesn’t automatically make it true. Even people with advanced degrees who call themselves experts on prophecy cannot cite a single verse in support of the partial rapture theory. Those who teach it have to take verses out of context or re-interpret them altogether to even build a hypothetical case. This is why Paul warned us to receive the messages of our teachers with an open mind, but search the scriptures to determine if what they’re saying is true (Acts. 17:11).
No form of the phrase “watching and waiting” appears in the New Testament. A search of the phrase “keep watch” will reveal that when it’s used in the context of the end times, it’s directed toward people on Earth at the time of the 2nd Coming, and does not refer to the Rapture. This is why the woman couldn’t give you chapter and verse.
As believers we are to be alert to signs of the end times (1 Thes. 5:1-6), but nowhere is our participation in the rapture said to be contingent upon this. The only condition for inclusion in the rapture is to be born again.