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The Most Controversial Topic of the Rapture in Christendom
My last post proved we are at the end of all things. We are going to discuss a very controversial topic of the Rapture in Christendom. It is also a very contentious issue in Christendom today.
One that I have studied for the last seven years and that is Eschatology or the study of the previous days. Zechariah 12.2-3 says:
"I will make Jerusalem like a cup of poison [staggering; reeling; drunkenness] to the nations around her. They will come and ·attack [besiege] Jerusalem and Judah. And it shall be on that] day all the nations on earth will come together to attack Jerusalem, but I will make it like a ·heavy [immovable] rock; anyone who tries to ·move [carry] it will ·get hurt.
The Expanded Bible, Zechariah 12.2-3
Your view of the last days can be affected by several issues, including:
- · Your belief on Salvation or you are born again
- · Your picture of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
- · Your faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
- · Your way of Interpretation of Prophetic Writings or Hermeneutic
The Church in Thessalonica is one we want to research and see what Paul says concerning their faith and what he says about the coming snatching:
"For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1.9-10)
Note: The words "Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come" is why I believe we will not go through God's wrath against sinful man. Jesus will deliver us before the wrath to come. The wrath is reserved for those that made a free will chose not to accept Jesus as their savior! For we who did believe that is good news, amen.
Please Get Ready
We Will be Delivered from the Wrath to Come
With Tribulation split into two three and a half years, this plainly states the church will be delivered from the wrath to come. You will note that our Scripture reading was from 1 Thessalonians, and we will be spending time in the book of Matthew, and chapter 24.
The study of Eschatology is critical because it speaks of the end of the age, and it will give us insight into what life after death will be like. As Christians, we believe strongly as born-again children of God, we, after death, will go to be with Christ in heaven.
But how do we get there? What is the time frame for things to happen? Your view of the last days will likely determine the answer to many of these questions. I will try not to use a lot of complicated theological terms or theories.
Instead, I hope to make it easy for anyone to read and understand. There are three terms we will frequently use that you need to understand.
- · The Rapture or snatching away by force
- · The Tribulation split into two three and a half years
- · The Millennium where Jesus will rule the earth
The Rapture of the Body of Christ
A Literal Rapture of the Church
Keep in mind some several theories and terms deal with how the Tribulation and millennium relate to the timing of the Rapture. As a researcher of the end times, which we are going to approach from one angle, which I firmly believe is the one closest to Scripture, and that is the pre-Millennium and pre-Tribulation view of the last days.
This view teaches:
- ·A literal Rapture of the Church discussed below. (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50–54)
- The Rapture will occur before Tribulation, review this important verse in relation to the timing of the wrath Revelation 3:10, in which Christ promises to deliver believers from the “hour of trial” that is going to come upon the earth.
- Offer Spiritual and Physical Life after we Die, looking at the period when we go to heaven.
Do you want to be part of the few that are going? Of course, you do!
The Rapture of the Church Ends Exceptionalism
The Rapture Included in the Bible
To the first Point – What is the Rapture of the Church?
The Rapture of the Church is a very controversial topic in many circles today. There are those that because the word doesn't occur in the Bible say that it is not Biblical teaching.
I do not see this as an unembellished objection because they are other terms not accepted in the church circles, not stated in Scripture. For example, Christmas and Easter.
The idea of the Rapture is described in Scripture and therefore accepted without dispute. I see no reason that the Rapture should not be with these. There is a continuing argument, and that is the formation of Israel as a nation.
Matthew 24.34 states:
"Truly, I say to you; this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."
Nations in the Scripture sometimes is referred to as different types of trees. Types, as you may recall, is not an unusual practice in the Bible. For example, we speak of Geneaology; we might state there are several branches of our family tree.
So let us take the parable of the fig tree where we are talking about the nation of Israel. The fig tree is dealing with many issues involving a prophecy, not just the formation of the land of Israel.
So in confronting many questions, we would have to determine to interpret the prophecy and to make a decision on its validity.
It's Coming, Are You Ready?
When We Speak of a Generation According to Scriptures
When we speak of a generation according to Scriptures, how long of a period are we talking about? For Biblical terms, it is 30 years of age. Also, when we must determine the appropriate borders for the nation of Israel.
Today, Israel occupies only thirty percent of the land God gave them. Genesis 15.18 says, "To your descendants, I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates."
The above determines when the timing of the prophecy would start. Did the clock start when Israel became a nation in 1948? Did the clock start at the time of the Six-Day War? Or, when Israel regained Jerusalem?
Or, has the timer set to be launched as it is waiting for Israel to have its former Biblical boundaries?
There are many questions with this issue; more than we can adequately deal with in this short essay, so we are going to start by accepting the Bible does teach a literal Rapture of the Church. We will look at three passages that I feel are key in studying the Rapture. They are:
All these verses deal with events that will proceed with the Rapture and give us vivid mental pictures of what will happen at the time of the Rapture. I guess the question is, Are You Ready for this to happen?
Jesus Is Prophecy
"For the Lord, himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4.15-17)
The idea did not begin in 1 Thessalonians. Remember the Lord Jesus announced to His disciples in the Upper Room that last night before Gethsemane, he said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; they believe in Me as well. In My Father's house are many rooms.
If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14.1-4)
One additional Scripture. Remember, in 1 Thessalonians 5, and there is another critical passage:
"Now, concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you, we are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "There are peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5. 1-9)
Paul is talking about the "children of the night and children of darkness." Jesus is going to come as a thief in the night to the children of the night. The "children of the day" will know the season, and we will not get caught by surprise!
Final Comments on This One
Thank You for Reading This Post.
Thank you for reading this post. It is a very small sampling on the subject and I will probably write more on this in the future. The subject tends to divide and it shouldn't. Paul said, "encouraging one another, and all the more so as the day draws near."
I hope you come back for future updates. If you learned something to take away on this subject please leave some feedback. Thank God for you who come to read the articles and many blessings to you and your family. Dr. Gary Hill
Jesus Is Coming Soon
Are You Ready To Go?
Are You Ready To Go? Yes or No!!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Gary E Hill