Will the Rapture Actually Occur? Some Theologians say Yes, Others say No, Can be Confusing to Believers
By Toni Tucker
By: Toni Tucker
Has the Rapture already occurred?
The word "Rapture" comes from a Latin word that is the equivalent to the Greek word "harpazo" which is translated, "shall be caught up, to seize, carry off, snatch away.
Well, according to some Christian leaders, the Rapture occurred not long after Jesus ascended into the Heavens and sat at the right hand of God. They claim that the early church was "taken up" some 2000 years ago. And think that all of the rapture talk is "poppy-cock!"
While another branch of Christian leaders say that we should anticipate the blessed hope very soon, not later. Many theologians say that the body of believers will be caught up in the clouds to be with the Lord, before the anti-christ is manifest on the earth. While other theologians who also believe that the Rapture will occur, believe the Church will go through the tribulation and somewhere in the middle of the tribulation get "caught up" to meet Jesus in the air; the third belief is that Christians will be caught up after the tribulation.
So, there are three varying conjections from the same brand of Christian leaders. Agreeing when the Rapture will take place is debatable, but that's not where the major church divide brews.
Many Christian leaders of the pre, middle, and post-Rapture theology agree that the anti-christ will come from the Middle East. And with all the news and attention shifted to Egypt, Libya, and other middle eastern parts of the world, the revelation of this man of perdiction is just around the corner. Yet, no man knows the day nor the hour.
Now, both of these sectors of Christian leaders, believe in Jesus as the only way to God. That he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was God-Incarnate, died for our sins intentionally, as the final sacrifice on the cross, rose from the dead, and now sits at the Right Hand of the Father!
These factions also believe in what is known as the "Five-fold ministry". According to Ephesians 4:11: And He Himself gave some apostles, and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;
12 For the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.
They both believe in winning souls for Christ, loving people, building people up, missions trips, visiting the sick, and imprisoned, and overall all of the tenants of faith found in the Bible.
Both of these opposing Christian views for the large part, also exercise the Gifts of the Spirit. They speak in tongues, pray in tongues, have Interpretations of tongues when a message is delivered in tongues before the body of Christ. They cast out demons in the Name of Jesus, although there is also a line of delineation when it comes to whether or not only non-believers can have a, or, multiple demons. (That's another point of contention within the church globally, and another hub in itself!). And both factions believe in living a Holy and Godly life according to the Bible.
So why the "Great Divide?" Some Pre, middle, and Post - Rapturist use tact and grace when referring to the "Never gonna be a Rapture camp." Some don't. And, conversely, some "Never going to be a Rapture" leaders use tact and grace when referencing those who teach and preach that the Rapture will take place, while others, don't. The temperament of and reactions on both sides of this salient issue, rest on the character and make-up of the Leader.
Nor does the church, the Body of Christ, need, a knee-jerk reaction on this highly contested Biblical matter from either side!
One can only find the "truth" on the matter if one studies the world intensely. 2 Timothy 2:15, encourages us to, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."
So overall, when it comes to the "Rapture" they repel like oil and vinegar. Their theological views are as different on this issue as far as the East is from the West. Like day and night!
We believe in the same God, practice the Gifts and live in the Fruit of the Spirit, yet, Satan has caused a major rift within the church concerning this event, that otherwise, is suppose to be a promise, and something for believers to look forward too! Leaving believers who are following them to feel confused on the issue, unless they have their own strong Biblical stance!
The leaders who dogmatically claim that the Rapture has already occurred are called Full-Preterists.
Preterism is an interpretation of Christian eschatology which holds that most or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the End Times refer to events which have already happened in the 1st century after Christ's birth. The system also claims that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, which is listed in Webster's 1913 dictionary as a prefix denoting that something is "past" or "beyond" signifying that either all or a majority of Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Adherents of Preterism are commonly known as Preterists.
My questions is: Where does the Antichrist come into play, if the Rapture happened in 70 AD in the minds of Full and Partial Preterists?
Just like the delineations in pre, middle, and post, Rapture theorists, there are even more gapping divsions in thought in the Preterists camp. There are two prominent arguments:
The two principal schools of Preterist thought are commonly called Partial Preterism and Full Preterism. Preterists disagree significantly about the exact meaning of the terms used to denote these divisions of Preterist thought.
Some Partial Preterists prefer to call their position Orthodox Preterism, thus contrasting their agreement with the creeds of the Ecumenical Councils with what they preceive to be the Full Preterists' rejection of the same. This, in effect, makes Full Preterism unorthodox in the eyes of Partial Preterists and gives rise to the claim by some that Full Preterism is heretical (Partial Preterism is also sometimes called classical Preterism or Moderate Preterism.) This reference is captured from the Wikipedia Dictionary.
On the other hand, some Full Preterists prefer to call their position Consistent Preterism, reflecting their extension of Preterism to all biblical prophecy and thus claiming an inconsistency in the Partial Preterists hermeneutic. Partial preterists may be considered heterodox because they advocate, in effect, two Second Comings, one at A.D. 70 and another at the end of the age. Full preterists, in contrast, conform to the creeds, allowing only one Second Coming. This definition again, is cited from the Wikipedia dictionary.
Most pre-Rapture Leaders preach and teach that the Rapture is not found in the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And that the Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24: 40-41 speaks of the Second Coming of Christ, and not the Rapture. That the Rapture is found in the Epistle of Paul.
This scripture refers to the Second Coming: Matthew 24: 40-41
Verse 40--Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
Verse 41--Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.
Then after the Rapture, the Second Coming, before the Battle of Armageddon and the Millennium.
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-7 The Epistle of Paul, is where many Pre-Rapture Theologians find proof of the Blessed Hope or the Rapture. This is where Believers will meet Christ in the air, prior to the rise of the anti-christ.
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our 1gathering together unto him,
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what with-holdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
So, with so many varying theories out there as to where the church is
on the calendar of prophetic Christian events, it is clearly multi-divided
on, when, and if, the Rapture will take place.
While millions of Christians believe that the rapture will take place, it is important to note that, the Church of Christ must not only come together as one along theological lines more, but also make ferocious strides to close the racial divide. This is the ALARMING! 11am Sunday morning separatism, that yet prevails in our nation and is yet, a major stronghold of the enemy! This is where the enemy seems to insipidly reside.
Christ is coming for a church without spot or wrinkle, it looks like the greatly divided body needs some injections of Heavenly Botox, to straighten out the deep wrinkles of subversiveness and ethno-centrisim from all camps, before we are taken away! Ephesians 5:27.
In the midst of all of this, it is important and comforting to know first and foremost, that you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and that he is the only way to God. John 14:6
Personally, I ascribe to the "Pre-Raptural" teaching according to the Pauline Epistles. And thank God for a great church where the leaders teach this and back it up with the word! So don't be confused or mislead by anti-Rapture teaching. Or, that it has already happened.
And, if you happen to read this and millions of Christians have mysteriously disappeared from the earth...
You still have a chance at salvation! But you will go through the tribulation.
Why, wait, accept Jesus now!!!