Posts Tagged ‘rapture’

03 (2)

In this blog post I attempt to discuss the different views people have regarding the Rapture.  What is the Rapture?  The word “Rapture” is a Latin word for the words “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.  The concept is that the Lord will return for believers (John 14:3 and Acts 1:9-11).  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that those who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…”  The context of this concept from chapter 4 is found in 1:10 which says, “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”  Some things stand out, like the promise of the Lord’s return.  Also there is a wrath that is coming.  This word “wrath” is not defined for us until 5:9, which says “For did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The context of the word “wrath” here is found in the preceding verses.  5:4 says, “But you brethern are not in darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”  The word “Day” is referring to the concept of the Day of the Lord (5:2).  The Day of the Lord is an OT concept, that has two phases 1. God’s judgment against sinful people 2. God’s eternal reign over His people (Joel 2:28-32; Isaiah 13:9-11; Zephaniah 1:14-18; 3:14-15).  The book of Joel as a whole is an exposition of the Day of the Lord.  On a side note, it is important to understand that the word “Day” is not meaning an actual 24 hour period, but rather a span of time.  In this 1 Thessalonians book, Paul uses the phrase Day of the Lord to refer to Christ’s return and coming Judgment.

The college and seminary I went to did me a favor in the way I was to approach the bible.  They taught me not a systematic theology (although I took all the courses on that), but to be a bible expositor.  What does that mean?  It means to read the bible and look at key factors before I interpret like 1. the Grammar 2. Language (Greek or Hebrew) 3. the audience 4. the style 5. Historical.  Why is this important?  Many today feel the need to read the bible through their systematic theology rather than allowing the bible to speak for itself.  This is extremely easy to do.  For example, many of a Reformed Church background like to substitute the church for Israel in scripture.  Therefore, the promises of God to Israel are now meant for believers.  Israel rejected Christ therefore, the promises transfer to the church.  The problem with this way of looking at scripture is that the context twisted.  It can lead a person down a slippery slope.  In my opinion, legalism usually follows close behind.

What does this have to do with the Rapture?  The audience and context is highly important when one reads the bible, especially concerning prophecy.  The Rapture is a biblical concept that means to be caught up to meet Jesus in the air.  My next blog will be about the different views on when the Rapture will take place.

 

 

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye we will be changed forever (1 Corinthians 15:52).  At some point in the Lord will come back for His church and when he does we shall be caught up to meet Him in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17).  In churches, seminaries today we call this “caught up” the “rapture.”   The word “rapture” is a Latin term that means “caught up.”  There are many terms that are not in the bible, and yet they are still true concepts.  For example, the word Trinity is not in the bible.  Yet we see that concept throughout it.

I believe in a Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the church.  What that means is that the church will be raptured up before the Tribulation begins.  The Tribulation is a time when God will judge the earth, and put His attention back on His people.  When you read through Revelation you notice that chapters 2 and 3 discuss different churches then all of a sudden the church goes missing from chapters 4 to 17.

The rapture can happen at any moment.   1 Thessalonians 5:2 tells us that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night.   Obviously, a thief does not tell people when he is coming to break.  The same can be said of the day of the Lord.  Some people subscribe to a Mid-Tribulation, or Post-Tribulation or even a Pre-Wrath Rapture views.  Here is a quick summary of those views: Mid-Trib= God raptures us in the middle of the Tribulation, Post-Trib= God raptures us right before He returns, Pre-Wrath Rapture= God raptures us about 3/4 of the way through the Tribulation.  My problem with these different views is that they take away from the suddenness of the rapture.  If you know it is happening in the middle or 3/4 or you gotta go through the whole thing then you will be ready.  Yet when you scripture like 1 John 2:28, which talks about abiding in Christ so we will not be ashamed at His coming, you realize that it is sudden and without warning.

The life I have now I want to live for the Lord.  I do not have to be perfect because He was perfect for me and everyone.  I just need to live my life knowing He could return and to be ready.