Monday, February 05, 2007

Rapture Ready?

Truth, justice and the rapture debate

If Christians are serious about impacting their world for Jesus, why on earth would they want to leave the planet during the most difficult period in history? If we care about justice for the poor and oppressed, why are we hoping to get as far away from them as possible in a pre-trib rapture ride to heaven? How well do we love our neighbors if we long to escape the tribulation while they go to hell?

For a hard-hitting perspective on some of these questions, click here.

7 Comments:

Blogger CrimsonLine said...

Of course, the question is not primarily "what do these Christians want?" but "what does the Bible say?"

I'm no dispensationalist, but I believe in a pre-wrath (perhaps even pre-trib) rapture of the church because I believe the Bible teaches it.

That doesn't mean disengagement from the world, it doesn't mean avoiding any attempts to change things. It does mean a healthy bit of skepticism as to our ability to fix things completely.

February 05, 2007 2:21 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

You are right; the question should be, "What does the Bible say," and the Bible does not appear to teach a pre-trib rapture. Such a teaching is inconsistent with 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, one of the main biblical passages that concerns itself with when the rapture will occur:

"Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction."

This seems to indicate that the rapture will not happen until after the antichrist has been revealed, which makes a pre-trib rapture rather unlikely. A mid-trib or post-trib raptures fits much better with this passage.

February 05, 2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

By the way, if you read the entire article instead of just my little introductory blurb, you'll see some more biblical evidence against a pre-trib rapture.

February 05, 2007 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Bernie said...

Yep, Julie - good post. When I started weekly expository teaching as a pastor in 1993, I began by teaching through the book of Matthew. (It took me five years). When I hit Matthew 24-25 I realized that I had to change my simplistic "Left Behind" view of the rapture (at the time the prevailing view was 1980's Hal Lindsey leftovers) to something that is in line with what the Bible teaching. While I would never make someone's view of the rapture a test of Orthodoxy (the Bible is just not that clear on the timing!) - I would challenge all those who blindly say that Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins have it all wrapped up (Crimsonline - I am not referring to you, or your post. Your conclusion of "healthy skepticism" tells me that you've thought through your position and I respect that).

In my 13 years of teaching the Bible every week (often numerous times)I can not say that I can come to a very clear conclusion regarding the timing of the rapture. I don't think it's that clear. However, I am quite convinced that it is something other the recent tradition dispensational pre-trib.

Good article with fresh perspectives, Julie. Thanks for posting.

February 05, 2007 4:16 PM  
Blogger Secret Rapture said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon!
Read My Inaugural Address
At = http://www.angelfire.com/crazy/spaceman

February 06, 2007 6:47 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thanks for your comments, Bernie--I appreciate your positive feedback. I agree wholeheartedly that we should not be too dogmatic about the timing of the rapture nor make it a test of orthodoxy, because the Bible isn't dogmatic about when it will occur. I've had Christians in my immediate family tell me I am "insane" for questioning the pre-trib rapture. I also read a book on the subject by Jack Van Impe, in which he asked, "How can any reasonable, thinking person not believe in the pre-trib rapture?" (the evidence he presented for it, in my opinion, was rather sketchy, at best).

In my conversations with believers who hold to a pre-trib rapture, many express fear of having to live through the tribulation rather than cite any biblical evidence for their position. When I asked my mother-in-law to give me a biblical verse to support her belief in a pre-trib rapture, she said, "You shouldn't be looking for proof; you need to take it on faith." In all fairness, I am sure that not all those who accept a pre-trib rapture reason this way, but I found it disconcerting that a Christian would be unwilling to cite a biblical text to support what they believe about the end times or anything else, for that matter.

February 06, 2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to think that the precious, glorious pretribulation rapture was never a part of Christian Theology (and never taught by any church) before the year 1830! "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" on Google and Yahoo has all the gory details! M. A.

April 06, 2007 12:28 AM  

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