Looking Again at The Rapture

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Blessings, Christian Beliefs, Outreach, Running the Race, The Bible

Introduction

Hello again and thanks for stopping by!

Today we are going to look at one of the most important teachings in all of Christendom and that is the Coming of Christ for His Bride the Church. It is called the Rapture and it has been under scrutiny and attack by opponents of Christianity and even those with different understanding of the Word of God.

Previous Articles on the Rapture from The Bible-Runner Online

In the past I’ve talked about how the Rapture and the Second Coming/Glorious Appearing are two separate events, you can find that article here: Differences between the Rapture and 2nd Coming.

February 3rd of 2011 I posted about the Rapture in John 14:1-3 using my whiteboard to make the key points of that Rapture teaching of Christ easily readable and understandable. You can find that here: John 14:1-3 Christ’s Rapture Teaching.

April 18th 2011 God again put the Rapture on my heart and I wrote a post I titled All About: The Rapture you can find that here: All About The Rapture.

 

And there’s more!

July 12th of 2011 I again spoke of the Rapture in the promise found in the book of Revelation. Revelation 3:10 to be exact and I broke the passage down so that you can have hope- a Blessed Hope! Check out that article by clicking here: A Careful Look at Revelation 3:10.

September 29, 2011 I did another post about the Differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming using my whiteboard. You can find that post here: One Event Two Parts.

January 7, 2012 I talked about the SPEED we will be transformed in at the time of the Rapture, and you can read that here: Transformed in the Twinkling of an eye!.

That’s quite a lot of extensive coverage, but the Lord has put in on my heart again. In the deleted comment I received the teaching of the Rapture was attacked, I myself used to attack the Rapture.

What I used to Believe

As an Adventist I was taught that the Lord was going to divinely protect me through the end times since I was part of the Remnant Church and kept the Commandments of God. As a young boy I though of how incredible it would be to live in that time under God’s protection, the amazing things I’d see and experience. The stories I’d have to tell.

I used to think about the Rapture and those that believed in it (if I ever really considered it at all) as a get out of jail free card because they were not in step with Christ and couldn’t understand what the Bible was saying.

Then I was Born Again and I realized that I had completely misunderstood what the Bible was saying! I was the one who had been in the dark and not the other way around.

Yet I was still and Adventist Pastors Kid, I still had to live my life very much the same way I always had. I couldn’t declare my spiritual rebirth because no one would understand me.

Some time later at an Adventist Bible Study we watched a Christian film called Apocalypse. In this film they had a sequence on the Rapture, and most all of those in attendance laughed up a storm and found it to be ridiculous. On the other hand God the Holy Spirit was adamant with my Spirit that the Rapture was a very real event.

In the end God the Holy Spirit led me in my first studies while a new Christian to go over end time events, this is not shocking as Adventists use “Revelation Seminars” yearly to scare people into Adventism.

What I learned then, and the continued spiritual growth have been nothing short of amazing. Defending the faith, the Gospel and all it entails including the Word, is something that brings me great joy.

Sharing on the Rapture Today

The posts linked at the beginning of this article paint a picture of my beliefs in the Rapture and where I stand now. However as usual there’s still more to be shared, because as one studies the Word through the Holy Spirit there is always growth and maturity of understanding.

Let’s look at the most famous of Rapture passages found in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (Emphasis Mine)

I emphasized two points in the above passage the words “caught up” and the conclusion of the passage “Therefore encourage one another with these words.”.

Let’s look at them a little closer.

“…Caught Up…”

What is so important about these words that I chose to highlight them? What do they have to do with the Rapture?

Here’s the study note from the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible one that I own in hardcover.

English: Diagram of the major tribulation view...

English: Diagram of the major tribulation views in Christian theology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4:15-17 The revelation (lit “word”) that Paul received relates to what has been called the rapture. It refers to the event when believers who are alive at the Lord’s coming are caught up (Gk harpazo) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The term “rapture” is derived from rapturo, the Latin translation of the Greek term. The Greek term means “to snatch or take away suddenly.” Paul referred to this event as a mystery (some truth previously hidden but now known) in 1Co 15:51-52 and said it will happen in the twinkling of an eye. We who are still alive implies that Paul thought the rapture could occur at any moment, even during his lifetime. The “archangel” or chief angel is probably a reference to Michael (Dan 10:13; Jd 9).

As you can see the English term Rapture comes from the latin reading of a greek word. In Greek it’s harpazo, and in latin it is rapturo- which is why we in English refer to this event as the Rapture.

In the Jewish wedding the groom would come to a place outside the brides house at an unexpected time and call her out to come with him to His father’s house.

Just so Christ comes to the air above the earth (Bride’s house) calls her out- we meet Him in the Air and He takes us back to where He’s been building a place for us.

And as the Bride we will always from that point on be where our Husband is- In Heaven.

“Therefore, encourage one another with these words.”

And since we’ll always be in Heaven where our savior is after this point in time we should indeed encourage one another greatly to eagerly wait for His coming to call us home.

If I were a Mid-Pre-Wrath-Post tribulationist could I really encourage myself with these words? Not really.

Mid-Tribulation Perspective

They teach that Christians will be Raptured at the middle of the Tribulation period however as I noted in one of the above articles- we are no longer under condemnation- there is no wrath reserved for the believer. No judgment at all. Christ took our just Judgment on the cross, by this time we are in Heaven with Him.

Basically it would be more of a pep talk then an encouragement.

“Sure we’ll go through some tough times. The Anti-christ won’t be nice…and the first three years of the tribulation will be pretty tough. Some of us might not make it…but hang on and be encouraged.”

Pre-Wrath Perspective

They teach that Christians will not be Raptured to heaven until just before “The Wrath of God hits.” However Jesus is God and he opens the first Seal on the scroll and everything thereafter comes from the opening of the first seal. So the entire Tribulation period is the Wrath of God.

“Sure we’ll be going through an awful lot of hard times- but we will not face the time of the Great Tribulation Jesus will call us home before He gets really really angry.”

Post-tribulation Perspective

They teach that God will protect believers through the entire 7 year Tribulation period and will then Rapture the Church to Heaven. Except that a straight reading of the Word shows that at the end of the Tribulation period the Bride is returning with the Groom.

“It’s going to be a tough time. However God will protect us through the entire time of His wrath all seven years and then he will call us to meet Him in the air…and we’ll come right back down.”

There is no time for the Wedding of the Bride and Groom in that scenario which has already taken place in Heaven. It also, as I noted in one of the attached articles entirely looks over the fact that in the Tribulation period most believers will be slaughtered/martyred. When Christ had Promised the disciples that even the Gates of Hell would not overcome the Church.

Pre-Tribulation Perspective

We can wholeheartedly encourage one another with the words of this most wonderful promise! As Christians we are called to look and listen for the return of our Groom Christ Jesus to call us to Himself and take us home to the Father’s House.

The Rapture is an imminent event, NOTHING has to happen before Christ can call us home!

And then we will always be with Him- for eternity!

Conclusion

The Rapture isn’t hidden, it isn’t new, it isn’t a horrible lie of Satan. It was promised by Jesus Christ to the disciples on a night when they were thoroughly alarmed and needed a great dollop of peace and encouragement. It’s just as likely to happen right now than it is to happy in the next 10 mintues- because it is imminent- overhanging. Believe me when the Father says to the Son it’s time Jesus isn’t going to hang about.

He’s going to call us out of here with great haste into His eternal love…into the Father’s House.

We are His Bride not the “earth dwellers” of Revelation 3:10. They are destined for a time of Testing, we are destined for the Bema Seat of Christ.

You can’t be at both, since they happen simultaneously, it’s one or the other.

Wrath or Grace.

Rapture or Tribulation.

In Christ,

Ross

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Comments
  1. Dustin says:

    Great insight. I like the chart you posted. It makes it easy for someone like me who has no knowledge of the end times to see what Pre, Mid, Post Trib all breaks down to.

    • rossbondreturns says:

      Yeah I really like that chart…it’s used in one of the other articles I linked to in my post as well.

      I think perhaps with all the articles in one post like that, people will find the majority of their questions answered.

      See you tonight.

      Ross

  2. […] Looking Again at The Rapture (thebiblerunner.wordpress.com) […]

  3. briannnnnnn says:

    Revalation seminar charts ross how original.

    • rossbondreturns says:

      Quite Brian,

      Except that those aren’t Revelation Seminar charts…nor would they be shown ever at an Adventist Revelation Seminar.

      You need to look more carefully.

      Ross

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