Some events in scripture may seem fantastical, drawing scorn and scoffing toward those who hold them as literal - like the 'rapture of the Church'
10-23-17, Pete Garcia* -- In a theological world bent on consensus and ecumenism, you have to wonder why some things in the Bible are the way they are. Some things seem so fantastical, that to hold to them in a literal manner would immediately draw derision and division from the world. Such as:
Today there is a growing group of “clergy” who simply dismiss more and more of Scripture. Some claim to only follow what we would identify as the “red letters,” (or Jesus’s actual words) to build their theology around. These “red-letter” Christians, spend much of their time dismissing the rest of the Bible. They even dismiss the “red letters” if they don’t mesh with their culturally-declining consensus. These are they who routinely trade objective truth for subjective reasoning.
The future “rapture” is the resurrection of the Church, the body of Christ is a divine event. The members of the body of Christ will receive resurrection bodies. Paul called this the “fullness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11.25) [as the body of Christ is composed primarily of Gentiles]. The word Paul used for the Rapture was ἁρπάζω which means “to seize” or “to snatch away.” Our English word “rapture” comes from the Latin “rapiemur” which is the word Jerome used in the Latin Vulgate to translate ἁρπάζω. See 1 Corinthians 15.51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18
I’ve often wondered why God would choose being caught up in the blink of an eye as the mechanism of our delivery at that appointed time:
1. Why aren’t we transformed in full view of a Christ-rejecting world like something out of a Disney princess movie?
2. Why couldn’t God turn us all into super-human immortals and allow us to breeze through the Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th Week) unscathed?
3. Clearly He could've, if He wanted to
In piecing together the metaphors and symbolizing we see spelled out in various passages brings us back to the institution of marriage. The Church is the bride of Christ and the body of Christ, of whom Jesus said He would build (Matt. 16:18). Jesus is also the head of the body who is the Church. In marriage, the husband and wife become one flesh which is what our marriage (hence our combining) then symbolizes. See Ephesians 5:30-32 and Hebrews 9:16-17
In God’s providential wisdom, He chose the Rapture as the manner of delivery because it both serves the purpose of removing His body from the earth prior to His judgment and because of the necessary timing required for the bema and marriage to occur. It also reinforces the strong delusion that will come upon the earth after the Rapture occurs (2 Thess. 2:9-11).
Lastly, because most in the world, mock the very notion of a
Rapture, God will use it to destroy the “wise.” See 1 Cor. 1:18-20
If the Rapture seems too fantastical to believe, then what do the “wise” pastors do with all the phenomenal occurrences recorded in scriptures? Is there doubt that God loves to specialize in the fantastical? He took up:
We live in a world that is continually trying to reinvent and redefine what truth is while promoting one anti-Biblical thing as truth i.e Darwinian Evolution, Big Bang theory, Also, manmade global warming, gender dysphoria, atheism, communism, etc. It continually runs into brick walls of contradicting humanistic ideology. The same can be said for liberal or progressive “Christian” pastors who deny some, most, or all of the Bible; including the Rapture.
I believe that the Rapture has returned to our biblical understanding, because of the nearness of its proximity. It wasn’t relative to know this back in the 15th century from God’s perspective. It is relative now. If we believe that God reveals things progressively to man, then He does so when it is pertinent for that particular generation.
Currently we don’t hear cautionary sermons warning people about a world-wide flood or sermons warning about an imminent Assyrian invasion. It was relative to Noah, Isaiah and Jeremiah’s audience, but not to us today.
Today we warn of the coming Rapture of the Church, and the subsequent hellish vacuum that will fill the earth in our absence.
"Concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief…" 1 Thess. 5:1-4, 9-10
*Excerpted and adapted full original message here: https://www.raptureforums.com/pete-garcia/why-rapture/
(1) Seven raptures: http://www.akjbible.com/7%20Raptures%20in%20the%20Bible.html
Salvation? Luke 13:3; Titus 2:13, Revelation 19:11
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