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"Why is there no Rapture?"

What is the concern?

Within the Christian church is a doctrine that has for been circulating in one form or another for several centuries. The major tenents of this doctrine are a "sudden snatching" of EVERY Christian, a seven year period of pain and suffering on Earth, and Christ ruling an Earthly kingdom for a thousand years. Alas, this teaching is not entirely scriptural.

Perhaps it should not be surprising that many modern Christians from ALL of the major denominations are attracted to this doctrine.As our world becomes more and more wicked, the idea of escaping is quite appealing. Indeed, in a world in which abortion, homosexuality and witch craft are becoming more acceptable, escape would be quite attractive. Ironically, that is not what the Christian faith is about.

Isn't the Rapture mentioned in scripture?"

Yes and no. It really depends on what you mean. The fact of the matter is that there is only one place in scripture where the term "rapture" can be found, and then only in St. Jerome's translation of the scripture into latin. The word is "rapturos" and is in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Alas, the term "rapturos" and its kin "rapina" are both words of violence and aggression.

Doesn't the rapture have to happen before Christ returns?

NO! There is no need for anything else to happen before the return of Christ. Indeed, to set up the rapture as a distinct event from the return of requires setting scripture against scripture: Matthew 25:31-32 vs. Mark 13:26, Matthew 24:30 vs. Zechariah 14:4-9; Revelation (Apocalypse) 19:15-19; Mark 13:37; Titus 2:13.

Furthermore, did not Jesus himself pray "I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one" (John 17:15 NRSV). Now if our Lord and Savior did not pray for us to be removed from the world, why then should we somehow try to expect that such a thing will happen?

Hasn't the rapture always been taught by the church?

The rapture has never been something that has always been taught by the church. Indeed, by some amount irony, a group refered to as the Nicolaitions (Revelation 3:6) taught a doctrine that was in some ways similiar to the modern doctrine of the rapture. They taught that Messiah would come and take his people and then destroy the rest of the world.

Also, in 1530, when the "Protestant Reformation" was really taking hold, a group of men put together a document called "The Augsburg Confession". The Seventeenth Article discussed the return of Christ, and is as follows:

It is also taught among us that our Lord Jesus Christ will return on the last day for judgment and will raise up all the dead, to give eternal life and everlasting joy to believers and the elect but to condemn ungodly men and the devil to hell and eternal punishment.

Rejected, therefore, are the Anabaptists who teach that the devil and condemned men will not suffer eternal pain and torment. Rejected, too, are certain Jewish opinions which are even now making an appearance and teach that, before the resurrection of the dead, saints and godly men will possess a worldly kingdom and annihilate all the godless.

What does this mean?

What this means is that the more reasonable approach to Bible prophecy is the amillenialistic view. The amillenial view is that God will make all things new on the last day and Christ Jesus will rule for all eternity. This is a sensible and reasonable approach to the end times. The important thing is that we do those things now that give glory unto God and the things that we would want Christ to find us doing at his return, as the truth that we can not know the hour of his return.

From here, I leave the believer to think, read, and decide for him/herself. I can lay no other foundation than that which has already been laid, even Jesus Christ.

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