The Rapture

Saint Matthew, from the 9th-century Ebbo Gospels.

There are basically four theories regarding the rapture and all are based on the same book – the Bible.

The rapture is supposedly a secret coming of Jesus during which time the saints or Christians are caught up in the air with Jesus. There are many movies and books which portray these events.

The four rapture theories….

  • No rapture – Those who do not believe in a rapture, but do believe in the second coming.
  • Pre-tribulation rapture theorists believe Jesus will rapture the saints before the tribulation.
  • Mid-tribulation rapture theorists believe will occur after 3 1/2 years.
  • Post-tribulation rapture theorists believe it will occur after the tribulation.

I do not believe that the scriptures support a rapture theory at all, only the second coming of Jesus.

Jesus will return, the dead in Christ shall rise, and the people will be judged. That much is clear.

Any other interpretations are simply points of view, a matter of interpretation.

Have you ever wondered why Billy Graham never spoke of the rapture? Many pastors will not speak of it because it is simply a point of view, a theory, a belief that is not surely described in the scriptures and therefore is a waste of our time as followers of Jesus.

We are to spread the good news, not the gloom and doom of a secret rapture.

The problem with the rapture theory is that humans are trying to dictate what God will do, even though the Bible says without question that there are many mysteries of God, that we now see as through a mirror darkly, and that we are not to know when He will return which is known as the second coming.

A second problem with “preaching” the rapture theory is that it scares people. Jesus does not want followers because they are scared. He wants to be loved because of what he has done for us. We are to love him willingly, cheerfully, and we are to be with sound mind as well as without the spirit of fear.

A third problem with the rapture theory is that even though God can do whatever he wishes and chooses, we have evidence in the Old Testament and words in the New Testament which do not point to the rapture.

When Noah faced the great flood, the evil were ripped from the earth, not the righteous.

Jesus says, “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

Matthew 13:41-43

Whether you believe in a rapture or not, it has no effect on whether you are saved or not. It is a matter of personal belief, that’s all.

As followers of Christ, we are to be busy doing His work as He so plainly stated in Matthew 25…

Mat 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’

Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The New Commandment

Jesus

Jesus gave us a new commandment while he was walking this earth.

Every other commandment ever given can be fulfilled by following this one, new commandment.

Not only does he give this new commandment, he tells us why we are to do it…

Fulfillment of this commandment offers proof to the world that we are followers of Jesus Christ.

John 13:34-35 says…

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

If we love one another as Jesus loves us, we will not continue to tolerate the injustices of this world such as homelessness and getting medical care for the sick.

I do not speak of just the elderly or just the children, but of all people in need.

True love for mankind will be proof of our love for Jesus Christ.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Candidates seek evangelical vote

Obama and McCain are seeking their share of evangelical votes as they both plan to appear at Rick Warren‘s Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California on August 16th.

McCain has a touching story to share about his faith during his time as a prisoner of war, but actually doesn’t talk about it very often.

Obama knows that he, as a democrat, will not “win” the evangelical vote, but hopes to gain about 30% of the votes. The last democratic candidate to claim over 30% of the evangelical vote was Bill Clinton.

Probably the most important factor regarding the evangelical vote is a candidate’s position on abortion, followed by their position on marriage. Unfortunately for these well-meaning evangelical voters, these two matters are not controlled by the President.

They need to focus on the congress and the senate if they want to change the abortion law.

Meanwhile, the rest of the voters are plagued by which man can truly run the country and help our people to live not only safely in our own land, but also live without the problems of homelessness and lack of healthcare. Another crucial factor is our own energy crisis.

Which candidate will substantially help us move forward to alternative energy?

These are the issues that need our attention as voters – right now.

  • Alternative energy
  • Safety on American soil
  • Wars and rumors of wars
  • The poor – homelessness and lack of healthcare
  • Unemployment – which will raise the percentage of those who are homeless and without healthcare

Our nation needs true leadership and guidance on these issues.

As a Christian, these issues have my attention. Once these critical life issues are handled, then I can become more concerned over abortion and possibly marriage.

The sad truth, I fear, is that the abortion issue will never be resolved.

The abortion issue is the Republican stronghold over evangelicals. If it were no longer an issue, evangelical votes would be up for grabs.

Read more at NPR.org

Zemanta Pixie